Feb 062011
 

Perin Ellsworth-Heller and Bob McQuillen

Musicians, Young, and Young at Heart

The Monadnock Folklore Society, a 501(c)(3) non profit organization (founded in 1980) is pleased to announce it has attained its objective of a $20,000 endowment making the Johnny Trombly Memorial Scholarship sustainable. The Monadnock Folklore Society
directors would like to thank the Society of Musical Traditions for the donation that
helped us reach this goal.

The Johnny Trombly Memorial Scholarship was established 2001, at the request of Bob
McQuillen who provided an initial endowment. Named in honor of Bob’s mentor, the Scholarship is awarded annually to an individual under the age of 18 who would like to study traditional New England contra dance music.

The scholarship provides up to $500 for students to use for lessons, mentoring, music
and dance camps, etc. The money is intended to be used directly for fees related to these
opportunities, not for music, instruments, or other tangible items. Bob McQuillen and Perin Ellsworth-Heller, a prior year’s scholarship recipient,can often be heard often at the Monday night contra dance in Nelson!

The application period starts in January, and is due on March 15th, with the recipient
being chosen in early May. The application form is available here between January 1st and
March 15th.

Sep 012008
 

The Rhythm Rollers are a west coast band, but with a special attachment to New England contra dance music, and  notably (pun intended) for the “piano playing of Bob McQuillen, the tunes he has written, his relentless encouragement, and his jokes.”

Their new recording, Grand Right and Left, features none other than the man himself on the ivories, Cathie Whitesides on fiddle, Laurie Andres, accordion, and WB Reid on banjo-guitar (that would be a guitar in a banjo body), regular guitar, and fiddle.

Joy Abounds! Of course it’s impossible to hear McQuillen playing the piano without cracking a smile that invokes awareness of some higher power. But two additional components stand out on this recording. Laurie’s accordion playing gets right to the point. Continue reading »

Jun 292008
 

Peterborough First Saturday
Peterborough (NH) Town House
Beginner’s Workshop 7:30
Dance at 8:00 ’til 11:30 PM
Admission $8, $6 seniors and students

Lissa SchneckenbergerRaised in a small town in Maine and now living in Vermont, Lissa Schneckenberger grew up with music. She began playing fiddle at the age of six, inspired by her mother’s interest in folk music and a family friend who was a professional violinist. Soon she was studying with influential Maine fiddler Greg Boardman and sitting in with the Maine Country Dance Orchestra. By the time she was in high school she was playing concerts on her own, specializing in the sprightly New England dance tunes that combine influences from the British Isles and Quebec with homegrown twists that have been evolving since Colonial days. Another of her major influences was the diverse musical community that she found at fiddle camps, where she had a chance to play with and learn from a wide variety of musicians including noted Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser. In 2001 she graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with a degree in contemporary improvisation, and since then has been performing around the US and internationally for a growing audience of enthusiastic listeners. She has recorded seven CDs, (four solo and three with various groups).

Bob McQuillen has been playing for contra dances practically since they were invented. Bob McQuillen at the Nelson Town HallHe is a recipient of the NH Council on the Arts Folk Heritage Award and has performed at the National Folklife Festival in Washington, DC.

Lisa Sieverts is the caller for the Peterborough contra dance on Saturday, July 5th. 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.