New Hampshire Old-Time Country Dance Web Site

Dancing in the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire


The Lamprey River Band

The Lamprey River Band has been playing for Seacoast NH dances since 1983. We play a monthly dance at the Unitarian Fellowship in Durham. We keep alive the New England tradition of the large country dance orchestra with a solid beat, strong melody and clear phrasing.
On This Page: (1) Listing for First Thursday Durham Dance with dates; (2) Contents of the Lamprey River Band section of the website, and (3) About the Lamprey River Band.

•••> The Durham dance on Thurs. April 2 has been Cancelled. See below for more information.

The Lamprey River Band First Thursday Dance in Durham, NH

First Thursdays, Durham, NH, Durham Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Lamprey River Band, Peter Yarensky & Sarah Mason calling; guest musicians & callers invited. 8:00 – 10:00, 20 Madbury Road, Durham, NH 03824.

Upcoming Dance Dates:April 2 (CANCELLED), May 7, June 4, July 2, August 6, September 3, October 1, and November 5.

Contact: Peter, peter dot yarensky at unh dot edu,

Map: Click here to download a map to the dance.

Guest Calling: As this is a short dance we generally have no more than two guest callers. Talk to Sarah Mason or Peter Yarensky as early in the dance as you can to get a slot. Please do not try to reserve in advance. (Exceptions may be made in unusual circumstances, e.g. someone travelling a long distance).

Given the current situation the band agreed unanimously that as much as we hate to do it, we should cancel the April dance. Click anywhere in this paragraph for more information as sent out to the email list.

Here is the letter that we sent out to the Durham Dance email list.

Hi everyone,

I guess by now I barely even need to mention why the Durham dance at the Unitarian Fellowship on Thurs. April 2 is being cancelled. I asked the band what people thought about next month, and the band decided unanimously that as much as we hated to do it, the wise decision seems to be to cancel the dance. It’s hard to say how the course of the virus will go, so we’ll take it a month at a time. So for now we’ll cancel the dance on Thursday April 2, and decide in about a month whether to have the May dance. When we decide I will send an email to this list, as well as to the NH contra Facebook group, and a few other places. I’ll also list it on my web site at

I know that some people are skeptical of the need to take such drastic action as cancelling events and closing down schools. If you are one of those people I encourage you to read the following article; I think it does a good job of explaining things: I heard someone in the field comment that if they do a good job at containing something like this, not much happens, there’s not much news about it, and everyone thinks they were making a big deal over nothing. It’s when they fail to contain something that it becomes a big deal. That has already happened in some places; let’s hope this one turns out to be fairly uneventful around here.

Do your part and follow the guidelines, and stay healthy.
Peter Yarensky and the Lamprey River Band

In This Section [In Progress - Expect Some Chaos for a While!]

This section is about the Lamprey River Band. Look for the following on this page and in the remainder of this section of the website; links are provided where relevant.

On This Page. Here is a summary of what's on this page.

  • Durham Dance Schedule Above is a listing of the next several dates for the dance we do in Durham on the first Thursday of every month.
  • About the Lamprey River Band. A brief description of the band and why I put them befofe most of the remaining material.

The Lamprey River Band Story. This page has a fairly detailed history of the band along with some comments on its influence on local dancing. If you have any interest in the band I recommend that you look at this page.

About the Lamprey River Band

The Lamprey River Band is a traditional New England country dance (contradance) band. I should say right away that I am writing as the founder of the band and a member for over 35 years as I write (winter 2020). The band comes out of the tradition of the larger country dance orchestra; we are modeled loosely after the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra and the Maine Country Dance Orchestra.

We play for public dances and private dance parties to promote enjoyment and community on the part of the dancers. We started in 1983 and continue to exist for the enjoyment it brings us as musicians, and for the enjoyment we bring to our dancers. Our playing is characterized by a strong beat, clear melody and clear melodic phrases, all characteristics desirable in any band playing for New England dancing.

A quick mention of why the Lamprey River Band pages are so near the beginning of the Dance website. First, we are the oldest band that plays regularly in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire, and during much of that time our dances were the largest in the area. Therefore the band ends up being involved in many aspects of dancing in this part of the state. Second, this is the band's only website, and making it prominent helps with publicizing our dances.