Night Tree

by on July 31, 2017 in Home Page, Music

A Brief History of the Ukulele with Stuart Fuchs at the Nelson Library

by on June 14, 2017 in Home Page, Library, Music

 11 am Saturday March 19th , 2016

The tiny ukulele is enjoying a gigantic worldwide revival. It’s an affordable, portable, and easy-to-learn instrument, and a simple way to bring music into your daily life.  Join Stuart Fuchs for a short history and demonstration of the ukuleles versatility and joyful sounds.  Stu will share stories from many of the great characters from the ukuleles glorious evolution and also play music from Hawaii, J.S. Bach, Blues, Rock n Roll and Jazz.  He will be joined by his sweetheart & musical partner Sarah Carlisle on upright bass.

Click below for ukulele chords:

Lulu Wiles/ Friday April 21st Nelson Town Hall 8:00pm

by on April 19, 2017 in Home Page, Music

Though the band is young, all the members of Lula Wiles have spent their lives grounded in songs. Born in Maine to musical families, they began playing music together as kids at Maine Fiddle Camp, and eventually each made their way to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music. Isa and Ellie began performing as a duo in 2013, and Lula Wiles was born when Mali joined the band a year later. When Lula Wiles performs, the band’s many years of friendship are clear from their effervescent vocal blend and electrifying musical chemistry. Now based in Boston’s thriving and close-knit roots music community, Lula Wiles have performed at premier festivals and clubs throughout the East Coast, including Club Passim, the Sinclair, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Fresh  Grass Festival, and Green River Music Festival. They were also selected as Official Showcase Artists for the 2016 Folk Alliance International conference. Roots authority No Depression predicts Lula Wiles “will be a huge force on the Americana scene for years to come.” All proficient vocalists, multi-instrumentalists, and songwriters, the three women of Lula Wiles are each uniquely powerful in their own right; but combined, they are a force to be reckoned with.

If you ask Lula Wiles about their self-titled debut album, they’ll be quick to tell you it was a long time coming. The album’s eleven original songs were written over the course of the preceding four years, tested and lived in on stages and in bedrooms and backyards in Maine and Boston, and reborn in November and December 2015 through the band’s collaboration with producer/ guitarist  Adam Iredale-Gray and drummer Sean Trischka. Self-released on May 27, 2016, the album is Lula Wiles’ first creative statement, an exploration of their sound. The band is deeply rooted in traditional folk music, but equally deep is their devotion to modern songcraft. The songs span from heartbreak-drenched acoustic ballads to honky-tonk swagger to contemporary grit and back again, all anchored by rich vocal harmonies. Their lyrics are fiercely honest, littered with reinvented folk tropes and evocative images – a rainy field of daisies, a dusty bar lit by Christmas lights, an unmade bed. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan calls the record “a stunning collection of self-penned songs about love, loss, and drinking – the perfect blend of modern and timeless.” The three band members swap instruments and frontwoman duties, with six songs penned and sung by fiddler/guitarist Ellie Buckland, four by fiddler/ guitarist Isa Burke, and one by bassist Mali Obomsawin. Onstage, the band gathers tightly around a single microphone for a spirited live show that resonates like a whiskey-slap to the heart.

Admission – $15/$12(senior, student, or in advance)

Scots Gaelic Singer – Jennifer Licko

by on July 7, 2015 in Concert, Home Page, Music, Promote
The Monadnock Folklore Society 
Scots Gaelic Singer 
Jennifer Licko
Wednesday, July 15 – 7:30 PM
Nelson Town Hall
Admission $12/$9(senior, student , or in advance)
Jennifer Licko, a Scots Gaelic singer living in Brazil, but originally from North Carolina, is an International touring artist featured on national radio in the US, and a respected musician within the Celtic genre while acquiring fans outside of that niche. Jennifer masterfully combines the Appalachian music of her North Carolina roots with the traditional Celtic music of her ancestors. “Jennifer Licko could very well be the heir-apparent to Canada’s Loreena McKennitt and Clannad’s Maire Brennan,” says Celtic Life Magazine.

The folk music of North Carolina has strong roots in Celtic traditions; Jennifer Licko will be singing various types of traditional Scots Gaelic song such as oran luadh (work songs) and puirt a beul (dance tunes), along with folk songs (from North Carolina via Scotland) sung in English including some of her original material which has been greatly influenced by Irish and Scottish songwriters such as Dougie MacLean and John Spillane.

