Founded in 1980, the Monadnock Folklore Society is a nonprofit organization that serves to increase the visibility of folk dance and music events in southern New Hampshire, provide new venues for performers, and provide educational services in the folk arts to the community. Most concerts are presented in the Nelson Town Hall, which is a pleasing venue for acoustic or modestly amplified music. A wide range of musical and cultural traditions are represented. Recent concerts have included Irish, Cape Breton, Quebecois, Cajun, Balkan, Scottish, and Delta Blues. Historical presentations have included American Civil War era music and American songs collected in the Monadnock Region in the 18th-20th centuries. Two perennial favorites are the annual December performance by Nowell Sing We Clear and the Nelson Solstice Concert and Dance.
MFS also supports local dance performance groups, making it possible for groups such as The Harrisville Morris Women, Jack in the Green Morris, and Midnight Rapper Sword dancers to perform both locally and at festivals and events throughout New England and the eastern seaboard.
The generosity of early members of MFS, and recent fund raising activities, ensure that we can offer financial support in the form of grants, loans, and scholarships, to members of the folk community. Projects have included Westmorland composer Larry Siegel’s local production of Village Store Verbatim, Dudley Laufman’s recordings of local, old time, folk fiddlers and Harrisville singer Mary DesRosiers’ production of her CD A Little Music on the Prairie. More recent projects include an oral history video and the founding of the Johnny Trombly Memorial Scholarship.