☼ ☼ ☼ 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.

☼ ☼ ☼ 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.

☼ The Snow Ball: All-Day Contra Dance | Peterborough Town House 2008

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

12 noon – 12 midnite

An incredible 12 hours of dancing to four fantastic bands.

Admission: $20
Info: 413-369-4369
Food will be available!

Please bring soft-soled shoes.

Bands in order of appearance:

George Marshall (caller), David Cantieni, Timm Triplett, Ron Grosslein, Tim VanEgmond

Dark Carnival
Mary Lea, Lise Brown, Peter Barnes | Caller: Peter Stix

Becky Tracy, Keith Murphy, Jeremiah McLane | Caller: Steve Zakon-Anderson

The Latter Day Lizards
Dave Langford, Bill Tomczak, Peter Barnes, Stuart Kenney | Caller: Lisa Greenleaf

☼ Contra Dance: Nelson NH Town Hall | Caller: Lisa Sieverts | Music: Mary Lea and Gordon Peery

Saturday, June 14th

Lisa Sieverts with Mary Lea and Gordon Peery
Beginner’s Workshop 7:30
Dance 8:00 – 11:30
Admission: $8 / $6 seniors, students
For information: 603.827.3044 or E-mail: Lisa Sieverts

Lisa Sieverts is the caller for the Nelson contra dance on Saturday, June 14th.  Lisa has been contra dancing since the late 1960s, when she first attended Nelson and Fitzwilliam dances. She has been calling since 1994, and was active in the Idaho and Seattle dance scene before moving to Nelson a few years ago. She enjoys “bridging the gap” between traditional and modern flavors of contra dancing.

Providing music for the dance: Mary Lea, of Brattleboro, VT on fiddle, and Gordon Peery of Peterborough, NH on piano. Mary plays many genres of music, ranging from the couple and quadrille music of the 19th and early 20th century, including ragtime, tango and blues, and she also has a repertoire of South American music. Her playing has taken her all over the world, and it will be a treat to have her playing so close to home. She plays in a very rich style, which will be well suited for accompaniment by Gordon’s orchestral piano sound.  

Everyone is welcome to this dance: if you are new to contra dancing, take advantage of the 1/2 beginners workshop at 7:30. The dance starts at 8:00. Admission is $8.00, $6.00 for senior citizens and students.

☼ Contra Dance: Nelson Town Hall | Caller: Lisa Sieverts | Music: The Sugar River Band

Beginner’s Workshop 7:30
Dance 8:00 – 11:30
Saturday, April 12

Lisa Sieverts with the Sugar River Band

Admission: $8 / $6 seniors, students
For information: 603.827.3044 or E-mail: Lisa Sieverts

The Nelson Contra Dance on Saturday, April 12th, features the calling of Mary DesRosiers and the music of the Sugar River Band. Mary is known throughout New England for her excellent teaching and calling skills, which she applies to classic New England contra dances. The Sugar River Band is comprised of Jane Orechowski, who is one of New England’s most accomplised dance fiddlers, and two of her children who have now grown into excellent musicians in their own right. Jane has been playing the fiddle since she was a child dancing and playing for the Swedish Folk Dance Club of Boston at the New England Folk Festival every year. Her daughter Sophie, 17, and son Neil, 14, play fiddle, piano and accordion.The Orzechowskis live in Newport, NH and play traditional fiddle music from New England and Sweden on fiddles, piano and accordion for contra dances, family dances and barn dances. New England dance music is influenced by French-Canadian, Irish, Scottish, English and Cape Breton styles.

Sophie has been an apprentice to Bob McQuillen for contra dance piano as part of the apprentice/master musician program with the NH Council on the Arts. She traveled to Norway in February 2005 where she performed as a musician for both Morris and contra dancing for a group of teenage dancers on a cross-cultural exchange program. Neil has completed an apprenticeship, also through the NH Arts Council, to Dudley Laufman for calling and fiddling for traditional New England barn dances.

Jane and Sophie have each been featured musicians with the Christmas Revels in Hanover, and the Sugar River Band regularly performs at the Revels North Summer Solstice festivals. The band has recorded with Jacqueline and Dudley Laufman on the White Mountain Reel and The Sweets of May, (books and CD’s of traditional American dances) and on the CD, “Where’d You Get Them Chunes?”.

Jane is also on three recordings with the band Old New England in addition to several recordings with Sarah Bauhan, Pat Sager, and others. Jane, as part of Old New England, has performed on the Millennium stage at the Kennedy Center, at the U. S. Capitol concert series on the East Lawn, at the Library of Congress, and at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the mall in Washington, DC.

Locally, the Sugar River Band has performed in New Hampshire and Vermont for retirement homes, farmers’ markets, town celebrations, parties, dances, and weddings. The Sugar River Band was featured at the annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend in New Hampshire, the New England Folk Festival and Eastern States Exposition in Massachusetts, and at the Indian Neck Folk Festival in Connecticut. The dance opens with a beginner’s workshop at 7:30, and official dancing starts at 8:00. All dances are taught throughout the evening. Admission is $8, $6 for senior citizens and students. For more information call 603.827.3044