Jennifer will accompany herself on guitar and bodhran and at times will ask the audience to participate in singing and rhythm parts in the spirit of the oral singing tradition.

Jennifer’s most recent album ‘A Thousand Curses Upon Love’ has been receiving critical acclaim from the Celtic/Folk and World music community and is receiving national radio airplay. Currently Jennifer is working on a new album with producer and guitarist Patsy Obrien (The Cathie Ryan band) and four time All Ireland fiddle champion, Dylan Foley (The Yanks). The long awaited album will be trad based with world influences. The Irish Edition writes, “At times, Jennifer Licko has a haunting vibrato in her voice, at times she attacks songs with a deep feeling, but she always attracts as she sings.”


Larry Ames 
Monadnock Folklore Society

Nelson Summer Forums 2014

by on June 19, 2014 in Home Page, Lecture Presentation, Library

The Olivia Rodham Memorial Library announces the 10th season of the Library summer forums,   Each Thursday night forum begins at 6:45 with entertainment by local musicians, followed at 7:00 by the main presentation. At 8:00 punch and cookies and conversation follow. The forums are free and open to the public. This year the Forums will take place in the Nelson Congregational Church (just across the road) due to the renovations at the Town Hall.

The opening forum on July 10 r is a talk by Ethan Tolman on July 10 highlighting a Nelson newsletter circulated during World War II. The newsletter, published by Ethan’s parents, served to inform service people of events in their hometowns of Nelson, Harrisville, and Dublin. Of special interest are excerpts of letters service people sent to the newsletter. Music by Max Nunnemaker and Gordon Peery will be appropriate to the WWII era.

The next forum, on July 17, takes us to Zimbabwe with Rhodesian native, (and now Harrisville General Store chef) Phil Gargan, as an avocation away from his executive job with the Tanganda Tea Company. Phil was a professional river guide on the Zambezi River for 17 years and brings us visuals and tales of a world most of us will never experience. Where else would you have access to 800 species of birds? Music with African roots by Paul Klemperer.

Karen Hersey, a Nelson native who spends more time in Abu Dhabi than here, will share with us on July 24 the where, what, who and why in her talk “Abu Dhabi Inside Out”. Learn what sheikdoms and the Arab Emirates have to do with each other, the growth in 40 years from desert to skyscrapers, and the void of culture created by such meteoric change. Karen is a bright observer and will add to our global k nowledge and awareness of Abu Dhabi’s role in the Middle East, and why it is important for us to understand.  Music from Apple Hill.

And on July 31, Allison and Hunt Smith will wrap up the forum presentations with their inimitable musical entertainment. Their love of music, of each other and of connecting with the audience shows through when they perform. One never knows exactly what instruments and songs to expect, but one can be sure to have a good old time! Musical introduction will be by Samuel, Sarah and Rachel Foucher of Harrisville, young musicians who play music with the Smiths.


The Nelson Music Collection

by on November 10, 2013 in Home Page, Music
Nelson Music Collection

Photo from the cover of the Nelson Music Collection

The Nelson Music Collection was first published in 1969, as a “Collection of Authentic Square Dance Melodies. Compiled by Newt Tolman, a flute player from Nelson, and his piano accompanist, Kay Gilbert from Peterborough, it contains 63 tunes that might be heard at one of the local square dances. It became an important resource over the next decade as the face of square dancing evolved (and became more commonly known as contra dancing), and as young musicians aspired to learn the tunes so that they could play for the dances. Eventually it took a back seat to newer collections which offered additional and newly popularized tunes, but serious scholars and musicians remained aware of its existence. Newt and Kay also issued an LP recording of the same name, which featured many of the tunes from the book. It was one of the first commercial recordings of this music. Continue Reading »

Carol Raynsford Sings

by on January 11, 2012 in Music, Nelson People

Carol Raynsford left this world on Friday, January 6th, 2012.

This is from her performance in The Hotel Nelson.

Nelson Strings Inaugural Concert

See this concert on YouTube!

On Thursday evening, May 19th, dozens of Nelson residents (and a few flat-landers) assembled in the Hoffman Auditorium at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music. The occasion was the premier performance of the Nelson Strings, a collaborative project between the Nelson School and Apple Hill. This was the brainchild of Val Van Meier, and the result of  many hours of planning and the generous support of community members, and notably Nelson School Principal Sheila Vara, and Apple Hill Director Lenny Matczynski.  This first years Nelson Strings ensemble are Elizabeth Hull, Sarah Hull,  Tae’lar Forcier, Fallon Smith, and Molly Gray.

