FolkNotes: November

Sometime in or around 1980 there was a sitting-around-the-kitchen meeting between a group of friends that resulted in the formation of the Monadnock Folklore Society. The group consisted of myself, Mary DesRosiers, Gary Heald, Jennifer Price, and Ken Wilson. It took a couple of years for MFS to be officially set up as an organization with 501-C3 status, but the ball was rolling.

There were two great influences for founding MFS. One was the Monday night dance, which had been started by Peter Temple in Harrisville in January of 1978 (look for 30th anniversary coverage on this Web site coming up). Not that contra dancing wasn’t already popular in these parts, but this particular dance provided an opportunity for new callers and musicians to get experience. It wasn’t until many years later, after the dance had moved to Nelson, that MFS became the official sponsor, but I know that the early Monday night dances certainl enriched the environment – making it fertile folk ground.

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FolkNotes: October

Now October’s growin’ thin, and November’s comin’ home . . .

I never move into October without having these lovely lyrics come into my head. It’s from Turning Towards the Morning, a song Gordon Bok wrote, way back in 1975. I probably heard it for the first time a year or two later, and I’ve remained enchanted with the song all these years.

We’re moving into the time of year where there are many ancient folk traditions celebrated. At the end of October, Sawhain, an ancient Celtic festival on which, with typical modern American distortion, the “tradition” of Halloween has sprung. On the other hand, perhaps the strongest original American tradition is the Thanksgiving holiday that follows, though that too has been subject to increased commercial influence. We hardly dare mention Christmas in that regard, but will note the more relevant Solstice. Read more

Contra Dance: Nelson NH Town Hall 8:00 | Jeff Petrovitch Caller, Music by Randy Miller, David Kaynor, Gordon Peery

Jeff Petrovitch is the caller for an evening of lively contra dancing with music provided by Randy Miller and David Kaynor on fiddles, and Gordon Peery on piano.

Jeff is rapidly becoming a favorite caller on the New England dance scene thanks to his enthusiastic delivery and ever expanding repertoire of new innovative dances as well as classic contras. Randy Miller has been at the heart of the New England dance scene since the early 1970’s, and in addition to playing is the author/complier of several tune books. David Kaynor is well known as a dance caller, but this evening is a rare opportunity to hear his equally stellar fiddling expertise.

The evening begins at 7:30 with a workshop for beginners, and those who want a bit of refreshing. The main dance starts at 8:00. Admission is $8, $6 for senior citizens and students. The Nelson Town Hall is in the center of Nelson, NH. For more information call 603-827-3044.

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E-mail: Lisa Sieverts

2nd Saturday Contra Dance: Nelson NH Town Hall 8:00

Come to the Nelson Town Hall for a wonderful evening of contra dancing with caller Cindy Green and the twin fiddling of Amy Cann and Carey Bluhm, backed up by Gordon Peery on piano. Cindy is known for calling that is easy to follow, with interesting twists, and humorous repartee to get everyone moving quickly. Expect some new dances as well as classic contras, and maybe a square or two.

Newcomers and those wanting a refresher are welcome at 7:30 for a workshop that will include tips on how to waltz, for those 3/4 shy. The main dance starts at 8:00. Admission is $8, $6 for senior citizens and students.

The Nelson Town Hall is in the center of Nelson, New Hampshire. For more information call 603-827-3044.