Music Workshop | Family Dance | Dummerston VT

Village Dance Series
Family Contras & Squares
Saturday, April 16
DANCE 6:30 – 9:30
Evening Star Grange – Dummerston Center, VT
Andy Davis – caller Jessie Gagne-Hall – fiddle Mary Cay Brass – piano

Mary Cay Brass and Andy Davis will be leading a Dance Band Workshop
from 4:30 – 5:30 pm at the Dummerston VT Grange Hall. This workshop is open to
players of all instruments that might be used in a New England contra
dance band (fiddle, whistle, guitar, mandolin, accordion, string
bass, and more!). Participants will learn jigs, reels and waltzes
both by ear and by written music. All are invited to play for the
first hour of the evening dance. Please join us for a potluck supper
following the workshop. The cost of the workshop is $5. Further
information: 257-1819 or

Le Vent du Nord | Peterborough

Le Vent du Nord

Saturday, April 16, 8:00pm
Peterborough Players Theater

Le Vent du Nord has crowds dancing to the sound of fiddle and hurdy-gurdy, using an original repertoire. Their music is both fresh and bound to tradition. One of the group’s strength’s is their stage presence: energetic, dynamic, generous and in touch with the audience. Le Vent du Nord consists of four singers/multi-instrumentalists: Nicolas Boulerice, Simon Beaudry, Olivier Demers and Réjean Brunet, who joined the group in 2007. They sing originals and songs taken from the traditional repertoire, in their native French, to the delight of their audience- for whom it is more often than not a foreign language. Le Vent du Nord’s energy amazes their audiences, and whether they perform at a festival or a concert, people keep asking for more.

Since its inception in August 2002, Le Vent du Nord have been enjoying rocketing success. They have received several prestigious awards, including a Juno. In 2005 in addition to being chosen album of the year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. it was also the year that saw the group being rewarded as North American traditional artist of the year in Austin, Texas. Their show was nominated for an OPUS award and was named Show of the year by the American radio-concert series Bound for Glory.

Le Vent du Nord on YouTube:

Tickets: $18 advance/ $21 day of the show

Tickets to all PFMS concerts may be purchased any time
on line at Ticket Stage. (Service charge applies.)

For more information:

Family Dance | Harrisville

Come celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a fun-filled contra dance to benefit the Marl-Harris Before and After School Program of Wells Memorial School. This program provides children with a fun, safe environment while parents are at work.

Diane Goodman calling with Hunt Smith on fiddle and Allison Aldrich on piano.

Wells Memorial School
235 Chesham Road
Harrisville, NH 03450

Thursday, May 5
6:30 – 8:30 PM

Suggested Donation: $8.00

Festive food and beverages available!

☼ ☼ ☼ Nelson 2nd Saturday Contra Dance | Nils Fredland * Harvey Tolman * Bob McQuillen

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Nelson Second Saturday Contra Dance on May 14th, featuring Nils Fredland calling with Harvey Tolman on fiddle and Bob McQuillen on piano.

Attending the many dances and house parties in the area throughout the 1950s, Harvey Tolman was exposed to the music of many fine musicians—most notably fiddler, painter, and violin maker Albert Quigley. Quigley had a huge impact on young Tolman and gave him not only inspiration but also his first fiddle. Despite this influence, Tolman wasn’t completely won over to traditional music until he and some friends traveled down to Boston in 1960 to the annual Scottish Games. There, he heard Cape Breton fiddle music for the first time. The music touched him deeply: combining, as it did, the potential for solo performance that he’d always loved, and the possibility for a community of fellow musicians.

In 1980, Tolman found another opportunity to share his love of music. Musician and dance caller Peter Temple started a weekly contra dance in Harrisville, just down the road from Nelson. When his “regular” fiddler couldn’t play, Temple came to Tolman and asked if he would stand in. Shy about playing for a dance, Tolman said that he would do his best. Thirty-one years later, Tolman’s fiddling still anchors the music at the “Monday Night Dance” which moved to Nelson in 1984.

Bob McQuillen, pianist and accordion player, has held a central position in the contra scene for more than 60 years. Although his grandfather played accordion and his father played the piano, McQuillen did not turn seriously to music until he returned from service as a Marine during World War II. Some friends took him to a local dance, and he became interested in playing the accordion. He continued his day job teaching industrial arts at Con-Val High School in Peterborough, New Hampshire, but also began playing accordion and piano for dances throughout the region, working with the legendary contra dance caller and historian, Ralph Page. In 1973, McQuillen wrote his first tune, Scotty O’Neil, named for a student who died. Since then, he has written more than 1,400 dance tunes. Still, it appears that his greatest joy comes from what he sometimes modestly calls “boom chucking,” providing the propulsive rhythms for a contra dance band that set feet and bodies moving on the dance floor.

Harvey Tolman and Bob McQuillen are both recipients of the New Hampshire Council on the Arts Folk Heritage Award. Bob is also the 2002 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship and the 2009 Lifetime Contribution Award from the Country Dance and Song Society.

A young dance caller, Nils Fredland has been making music, leading dances, and bringing people together for 20 years as a teacher; singer; instrumentalist; contra, square, and community dance leader; and workshop leader. He shares his skill, charisma, grace and goofiness with contra dancers coast to coast every weekend. He is known for his technical skill, disarming friendliness, comfortable stage presence, and soothing voice.

Dancing begins at 8:00 PM, with a short workshop beforehand. Beginners and singles are welcome and all dances are taught throughout the evening. Admission is $8 or $6 for students and seniors. The dance takes place in the historic Town Hall in Nelson, NH. For more information call 603.762.0235.