elcome to Peter Yarensky’s New Hampshire Old-Time Country Dance web site. There is a variety of material here: music and dance related, stories, photos, etc. This is the official web site for several music and dance events and organizations in the area:
  1. The Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend (Durham, NH, January; more information and a link to the main RPDLW page is in the next section)

  2. The Star Hampshire Traditional Music and Dance Weekend (Star Island, September of every year)

  3. The Seacoast Country Dance Newsletter (updated on this web site as needed)

  4. The Lamprey River Band (we’ve been around since 1983, and play for the Dover dance on the First Thursday and anything else we’re hired for)

  5. The Wednesday Night Canadian Jam Session in Durham (a friendly, nondogmatic jam session; we play what we want with a Canadian emphasis; but we also play New England and Swedish tunes, waltzes and foxtrots, and who knows what else.)

Look below for more detail on each of these and for other features of the web site.

Note: This web site is best viewed in a modern browser; i.e. it may not work well in Internet Explorer 6 or earlier (IE 7 is still questionable I think since it doesn’t follow any known rules!). If you’re using a Windows computer my understanding is that for the sake of computing safety you’d be better of using Firefox anyway.

New Hampshire Old-Time Country Dance Web Site
Contra & Square Dancing
The Related Fiddling Traditions of  New England, Canada & the Scandinavian Countries
Serving the Dance and Music Communities of Seacoast NH and Surrounding Areas
Hosted by Peter Yarensky
                R          R
NH Country Dance Table of Contents 

NH Old-Time Country Dance Web Site Home Page

Music & Dance Weekends

  1. Ralph Page Weekend

  2. Star Hampshire Weekend

Music & Dance Community, History & Stories

  1. Photo Page Index

  2. Music & Dance Story
    General Index

  3. NE Contras & Squares Index

Dance Pages

  1. Country Dance Newsletter

  2. Dance Calendar Page

  3. Lamprey River Band

Music Pages

  1. Wednesday Jam, Durham

  2. Canterbury Fiddlers Picnic

  3. Barrington Natural Heritage

  4. Fiddle Tunes - Index, abc

  5. The Tunes, PDF Format

  6. abc Musical Notation

  7. Peter’s abc Help File

  8. Links - Recorded Music Sites

Site Information

  1. Contact/Link Information

  2. Update Notes

  3. Feedback Page

NH Country Dance
Site Navigation

Section Home Pages are listed here; a few major Subpages may be as well.

A more detailed listing of each section may be found on each Section Home Page.


Randy Miller,  one of our outstanding musicians, on the porch of the Dance Hall on Star Island, 9/06.

Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend

Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend. This is now the official web site for the Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend, sponsored by the New England Folk Festival Association (NEFFA). It’s a very enjoyable weekend of wonderful dancing and great music in Durham every January on the weekend ending with Martin Luther King day; it doesn’t get any better than that!

  1. Check out the photo pages to get an idea of what the weekend is like!

  2. Check the NH Country Dance News column on the right for the latest information about staff updates, etc.

Star Hampshire Traditional Music and Dance Weekend

Star Hampshire Traditional Music and Dance Weekend. This is also the official web site for the Star Hampshire traditional Music & Dance Weekend on Star Island every September. The web site has recently been updated for the 2011 Weekend; check it out!

General Music & Dance Pages

Music & Dance Stories. This page contains stories about events in the music and dancing world that I think might be of interest to people. I’ll add new stories as they happen, so check it out now and then. [temporarily missing]

Music & Dance Photos. So far I have photos of the Ralph Page Weekend and the Ride in Canterbury. More to come! This is an Index Page with links to each individual page.

Photo by Evelyn Roberts, 4/06, used with her permission.


Seacoast Country Dance Newsletter. I publish the Seacoast Country Dance Newsletter which lists all the dances I know about from Nelson NH in the west to Tamworth NH in the north to Rockport, ME in the East, along with some commentary, stories and historical notes about the local dance scene. For now, to avoid some of the inaccuracies I’ve seen on a web sites that have sent dancers to nonexistent dances, I’ll only keep the current issue available on the web site. (Temporarily in limbo but I will be reviving it during Winter/Spirng 2010 I hope.)

Lamprey River Band. That’s one of two bands I play with, and it has its own page. We’ve been around since 1983!

Dover, NH First Thursday Contradance. The Lamprey River Band plays for it every month; sit-in musicians and guest callers are welcome.

Musical Chairs. That’s my other band. We’re a bit newer, and based more in the central part of the state, but we still have our own page.

Music Pages

Wednesday Night Canadian Jam Session in Durham. It’s been going on for a couple years, and grew out of an earlier Wednesday night soiree that lasted for many years. The photo below is from that jam session, taken in April 2006 by Evelyn Roberts, used with her permission.

Canterbury Fiddler’s Picnic. Going on for over a decade, it’s an enjoyable afternoon of music, socializing and picnicking every August; I’m sure you figure out where.

