☼ ☼ ☼ Alex Cumming ‘Homecoming’ Tour | Nelson Town Hall | March 16, 2024

Join us for a concert with critically acclaimed folk singer and accordionist Alex Cumming as he celebrates the launch of his brand new album, ‘Homecoming’, an exciting album full of toe-tapping tunes, beautiful ballads and rollicking choruses. The concert will take place at the Nelson Town Hall at 7:30 on Saturday, March 16. Joining Alex will be virtuosic fiddler and singer Audrey Jaber, known for her work with The Gaslight Tinkers, Wake Up Robin, Larry Unger, Free Raisins and more. Admission is $20/$15(seniors, students, or in advance).

Alex Cumming is a traditional Singer, Accordionist, Pianist and dance caller hailing from Somerset, England, now living in Brattleboro VT, USA. He performs songs and tunes from around the United Kingdom and America with a great depth of knowledge of the tradition. Alex has made his mark on the folk scene with his rhythmic dance-able accordion style, strong voice and his fun and engaging stage presence. After over a decade of recording albums and touring with various bands, 2024 sees Alex release his debut solo album, ‘Homecoming’, featuring fiddler Audrey Jaber (Wake Up Robin, Free Raisins), guitarist Max Newman (Stringrays, Nor’Easter) and regular recording collaborator Pete Ord (Haystack Records).Alex is a member of Celtic trio Bellwether (with Louise Bichan, Eric McDonald), award winning a capella quartet The Teacups and critically acclaimed duo Alex Cumming & Nicola Beazley. You may also catch him playing for dances in many combos, including Stuart Kenney’s Red Case Band and trio Crossover. Alex is also Artistic Director for Revels North. AlexCummingMusic.com

You know Audrey Jaber is performing if the room is buzzing at a higher level. Her fiddling, featured in bands including The Free Raisins, The Gaslight Tinkers, Audacious (with Larry Unger), and Wake Up Robin, has electrified dance and concert halls across the US and Europe. Hailing from Honolulu and now living in California, she cut her folk teeth in the Boston area, attending Berklee College of Music and spending years exploring the thriving New England folk scene. Audrey’s fiddle playing is rhythmically lively and spontaneous; she’s guaranteed to get you up and dancing. She specializes in English dance, New England, Celtic, and Old Time tunes (and did we mention she’s also an audio engineer?!). You might also have taken a workshop with Audrey, as she’s been on staff at various camps including various weeks at Pinewoods, Ashokan Northern Week, BACDS American week, New London Assembly and Halsway Manor. For more on Audrey, visit her at audreyknuth.com

Click here for advance reservations.

☼ ☼ ☼ Peterborough First Saturday Contra Dance | February 3, 2024

Contra Dance in Peterborough NH on Saturday, February 3rd., mask optional, gender-neutral calling with “Larks and Robins”.

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Peterborough, NH First Saturday Contra Dance on February 3rd. featuring Steve Zakon-Anderson calling with music from David Langford on fiddle, and Sam Zakon-Anderson on Keyboards.  

– The dancing begins at 8:00 PM. 
– Workshop for new dancers at 7:30 PM.
– Admission is sliding scale $12-20, $30 family, or pay what you can.
– Gender-free roles will be used for this evening, Larks and Robins
– This is a mask-optional event.
– Open jam 6-7:30 in the lobby

Contra dance is a fun, easy style of folk dance that 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.

Steve Zakon-Anderson wandered nervously into his first evening of contra dancing, in Francestown NH in 1980, completely unaware how it would alter his life.  He was instantly “addicted”,  began calling for contras three years after that, and has not slowed down in the 40 years since.  Steve has been a regular caller for dances at the Peterborough Town House since 1985, as well as traveling widely to dance events, camps and festivals.  He has called dances and taught workshops in calling, contra dancing and couples dancing, in almost every state and numerous other countries as well.  Steve is appreciated by dancers for his clear teaching, energetic calling and sense of humor. 

Fiddler Dave Langford is an experienced and versatile veteran of 20 years of playing for contra dances, weddings, parties and late-night sessions. Dave combines multiple styles of fiddling with fierce energy and drive

Sam Zakon-Anderson was raised on music and dance. From sleeping beneath the piano at Peterborough contra dance as a toddler, his journey has unfolded, leading him to play for contra dances nationwide for the past decade. Sam’s infectious positivity and musicality, bring a unique lively energy to the stage, and his grooving piano style makes him an unmistakable force that delights dancers.

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.

This is a mask-optional dance. 

☼ ☼ ☼ Peterborough Dance Canceled Saturday January 6

The January Peterborough Contra Dance scheduled for Saturday, January 6 has been canceled due to the incoming snowstorm that is expected to impact the area during the times when dancers would be driving to and from the dance.

Come to our upcoming events in Peterborough: The Snow Ball on Saturday, January 20 from noon to midnight, and the February Contra on Saturday, Feb. 3.

☼ ☼ ☼ Unusual Mondays

The Nelson Monday Night Contra Dance will be held on Christmas night, December 25, 2023. There will be a dessert potluck at about 9:30 PM, bring a treat to share.

The Nelson Monday Night Contra Dance will be held on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2024, at the regular time.

No jam session for musicians on these dates.

The Nelson Monday Night Contra Dance on January 23, 2024, will be canceled due to the Presidential Primary taking place the next day.

☼ ☼ ☼ Peterborough Contra Dance | January 6, 2024

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the January First Saturday contra dance in the historic Peterborough Town House in Peterborough, NH at 1 Grove Street.

Ben Sachs-Hamilton will be calling with music from Crossover trio: Len Bittenson – fiddle, viola, recorders; Alex Cumming – accordion and keyboard; Carol Bittenson – fiddle.

– The dancing begins at 8:00 PM

– Workshop for new dancers at 7:30 PM

– Admission is sliding scale $12-20. $30 family, or pay what you can.

– Gender-free roles will be used for this evening, Larks and Robins

– This is a mask-optional event.

Contra dance is a fun, relaxed style of folk dance that has flourished in New England since the 1700s. 

Partners form lines and dance a short sequence of steps with their neighbors. 

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.

For more information call 603.547.5831.

The Monadnock Folklore Society has presented contra dances and concerts of traditional music since 1982.

☼ ☼ ☼ Peterborough Snow Ball | Masks Required | Saturday, January 20, 2024

The 29th Annual Snow Ball
Saturday, January 20, 2024

Dancing from noon to midnight

Mary Wesley with the Moving Violations

Will Mentor with Casey and Molly and Sam Zakon-Anderson

Lisa Greenleaf with Oliver Scanlon, Jeremiah McLane, Owen Marshall

Steve Zakon-Anderson with Stomp Rocket

Admission: $28.00 

Peterborough Town Hall
1 Grove Street
Peterborough, NH 03458

Face Masks are REQUIRED, KN-95 or equivalent

☼ ☼ ☼ Peterborough Thanksgiving Eve Contra Dance | November 22, 2023

The annual Thanksgiving Eve Contra returns for the first time since 2019.

Steve Zakon-Anderson calling with Oliver Scanlon on fiddle and mandolin, Rose Jackson on fiddle, Helen Kuhar on guitar, and Sam Zakon-Anderson on keyboards. Masks required.

No workshop

Admission: Sliding Scale $12 – $20

Dancing 8:00 to 11:00 PM

Peterborough Town Hall
1 Grove Street
Peterborough, NH 03458

MFS COVID Policy Note that KN-95 type masks are required for this event

☼ ☼ ☼ Peterborough First Saturday Contra Dance | December 2, 2023

Fiddler Cedar Stanistreet
Fiddler Cedar Stanistreet

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the December First Saturday contra dance in the historic Peterborough Town House in Peterborough, NH at 1 Grove Street.

Hannah Johlas will be calling with music from Sycamore: Cedar Stanistreet – fiddle, Michael Sokolovsky – guitar and feet.

Hannah Johlas is a contra dance caller and organizer based in western MA. She loves introducing new dancers to the joys of contra, as well as sharing interesting dances with good flow with more experienced crowds. Her number one priority is always that dancers have a great time!

Cedar grew up playing both classical violin and traditional fiddle music and studied violin performance at the Crane School of Music. For the past ten years, he has played for contra dances across North America with bands including Nor’easter, Cardinal Direction, Maivish, and Cloud Ten. His spirited, rhythmic playing and clear tone keep dancers on their feet. In between gigs, Cedar can be found at home in Brattleboro, Vermont, growing vegetables, baking bread, and birdwatching. He also repairs violins, violas, and cellos.

Michael Sokolovsky is a contra dance guitar player. Michael hails from New England where he was exposed to folk music through family friends early in life. After studying music in college, he discovered contra dancing and has been dancing and playing since. When not playing for a local dance around New England or with Uncle Farmer, Michael co-hosts and produces the Queer Jewish comedy podcast, “Xai, How Are You” and works on his homestead in Western MA.

– The dancing begins at 8:00 PM. 

– Workshop for new dancers at 7:30 PM.

– Admission is sliding scale $12-20.$30 family, or pay what you can.

– Gender-free roles will be used for this evening, Larks and Robins

– This is a mask-optional event.

Contra dance is a fun, relaxed style of folk dance that has flourished in New England since the 1700s. 

Partners form lines and dance a short sequence of steps with their neighbors. 

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.

For more information call 603.547.5831. 

The Monadnock Folklore Society has presented contra dances and concerts of traditional music since 1982.

Facebook Event: https://fb.me/e/2HRtFiso7

☼ ☼ ☼ 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.