Photo of Nelson Town Hall

The Monday Night Dance returns on November 14, 2022

The Monday Dance returns on November 14

We had such a good time dancing on Halloween that the Monadnock Folklore Society is resuming the Nelson Monday Night Contra Dance beginning on November 14.

New Start Time: 7:30 PM

No musician’s slow jam yet but we hope to restart that soon.

Everyone aged two and up must wear a high-filtration (N95, KN95, KF94) mask inside the building at all times (except for *brief* sips of a beverage) and not eat inside the building. Masks will be available for sale at the door. Performers playing music on stage may choose not to mask.

Everyone should be vaccinated and boosted.

If you get sick within 5 days after the dance, contact Sign up for the Nelson Mailing List to be notified about potential exposure as well as other dance news.

Please consider taking a rapid antigen test no more than 24 hours before the dance.

If the CDC reports any of these NH counties as Red, the dance will be canceled: Cheshire, Hillsborough, Sullivan.

If you have any symptoms, we’ll be sorry to miss you, but please stay home and rest!

☼ ☼ ☼ Cosy Sheridan w/Kent Allyn & Charlie Koch | Nelson Town Hall | November 13, 2022

Cosy Sheridan will appear in concert at The Nelson Town Hall on Sunday, November 13 at 3 pm.  She will be accompanied on bass and keyboards by Charlie Koch and Kent Allyn.  Special guest appearance by Julie Snow!

This will be MFS’ first indoor concert since early 2020. There is NO ADMISSION FEE, but we will have a basket out for donations to cover our presentation costs. We are still in the midst of a pandemic and require that masks be worn indoors and there will be no refreshments served. Help us return to the world of music presentation while keeping everyone safe. Please review our COVID protocols.

Cosy Sheridan first appeared on the national folk scene in 1992 when she won the songwriting contests at The Kerrville Folk Festival and  The Telluride Bluegrass Festival.  The Boston Globe wrote: ”she is now being called one of the best new singer/songwriters”. She plays a percussive bluesy guitar  – often in open tunings and occasionally with 2 or more capos on the guitar. She is backed up with the strong rhythms and harmonies of bass player Charlie Koch and keyboardist Kent Allyn. 

Cosy continues to be one of the most prolific songwriters in the folk scene. My Fence & My Neighbor was number four on the folk radio charts in 2018. Pretty Bird was listed in Sing Out Magazine’s Great CDs of 2014.  

She learned guitar when she was nine years old from her babysitter – using an old guitar she found under the family piano. She was a voice student at The Berklee College of Music, and a guitar student of legendary fingerstyle players Eric Schoenberg and Guy Van Duser.  She has played at Carnegie Hall, The Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and on the Jerry Lewis Telethon.

She teaches classes in songwriting, performance, and guitar at workshops and adult music camps across the country. She is the director of Moab Folk Camp in Moab, Utah.

“Her user-friendly musical philosophy sets her happily apart from the myopic, self-involved songwriters… she is a wonderfully lively, very funny and enormously amiable entertainer with a keen and wicked eye for the excesses of our fast-food, tv-happy  and noisome culture.” – The Boston Globe

“A Buddhist monk in a 12-step program trapped in the body of a singer/songwriter.” – The Albuquerque Journal

“Sheridan is frank, feisty, sublimely and devilishly funny. She fuses myth with modern culture, Persephone with Botox.” – Cornell Folksong Society

Fiddler Harvey Tolman at Dublin Arts November 5, 2022

Cape Breton-style fiddler and local legend Harvey Tolman will perform an evening of Cape Breton melodies on November 5, 2022, at 8 P.M. at the new Dublin Arts venue at 1459 Main St., Dublin NH (Route 101). Harvey has been playing the Scottish Airs, Strathspeys, Reels, and jigs of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia for the last 60 years. In 1999, he was invited to be part of the group representing New Hampshire in the Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival in Washington, DC. He also received the NH Governors Arts Folk Heritage award in 1980. Until Covid struck, Harvey played at a Contra Dance every week since 1980, first in Harrisville and then in his hometown of Nelson. Cape Breton-style pianist Lloyd Carr will accompany Harvey, and Frankie Brackley Tolman will give a brief background on the origins of this exciting form of music. A $20 donation at the door is requested.

