☼ ☼ ☼ Nelson Solstice Party | Nelson Town Hall | December 16, 2023

On Saturday, December 16, we’ll hold our Annual Solstice Party starting at 7:00 PM.

PRESS: DO NOT PUBLICIZE THIS EVENT

The Monadnock Folklore Society brings this community event to the Nelson Town Hall each year, admission is $10, and treats are appreciated for the dessert potluck. This year the evening will begin with a holiday concert featuring a selection of traditional and original seasonal music performed by The Solstice Sisters (Alouette Iselin, Kim Wallach, & Heather Bower) and friends. The Folklore Society invites you to bring along your favorite holiday dessert and we’ll supply the beverages for the intermission. After the concert the chairs and benches are 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.

☼ ☼ ☼ Claudia Schmidt | Nelson Town Hall | November 11, 2023

 

CLAUDFEST! What is it? This year marks the 50th year that Claudia Schmidt has been weaving her musical magic for countless delighted audiences. It begins with her multi-octave voice, 12 string guitar and mountain dulcimer. But then the language leaps in, and it all comes together. Her love of language is obvious from the moment she opens her mouth. Her songs are pure poetry, and along her way she began adding spoken word and story,  so that her listeners get to go on a deep journey with her, returning refreshed and replenished from the experience. She has recorded 22 albums and there is much more to come. Why don’t you come and help this amazing performer celebrate as she begins her 6th decade of  composing and performing?! CELEBRATE CLAUDFEST! Join us on Saturday, November 11, for a 7:30 PM concert at the Nelson Town Hall celebrating Claudia’s 50 years of performing. Admission is $25/$20(senior, student).

Claudia Schmidt has been perfecting her craft of writing and performing for 50 years. It is a quirky and wonderful hodge-podge (her word) of music, poetry, story, theater, all invoking the whole gamut of emotions and leaving the listener refreshed and thoughtful. Using her incredible multi-octave voice, 12 string guitar and mountain dulcimer, and a deep love of performing, every concert is a true celebration of the moment. Work in clubs, theaters, festivals, TV and radio has continually added depth and dimension, so whether it is her own work or very personal versions of the work of others, what you get is a unique look at the world from someone who says what she sees with clarity, humor, and wonder. The San Francisco Bay Guardian said: “Schmidt’s shows are a lot like falling in love. You never know what’s going to happen next, chances are it’s going to be wonderful, every moment is burned into your memory, and you know you’ll never be the same again.”

During the Covid lockdown, she created weekly concerts on Facebook to stay connected with her fans. all of which (along with many more videos!) are archived at her website www.claudiaschmidt.com

She released her 22nd recording in autumn of 2022, called Reimagining, and continues writing toward a new project. She is at her peak in terms of performance, and is so happy to be doing live concerts again, and shows no sign of slowing down or stopping. She describes the stage as ‘her natural habitat’ and thrives there. So, in turn, do her listeners.

☼ ☼ ☼ An Evening with Cosy Sheridan & Susie Burke | Nelson Town Hall | Oct 13, 2023

Sloan Wainwright has come down with the flu and Susie Burke is stepping in to fill her shoes for both the Friday night concert and weekend workshops.

Cosy Sheridan & Susie Burke will appear in concert at the Nelson Town Hall on Friday, October 13 at 7:30 PM. Admission is $20/$15(seniors, students, & in advance).

This will be the opening night concert for The Song Sessions weekend of song, voice, & guitar workshops featuring the songwriting of Cosy Sheridan and Sloan Wainwright  accompanied by Charlie Koch and Glen Roethel.

Cosy Sheridan has been called one of the era’s finest and most thoughtful songwriters, and also ‘a buddhist monk trapped in the body of a singer-songwriter’. Her music regularly tops the folk radio charts. Her CD, Pretty Bird, was listed among Sing Out Magazine’s Great CDs of 2014. Her concerts are wide-ranging explorations: ragtime guitar and social satire, modern renditions of mythology ( meet Hades the Biker ) and tales of modern adulthood. Her alter ego, Chlamydia, sometimes appears with songs such as “Botox Tango” or “Multiply Pierced.” The Cornell Folksong Society wrote: “Sheridan is frank, feisty, sublimely and devilishly funny. She fuses myth with modern culture; Persephone with Botox.”

