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

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

Download the Schedule

Download the Map

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

Tim Eriksen Shape Note Singing School Winnepesaukee | May 29, 2023

The New England Literature Program is sponsoring a Shape Note Singing School with Tim Eriksen at Camp Kabeyun on Monday, May 29, 2023.

The session will take place from 1 PM to 6 PM.  Singers are welcome to join the Literature Program for dinner after the session. 

Camp Kabeyun is located at 43 Camp Kabeyun Rd., Alton Bay, NH 03810; and there is ample parking for visitors. 

Note that the Monadnock Folklore Society will present Tim Eriksen in concert on Sunday, May 28, 2023.

Shape Note Singing Workshop with Tim Eriksen 

It’s been called “proto-Americana” and “America’s earliest music” but whatever you call it, shape note singing is one of America’s earliest and most vibrant roots music forms, and a critical, if underappreciated, influence on artists like Jean Ritchie, Doc Watson, Johnny Cash, and the Louvin Brothers. It is best known from the venerable Sacred Harp tunebook, where “Amazing Grace” and “Wayfaring Stranger” meet the blistering “fuguing tunes” of early New England, familiar folk melodies like “Old Lang Syne” and the African-tinged “camp meeting” choruses of the nineteenth century, all harmonized for social singing and written in a unique notation system developed in the northeast USA in 1800. 
 
Tim Eriksen is a three-time GRAMMY nominee, songwriter, and Hardcore Americana/world music artist who has helped bring the sounds of shape note music and traditional American folksong to the fore with his pioneering punk folk band Cordelia’s Dad, his courses at Dartmouth College and the University of Minnesota, and his shape note “singing schools” from the Newport Folk Festival to Singapore’s Tapestry of Sacred Music and Dance, where his students have ranged from inner city kindergarteners to the cast of the movie Cold Mountain. His Ph.D. research and published writing detail previously unreported connections between this repertoire, the 19th-century Abolitionist movement, and the birth of science fiction.
 
No one has done more to help revive Sacred Harp singing among a younger generation.
   -Josh Jackson, Paste Magazine
 
One of the best voices in music
– T Bone Burnett
 
Otherworldly harmonies
-Barbara Kingsolver
 
Apart from being the coolest-looking man in folk song, Eriksen is an uncompromising performer, ethnomusicologist, Sacred Harp singing master, musical adventurer and punk-folk pioneer, who seems to play every instrument under the sun and has shared a stage with both Kurt Cobain and Doc Watson.
-The Guardian, UK

Singing Workshop Weekend with Windborne | Ashfield, MA

Singing Workshop Weekend with Windborne
Jan 3-4, 2015
Hosted by Ricki Carroll in Ashfield, MA
For full details, prices, and registration, visit:
www.cheesemaking.com/shop/windborne-singers-01-31-2015.html or call Ricki at 413-628-4568
www.WindborneSingers.com
facebook.com/WindborneSingers

Join Windborne for two days of lively singing, good food, and delightful company in the beautiful home of Ricki Carroll in Ashfield, MA. Workshop participants will learn traditional and original folk songs from around the world, featuring music from Windborne’s recent American Music Abroad tour as well as old favorites. The weekend includes a concert on Saturday night (Jan 3, 7:30pm)–also open to the public!

Windborne is Lynn Rowan, Will Rowan, Lauren Breunig, and Jeremy Carter-Gordon. Specializing in close harmony singing, Windborne has sought out masters of traditional singing styles worldwide to study a large variety of vocal music, all the while remaining deeply rooted in American folk traditions. A quartet of seasoned teachers and performers, their repertoire includes songs from the US, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, Central Asia, and southern Africa. In January 2014, Windborne was one of 10 groups selected by American Music Abroad, a program run by the US State Department that sends bands on month-long tours as cultural ambassadors through music. Their tour took them to Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Angola, where they gave concerts and workshops in theaters, schools, and community centers, and they are pleased to have added songs from those travels to their ever-expanding repertoire.

Ricki Carroll is an acclaimed cheese-maker who lives in Ashfield, MA. She regularly hosts musical concerts and workshops, creating a haven of beauty–visually, musically and culinarily. This weekend workshop will be a rejuvenating retreat from daily life in Ricki’s unique work-of-art home.

Workshop prices include meals and the concert, and lodging is available onsite.
Space is limited so register now–treat yourself to a weekend of musical adventure!

For more details, prices, and registration, go to www.cheesemaking.com/shop/windborne-singers-01-31-2015.html or call Ricki at 413-628-4568.
For more info about Windborne, go to www.WindborneSingers.com or facebook.com/WindborneSingers

Northern Roots Festival | Brattleboro

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Brattleboro Music Center’s 7th annual Northern Roots Traditional Music Festival will take place on Saturday, January 25th.  This day-long celebration brings together local and regional musicians representing various northern musical traditions including Irish, Scottish, Scandinavian, English and French Canadian.The Northern Roots Festival begins with a full slate of daytime participation and performance activities, including workshops, panels, mini-concerts, pub sessions, dance band prep, and a family dance.

The festival concludes with an evening  performance featuring musicians representing the best of the northern musical traditions.