Dublin Arts is a sparkling new full-spectrum art center created out of an old factory space, offering performances (musical and theatrical) and classes (art, writing, and music), as well as, a space for conferences, group meetings, and events. And MUSE, a gallery for shows highlighting regional artists. 

Dublin Arts is handling tickets the way Harvey wants with cash at the door. If you want to reserve a seat, email Molly McDowell at with your name and phone number and how many tickets you need and she will put you on the list and will hold your tickets until 7:45 PM. All unpaid tickets will be released at 7:45 PM.

Aurora Nealand Sextet | Fountain Arts Building @ the Dublin School | July 1, 2022


The Aurora Nealand Sextet will bring the music of New Orleans to Dublin, NH on Friday, July 1 at 7:00 PM for a concert on the lawn at the Fountain Arts Building on the campus of the Dublin School. The sextet is:

Aurora Nealand – Horns/Vocals 
Tomas Majcherski – Clarinet/Saxophone 
Leo Forde  – Guitar 
Brian Coogan – Piano
Matt Booth – Bass
Brad Webb – Drums

An established bandleader, composer, performer and improviser, Aurora Nealand has become a prominent force in the New Orleans music scene since she first arrived in 2004. Combining the “formal education” – a music composition degree from Oberlin Conservatory and training at the Jacques Lecoq School of Physical Theatre in Paris – with the “informal” experience of playing music in the streets and clubs of New Orleans and throughout the northern Hemisphere, Nealand has emerged as an innovative, sensitive and daring music creator and performer.

She is most recognized for her performance on saxophones, clarinet and vocals and has been at the forefront of the revival of New Orleans Traditional Jazz amongst the younger generation of the city’s musicians. After playing and learning as a sideman in established New Orleans Bands for several years, (Panorama Jazz Band, VaVaVoom, The New Orleans Moonshiners), in 2010 she formed her own Traditional Jazz band “The Royal Roses”. The Royal Roses released it’s first album, “A Tribute to Sydney Bechet: Live at Preservation Hall” to national acclaim and Nealand was voted as one of Downbeat Magazines top ten rising stars for soprano saxophone in 2010.

Nealand grew up in a musical family in California listening to Preservation Hall Jazz Band recordings side by side with Stravinsky, Joan Baez and the Pixies. Later, during her time at Oberlin College/Conservatory she was exposed and fell in love with the recordings of Mingus, the soundscapes of Mort Subotnik and the performances of Laurie Anderson. With a strong interest in interdisciplinary work and sound for theatre and installation, she moved to Paris to study at the Ecole du Theatre Physical Jacques Lecoq. Upon returning to the states, she bicycled cross-country collecting audio interviews and stories in rural America to be used in a series of compositions about true “American Dreams”. This bicycle trip landed her in New Orleans, which has acted as her home base since 2005. In New Orleans she began playing traditional jazz, jazz manouche of Django Reinhardt, as well as Balkan/Klezmer music. She quickly became involved in the local improvisation scene as well, making frequent appearances at the Open Ears series playing her own compositions with various ensembles and artists.

In addition to leading the Royal Roses, Nealand is also the leader/frontman ofNew Orleans premier rockabilly band “Rory Danger and the Danger Dangers”, and as performs frequently with her solo project, “The Monocle”. She also is a member of Panorama Jazz Band and Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship. In 2010 and 2011 she appeared frequently as herself in the HBO TV series, “Treme”.

Nealand has performed extensively in New Orleans at clubs, in the Jazz and Heritage Fest, FrenchQuarter Fest and Satchmo Fest. She has also performed frequently in New York City at Lincoln Center Summer Festival in NYC, the BlueNote, Knitting Factory, Barbes and has premiered original works at Symphony Space and Alice Tully Hall. Internationally she has appeared at the Istanbul Jazz Festival, London Swing Festival, Barcelona Swing Out, and has toured several times around Irealand, Sweden, Germany , France and the Balkans.

This concert is presented by the Walden School as part of their summer concert series and is FREE and open to the public.

