Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend | Durham, NH

RALPH PAGE DANCE LEGACY WEEKEND 2011

The Spirit of the Past, with a Vision for the Future. Celebrate the New England tradition – excellent music, great callers and friendly dancers.

For 24 years the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend has been celebrating the music and dance traditions that we know as contra and square dancing – traditions that have been a part of New England for the past 200 years! Every year this event brings together some of the premier dance callers and musicians (as well as a lot of phenomenal dancers!) and offers them unique learning and unparalleled dancing opportunities. This year’s retrospective will be on the legacy of Ralph Page and why he is still important enough to have his own dance weekend.

Location: University of New Hampshire, Memorial Union Building, 83 Main St. Durham, NH 03824

website: http://www.nhcountrydance.com/music/rpdlw.html
The registrar is Dave Bateman, RPDLW.Registrar@comcast.net, (603) 397-0042 and registration forms are available as PDF files on the website.

Price: The full weekend is $80. First timer discounts for the full weekend are available with pre-registration only. Individual sessions are $13-$20 and can be purchased at door. Children under 12 are free and attendees aged 12 – 25 are half price.

Dates and Time:    Friday, Jan. 14             7:30 PM - 11 PM 
                                Saturday, Jan. 15      9 AM - 11:30 PM 
                                Sunday, Jan. 16        9:15 AM - 4 PM

Fiddle Intensives | Brattleboro

TRADITIONAL MUSIC
Fiddle Intensives

at the
Brattleboro Music Center

Lissa Schneckenberger: Improvisation for Traditional Musicians
Thursdays, June 9 – 30, 7:00 – 8:15 pm
Explore the art of improvising ornaments and variations within a
traditional music context, applicable to many traditional genres.
Common dance tunes will be used as a basis for developing a personal
style. Exercises and musical games will promote competence with
playing impromptu ornaments and melodic variations.
Intermediate-advanced level musicians.
4-weeks / $80 per session
To register call the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523

BRATTLEBORO MUSIC CENTER enriching lives through music
Pam Lierle . Communications & Development . 802.257.4523 . www.bmcvt.org

Fiddle Intensives | Brattleboro

TRADITIONAL MUSIC
Fiddle Intensives
at the
Brattleboro Music Center
Mary Lea: Harmony for Melody Players
Thursdays, April 7 – 28, 7:00 – 8:15 pm
Melody players will explore basic chord structures and harmony
changes within a piece, find simple chordal backup and harmony lines
for a variety of traditional tunes. Focus on familiar waltzes, Irish
polkas and Swedish tunes, branching out into other meters and musical
styles. Reading music is not necessary. Stringed instrument and wind
players.
4-weeks / $80 per session

To register call the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523

BRATTLEBORO MUSIC CENTER enriching lives through music
Pam Lierle . Communications & Development . 802.257.4523 . www.bmcvt.org

Fiddle Intensives | Brattleboro

TRADITIONAL MUSIC
Fiddle Intensives
at the
Brattleboro Music Center
Michelle Liechti: A New Approach to Playing
Tuesdays, Jan 25 – Feb 15, 7:00 – 8:15 pm
Fiddlers and violinists often face aches and pains in their hands,
wrists, shoulders, necks, or backs. The New Approach, developed by
Kato Havas, frees players from muscle tension through simple,
naturally balanced motions. Use your inner musical voice to direct
these coordinated gestures, replace learned tensions with free and
fluid movements. Violin and fiddle players.

4-weeks / $80 per session
To register call the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523

BRATTLEBORO MUSIC CENTER enriching lives through music
Pam Lierle . Communications & Development . 802.257.4523 . www.bmcvt.org

Fiddle Intensives | Brattleboro

TRADITIONAL MUSIC
Fiddle Intensives
at the
Brattleboro Music Center

Becky Tracy: Introduction to Irish Bowing and Ornamentation
Mondays, Nov 29 – Dec 20, 7:00 – 8:15 pm
Examine some basic options for bowing Irish Reels. Look at familiar
tunes, Wind that shakes the Barley, The Volunteer, The Merry
Blacksmith… and use these tunes to explore common Irish bowings
that will be useful in many Irish reels. Fiddle players only.

Cape Breton Camp in Brookfield VT

Fiddler and step dancer Andrea Beaton will be down from Cape Breton and joining
me for a four day camp from Aug 23 – 26. The location is at the Old Town Hall
in historic Pond Village, Brookfield , VT Camp will run from 10 – 4 each day,
and the cost is $240/person. There is also a chance that we’ll be joined by Mac
Morin on Monday and Tuesday. For those of you who don’t know him, Mac is an
amazing Cape Breton piano player and step dancer. So…if there are any people
out there wishing to learn some Cape Breton piano accompaniment…..Mac is as
good as it gets.

Also the 4 day cost will be reduced to $225 if I receive a $100 deposit by
August 16th. The day rate is $70/day.