Nelson Strings Continue Reading »

Forum ReUnion

On Saturday evening, April 16, a celebration was held in Town Hall to mark the six month anniversary of the Nelson Community Forum held at Apple Hill last September.  The evening began with socializing and a finger food potluck.  The committees formed at the Community Forum gave brief updates on their activities.  Then on to the main attraction – music from some of Nelson’s finest.

John Cucchi led off with some excellent guitar and vocal work.  Young Kaitlin Schillemat sang beautifully.  Next up was Alouette Iselin with some great songs for sing along.  Warmed up by Alouette, the sing along continued with an excellent performance by Allison Aldrich and Hunt Smith, backed by Tom Murray on bass. A good time was had by all.

Nelson Strings Are Singing!

by on January 5, 2011 in Music, Nelson School

Nelson StringsGrins, giggles and excited chatter greeted Sarah Kim, the Nelson Strings teacher on the first day of lessons.  Ten eyes looked eagerly at six cases sitting on a table. Minutes later Nelson Elementary School’s first violin students were learning proper standing position, the name and function of parts of the violin and how to care for and hold their instruments.  Five students are learning finger positions, pizzicato (also known as plucking the strings) and their first song.  Having a strings program for elementary school children is not too unusual these days. But Nelson’s program has a couple of unique twists.

First, with a nod to Nelson’s heritage of traditional music for contra dances, students are learning some of these traditional tunes. They are working with the O’Connor Violin method, an approach to teaching young people that is based on American folk fiddle tunes. This was developed by Mark O’Connor, a child prodigy who had recorded his first album of fiddle music at the age of 10. Forty years later he is known throughout folk, bluegrass, jazz and classical realms for his brilliant playing and compositions that cross all of those genres.

Second, how many towns the size of Nelson have a world-class chamber orchestra? Enter Sarah Kim, who has been a violinist with the Apple Hill Chamber players since 2008, and on the summer faculty since 2003.  Since moving to town she has enjoyed going to the local dances, and the opportunity to hear different music from what Apple Hill typically performs. She was familiar with the O’Connor method, and in fact, had toured with Mark O’Connor in 2001 as a member of the orchestra that accompanied him for a performance of his “American Four Seasons”.

The idea of a strings program has been germinating for several months. With financial support from the community, several quarter-size instruments were purchased. A grant from the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) allowed for the purchase of the Mark O’Connor curriculum, The New England Fiddler’s Repertoire (by Randy Miller & Jack Perron) and other music. The program is a joint venture of the Nelson School and Apple Hill.

As the students grow (in size as well as musical prowess) the program will need to acquire half- and three-quarter- size instruments. Nelson residents (or anyone else) who would like to support this program should contact me, Val Van Meier, at 847-3371 or

Meanwhile, be listening for Nelson’s young violinists to be included in upcoming school programs and who knows – eventually some of them may be heard playing for dances in the Town Hall.

First Meetinghouse

by on November 7, 2010 in Cultural, Life in Nelson

The charter granting Monadnock Number Six to its proprietors required that a central place be set off and reserved for public purposes and that a meetinghouse be built. Breed Batchellor laid out ten acres of common land in the center of the town at the location of the village cemetery today. With the population increasing, indeed the town needed a place to gather for worship and hold town meetings. Early roads converged on this central hilltop; the town built its first animal pound there and the early store and tavern were nearby. The common included a burial ground where the dead were buried.

A proprietors meeting held in February 1772  “voted to clear four acres on the ten acres reserved for public use and voted to build a duty meetinghouse.” In April the town moved to put a plan into action by voting 25 pounds to build a meetinghouse 25’ X 30’ with posts 8 ½ feet long. It seems to have been built almost immediately. But, as we shall see, rebuilding was required in a mere ten years. Anne Breed, daughter of Nathaniel and Ann Breed, born January 30, 1773, was the first person baptized in Monadnock Number Six meetinghouse in July 1773.   The Reverend Joseph Farrar of Dublin presided and preached the first sermon in Packersfield. The first proprietors meeting was held there in October 1773.

