Jan 222012
 

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to have fun and learn more on your fiddle?

If you did, I’d like to invite you to attend Fiddle Camp North, April 13-15, Charleton, MA. Even if you didn’t, join us anyway! We’ll have an enjoyable variety of workshops and jams at multiple levels and in different styles to keep you happy for the weekend.

Fiddle Camp North is a weekend-long celebration of the Fiddle in Bluegrass, Old Time, Irish, Cape Breton, and New England styles! Our goal is learning — and having a great time doing so!

I’m the Fiddle Coordinator and will be teaching quite a few workshops.  Our staff will include Alan Kaufman, Skip Gorman, Martin Grosswendt, and possibly more instructors.  All are traditional players with excellent teaching and performing experience. We generally teach by ear, but many classes will have handouts also.

Fiddle Camp North is held in conjunction with Mandolin Camp North. The two Camps will be held at Prindle Pond Conference Center, a beautiful wooded setting in Charlton, Massachusetts.  Buildings are heated, and meals (including vegetarian option) are provided as part of the tuition package. Thursday night lodging is available for those traveling a long way, whether driving or flying to FCN.

The Camps will open Friday at 12:30 PM for registration, jamming, and instruction. We’ll have hands-on workshops, round robin demonstrations and guided jam sessions (at multiple levels) for three days, a Friday night “meet the faculty concert,” a formal concert Saturday night, and lots of time for jamming and getting to know each other. If you’re there for Fiddle Camp, it’s fine to attend any of the Mandolin Camp sessions as well that pique your interest. Fiddle and mandolin are tuned the same.

Most of the classes are hands on, practical learning situations, covering different styles and repertoire, bowing techniques, improvising, chords, and many more topics. A few are demonstrations or mini-concerts, but even in these classes the intention is for you to take something away that you may want to learn or speak with the instructors about later. You are encouraged to bring a recording device (such as an MP3 recorder).

Details and registration are at http://www.FiddleCampNorth.com .  Please register through that website, although we’ll have a Facebook event up soon for Fiddle Camp North.

If this is your first time at Fiddle Camp North or Mandolin Camp North, Mike Holmes (our esteemed Camp Director) has generously offered a $100 discount if you register by February 19th.

Dave Reiner

Jan 162012
 

By AIMEE LOCKHARDT
Special to the Democrat
Monday, January 16, 2012

DURHAM — From hemlines to dance moves, the University of New Hampshire looked like a town dance from the old west Saturday—that is if they wore sneakers and watches or used a microphone to call out steps.

At the 25th annual Ralph Page Memorial Dance Legacy, sponsored by UNH and the Center for Humanities, those who participated in the three day weekend, which ran Friday to Sunday, not only celebrated the Granite State caller’s life, but also took part in a tradition he helped keep alive—contra and square dancing.

Click here to read more

 Posted by on January 16, 2012 at 11:07 am
Dec 182011
 

How To Write A Mummers Play
By Allison Aldrich
December 2011

‘Twas a month before Solstice, and all through my head
Ran a host of ideas and thoughts, so instead
Of paying my bills or attending to mail,
I spent every day on the Web, without fail
Trolling for news items, searching for memes-
Soon it was haunting my thoughts and my dreams.
Oh, no! it’s December! And I haven’t written
A line or a phrase- I must have been smitten
With rushes of blood to my head to agree
To write this ridiculous annual spree.
But now they are asking, “So, how is it going?”
“Just great!” I assure them, sincerity flowing.
In fact, I’ve a plot in my head that might work,
And yes! Just in time, there’s an obvious jerk
In the news, who is perfect for playing the Fool,
And the maiden is there, but the hero’s in school
And can’t be consulted. The Dragon could be
Any number of nasties that daily we see
On the news, on the streets, but whichever I choose,
You can bet that the week of the show there’ll be news
Of an impending threat or a star on a bend,
Who should be included, but now to attend
To rehearsals, and costumes, and last-minute changes-
The rhymes don’t quite scan, Father Christmas arranges
A family party the day of the show!
The Fair Maiden’s costume’s revealing to show
What must not be shown- can we get underway
And perform a complete and acceptable play
That has humor and context and couplets that rhyme,
And scan the right rhythm, for most of the time?
Will the audience laugh? Will the swords ever lock?
Will the hero lie there with a hole in his sock?
Yes , they will, yes we can, yes we did, it was fun!
And now I can file this son-of-a-gun!
Will I do it again? Oh, I will if they ask,
Despite all the worries that come with the task.
And now to relax, celebrate with good cheer!
I wish you good Solstice, and happy New Year!

 Posted by on December 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm
Dec 042011
 

The Kickstarter funds will cover the following costs: Studio time, mixing and mastering, graphic design, manufacturing and duplication costs, promotional materials such as posters and stickers, and producer and guest artist fees.

