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

The Peterborough Contra Dance Returns June 3, 2023

Steve Zakon-Anderson calling

Alex Cumming accordion, piano
Carol Bittenson fiddle
Len Bittenson fiddle, viola, recorders

Saturday, June 3

Dancing from 8 PM – 11 PM

New Dancer Orientation at 7:30 PM

Admission is FREE for this month thanks to a generous donation

Masks optional, vaccination recommended, and please don’t come if you feel ill in any way.

Calling will be non-gendered

Mummers

☼ ☼ ☼ Nelson Solstice Party | Nelson Town Hall

New link

https://facebook.com/events/s/nelson-winter-solstice-celebra/554531473234585/

On Friday, December 30,

we’ll hold our postponed Annual Solstice Party

starting at 7:00 PM.

Mummers

 

The Monadnock Folklore Society

brings this community event to the Nelson Town Hall each year.

Admission is $5.

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, Melanie Everard, Kim Wallach, & Heather Bower) and friends; as part of the concert we feature a performance by one or more of our Johnny Trombly Scholarship recipients. This year, due to COVID protocols, we will not be serving refreshments and THERE WILL BE NO DESSERT POTLUCK. We’ve altered our format this year in an attempt to keep everybody healthy during the holiday season. Various groups of unsavory characters presenting their idea of seasonal entertainment will not surprise us as they will be part of the scheduled entertainment and once they are on their way we can decide if there is enough interest and energy to complete the evening with a traditional New England contradance.

Attendance will be limited to 75 individuals

on a first come/first served basis.

Doors open at 6:30PM.

You should be able to view the live stream from the Monadnock Folklore Society Facebook page or our YouTube channel:

MFS YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeHMa4Ak73WP_JHNh-Iyu7g

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monadnockfolklore/

Our COVID protocols are as follows:

Everyone aged two and up must wear a high-filtration (N95, KN95, KF94) mask inside the building at all times (except for *brief* sips of a beverage) and not eat inside the building. Masks will be available for sale at the door.

Performers may choose not to mask and are asked to take a same-day rapid test.

Everyone should be vaccinated and boosted.

If you get sick within 5 days after the dance, contact contrainfo@monadnockfolk.org.

Please consider taking a rapid antigen test no more than 24 hours before the event.

If the CDC reports any of these NH counties as Red, the event will be canceled: Cheshire, Hillsborough, Sullivan.

If you have any symptoms, we’ll be sorry to miss you, but please stay home and rest!

NOTE TO MEDIA :

PLEASE DO NOT PUBLICIZE THIS EVENT!

Photo of Nelson Town Hall

The Monday Night Dance returns on November 14, 2022

The Monday Dance returns on November 14

We had such a good time dancing on Halloween that the Monadnock Folklore Society is resuming the Nelson Monday Night Contra Dance beginning on November 14.

New Start Time: 7:30 PM

No musician’s slow jam yet but we hope to restart that soon.

Everyone aged two and up must wear a high-filtration (N95, KN95, KF94) mask inside the building at all times (except for *brief* sips of a beverage) and not eat inside the building. Masks will be available for sale at the door. Performers playing music on stage may choose not to mask.

Everyone should be vaccinated and boosted.

If you get sick within 5 days after the dance, contact contrainfo@monadnockfolk.org. Sign up for the Nelson Mailing List to be notified about potential exposure as well as other dance news.

Please consider taking a rapid antigen test no more than 24 hours before the dance.

If the CDC reports any of these NH counties as Red, the dance will be canceled: Cheshire, Hillsborough, Sullivan.

If you have any symptoms, we’ll be sorry to miss you, but please stay home and rest!

33rd RALPH PAGE 2021 – A VIRTUAL EVENT

NEW ENGLAND FOLK FESTIVAL’s
33rd RALPH PAGE 2021 – A VIRTUAL EVENT
Sunday afternoon, January 17th, 2021
@ 1:00 – 4:15 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST-USA)
Note: All times listed below are in EST time as above.
Registration:
 
DOORS OPEN ~ 12:45:
Sign in to zoom.us, chat with friends.
 