All we can tell about that first building was that it was a frame structure, probably cape style and 8 ½ feet high at the eaves. It held fifty or sixty people for a meeting.  That is an ample size for town meetings attended by only adult men, but must have felt crowded when early church services were held with women and children adding to the numbers. Church attendance was virtually required in those days, but Packersfield did not have a settled minister until 1780, though not for lack of effort. The building was repaired in time for that first minister with a pew added for the Reverend Jacob Foster and his family.

From a description of repairs that were made in 1783, we get a few more hints about its appearance and construction. In only ten years of weathering and use, the building had fallen into disrepair. Town meeting voted repairs costing 73 shillings as follows:

“Voted to find one thousand boards and use the same in rough ceiling the meetinghouse and three windows twelve panes each seven by nine and hang the door. 1000 white pine boards brought to the Meetinghouse at 30s [shillings], 3 window frames of 12 squares each with sashes 12 [shillings] 36 panes of glass 18 [shillings].

One half thousand ten penny nails bid off by Lt. [Aaron] Beel at 7s. [Beel was the town’s first blacksmith.] Bid off by Mr. Beamis [Henry Bemis] to nail up 1000 of boards set 36 panes of glass with 8 tins each, hang the door and put one piece of timber the woman’s side and nail up the boards that are sprung off.”


Critical readers of this description will doubt that the ceiling of a building of that size would require 1000 boards.  Town records are transcriptions made near the time and are subject to transcription error.  The use of half a thousand nails suggests the number of boards might have been one hundred not one thousand.

The extent of work needed presents a picture of disrepair and provides more details of the building itself.  It had had no ceiling, but now would have one of boards. Three windows needed repair and that was probably all the building had. They weren’t very large as window glass was quite expensive. They were double hung sash with twelve panes of glass each. The common configuration was six over six. There were two common pane sizes in those days. The ones used, seven by nine inches, were the most common and least expensive. It was a dimly lit 25’ x 30’ room.

There is no reference to a chimney and there probably wasn’t one. Indeed preaching in the winter of 1780 was divided on a rotational basis between the houses of Nathaniel Breed, John Adams and Samuel Griffin. Breed’s house was selected to serve the northern part of town; Adams and Griffin for the southwestern and southeastern parts respectively. The arrangement could have been motivated by difficult winter travel as well as warmth within the houses. Town meetings held during the winter months were usually adjourned to the home of Uriah Wheeler next door.

The door needed rehanging and the siding, probably clapboards, needed nailing where they had sprung off.  The roof was undoubtedly shingled. It is a picture of a plain but serviceable structure. All we know of the interior is that the seating was in pews; that it was divided with men and women separated, and that it had a pulpit. It was called a “duty” meetinghouse both because it was required by the town charter and because it was basic and utilitarian.

The remainder of the burying ground was cleared and a stone wall 4 ½ feet high surrounded it. The wall was built by Joseph Felt and Abijah Brown.

The repaired meetinghouse was too small so in 1785 the Town of Packersfield voted to build a new meetinghouse beside the old one with gallery and two porches one on either end for 125 pounds.  The second meetinghouse took seven years to complete, but it was finished enough so that the old one could be sold and moved off the site in 1788.

Nathaniel Breed’s son, Thomas, bought the old one (without the pulpit) for 12 pounds. He moved it to a place just south of the cemetery where, according to an unpublished tract by the Reverend Edwin Noah Hardy, it was used as a store and tavern for a number of years. We are not sure of this location. Parke Struthers in his History of Nelson reports that it was located just south of the cemetery and became a home occupied by a succession of cobblers.  It was painted red. David and James Beard bought the property south of the cemetery from the town in 1797.  The former meetinghouse seems to have been moved, again, to that site; there is a cellar hole there today that could accommodate a building of that size.

According to Parke Struthers, Barnard Warren may have been the first cobbler there, plying his trade in Packersfield as early as 1797, but he was never the owner. Oliver Stone bought it from the Beards in 1822 and continued the shoe business; he and his wife raised nine children in the old meetinghouse. The Stone family was followed by Henry H. Flint, who carried on his shoemaker’s trade there. Probably in the late 1830’s when the current village was built, the old meetinghouse was moved again to become part of the home where the Quigleys lived on the northeast corner of the new common.  The Quigley house with the remnants of the 1773 meetinghouse was taken down in the 1980’s and the site used for the new library.

