Interested in CDSS Summer Camps for Dancers and Musicians?

The Monadnock Folklore Society maintains a Group membership with the Country Dance and Song Society. One of the benefits of Group membership is that we can recommend people for the following items:

1.      Groups can nominate 1 or 2 people for priority admission to CDSS summer camp programs
2.      CDSS matches some scholarships that Groups offer to their members.

Please go to for more details on each of these programs.

Fiddle Camp North, April in Mass.

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 .  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

Ralph Page Legacy Dance Weekend

Click here for more information or to register

Ralph started calling more than 70 years ago in Nelson, NH, the Monadnock area town that has had contradancing continuously in its town hall for well over a century. He got to be quite popular as a caller both in New Hampshire and in the Boston area, and in fact during various periods in which contra and square dancing were at low points in popularity he was the only (or nearly the only) person to keep the tradition alive. It’s not at all an exaggeration to say that if it weren’t for Ralph Page we probably wouldn’t be dancing today. (By the way, the same thing can also be said of Dudley Laufman who brought the contradance scene back to life following its near death in the 1960’s.) Ralph Page became not only a caller but a scholar of contradancing. He published the Northern Junket, a far more ambitious publication than what I put out with far less sophisticated technology, monthly for many years. He wrote many excellent dances, and he researched and reconstructed many old dances. Although later in life he was known (especially by younger dancers) for his less than pleasant temperament, people who danced to him when he was younger have very fond memories of him and of his dances.

So, when Ralph Page died in the early 1980’s a committee was set up to keep his legacy alive; that eventually brought about the Ralph Page Dance Weekend which has occurred annually since 1988. It has turned into a weekend of outstanding dancing. From the beginning the emphasis has been on preserving the smoother style of dancing that Ralph favored (especially in his later years and especially at his Boston dances; I’m less sure about the style of dancing at his earlier rural New Hampshire dances). However, that doesn’t mean it’s a style of dancing only old people or old-fashioned dancers would enjoy. Rather, it means everyone who goes is trying to dance really well: to dance with the phrase, be ready for the next figure on time, to dance well with his/her partner, make the dances flow well, etc. So even if you enjoy a rowdy dance, it’s hard to beat dancing with a group of people all of whom are really dancing nicely together. Contra and square dancing involve teamwork, and it never shows up better than at the Ralph Page weekend.

January 13 – 15, 2012
Durham, NH

Click here for more information or to register

Fiddle Workshop | Concord NH

Thursday, October 20, 2011
Concord Community Music School
Concord, NH        7:00 PM

“Making Fiddle Tunes Come Alive” This is a participatory workshop on how to get  the “DANCE” into dance fiddling. Open to both fiddlers and classical violinists. 23 Wall Street  603-228-1196 or to register or for more information

Fiddle & Cello Workshop | Keene

Monadnock Region

Fiddle & Cello Workshop


Greg & Jessie Boardman

Accompanied by Mary Cay Brass on Piano

Saturday, November 5, 2011

At The Starving Artist

10 West Street, Keene, NH 03431

1:00 pm – Advanced

2:00 pm – Intermediate (and Advanced)

3:00 pm – Beginner (and Intermediate and Advanced)

4:00-5:00 pm – Contra Dance!


Participants will receive sheet music and an online link to recorded tunes to prepare for the workshop.  Students do not need to know all the tunes in their level to participate.  $3o.

Email or call (207) 344-3106 or (207) 772-3868 ASAP for more info!

Workshop | Music of Zimbabwe | Keene

There will be an all-day workshop on choral music of Zimbabwe given by Brendan Taaffe and sponsored by Animaterra Women’s Chorus
on October 29, 2011
The event is from 10:00 – 3:00 pm at the Monadnock Waldorf School, 99 South Lincoln Street, Keene, NH.

Here are Brendan’s words about his workshops: “we will focus on the songs I learned/ collected while I was in Zimbabwe in the spring. I worked with singers in Mhondoro, Chikore, Seke and Chitungwiza to record and document the traditional makwayera repertoire. The songs range from church choruses to songs for a rain-making ceremony to folk songs about a bachelor’s hapless attempts to impress the girls. Some have mbira accompaniment, some are acapella: all are a joy to sing. Along the way, I’ll create a context for the music by sharing stories and showing pictures of the trip.”
Brendan is a well-known singer, songleader and musician from Greenfield, MA. You can find out more about him here:

Animaterra is underwriting most of the cost of this event, so it’s very affordable: $25 for the whole day, including some kinds of refreshments. You will want to bring a bag lunch and water to drink. Join us for a wonderful day of singing and getting to know Brendan and the wonderful women of Animaterra!

Feel free to spread the word to the women in your singing group as well as other friends and family!

Space is limited, so please reserve your spot right away by emailing

Musician’s Workshop | South Strafford, VT

Donna Hebert and Max Cohen will be offering a pre-concert musician’s workshop on
Aug. 3rd for interested fiddlers, guitarists and any other instrumentalists who
would like to learn some styling and history of
French-Canadian. The workshop is tentatively set for 5:00pm – please e-mail Robin Russell at
with your interest and she will confirm time and cost with you directly.

Concert info for Donna and Max can be found

Enthusiastic, energetic and
passionate, Donna and Max bring the French-Canadian heritage to life with song
and artful tune-playing. We’re delighted to have them return – please join us!

Robin Russell
(802) 333-9628

Colonial Ball | Enfield, NH

Enfield, NH celebrates 250th with Colonial Ball.

Perhaps best known for the presence of the Shaker community founded in 1791,
Enfield was actually founded in 1761, by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth.
Wentworth, appointed by the King, served longer than any other Colonial Royal
Governor (1741 to 1767) and was more popular than most.

As part of a full weekend of events in celebration of Enfield’s founding 250
years ago, a Colonial Ball will be held at the Shaker Museum’s Stone Mill
building on Saturday July 2 at 8 pm. A full evening of music, dance and
entertainments is planned and all are encouraged to participate in the dancing.
Dancing Master David Millstone will teach all dances and no prior experience,
fancy footwork, or partner, is necessary. Colonial or fancy dress is encouraged
but not required (and comfortable shoes are a “must” for dancing!)

Music for dancing and listening will be provided by Benning’s Fancy: Carol
Compton on piano and recorders, Thal Aylward and Laurie Indenbaum on violin and
viola, and Rachel Clark on flute.

Please join the Enfield community for a fun, elegant summer evening of music and
dance from the colonial period. In addition to dancing, refreshments will be
served and door prizes awarded. Admission is $20 per person for the entire
evening. For tickets and information go to Enfield’s Facebook page (accessible
to all, not just Facebook users) for the 250th Anniversary Celebration:

Tickets are also available at: The Enfield Shaker Museum, Enfield Town Offices
or the Enfield Village Assoc. office on Main St.

For further information about the event, contact Rebecca Stewart, 603-632-7731, or with specific questions about the dancing, contact
David Millstone,