Barrington Natural Heritage & Agricultural Fair. At the Warren Farm, we play music very much like the Fiddler’s Picnic, in the context of the Fair.

Fiddle Tunes. I’ll present tunes in abc notation and also in PDF format. The tunes will include both tunes that we play at the Wednesday night jam session and some other tunes that I think are of interest. I’ll also include some notes on the tunes where relevant.

Peter Yarensky. That’s me; I figured I should have my own page as long as it’s my web site.

Site Information

Contact & Linking Information. Here’s my contact information, and information about the best URLs to use if you want to add a link to any part of this site on your web site (thanks!).

Site Update Notes. This page contains a listing up updates I make to the web site in case you want to see what’s changed since you last looked at the web page. If you didn’t already know I was compulsively organized (about some things - certainly not my housekeeping!), now you can figure it out!

Older News Items ~ Continued from the Main Listing Above

September 24: I updated the RPDLW web site, and the Star web site; created 2012 archival page, wrote report on the 2012 weekend.

August 9: Attachments from the Star Hampshire Welcome letter are now online.

August 5: Ralph Page Weekend page now includes a fuller staff listing and links to staff web sites.

August 3: The Publicity Flyer for the Ralph Page Weekend is now online.

June 8: The entire web site has moved to a new web host. This will change some aspects of the site. In particular the shortcut addresses have changed and the old ones no longer work. The new shortcut addresses are listed below on the left. Apologies for the change but I was unable to avoid it. I will gradually update other aspects of the site as time permits.

May 5: I made some minor updates to the newsletter based on new information (e.g. the Deerfield dance has extended its season).

March 25: I updated the newsletter to cover dances through October.

Web Site News: In the next few months I have to find a new home for the web site as its current location will be unavailable as of 6/30. If anyone has had particularly good experiences with a web host (or particularly bad ones), I’d be interested in knowing. At some point I will also be changing the software I use to design the web site; this will be a nuisance but will allow me to make improvements in various ways.

March 8: Most remaining Star Hampshire information is now in  place, including the Publicity Flyer for downloading.

March 5: I added a story about this month’s Deerfield dance to the newsletter and the Music and Dance section. I also added caller/band listings for the Gilmanton dance.

March 4: I added Gilmanton to the Newsletter page (no caller/musician information yet). I also did a major update to the Star web site which now includes 2012 registration information.

February 3: I added the Concord dance to the Newsletter page.

January 26: The RPDLW 2012 Archives Page is now in place.

January 17 & 18: I added a newly scheduled March Kingston dance to the dance calendar, and filled out the remaining Star Hampshire staff list.

January 5: Updated the Dance Newsletter with dates and where known callers/bands at local dances through June.

January 4, 2012: I updated the Star Hampshire Web Site, and also made a minor update to the Seacoast Country Dance Newsletter web site..

December 5: I updated the RPDLW Staff Bio page. I also updated the links on all RPDLW pages to include the NEFFA home page and the Facebook page.

October 15: Most of the Ralph Page web site is now updated

October 6: Important Deerfield Update! The Deerfield dance will in fact continue. Peter Thompson and Rickey Holt have volunteered to help keep it going. The first dance will be Sat. 11/5. Alice Morris will be calling, music by Paul Lizotte, Nancy Fiske and a piano player TBA.

September 8: I updated the Fiddler’s Picnic page.

August 23: I started updating the RPDLW web site; it still needs work!

August 3: I updated the Wed. Night Jam Session page to include days we’re not meeting this year and reorganized it and updated a couple related pages. I also updated the Fiddler’s Picnic and Natural Heritage pages.

June 7: I added a bunch of new tunes, and also Facebook links for both Ralph Page and Star.

May 16: I added the schedule of Dover dances for the rest of the year.

March 18: Star Publicity Flyers are now available too. Registration for the weekend starts April 1.

March 17: The dates are now available for the 2012 Weekend; hopefully we’ll have staff listings start to appear soon. The Star web site now has the 2011 Registration Form. Please Note: It’s a fillable PDF, and there are a couple things you need to know if you’re going to use it as such (as opposed to printing it and filling it out). So make sure to read the directions!

Jan. 11: RPDLW Event Schedule is now available on the web site.

Jan. 4, 2011: I updated the RPDLW web site to include a housing special; and I corrected the link for the page for links to recorded music on several pages.

Dec. 5: I updated the RPDLW web site to include the preliminary program grid and to include detailed performer information.

Nov. 18: I updated the Star web site with the 2011 information and archived the 2010 information.

Oct. 5: I put a brief note on the Newsletter page.

Sept. 9: I added a link to a 7-minute piece on WMUR on Visiting Star Island..

Aug. 11: The Fiddler’s Picnic and Barrington Heritage pages are now completely up to date.