Please call for more info after August 14th…… Beth Telford 802-728-6351

Folknotes: August 2010

A western caller, Fred Feild, came across this in the March 1941 Recreation Magazine. The overall article is called “The Square Dance Goes to College.” After talking about the University of North Carolina it says this:

At John Gould Goddard College in Vermont

Assisted by teachers from the Washington County Folk Dance Association, young Vermonters study the old country dances at a mid-winter school at Goddard College.

Skiing in Vermont’s snow-covered hills and old-time dancing were friendly rivals for popular favor immediately after Christmas when the Washington County Folk Dance Association brought its summer activities up to date with a three-day school of country dances at Goddard College. And the same spirit pervaded the school as that which prevailed at the annual Vermont Folk Dance Festival in August on the college campus in Plainfield.

The city ballrooms of the nation have lately adopted country dancing with all the vigor of a new-found diversion, but to this group in Vermont folk dancing is something as old as the early “pitches” when settlers first brought cows into the Winooski valley. And since the attendance at the school turned out to be better than half school-age youngsters, it is likely that the country dances will remain a form of Saturday night recreation throughout Vermont long after city folks have taken up some new idea.

Vermont has a set of country dance traditions all its own, and several intricate dances unknown to the rest of the nation. To keep these traditions safe, the Washington County group organized many years ago for the purpose of searching out techniques and teaching them to other groups gathered solely for amusement. When the group heard that the folks down in Chelsea had a different twist on the promenade forward of a Boston Fancy, they sent someone down, and now the Chelsea tradition is known throught Vermont. During the year the group stands ready to send teachers, equipped with phonograph records and source material, anywhere in Vermont to teach country dancing – a free service that arises from a genuine love for the dance.

Throughout the year the group has bi-weekly dances at some small hall or farmhouse in Washington County, where the program is part recreation, part study. Every summer they call out competing teams from all over the state, and the lawn tennis court at Goddard College is the stage where men in white trousers and girls in peasant skirts and aprons strive to win the big silver cup. A couple of thousand Vermonters and summer visitors come to watch and applaud Money Musk, Hull’s Victory, Merry Merry Milkmaids, and dozens of similar dances done in the correct Vermont fashion.

Last summer the rising interest in this form of dance brought many out-of-staters, and Goddard College followed this success with the offer to sponsor a winter school with dormitory facilities for those coming from a distance. Emerson Lang of Danville directed the school, and its success assures annual repetitions.

Last night in Nelson, we danced a tremendous Money Musk to Dudley Laufman’s calling and the joyful accompaniment of four fiddles (Jacqueline Laufman, Dudley, Hunt Smith, and Sophie Orzechowski) and piano (Neil Orzechowski). Young and old, those who know the dance by heart, those doing it for the first time, we moved to the same notes and rhythms as the thousands who have danced before us. A good time was had by all.

Putney’s Irish Music Session

Five fiddlers, 2 guitarists, an accordionist, and a flute player gathered at J.D. McCliment’s Pub in Putney, Vermont, on a cool September evening recently. In addition to all of us being resident in the Connecticut River valley, we shared a love of Irish traditional music. We were attending the weekly Wednesday night Irish session to play jigs and reels, reacquaint as friends, meet new musicians, and share stories.

The Morning Star/Lady Ann Montgomery
The Long Drop/The Earl’s Chair

Leading our group this night were Lissa Schneckenburger on fiddle and Corey DiMario on tenor guitar. Lissa set the tone with a choice selection of tunes played at a relaxed pace. Irish reels can be very exciting when played at break-neck or dance-tempo speed, but the lovely soul of a tune is best revealed at more moderate tempos when the lift of a phrase and the ornamentation of melody can easily be heard. A pleasure for listener and player alike. Corey’s chording on the 4-string guitar followed the melody very closely, a hallmark of good Irish accompaniment, and each tune was given its due with numerous repetitions. Read more

☼ Contra Dance: Nelson NH Town Hall | Caller: Adina Gordon | Music: Carey Bluhm & Larry Siegel

Saturday, July 12th
Beginner’s Workshop 7:30
Dance 8:00 – 11:30
Admission: $8 / $6 seniors, students
For information: 603.762.0235 or E-mail: Lisa Sieverts

The Nelson Contra Dance on Saturday, July 12th, features the calling of Adina Gordon and the music of Paradocs.


Adina Gordon lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she is active in the local contra dance community and also travels extensively around the country to call for dances and festivals.

Paradocs consists of local musicians Carey Bluhm on fiddle and Larry Siegel on piano, and is so named because both musicians have PhD degrees! Carey is a psychologist from Fitzwilliam, NH. Larry is a well-known composer whose new work “Kaddish” recently premiered at Keene State College. In addition, as artistic director and founder of Tricinium, Ltd. and director of The Verbatim Project, he has helped towns and organizations create and perform original works of musical theater for more than twelve years.

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The Nelson dance opens with a beginner’s workshop at 7:30, and dancing starts at 8:00. All dances are taught throughout the evening.