Artist’s concept of 1st meetinghouse. Credit: Andrew Weglinski/Scully-Architects

Sources: Nelson Town Records, New Hampshire State Papers: Town Charters; Deeds of land: Cheshire County Registry of Deeds; A History of Nelson New Hampshire 1767-1967, Parke H. Struthers, editor; Packersfield-Nelson

The Old Village on the Hill-top ,Rev. Edwin Noah Hardy, Ph.D. unpublished; no date; Garvin, James L, A Building History of Northern New England

The author is grateful to Sue Kingsbury for her skillful editing.


Agricultural Commission Update

by on October 18, 2010 in Civic Opportunity, Cultural, Life in Nelson

Efforts are progressing to establish an Agricultural Commission in Nelson. The potential to have such a commission is provided by RSA 674:44-e and 673:4-b. To date, several towns in New Hampshire have established AgComs, and a few more are currently in the process of doing so. Generally, AgComs serve as a local voice advocating for farmers, farm-related businesses, and broadly defined agricultural interests. An AgCom is non-regulatory, and may be called upon to assist other town boards in their regular work.

On July 6, the Nelson Planning Board sponsored a public informational meeting at the Town Hall, to determine the interest in forming a Nelson AgCom. Twenty-seven residents came out in the sweltering heat. We heard presentations by Amanda Costello, from Cheshire County Conservation, and Jeff Littleton from Moosewood Ecological Services; a lively discussion followed. All present agreed that the concept of a Nelson AgCom deserves further investigation. Six people volunteered to form a Steering Committee, which has met three times.

The Steering Committee is exploring ways to cultivate broad community support for an AgCom, in hopes that the Town will officially establish the commission at the 2011 Town Meeting. In addition, the Steering Committee is developing a list of “Nelson Producers and Their Produce”: hopefully, next season you will be able to consult the list to find a very local source for a wide range of agricultural products.

Other ideas on the drawing board: An Agricultural Arts day during Old Home Week; an all-Nelson (that is, produce only from Nelson) Harvest Supper; presentations on agricultural and forest issues ( such as the Asisan Long-horned beetle, early and late blight, livestock concerns, etc.); forums on political and cultural issues that have impact on agriculture; recommended reading lists; farm tours; and more. In all of these efforts, the Steering Committee welcomes input from the community.

Steering Committee members are: Gigi Batchelder, Bob Jones, Mike Iselin, Owen Iselin, Margaret Schillemat, and David Voymas. For more information, or to make sure you are included in the “Directory of Nelson Producers,” please contact David at 847-3137 or


On Saturday, March 27, 7:00 pm, in the Town Hall, Nelson will again celebrate itself at the Hotel Nelson “Revisited”, in an adaptation from the 1997 original Hotel Nelson:  the wonderful musical theatre performance, written and staged by, for and about our town; and facilitated by composer Larry Siegel of Tricinium Limited.  At that time, Larry likened the process to the late 19th century town pageants…an art form that he has helped to reawaken in many of our small communities.

Hardly a substitute for the amazing hard work of the original production, the “revisit” has mildly adapted some of the original works to better accommodate the busy lives of those who are helping with this production.  We’ve also, reluctantly, cut and pasted here and there in order to make room for some newness that hopefully will speak for the ever-evolving newness that is Nelson – the new guests at the Hotel!  And to top it off, we’ve added a few PowerPoints here and there – well, there weren’t any computers in the late 19th century!

Those helping, who were not involved in the 1997 Hotel Nelson, are enjoying the opportunity to learn a little about the process that produced the original theatre; to learn some of the songs that were written and sung, and to otherwise be a part of something that again brings friends and neighbors together, in the spirit of community.

We hope that you’ll join us to learn a little about our town’s past and present, to witness some of our extensive local talent as they hold forth on (and off) stage – some reliving their 1997 roles, others filling in for those not available this time, and still others adding some additional flavors to the show.

In order to be certain not to exceed the fire-code seating limits (155) in the Town Hall, we’re asking you to reserve a seat by e-mail at: or by phone at: 847-9918.  It’ll be first come, first served, and Susan will check your name off when you arrive at the Town Hall on March 27.  Remember that admission is free, but donations will gladly be accepted at the door.

The Hotel Nelson Revisited

Sponsored by Moving in Step

In 1997, the people of Nelson raised funds from private donations, the Town of Nelson and the Nelson Congregational Church to sponsor The Hotel Nelson, a musical theatre that was created by, for, and about the Town of Nelson. Facilitated by Larry Siegal of Westmoreland, it was performed in the Nelson Congregational Church on August 14 and 15 to sold out audiences.