June 22: The Fiddler’s Picnic page is now updated. I also restored all the photos pages which have been missing for a while

June 14: I updated the LRB page to include a Google Map for directions to City Hall and to include remaining dates for 2010. I also updated the Barrington Natural Heritage & Agricultural Fair page for this year’s event. I moved the Rambling Commentary to the Contras & Squares section. May 12: Bruce Rosen is playing with Ethan and Anna for the Ralph Page Weekend; they’re playing under the name Firetruck. Sugar River will include Jane, Russell, Sophie and Neil. I updated the web site and flyer to reflect this. (Francis hopes to be part of Sugar River, but isn’t confirmed.)

May 11: The Pittsfield Fiddling Contest is on Fri. May 21. I’ve added information about it on the main page for the Wednesday Night Jam Session, along with downloadable flyers and information..

April 22: The Ralph Page site has been updated with most 2011 information and with a preliminary flyer

April 20: Star now has up to a 50% discount for bringing new people!

March 19: I’ve added links to videos of the NH Chronicle show about the Ralph Page Weekend. Also updated the Star web site for 2010 and added some commentary to this page.

Feb. 10: Ralph Page Weekend & Contradancing on New Hampshire Chronicle, Channel 9, Mon. Feb. 15, 7:30 PM! Go to the main RPDLW page for details.

Jan. 18:  Evaluation Forms for the Ralph Page Weekend are online.

Jan. 5, 2010. RPDLW Preliminary Schedule is now posted.

Dec. 30. I added a slide show/photo page for the 2008 Ralph Page Weekend (finally!). Hopefully I’ll be able to keep things more up to date now.

Dec. 1. I updated the Star site main page today I plan to work on other aspects of the site soon.

Sept. 8. I added a photo page for the Warren Farm, where the Barrington Natural Heritage & Agricultural Fair will be held.

August 15. I added a page for the Barrington Natural Heritage & Agricultural Fair on September 12, for which Teresa and I are organizing music.

July 31. The Kingston Dance schedule is now available through the end of the year. I also corrected the link to the page containing links to many web sites with recordings of fiddle music and related types of music - if you haven’t checked it out you may find it worthwhile.

July 14, 2009. The newsletter is online; it’s a combined July/August issue. I’ve also repaired the photo index page so it works better now.


NH Country Dance News

Web Site & Local Music/Dance Community News

For complete details on updates to the web site go to the Updates page. Here are some of the important recent highlights as well as occasional updates on events in the music and dance community.


Seacoast Dance


General Note: Much of this web site has grown to be out of date. Unfortunately I’ve used iWeb to design and publish it, and the software is no longer supported and is awkward to use. I’m looking for new software to help me publish the web site, and hope to bring it back to life in Summer 2014.

February 4: I did some minor revisions to the Star web site. I did some major revisions to the Ralph Page Weekend web site: (1) I changed the emphasis to be more of an archival web site rather than one that does current news; that’s covered by the NEFFA web site.  (2) I brought it up to date after having been neglected for a few years.

January 15, 2015: The Star Hampshire web site has been updated with much information about the 2015 Weekend including dates, staff, registration information, and more. Check it out; it looks really good!

August 1: I updated the Dance newsletter, Lamprey River Band/Dover and Durham Wednesday Night Jam Session listings.

April 11-13: Further updates to Star web site have been made, as well as a few other miscellaneous changes.

January 5, 2014: Star Hampshire web site updated to include material about 2014 weekend. (There have been other undocumented  changes in the past several months.)

March 19, 2013: Star Hampshire web site is updated to include registration information. Registration begins 4/1/13. I updated the Durham Jam Session page to include likely vacation weeks for 2013. The Lamprey River Band page now lists Dover dances for the year. The Dance Newsletter calendar is now updated too.

November 10: I made some major updates to the Star and RPDLW web sites, getting them ready for next year. Also updated the Dover Dance web page and updated the Newsletter.

Older News Items are Displayed Below on the Left


There are shortcut links available for many of the main section pages of the web sites. Here’s a summary of the available shortcuts:

Section Main Page ~ Shortcut Address

Home Page ~ http://www.nhcountrydance.com

Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend ~ http://www.nhcountrydance.com/ralphpage

Star Hampshire Traditional Music & Dance Weekend ~ http://www.nhcountrydance.com/star

Seacoast Country Dance Newsletter ~ http://www.nhcountrydance.com/newsletter

ABC Musical Notation ~ http://www.nhcountrydance.com/abc

Fiddle Tunes in abc & PDF Format ~ http://www.nhcountrydance.com/tunes

Photo Pages ~ http://www.nhcountrydance.com/photos

Canterbury Fiddler’s Picnic ~ http://www.nhcountrydance.com/picnic

Contra & Square Dance Stories, Articles, Photos ~ http://www.nhcountrydance.com/contrasquare

Lamprey River Band ~ http://www.nhcountrydance.com/lrb

Wednesday Night Canadian Jam Session, Durham NH ~ http://www.nhcountrydance.com/jam


Since 2/6/07: