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Music can make a community . . . but only if a community makes music!

Justin and Stacey on violin and accordion for New Year's concert

Music is not hard to hear at Nubanusit Neighborhood and Farm (Nubi). Whether it be the sweet sound of a violin or flute in summer wafting from an open window, someone practicing on the Steinway in the Common House or jazz played on the Common during a CSA celebration, Nubi residents not only listen to music, but make it as well. Two of our favorite musical events are just around the corner: our annual Family Contra Dance and our New Years Day Musical Recital/Concert.

Nubi lies in the heart of the Monadnock region of New Hampshire. It is this region that preserved the historical form of country dancing known as Contra Dancing, which prior to the dawn of the radio and TV age was a major form of entertainment in America. Following a resurgence of contra dancing in the 1960s and 1970s in New England, a diaspora of dancers spread across the country starting up contra dances in all parts of the U.S. We first started contra dancing in Seattle in the early 1980s and it is no accident that Nubi stood out for us because of its location in the historical center of contra dancing.

Contra dancing can be such a great means of community building, so we were determined to start a tradition of dancing at Nubi. So with Bonnie calling the dances, and Molly and Carol H. on fiddle and piano, the sounds of traditional New England tunes and the stomping feet of dancers have filled the Common House each December.

Bonnie, Molly, and Carol at the annual Nubi contra dance

Then, on New Years day, every chair in the Common House is dragged up to the Activity Room so that the crowd of eager residents and visitors can find a place to sit while beautiful music is played for their enjoyment. In the past we have had performances on violin/fiddle, viola, cello, piano, oboe, accordion, electric guitar and voice. Each year it seems that more and more residents, children and adults alike, step forward to showcase their talent(s). Whether it be a Mozart Quartet or a fiddle tune, Chopsticks or Chopin, all are welcomed to share the joy making music with an appreciative and supportive audience.

Bruce, Bonnie & Molly

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