WELCOME ~ 1:00-1:05:
with Tod Whittemore and Marcie Van Cleave
 
CONCERT ~ 1:05-2:00:
MUSICAL TRADITIONS OF NEW ENGLAND
with Keith Murphy & Becky Tracy
 
CRACKLING CHESTNUTS ~ 2:05-2:30:
with David Smukler and David Millstone
 
CONCURRENT SESSIONS 2:35-3:25:
1. INTERNATIONAL DANCE with Marcie Van Cleave
2.”The View from the Fiddler’s Throne” with Randy Miller
3. MUSIC JAM with Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy
 
RETROSPECTIVE ~ 3:30-4:00:
“TED (SANNELLA) TALK” with David Millstone and David Smukler
 
DANCE ~ 4:05-4:15:
MONEY MUSK DANCE PARTY
Waltz
 
CONTRIBUTIONS:
If you will please, they are greatly appreciated! Go to:
Ted Sannella

New website about Ted Sannella

From Callers David Millstone and David Smukler:

In November of 2020, David Millstone and I sent out a call for stories about Ted Sannella to mark the 25th anniversary of his death on November 18. There was a terrific response, and we are proud to announce a new website, Sannella Stories, where these memories are shared. Nearly 70 people sent in their “Sannella Story.” These range from serious to silly and include brief acknowledgments and more extended entries.

In addition, we’ve assembled a collection of photographs, audio files, and videos. You’ll also find dances and tunes that were written for Ted, an index of all his dances, and links to other sites with information of interest.

Of course, it’s still possible to add to this collection; you’ll find that link on the site as well.

The two of us will be presenting a short “Ted Talk” as part of the virtual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, an event scheduled for Sunday afternoon, January 17. Details are still being arranged, but updated information will be available at the RPDLW site.

Our sincere thanks to the many people who contributed and in this way are helping to keep alive the memory of a major figure in the world of New England traditional dance.

David Smukler

Photo of Nelson Town Hall

A New Song to Sing about Dancing

Lynn Arnold has written a new song

Still We Will Dance

It starts out unexpectedly; the catching of an eye;
A simple question posed by one, the other’s quick reply.
You’ll never guess how much can change, from just that first glance—
A seed is planted with the words, “May I have this dance.”

CHORUS
The seasons turn, the years go by, and so we dance along;
Sometimes the rhythm’s hard to find, sometimes the beat is strong.
The steps may change, the tempo slow, by choice or by chance;
We may not know what lies ahead, but still we will dance.

In early days, it’s hard to know just where a dance might go.
Though tempted to rush through the steps, we keep the rhythm slow.
The future calls, we both agree that we’ll take the chance
And promise to be partners for a lifetime of dance.

A partnership must be a dance in order to succeed.
Sometimes I slip, you hold me up, sometimes I take the lead.
If, through whatever time we have that good fortune grants,
We move together, not against, we can’t help but dance.

A dance may be a waltz or jig, or something like a walk.
As we grow old, it may just be the times we sit and talk.
The dance evolves; it doesn’t mean the end of romance—
We carry on, in our own way, continue to dance.

Life has a rhythm all its own, in all the tunes it plays,
The opportunities to dance a constant through our days.
To live a life that satisfies, fulfills, and enchants,
Just listen for the music and remember to dance.

Words and music by Lynn Arnold © 2020

Still We Will Dance – Lyrics Only

Still We Will Dance, music with words and chords

Audio of the Melody, arranged by Carol Compton

Donations needed for Jeremiah and Annemieke McLane after a House Fire

Please consider helping Annemieke and Jeremiah McLane, two beloved musicians in Vermont.

As you may have heard, the McLane family – Annemieke, Jeremiah, and Luke – lost their home to fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Thankfully the family was not home and are all safe.

In the days ahead, there will likely be many ways to lend a hand, however, an immediate need will be money. The United Church of Strafford’s Deacons Fund and the McLane’s family and friends have come together to form the McLane Recovery Fund through Mascoma Bank. If you would like to contribute to this fund, please make checks payable to:

McLane Recovery Fund

And send to:

United Church of Strafford Deacons
PO Box 124
Strafford VT 05072