DAYTIME EVENTS
Workshops for all instruments, Panels, Concerts

Sessions, Dance Band, Family Dance
12:00-5:30 pm

EVENING PERFORMANCE
Featuring the best of Northern Musical Traditions

7:30 pm

2014 MUSICIANS
ARMAND AROMIN, TONY BARRAND, MIA BERTELLI, CAROL COMPTON, DOUG CREIGHTON,, DOUG COX, ANDY DAVIS, LOUISA ENGLE, THE GAWLER FAMILY, LYDIA IEVINS, ROGER KAHLE, ANDREA LARSON, MARY LEA, MEGAN MACARTHUR, RANDY MILLER, KEITH MURPHY, DAN RESTIVO, LISSA SCHNECKENBURGER, BRENDAN TAAFFE, BECKY TRACY

LOCATIONS:
New England Youth Theater, 100 Flat Street
Afternoon Sessions at McNeill’s Brewery

TICKETS: Day $20, Eve. $20, Both $35
Youth(under 12): Day $10, Eve. $10, Both $15
3pm family concert & dance admission $5 at door
Limited evening seating – advance ticket purchase recommended

For TICKETS, DIRECTIONS and SCHEDULE OF EVENTS, visit

 

Bringing Songs to Life: A workshop with Jeff Davis, Sally Rogers, and Howie Bursen

Bringing Songs to Life: A workshop with Jeff Davis, Sally Rogers, and Howie Bursen

Saturday, November 9th from 1:00 – 3:00 PM at the Nelson Town Hall, 7 Nelson Common Road, Nelson NH 03457

$25 in advance, $30 at the door, send email to sally@sallyrogers.com to register.

This participatory workshop is for anyone who loves traditional songs and singing styles and who would like to learn more about song origins and ways to use your voice and instrumental accompaniments to bring out the story of the song. Songs will be shared for group singing. Solo and harmony arrangements of songs will be demonstrated and discussed as well.

Jeff Davis is one of America’s most respected collectors and interpreters of traditional music. He has traveled far to visit “source singers”–farmers and miners who remembered the old songs and tunes–and closer at hand to libraries and archives, always look for the best of the music that was once common in out towns and villages. Sally Rogers is known for her clear, sweet voice and her fine interpretations of both traditional and contemporary songs. Howie Bursen is best known for his amazing banjo wizardry, but is also a fine interpreter of traditional ballads, blues and old-time songs. These three together bring different perspectives to the art of singing traditional songs.

Tune up your vocal chords and join these three respected and well-loved singers for an afternoon of singing to ring in the rafters!

Singing Workshop | Putney VT

Singing Workshop with Brendan Taaffe and Margery McCrum
Sun. May 27 at the Putney Cares Barn, Kimball Hill, Putney, VT
1:00-5:00 p.m. * $30/ $20 low income
e-mail sing@turtledoveharmony.org to register

New Works/ Healthy Voices


Join us for an afternoon of singing newly composed pieces by Brendan Taaffe and working with Margery McCrum on healthy vocal technique to discover new resonance in your singing voice. The workshop is open to singers of all experience levels: pre-registration is necessary.

Rooted in American traditions, Brendan’s compositions have been performed by the River Singers, the Onion River Chorus, Northern Harmony, and the Amidon family as well as by choirs throughout the UK and New Zealand. About Wester Caputh, performed recently by the River Singers in Grafton, one person wrote, “I might need to listen to that song daily. There is so much hope and joy and certainty in that tune.” You can listen to a sample of it here: http://brendantaaffe.com/free_mp3_downloads.html

His recent work is exploring new territory, bringing in more modern (and some original) texts and incorporating musical ideas from a recent sojourn in Zimbabwe. This workshop will be a chance to participate in bringing these new songs to life.

Margery McCrum teaches voice at the Brattleboro Music Center and runs a private studio locally. Grounded in the bel canto tradition, Margery combines a thorough technical understanding of vocal production with an interest in discovering the full potential of each voice. She works with a holistic approach to integrate all aspects of health – physical, emotional and spiritual – in freeing one’s voice.

To register, you can send your fee (checks to “Turtle Dove”) to Turtle Dove at 118 Prospect St. #2, Brattleboro, VT 05301. For more information, please e-mail sing@turtledoveharmony.org or call Brendan at (802) 770-0857.

Northern Roots Weekend | Dummerston VT

NORTHERN ROOTS WEEKEND

Traditional Music 3-Day Workshop
for adults & teens (high school age teens)

Hosted by Keith Murphy & Becky Tracy
With Shanon Heaton, Irish Flute and
Tina Lech, Irish Fiddle

July 6-8, 2012
5 pm Friday through 2 pm Sunday
Green Mountain Camp, Dummerston, VT


The Northern Roots Weekend features a series of intensive teaching workshops in traditional music for all instruments, with a focus on fiddle, flute, whistle, guitar and song. Some experience in traditional music required and a recording device is recommended.

A dance band workshop will review the basics of playing for contra dancing but will also be an opportunity to form mini ensembles and experiment with arranging. Evening dancing will be a chance for musicians to play for dancing and to enjoy a good romp on the floor.

The Northern Roots Weekend will will also feature pub and ballad style singing and is a wonderful chance to enjoy informal jam sessions in a lovely country setting (with swimming) in Dummerston, Vermont at Green Mountain Camp, located just 10 minutes from downtown Brattleboro.

Camp begins Friday at 5pm through Sunday at 1pm with wonderful meals provided beginning with Friday supper through Sunday brunch. Rustic cabin accommodation available and also good camping.

Cost: $240 / Includes all workshops, 5 meals and 2 nights cabin lodging (if desired) / $60 deposit
Register now by calling the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523 or visit: http://bmcvt.org/summer/northern-roots-weekend