A guitar student of instrumental luminaries Guy Van Duser and Eric Schoenberg, and a voice student at The Berklee School of Music, she brings a depth of experience to her craft. She plays a percussive bluesy guitar style – often in open tunings and occasionally with two or more capos on the guitar.

Susie Burke has been singing on Seacoast stages since the early 80s, as a soloist, a member of several local bands, and in several duos, including one with guitar whiz Harvey Reid. Her musical tastes and influences are varied and many, encompassing contemporary and traditional folk, swing, country, topical songs, and a capella singing, with detours along the way for Broadway show tunes and classic ballads. Before devoting her energies to music full-time, Burke worked as a day-care teacher, and her love of kids is evident in her wonderful participatory children’s concerts. Burke’s vocal style is at once stunning and heartfelt, and is well-respected within the folk music community, as is demonstrated by the fact that she has appeared as a backing musician on numerous recordings.

Sloan Wainwright is a songwriter, singer, performer, teacher, mentor and collaborator. A unique hybrid of pop, folk, jazz and blues, Wainwright’s music is unified by her melodious tone and rich, powerful contralto. Over the course of a 30-year career in music, she has played the great concert halls, the most storied listening rooms and top music festivals while also teaching at the nation’s leading music retreats. She has inspired hundreds of students on their creative journeys and collaborated with dozens of musicians, writers, choreographers and performers.

Most of all, Wainwright is an artist. As a member of an acclaimed family of artists (brother Loudon Wainwright, sister-in-law Kate McGarrigle, nephew Rufus Wainwright and nieces Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche), Wainwright has charted an artistic path all her own, one based in close observation, joy, and spiritual connection.

Now, standing on the foundation of a rich and diverse career, Wainwright is tapping into fresh material as she continues to provide transformative, healing, and energetic experiences for her audiences. Always looking to grow as an artist, these days Wainwright is pursuing new collaborative partnerships, exploring traditional music, and developing fresh avenues for teaching and mentorship.

☼ ☼ ☼ Peterborough Contra Dance | Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023

Luke Donforth headshot, a white male with beard and glassesLuke Donforth calling with Sycamore:
Cedar Stanistreet, Michael Sokolovsky, Jake Grieco

8 PM – 11 PM, new dancer orientation at 7:30 PM

1 Grove Street, Peterborough, NH 03458

COVID Policy: http://bit.ly/MFSCOVID

Contra Dance in Peterborough NH on Saturday September 2.

Contra dance is a fun, easy style of folk dance which has flourished in New England since the 1700s. Partners form lines and dance a short sequence of steps with their neighbors. Over the course of the dance, each couple travels the length of the line and dances with every other couple. Dancers are welcome to bring a partner or a group of friends but it’s not necessary – traditionally, dancers are encouraged to change partners throughout the evening.

– The dancing begins at 8:00 PM. 

– Workshop for new dancers at 7:30 PM.

– Admission is sliding scale $12-20.

– Roles will be larks/robins for this evening

– Mask optional.

The dance takes place in the historic Town House in Peterborough, NH at 1 Grove Street. For more information call 603-547-5831 or visit www.facebook.com/peterboroughcontra, or www.monadnockfolk.org. The Monadnock Folklore Society has presented contra dances and concerts of traditional music since 1982.

☼ ☼ ☼ Peterborough Contra Dance | August 5, 2023

Tod Whittemore calling with the Sugar River Band

8 PM – 11 PM, new dancer orientation at 7:30 PM

1 Grove Street, Peterborough, NH 03458

COVID Policy: http://bit.ly/MFSCOVID

Contra Dance in Peterborough NH on Saturday August 5th.

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Peterborough, NH First Saturday Contra Dance on August 5, featuring Tod Whittemore calling with music from the Sugar River band.