Annalivia is a folk-fusion string-band from the Boston area that has been in business for a few years and has recently undergone a lineup change. They are revamping their sound, bringing it back home to our American roots, while still allowing a multitude of influences to be present. Each band member brings impeccable musicianship, thorough training in his/her instrument, stellar arranging abilities, and overall stylistic versatility and innovative sensibilities. This project will be their third album to date, and will consist of original songs and tunes as well as adapted traditional material. Twin fiddles, driving guitar, flat–picking, mandolin, and strong vocals are what can be expected– with some surprise guest artists in the mix.

Read more at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1294648332/annalivia-new-sound-new-album

 Posted by on December 4, 2011 at 7:50 am
Nov 282011
 

Among the many things we love about the summer in Nelson are the youth groups who join us for dances. We all know about the Apple Hill Chamber Music program, which brings youth from around the world to Nelson. Another wonderful group that joins us is Kroka Expeditions, which provides outdoor education through challenging trips.

This summer’s Kroka youth sent a lovely card to the Monadnock Folklore Society, reproduced below. Thank YOU, Kroka!

Kroka Thank You Card

 Posted by on November 28, 2011 at 11:20 am
Sep 112011
 

With the departure of Monadnock Folklore Society board member Dave Eisenstadter to Boston in order to advance his journalism career, MFS finds itself in need of writers.

If you would like to review local concerts, write about folk traditions, interview visiting personalities, or have other ideas about articles that belong on this web site, please contact info@monadnockfolk.org.

 Posted by on September 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm
Aug 312011
 

Scott Ainslie sends the following information:

I’ve just uploaded an appeal for donations to the Red Cross fashioned from my footage of the Whetstone Brook floodwaters here in Brattleboro, Vermont and set to Stephen Foster’s remarkable anthem “Hard Times, Come Again No More.”
We are working on getting a benefit concert together for affected area families and businesses now. Have a look at what our little 8″ deep brook turned into on Sunday, August 28, 2011 and if you have even a little extra to share, consider a donation of any size to the local Red Cross chapters here in Vermont.
The new video is available at: Brattleboro’s Hard Times by Scott Ainslie

Please pass the word. We’re all doing what we can to help out. Your help will be much appreciated, as well.
Best wishes,
Scott Ainslie
http://cattailmusic.com
Brattleboro, Vermont USA

Aug 222011
 

At the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann inaugural meeting in September 1951 it was decided to create a national festival, . Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann ((Festival of Music in Ireland)) is the second biggest festival in Ireland. Sessions, fun-days, pageants, marching bands, competitions, ceili bands, concerts, singing, busking, exhibitions and the arts are all part of the biggest celebration of Irish culture in the world.

Elvie Miller

Elvie Miller

The goal of the Fleadh Cheoil is to establish standards in Irish traditional music through competition. The Fleadh has developed as a mainly competitive event, but also showcases concerts, céilithe, parades, pageants, and street sessions.

The Fleadhanna at each level provide a platform and a meeting place for over 10,000 musicians, who carry on the tradition of playing and cherishing Irish music, songs, and dances.

And when the competitions are over, many impromptu sessions take place which sometimes last until the early hours.

Elvie Miller, daughter of fiddler Rodney Miller, won first place for piano accompaniment in the adult division. Note that Rodney will be featured at the September Nelson Contra Dance on 9/10/11.

 Posted by on August 22, 2011 at 12:00 am  Tagged with:
Jul 282011
 

By Christopher Hislop
July 25, 2011 1:52 PM

When I heard that Bill Morrissey had died July 23, I was stricken with grief and felt a void in my heart. The idea that I’d never again be able to venture up that great hill in Newmarket, to the top of those stairs and through those burly wooden doors to see Bill on the Stone Church stage singing his songs was a feeling I couldn’t seem to digest. Probably never will.

Read the rest of the article at Seacoast Online

 Posted by on July 28, 2011 at 11:04 am
Jul 042011
 

Yes, we will dance in Nelson on the Fourth of July. And here’s a story about another Independence Day dance, thanks to folklorist Fred Field.

THE FOURTH OF JULY IN JONESVILLE IN 1833.

The anniversary of our national independence was not forgotten by the early dwellers here, and although at the above date no very extensive “celebration” could be held, yet the scattering population met for a royal good time at the then infant village, and enjoyed themselves to the utmost. A dance was held at Jones’ tavern—the old “Fayette House,”—and from far and near came the patriotic settlers to indulge in the pleasures of the occasion. A certain man, who lived eleven miles away, was there with “his girl,” anticipating a rare treat in measuring time with their feet to the tones of dulcet music which was to be furnished by parties who had been especially engaged to play here on that night. To the disappointment of everybody, the expected musicians failed to put in an appearance, and “gloom was depicted on every countenance.” By some mysterious legerdemain, however, a violin was unearthed, and it was known that our eleven-mile man could play it. Then the faces in the assemblage brightened; the hero of the bow and rosin mounted a chair-back in order to have plenty of elbow room, and the fun began. The well-known notes of ” Money Musk,” “Scotch reel,” ” French four,” and other lively airs, swelled forth upon the summer air as with magic touch the musician plied his bow, and “joy was unconfined.” The feet of the dancers were light, their hearts ditto, and with the passing hours the assemblage continued their evolutions till the gray dawn bade them desist and seek their homes.

 Posted by on July 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm