Aug 302013

Keene World Harmony

Unitarian Church Parish Hall (KUUC), 69 Washington Street, Keene, NH.
Wednesday evenings 7 – 9 pm; Eleven weeks total: Sept. 4th through Nov. 13th with a concert Nov. 20th, fee; financial aid available
Calendar Listings
Sept. 4th through Nov. 13th, 2013 Wednesday evenings, 7-9 pm; Keene World Harmony Chorus;
Participants learn to sing traditional songs from the Republic of Georgia, Bulgaria, South Africa, Quebec, North America and more; no previous experience or music-reading ability required. Unitarian Church Parish Hall (KUUC), 69 Washington Street, Keene, NH.
For information, please contact: 802-451-0425 or


Keene World Harmony Chorus welcomes new singers.

Wednesday night Keene World Harmony Chorus
A world harmony teen and adult community chorus for men and women led by Lynn Mahoney Rowan and Will Thomas Rowan is offered on Wednesday nights at 7 – 9pm, starting up on September 4, 2013 in Keene, NH. Participants learn to sing traditional songs from South Africa, Bulgaria, Caucasus Georgia, Quebec, Corsica, American folk and more; no previous experience or music-reading ability required. The chorus is held at the Keene Unitarian Church (KUUC) on Washington Street. First rehearsal is a free party with songs previewed and some singing.

Lynn and Will Rowan are veteran workshop leaders with Northern Harmony and Renewal choruses, choral leaders for Village Harmony and Revels North, and members of the award-winning Windborne. They have traveled the world collecting songs. Lynn and Will have an energetic, easy-going teaching style and like to “sing our hearts out for the sheer joy of it.” They teach not only the notes, but also new ways of using one’s voice and tell stories of all the places of origin of the songs. Windborne has been accepted as a quartet and will be hired to be American Music Ambassadors Abroad in the first part of 2014. They are available for performances as a duo with Windborne and with an early music trio, Maythorn.





Aug 292013

“John Barleycorn Must Die—Songs to Bring the Harvest Home” Tony Barrand with Paul Eric Smith; Mariposa Museum, Peterborough

 On Saturday, September 7th at 7pm the Mariposa Museum will host acclaimed interpreter of English and American ballads and songs, Dr. Tony Barrand performing “John Barleycorn Must Die—Songs to Bring the Harvest Home.” He will be accompanied by premier accordionist, Dr. Paul Eric Smith.

The WHEAT is like a rich man, he’s sleek and well-to-do

The OATS are like a pack of girls, they’re thin and dancing too

The RYE is like a miser, he’s sulky lean and small

But the ripe and bearded BARLEY is monarch of them all

Why is Barley the monarch of all the grains? Because it’s the key ingredient of home-brewed ale.  Would you like to know how bread is made? Bread is made of wheat, (and also oats and rye) after the grains are ground “betwixt two stones” at the mill into flour. Bread and Beer were and still are the staples of the country diet. Personified as the rich man, the dancing girls, the miser and the King, the grains — that die in the fall as they are cut down each harvest and then are reborn after planting in the spring — have inspired countless songs about the common effort to “bring the Harvest Home”.

Many of the songs Tony and Paul Eric will sing have choruses that will be taught to the audience. Everyone will be encouraged to join in the singing with words provided in a special program.

Dr. Tony Barrand, widely acclaimed interpreter of English and American ballads and songs, is a Professor Emeritus of Anthropology from Boston University, where he taught the folklore of dance and song and seasonal customs. He is probably better known, however, as part of the singing team John Roberts and Tony Barrand who have delighted audiences across the USA for almost three decades with their “a capella” duets of English folk bawdry and balladry, morris and clog dancing, monologs and storytelling and perhaps best known locally for the popular annual Christmas pageant, “Nowell Sing We Clear”  More recently he biggest music project, in a collaboration with his neighbors with Keith Murphy and Beck Tracy, is a set of Vermont songs collected by Margaret MacArthur in the 1970s and by Edith Sturgis in 1919.

His collection of films and videos of Morris, sword and clog dancing was recently acquired by the Archive of American Folk Culture at the Library of Congress.

Admission to the Tony Barrand concert: Adult $12, Member $10.

The Mariposa is wheelchair accessible.

Aug 192013

Come celebrate the opening of the season with an all-star lineup.
On Saturday, April 5th, it will be our sixth 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 Perpetual e-Motion and Notorious with callers Adina Gordon and Steve Zakon-Anderson.
6:00 PM – midnight (waltzes 6 – 6:30 PM)
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 $16.00/$12.00 for the whole six hours!

Aug 192013

Nelson Town Hall oldThe Nelson Town Hall has been the center of town life for more than 150 years. In 2014, we expect the supporting structure of the hall to be renovated and repaired. The hall will be closed for a period of time, and we are currently looking for a temporary location for the MFS events, including the Monday contra dance, during the summer of 2014. Send your ideas to

As background, here is a link to recent research that has been done into the history of our beloved hall.

Aug 102013

Photo of Brendan Carey Block - fiddler and Eric McDonald - guitarist

Brendan Carey Block and Eric McDonald

A special benefit Contra Dance will be held in Nelson, NH, on Saturday, August 31st, featuring Mary DesRosiers with Brendan Carey Block and Eric McDonald.

This dance is a fundraising benefit to help the Landis family of Jaffrey, whose home was tragically destroyed in a fire earlier this summer.

Mary DesRosiers is an accomplished caller of old and new dances, an engaging teacher, and a veteran folk singer. She has taught the dance styles and singing games of New England to audiences of all ages in town halls, schools, and festivals across the country.

Brendan Carey Block, 2000-2001 US National Junior Scottish Fiddle Champion, has been performing since the age of ten. Constantly in pursuit of the boundaries of the violin, his love for the traditional fiddle music of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, has been a major influence in crafting his current innovative and energetic sound. Brendan regularly performs for festivals, concerts, and contra dances throughout the northeast. In May of 2009, Brendan was invited by the American Folklife Center to perform at the Library of Congress and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC as the youngest featured artist ever chosen for the “Homegrown — Music of America” series.

Eric McDonald is known for his tasteful playing on both the mandolin and the guitar. A former student at Berklee College of Music, he cut his teeth touring with acts such as Matching Orange and The Dave Rowe Trio. As a guitarist, Eric is an in demand accompanist and often performs with Brendan, both as a dynamic duo and with the bands Cantrip and Rockspring.

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 $12 or $10 for students and seniors. All proceeds will go directly to the Landis family.

The dance takes place at the historic Town Hall in Nelson, NH. For more information call 603-762-0235 or visit The Monadnock Folklore Society has presented contra dances and concerts of traditional music since 1982.

Aug 092013

Sunday August 18th 11 AM – 7 PM

Family-friendly outdoor music festival

In Greenfield NH at the corner of Mountain Road and Driscoll Road: 8 Driscoll Road

Matt Heaton     The Folksoul Ensemble

Annalivia     Trip to Nelson     Flynn Cohen’s Deadstring Ensemble

Flying Gravity Circus     Tara Greenblatt Band     The Folksoul Band



 Posted by on August 9, 2013 at 3:23 pm
Aug 072013

Bringing Songs to Life: A workshop with Jeff Davis, Sally Rogers, and Howie Bursen

Saturday, November 9th from 1:00 – 3:00 PM at the Nelson Town Hall, 7 Nelson Common Road, Nelson NH 03457

$25 in advance, $30 at the door, send email to to register.

This participatory workshop is for anyone who loves traditional songs and singing styles and who would like to learn more about song origins and ways to use your voice and instrumental accompaniments to bring out the story of the song. Songs will be shared for group singing. Solo and harmony arrangements of songs will be demonstrated and discussed as well.

Jeff Davis is one of America’s most respected collectors and interpreters of traditional music. He has traveled far to visit “source singers”–farmers and miners who remembered the old songs and tunes–and closer at hand to libraries and archives, always look for the best of the music that was once common in out towns and villages. Sally Rogers is known for her clear, sweet voice and her fine interpretations of both traditional and contemporary songs. Howie Bursen is best known for his amazing banjo wizardry, but is also a fine interpreter of traditional ballads, blues and old-time songs. These three together bring different perspectives to the art of singing traditional songs.

Tune up your vocal chords and join these three respected and well-loved singers for an afternoon of singing to ring in the rafters!

Aug 062013


The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Nelson Second Saturday Contra Dance on September 14th, featuring Ron Blechner with Randy Miller, Roger Kahle, and Ross Kahle.

Randy Miller, known for his classic music book, The New England Fiddler’s Repertoire, will share his vast knowledge of traditional dance music with guitarist Roger Kahle. Ross Kahle joins his father, playing the Irish bodhran and tenor banjo.

The Nelson contra dance encourages newer dance callers, and Ron Blechner is a young caller who recently “graduated” from master caller Bob Isaac’s workshop.

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 at the historic Town Hall in Nelson, NH. For more information call 603.762.0235 or visit The Monadnock Folklore Society has presented contra dances and concerts of traditional music since 1982.

Photo credit: Vital Signs Video/David Pasternack

Aug 062013

As the revival of an old tradition, there will be a Contra Dance at the historic Temple Town Hall on August 17th. The band is Trip to Nelson, featuring Temple natives Lizza and Richard Backes, along with Gordon Peery on piano, Perin Ellsworth–Heller playing fiddle, and Matt Garland on flute and pennywhistle. Calling the dances will be Lisa Sieverts from Nelson; Lisa calls frequently throughout the region.

Dancing begins at 6:30PM with a free family and beginners dance running until 7:30PM, followed by a dessert potluck.

The main contra dance runs from 8:00 until 10:30 PM. Beginners and singles are welcome with all dances taught throughout the evening. Admission is $7 or $3 for ages 6-12. Please bring soft soled shoes to protect the Town Hall floor.

The dance is sponsored by the Temple Community Collaborative and the Temple Recreation Commission. It takes place at the historic Town Hall in Temple, NH at 423 Route 45. For more information, call 603-831-3287 or email