☼ ☼ ☼ Nelson Solstice Party | Nelson Town Hall

What an excellent way to herald in the season of light:

A concert with various Nelson musicians opens the evening, followed by a contra dance, and the usual shenanigans. A dessert potluck is part of the fare.

Seasonal concert begins at 7 pm.
Contra dance and other fun to follow at 8pm. All are welcome; no experience or partner required.
Admission: $5
Bring a favorite finger-food holiday refreshment to share!

☼ ☼ ☼ Christmas Night Dance | Nelson Town Hall

It’s the 10th annual Christmas Night dance at the Nelson Town Hall. Amy Cann and Bob McQuillen will provide tunes with the normal Nelson variety of callers. Festivities begin at 8:00 pm. There will be a dessert potluck afterwards so bring treats. Admission is free — the Monadnock Folklore Society sponsors this dance as a gift to the community.

Once upon a time, in the town of Nelson, a wonderful tradition was born.

Ten years ago or so, the callers and dancers at a Monday Nite Contra Dance
realized that Christmas was going to fall on a Monday that year.  Imagine
the dilemma!  Nelson has always held a public contra dance on Monday nights.
If they were to skip Christmas, then the world record would end.  Not
wishing to jeopardize the record, and wishing to see good friends and family
again, the tradition began!

It’s a Christmas night dance.  It starts at the usual 8pm time.  This year
Bob McQuillen will be on piano, Amy Cann will be on fiddle with plenty of
guest musicians and callers.  It’s always a good night!

One year we had three feet of snow.  But Bob McQuillen drove up for the
dance, Don Primrose showed up to call and there was a family visiting from
New York that wanted to dance on Christmas Day.  We couldn’t get into the
hall because of the snow, so we moved the furniture from our living room and
Bob played his accordion.  That night was my favorite of all the Christmas

This story about one of Nelson’s traditions was submitted by Val Van Meier.

NEW RECORDING: Spyglass | Rodney Miller & Elvie Miller

There’s a commonly deployed fairy tale where a person is put under a spell that causes them to fall in love with the next person (or creature) that they meet. The concept is entertaining, but it also suggests a truth in the human psyche; that there are things that can occur within us that ripen our receptivity to romance. It is with some caution then, that we urge you to listen to Spyglass, an album made up entirely of waltzes.

SpyglassRodney Miller is in his fourth decade as a recording artist, and has for some time enjoyed residence in the pantheon of contra dance fiddlers. His previous albums are fairly distinct from each other while maintaining a common thread of being comprised of solid dance tunes; well-chosen blends of jigs and reels, and the occasional waltz. It requires both creativity and confidence to produce a recording that does not deviate from ¾ time.


Elvie Miller, his daughter, may have a genetic blessing on her musical abilities, but it still takes considerable effort to make music sound so effortless. One cannot say that she “accompanies” her father on piano and accordion; her playing provides an equal partnership (indeed she is even heard in a 2:1 ratio in several places, multi-tracking both instruments). Her playing exudes a steady strength while frequently venturing into the ethereal. Read more

☼ ☼ ☼ Contra Dance CANCELLED| Nelson | Nils Fredland, Caller | Music by Rodney Miller, Sarah Bauhan, and Gordon Peery


Saturday, December 13th
Beginner’s Workshop 7:30
Dance 8:00 – 11:30
Admission: $8 / $6 seniors, students

For information: 603.762.0235 or E-mail: Lisa SievertsNils Fredland lends his distinct calling to an evening of contra dancing supported by world-class fiddler Rodney Miller, and New England legend, flute and whistle player Sarah Bauhan, accompanied by Gordon Peery on piano. Sure to be a high-energy event to propel you through the holiday season.

NEW RECORDING: Lathrop’s Waltz, by Sarah Bauhan

Lathrop’s Waltz is the title of a new release from flute and whistle-player Sarah Bauhan. Through each of her 4 albums (starting in 1991) Sarah’s efforts have evolved in breadth and sophistication, though it must be said that she set the bar quite high from the beginning. Lathrop's Waltz

One could be unfamiliar with Sarah’s music, or even this genre (New England/Scottish/Celtic) and yet still reap great pleasure from listening. The melodies range from haunting to delightful, and they are well served by the caliber and diversity of the musicians. I believe Sarah took a risk (albeit well-calculated) in having such variety. Some of the pieces are rendered in a more modern, fluid style (the piano and bass stylings of Kent Allyn tastefully reveal his jazz influences), while other pieces are more solidly New England, accompanied by the inevitable Bob McQuillen, who has also served as a mentor throughout Sarah’s career. Read more

Holiday Open House at the Horatio Colony Museum

The Horatio Colony House Museum is hosting the annual Holiday Open House. The first floor of the museum, including the Library, Parlor, Music Room and Dinging Room, will be festooned with traditional seasonal decorations giving an air of holidays from long ago.

To add whimsy for the children, images of animals from the museum’s collection will also be on display.

The Holiday Open House is scheduled for Friday evening, December 5th  from 7:00 to 8:30 PM.  The museum will be lit with candles for the Friday evening program.

Friday evening is also the tree lighting ceremony on Central Square so “join in the spirit of the season” and take in these two Holiday events.

The Holiday Open House will also be held on Saturday, December 6th  from 1:00 to 2:30 PM.

Admission is free and cookies and cider will be available.

Please park in Saint Bernard’s Church parking lot next to the museum.

The Horatio Colony House Museum is located at 199 Main Street in Keene, New Hampshire.  The museum, a stately 1806 Federal style house, was Horatio Colony’s family home for three generations.  This old-time New England home is filled with original family furnishings and fabulous collections, which offer a gracious view of a vanishing lifestyle of culture, refinement and travel.

For information call 603 352-0460.