Cheryl Wheeler | Peterborough, NH

Peterborough Folk Music Society
(a non-profit)

Cheryl Wheeler

It has always seemed as if there were two Cheryl Wheelers, with fans of the New England songwriter relishing watching the two tussle for control of the mic. There is poet-Cheryl, writer of some of the prettiest, most alluring and intelligent ballads on the modern folk scene. And there is her evil twin, comic-Cheryl, a militant trend defier and savagely funny social critic. The result is a delightful contrast between poet and comic. Brilliant, hysterical performances and beautifully crafted songs. “Rare artist…strong poetry, complex melodies, clever wit.” – SingOut!

Ellis: Debut appearance Ellis may not yet be a household name, but once you’ve seen her perform you’re not likely to forget her. Described as a mix of folk artist, dharma teacher, and comedienne, her music is best described by the effect it has on her audience rather than a particular genre. Simply put, she leaves audiences better than she finds them, with softened edges & opened hearts. With compelling songwriting and engaging performances, Ellis is quietly amassing a loyal following of supporters across the country.

Tickets: $20 advance/ $25 day of the show

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Peterborough Folk Music Society

Ralph Page Legacy Dance Weekend

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Ralph started calling more than 70 years ago in Nelson, NH, the Monadnock area town that has had contradancing continuously in its town hall for well over a century. He got to be quite popular as a caller both in New Hampshire and in the Boston area, and in fact during various periods in which contra and square dancing were at low points in popularity he was the only (or nearly the only) person to keep the tradition alive. It’s not at all an exaggeration to say that if it weren’t for Ralph Page we probably wouldn’t be dancing today. (By the way, the same thing can also be said of Dudley Laufman who brought the contradance scene back to life following its near death in the 1960’s.) Ralph Page became not only a caller but a scholar of contradancing. He published the Northern Junket, a far more ambitious publication than what I put out with far less sophisticated technology, monthly for many years. He wrote many excellent dances, and he researched and reconstructed many old dances. Although later in life he was known (especially by younger dancers) for his less than pleasant temperament, people who danced to him when he was younger have very fond memories of him and of his dances.

So, when Ralph Page died in the early 1980’s a committee was set up to keep his legacy alive; that eventually brought about the Ralph Page Dance Weekend which has occurred annually since 1988. It has turned into a weekend of outstanding dancing. From the beginning the emphasis has been on preserving the smoother style of dancing that Ralph favored (especially in his later years and especially at his Boston dances; I’m less sure about the style of dancing at his earlier rural New Hampshire dances). However, that doesn’t mean it’s a style of dancing only old people or old-fashioned dancers would enjoy. Rather, it means everyone who goes is trying to dance really well: to dance with the phrase, be ready for the next figure on time, to dance well with his/her partner, make the dances flow well, etc. So even if you enjoy a rowdy dance, it’s hard to beat dancing with a group of people all of whom are really dancing nicely together. Contra and square dancing involve teamwork, and it never shows up better than at the Ralph Page weekend.

January 13 – 15, 2012
Durham, NH

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☼ ☼ ☼ Play Ball | Peterborough

Come celebrate the opening of the season with an all-star lineup.

On Saturday, April 7, it will be our fourth annual PlayBall. This dance, set to coincide with the start of baseball season, is not an all day event, but a double dance from 6:00 PM to Midnight. The bands will be Notorious and Crowfoot with callers Adina Gordon and Steve Zakon-Anderson.

6:00 PM – midnight

There will be lots of contras, a few squares, and some beautiful music for couples dancing, all in the spacious and beautiful Peterborough Town House.

Admission is $15.00 for the whole six hours!

☼ ☼ ☼ Sally Rogers & Claudia Schmidt | Nelson Town Hall

Sally Rogers & Claudia Schmidt
Fri, Jan 13th, 2012 – 8:00 PM – Nelson Town Hall

Admission $18/$15(Sr/Jr)

Sally and Claudia met in the fabulous Folkie 80s for the first time, and immediately developed a deep friendship and musical collaboration.  This led to lots of joint touring as well as 2 CDs together before Sally left the road to raise a family.  Throughout, they have maintained the friendship and the musical connection, albeit restricted to a couple concerts a year, when Claudia’s out East or Sally’s back in the Midwest for a family reunion.  Last year they had such a good time with their New England concert that they decided right then and there to record a new CD including songs they’ve been adding to their repertoire over the decades (2, to be exact, since their last release!)as well as some brand new ones just for this project.  They continue to have an amazing ease onstage together (as well as a lot of double dulcimer!) and an exquisite blend when they put their harmonic wits together.  Come and get a sneak preview of what they have up their musical sleeves.