Tracy/Murphy/Bode/Amidon New Years Eve Concert | December 31, 2021

        **Tracy/Murphy/Bode/Amidon New Years Eve Concert**

    (Fri, Dec 31 at the Brattleboro Music Center

     Live Concerts  5:00 pm and 7:30 pm – purchase tickets here:

             Join us online- 7:30 pm – no tickets required – here’s the link:


**#1 a note from Keith Murphy:**

We are all aware of the shifting ground under our feet right now. We have been excited to pull together a version of our traditional New Year’s Eve concert with the Brattleboro Music Center, an organization that has done great work through the recent phase of the pandemic in producing safe, well-controlled live events. Now with the current wave of Omicron, we realize that many people who would otherwise have come to this show will feel better not attending in person. So we have been rushing to organize a live stream on youtube. We still plan on playing at the BMC and will still open the doors for what we expect to be a small, in-person audience. The auditorium is a big room, people will be well spread out and we will be performing with masks. Like everyone else, we look forward to less complicated times! Meanwhile, you should be able to join us.

**#2 essentials:**

      \* \* T W E N T I E T H   A N N U A L \* \*

            **Becky Tracy**

              **Keith Murphy**

                 **Zara Bode**

                   **Stefan Amidon**

                      **Peter Amidon**

                         **Mary Alice Amidon**

 \* \* N E W   Y E A R S   E V E   C O N C E R T S \* \*

                   this year sponsored by the   

                   Brattleboro Music Center

         and held at the_ Brattleboro Music Center

                     72 Blanche Moyse Way

            Friday, December 31

         two live 75-minute concerts at

           **5:00 pm**  and  **7:30 pm**

     Here is what you need to know:

**Tickets for the live shows -** $15 adult, $5 youth (6-14), free to 5 and under (please reserve a seat)

                    12 and older must present proof of vaccination or negative PCR test at the door

                          (age 11 and under are not required to have proof of vaccination or negative PCR test)

                    Everyone, including children, must be masked.

_**#3 more details**_

Becky Tracy & Keith Murphy, Stefan Amidon & Zara Bode, and Peter & Mary Alice Amidon present their 20th Brattleboro New Year’s Eve concert of New England, Appalachian, Irish and French-Canadian dance music, fiddling from around the world, and a feast of singing including singing for all.

Keith Murphy (guitar, mandolin, piano, foot percussion) and Becky Tracy (fiddle) will heat up the hall with fiercely intelligent and driving arrangements of dance tunes and traditional songs. Becky Tracy plays with the popular contra dance band Wild Asparagus; Keith Murphy has been a headliner in the Cambridge Revels, and he sang and acted the part of Dudley Laufman in Larry Siegel’s musical theater show “The Dancing Master”. Keith plays a central role in the Childsplay annual concerts both as a musician and an arranger. Becky and Keith are both founding members of the Nightingale trio which broke new ground in its sophisticated approach to traditional music. They are founders and teachers of the Traditional Music Educational Program at the Brattleboro Music Center. Their music was featured in the Ken Burns documentary on the Roosevelts. 

While the dynamic pair of Zara Bode and Stefan Amidon are not well known as a ‘duo’ per say, they are greatly admired as the faces behind musical sensations The Sweetback Sisters and The Devil Makes Three. Stefan is a master percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, and expressive bass singer. And Zara is a powerful vocalist of rare versatility that captivates our audiences year after year with her gorgeous interpretations of songs old and new. Both are members of the new extraordinary “Zara Bode Little Big Band”.  Fresh off their Sweetback Sisters Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular tour Stefan and Zara are sure to delight with their marvelous and often eccentric musical selections.  

Devoted to traditional music and dance, Peter and Mary Alice are freelance musicians, dance educators, choral arrangers/leaders, and publishers of music and dance materials.  Mary Alice is a member of, and Peter co-Music Director of the Guilford Community Church Choir, and of Hallowell, southeastern Vermont’s hospice singing group. Their choral arrangements and compositions are being sung by hundreds of church and community choirs in the U.S. and the UK. 

For more information on the concert please call 802-257-1006 or 802- 257-4720.

For information on tickets or safety protocols call the BMC at 802-257-4523.

Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend – Online – January 16, 2022

“The Essence of the Past Driving the Spirit of the Future”

The theme this year is “Keeping the Flame Alive”! Let’s talk about sharing the dance and music that we love.

The performers were chosen this year because of their background in the New England tradition and their outreach beyond the folk community, especially into the elementary schools.

Event Basics

When & Where: Sunday January 16th, 2-4:30 PM (EST) Online via Zoom link

Performers: George Wilson & Selma Kaplan, Andy Davis, Peter Amidon, Mary Alice Amidon, Mary Cay Brass.

Registration HERE

Cost: The event is free and open to all who register but donations are needed and welcomed. Your donation will support the production of the event and our scholarships. 

Scholarships: In step with our theme this year we are offering four scholarships to leaders and musicians. They would do outreach through schools, community centers. and local events, with the aim of sharing their knowledge and passion of traditional music, song or dance.
Application details here.

Questions: Contact


☼ ☼ ☼ A Virtual Nelson Solstice Party | Wherever You Are

The Monadnock Folklore Society is proud to present the 2021 Mummer’s Play and a specially recorded, seasonally themed ‘First Sunday Pub Sing’.

Our huge thanks to MFS board member Peter Martel for audio production and most especially to Dave Kirkpatrick of Iron Horse Audio and Video in Keene for their excellent work and so many hours of donated time to produce the Mummer’s Play and Song Circle this year.

The Monadnock Folklore Society produces this community event every year, but for 2021, we had to forego the admission and of course, the dessert potluck will be DIY this year.

Back in 2019, we had more interest in this event than the Nelson Town Hall could accommodate and many people were turned away at the door. Here is the 2019 Holiday Concert featuring a selection of traditional and original seasonal music performed by The Solstice Sisters (Alouette Iselin, Melanie Everard, Kim Wallach, & Heather Bower) and friends including a performance by our Johnny Trombly Scholarship recipient.  After the concert, the chairs and benches are usually cleared to make way for a traditional New England Contradance. Unfortunately, or not, the dance is often interrupted by various groups of unsavory characters presenting their idea of seasonal entertainment. These diversions, sometimes involving costumed individuals making complete fools of themselves or performing ancient ritual dances to help us through this dark time of the year, are generally tolerated as once they are applauded and fed we can return to dancing the night away. Two years ago we had to endure this 2019 Mummer’s Play.

Due to our current circumstances, we were not able to host this event in the traditional manner but we have managed to collect some past video performances including Kim’s solo version of the Nelson Wassail and our 2020 Mummer’s Play.

You may also be interested in these videos from previous Solstice concerts: – harp and hammer dulcimer – Green Grows the Holly – Let This Be My Prayer – Traveler’s Prayer  Wassail the Silver Apple Comfort of Singing Voices Keep Me Warm Medley Children Go Where I Send Thee Walking in the Air


NH Fiddle Madness at Bass Hall in Peterborough – November 19 2021

After more than a year, Music in Bass Hall returns with New Hampshire Fiddle Madness on November 19th!

How delightful to be at a Celtic music session, listening to enchanting tunes from Ireland, Scotland, Shetland, Cape Breton, and of course our own Celtic-influenced New England music. Part of the magic of such a session is the intuitive interaction between musicians, a spontaneity that can only come from years of familiarity with the repertoire. That’s what you’ll experience at this Music in Bass Hall concert as some of the region’s finest performers come together for an evening of fabulous fiddle music. While these musicians have played in various configurations with each other for many years, this is a rare opportunity to hear them all performing together.

Tickets are required in ADVANCE, see for more information and to buy tickets.

☼ ☼ ☼ MFS Events and COVID-19

For the first time since March of 2020, the Monadnock Folklore Society is planning some events.

We expect to host the first Nelson Monday Night Dance on Halloween, 10/31/22, and our first concert on 11/13/22 with Cosy Sheridan.

Note that the Monday Dance will be a one-time event, not the restart of the Monday dance series. We’ll see how it goes and then will decide on next steps.

The Monday Series restarted on November 14, 2022:

See the MFS COVID policy:

**New Start Time: 7:30 PM**

No slow jam yet while we figure things out.