Contra dance is a fun, easy style of folk dance which has flourished in New England since the 1700s. Partners form lines and dance a short sequence of steps with their neighbors. Over the course of the dance, each couple travels the length of the line and dances with every other couple. Dancers are welcome to bring a partner or a group of friends but it’s not necessary – traditionally, dancers are encouraged to change partners throughout the evening.

Tod Whittemore has been calling dances for forty years, having been lucky enough to begin his career at the time when famous callers Ralph Page and Duke Miller were still active in the Monadnock Region.  He helped start the Peterborough first Saturday and NEFFA Thursday night dances. Tod has called dances all over the world and is known for his humor, energy, and infectious love of dancing. He is known for his singing squares, and sometimes yodeling squares.

Joining Tod on stage is the Sugar River Band. The Sugar River Band is a family band (all now adults) led by fiddler Jane Orzechowski, with her son Francis (on piano or accordion), son Russell and daughter Sophie ( both of whom play fiddle, piano, and accordion). Sarah Bauhan will join the band on flute and whistle.

– The dancing begins at 8:00 PM. 

– Workshop for new dancers at 7:30 PM.

– Admission is sliding scale $12-20.

– Traditional gender roles will be used for this evening

– Mask optional.

The dance takes place in the historic Town House in Peterborough, NH at 1 Grove Street. For more information call 603-547-5831 or visit www.facebook.com/peterboroughcontra, or www.monadnockfolk.org. The Monadnock Folklore Society has presented contra dances and concerts of traditional music since 1982.

Caller Tod Whittemore

Kwackfest Logo showing photo of man wearing a hat and playing accordion

☼ ☼ ☼ KwackFest: A Celebration of the Bob McQuillen Centennial Saturday, July 1, 2023

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Photo of Bob McQuillen writing tunes while holding a mandolin

The life of legendary New England contra dance musician and traditional music composer Bob McQuillen will be celebrated with a festival in Peterborough Saturday, July 1.

Running from 1 to 11 p.m., KwackFest commemorates the 100th birthday of the National Heritage Fellow who died in 2014. A longtime resident of Dublin and Peterborough in the Monadnock region and a fixture at contra dances throughout the Northeast and in Washington state, McQuillen drove to dances in a Jeep with a license plate reading “KWACK.”

Bob McQuillen was a contra dance musician, ConVal High School shop teacher and weightlifting coach, and, in his own way, a philosopher. He was a mentor to many, and his impact on the lives of his students and his fellow musicians was profound.

The event will be held in the Peterborough Town House and the adjacent grounds of the Guernsey Building. It will feature dancing, music, food trucks, and more. Admission is free.

KwackFest is sponsored by the Monadnock Folklore Society and supported in part by grants from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts & the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Country Dance and Song Society. An Indigogo campaign is raising additional funds for the event and also to cover costs of printing McQuillen’s 15th and final tunebook, which features tunes he wrote for each town in the state.

For more information on KwackFest, please visit HTTP://kwackfest100.com.

 

NH State Council on the Arts logo

☼ ☼ ☼ Cold Chocolate | Nelson Town Hall

Ethan Robbins’ was the first concert we canceled due to the COVID outbreak in early 2020 so it seems appropriate that we welcome him back to the Nelson Town Hall as we return to the local concert calendar. His band, Cold Chocolate, will be at the Nelson Town Hall on Sunday, April 16 for an afternoon concert starting at 3:00 PM. Admission is $18/$15(senior, student, or in advance).

Cold Chocolate is a genre-bending Americana band that fuses folk, funk, and bluegrass to create a unique sound all their own. Featuring Ethan Robbins on guitar, Ariel Bernstein on percussion, and backed by some of the root’s music scene’s finest players, this group from Boston is impressing audiences throughout New England and beyond.  Punctuated by tight harmonies and skillful musicianship, and with a focus on songwriting, Cold Chocolate has quickly gained recognition for their original music and high-energy shows. The band has shared bills with Leftover Salmon and David Grisman, and regularly performs at venues and music festivals across the country.

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