In 1840, The Nelson House was built to house the hotel, the post office, the library and a store.  The three-story brick building burned down in 1894!  So, for 54 years, sitting on the village common, it was literally the center of the town.
Thus, it is the metaphor from which our theatre, The Hotel Nelson, was born:

“When I built this hotel I put a porch on the front.  It was the best decision I ever made.  People come and sit out there, from the end of black fly season until the first snowfall.  Now granted, that’s not a very long stretch of time, but it’s enough time for some good stories to get told, and for more stories to get made.  The town goes by, day by day, and just when I think I’m getting to understand how it works, something happens and I realize I really don’t have it figured out after all.  But I love it here – this place, this land, these people.  I’ve found myself quite a home here….  Please… come in.  You might stay for a night, or for a summer.  And if you can’t figure out how to leave, well – you won’t be the first. “
Narrator in “The Hotel Nelson”
(from the opening scene)

From the above scene onward, songs were sung and stories were told by the same people who researched, wrote and composed them.  They covered some of
Nelson’s history and politics, some of its notables and characters, and many anecdotes past and present.

Some of the songs that were sung are simply too good to relegate to the archives, so we’re going to sing them again…with your help.

So, please join us on Friday night, January 29, 2010, 6:30 pm, at the Nelson Town Hall.

After a potluck supper (please bring something to share), we’ll have some skilled musicians teach us a few of the songs so that we can all join in.  But, if you don’t sing, that’s OK.  Just come to enjoy the festivities.

“The mud can’t get deeper on Old Stoddard Road.
My white car is brown: what a sight to behold.
I’d give anything for a driveway that’s dry,
And to taste the tart pleasure of fresh rhubarb pie.”

From “Sing Halleluiah!”

“The world is full of gladness, and joys of many kinds.
There’s cure for ev’ry sadness, each troubled mortal finds.
My little cares grow lighter.  I cease to fret and sigh.
My eyes with joy grow brighter, when she makes lemon pie.”

From “The Lemon Pie Song”

“When you’re a kid in Nelson you’re like a tall oak tree
Roots reach down into the past
Arms reach for eternity
Whether we’re playing baseball
Or biking through the square
There’s always something happening
And music fills the air”

From “Being a Kid in Nelson”

And, stay tuned for more:  On Saturday, March 27, 2010, we will incorporate the songs that we learn on January 29 with more of the original songs and many of the stories (and perhaps even some new ones!) into another evening out at The Hotel Nelson Revisited.

“There’s one thing certain about the future, which is — it’s always going to be there.  Some folks worry about it, some try to plan for it, some think it’s preordained, and some spend so much time thinking about it that today becomes tomorrow with nothing in between.

“Now the past is always there too.  And we might not worry so much about it, but people can get to dwelling on that too, and lose the present.

“I like it here in Nelson, ‘cause folks seem to enjoy the past, the present, and the future, all in good measure.

“When I’m away from here I tell people about this place.  And sometimes someone will ask – tell me, that town of yours, and that Hotel, is it real, or is it just make believe?

“And I answer:  yes.”
Narrator in “The Hotel Nelson”
(from the closing scene)

The Apple Hill Chamber Players

Capping off a day that had begun with Morris Dancing and a Maypole Dance on the Common (more details and photos shortly), the Apple Hill Chamber Players presented their final program in the 2008 – 2009 Monadnock Region Concert Series in the Nelson Congregational Church, at 3:00 p.m.

The Apple Hill Chamber Players:    Sarah Kim, violin;  Rupert Thompson, cello;  Mike Kelley, viola;  Elise Kuder, violin

The Apple Hill Chamber Players: Sarah Kim, violin; Rupert Thompson, cello; Mike Kelley, viola; Elise Kuder, violin

It is quite amazing to have a world class chamber group making their home right here in Nelson. Their spirited playing provided an enriched perspective on some quite diverse material. The concert opened with Three Fantasias by Heny Purcell (1659 – 1695). This was followed by the lively and simply gorgeous String Quartet in C minor by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827). Intermission provided friends and neighbors with a good chance to chat, and enjoy some nice home made goodies. The final piece on the program was the powerful String Quartet #8 in C minor by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975), which, as the audience was warned in advance, was a movingly depressing piece of music (though rendered exquisitely). Thankfully, the Players offered a short Bach Air as an encore, so as not to end on quite so somber a note.

For more information about the Apple Hill Chamber Players and their 2009 Summer Concert Series, you can visit their web site at