New EnglandContra Dance Music: Piano & Accordion
Bob McQuillen is a contra dance piano and accordion player. McQuillen played with the legendary Ralph Page and later in the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra with Dudley Laufman and many other New Hampshire musicians. He currently plays with Old New England, a group that includes Jane Orzechowski and Deanna Stiles. He is a prolific composer of tunes—over 1,000 of which appear in a series of self-published tune books called Bob's Notebooks. Many of Bob’s tunes are now part of a shared repertoire among contra musicians, both within New Hampshire and across the country. In 1997, McQuillen received the Governors Arts Award in Living Folk Heritage from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. McQuillen’s group Old New England was part of the delegation representing New Hampshire at the 1999 Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the Celebrate New Hampshire festival held in 2000 in Hopkinton. In 2003, he received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, our nation's highest honor for a traditional artist. He has received several Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grants to teach young musicians to follow in his footsteps in preserving contra dance music in New Hampshire.
activities and age groups: Bob McQuillen plays with his group Old New England, but joins other musicians for dances from time to time. Click here for information on Old New England.
Statewide year round
27 Granite St
Peterborough, NH 03458-
McQuillen’s contribution to contra dance music is the subject of a documentary video produced in 2003 by David Millstone, “Paid to Eat Ice Cream.” Click here for more information on the David Millstone’s documentaries and other resources on contra dance music available from Great Meadow Music.