Renn was born in Nelson, the son of Newt and Beth Tolman. Newt played flute for the Nelson dances and with Kay Gilbert, compiled “The Nelson Collection” of fiddle tunes. The book was used by many musicians in later years to fuel the revival of traditional dance and music. Beth collaborated with Ralph Page to write The Country Dance Book, a collection of dances from the Monadnock Region.
Renn learned to play the flute from his father. He brought traditional New England style dance to Homer, Alaska. In addition, he returned to Nelson regularly where his turn on the stage was always eagerly awaited.
Renn and Harvey at Tolman Pond 2010 Photo Credit: Nate Anable