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Entertainment Highlights: School Principal Returns to Music Career

  • Chance Lindsley practices on the banjo while at Alumni Hall in Haverhill, N.H., on April 5, 2016. (Valley News- Sarah Priestap)

  • Chance Lindsley, the principal at Newbury Elementary School and a musician, at Alumni Hall in Haverhill, N.H., on April 5, 2016. (Valley News- Sarah Priestap)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/6/2016 10:00:41 PM
Modified: 4/7/2016 11:14:11 AM

Forgive Chance Lindsley if he gazes in wonderment around the Alumni Hall stage while he plays his banjo-guitar hybrid with Bow Thayer, Patrick Ross and other Twin State roots music luminaries in Haverhill this weekend.

The principal of nearby Newbury Elementary School will probably be flashing back to a way of life he thought he’d left behind in the mid-1990s.

“After college, I went out to California and played the coffeehouses,” Lindsley, now in his early 40s, recalled this week. “And I got my head pounded into the sand. I realized that the business aspect of music is not so easy, and went back to Indiana for my master’s degree.”

While a career in education — first teaching second- and fifth-graders in inner-city Gary, Ind., then serving as an assistant principal in Barrow, Alaska — was no easy path, either, but it was more stable.

Not long after moving to Vermont to take the helm in Newbury, Lindsley discovered that his life here could accommodate his musical inclinations.

“I sang last week with the kids at our assembly for student of the month,” he said. “And sometimes when our music teacher Hannah Judas leads a student performance, I’ll play with the kids. … We try to create opportunities for kids to develop their rhythm and follow their own path. They have a natural sense of fairness that, when they mix that with song, it’s the greatest hope for actual world peace, as opposed to politics and business.”

As for his own musical practice, Lindsley found an outlet through the annual variety show that Tom and Cathy Kidder of West Newbury put on at West Newbury Hall every spring.

“That’s where I met Patrick (Ross),” Lindsley said. “He heard my songs and got me out to the Stone Room” in neighboring Bradford, where Ross, a fiddler who lives in South Newbury, for several years has put on his Mountain Money roots-music series featuring area musicians. This weekend’s concerts in Haverhill, Ross is billing as the Mountain Money All-Stars.

“I’ve gotten back to writing songs,” Lindsley said, “and Patrick is opening doors back up, to bring that part of myself back to life.”

Music became part of Lindsley’s life while he grew up in rural Boone Grove, Ind., listening to his father’s Beatles records and playing drums in accompaniment to his father’s own singing.

“I’d be making up songs while we were mowing hayfields,” Lindsley said. “Once I got a guitar, the songs started happening. … Songwriting, for me, is something I cannot control but I love to do.”

Chance Lindsley joins the Mountain Money All-Stars at Haverhill’s Alumni Hall for two performances of roots music this weekend. The shows are scheduled for Saturday night at 7:30 and Sunday afternoon at 3. For tickets ($22 to $24) and more information, call 603-989-5500 or visit

Best Bets

The seven members of the Swingle Singers bring their Grammy-winning a cappella sound to Dartmouth College’s Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover tonight at 7. For tickets ($17 to $30) and more information, visit or call 603-646-2422.

The We’re Acting to End Violence (WAEV) troupe will perform Unedited Voices of the Upper Valley: The Rising tonight at 7:30 at Lebanon Opera House. The show, sponsored by the WISE social service agency, features valley residents reading, dancing and singing to share their personal stories of surviving domestic and sexual violence. There will also be presentations from two Vermont police officers and a nurse-examiner specializing in sexual assault. While admission is free, donations are welcome. To learn more or to volunteer in the production, call Abby Tassel at 603-448-5922, extension 102, or email

Under the direction of M. Carl Kaufman, the Parish Players open a production of Nora and Delia Ephron’s comedy Love, Loss and What I Wore at the Eclipse Grange on Thetford Hill on Friday night at 7:30. The show runs the next three weekends, through April 24, including Thursday and Friday night shows the next two weeks. For tickets ($12 to $15) and more information, visit or call 802-785-4344.

The Brazilian Companhia Urbana de Danca caps its residency at Dartmouth College this weekend with three performances of street and contemporary dance. In addition to shows in Moore Theatre on Friday and Saturday nights at 8, the ensemble will give a free HopStop performance, in the Hop’s Alumni Hall, for kids and families at 11 on Saturday morning. For tickets ($17 to $40) or for more information, visit or call 603-646-2422.

The Newport Opera House Association stages the musical Oliver! at the opera house this weekend. Shows of the adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist are scheduled to start at 7:30 on Friday and Saturday nights and at 2 on Sunday afternoon. To reserve tickets ($15 to $20) and learn more, visit or call 603-863-2412.

As a benefit for the nonprofit Safeline Inc.’s programs for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, the comedy ensemble Divas Do Good perform at Lake Morey Inn and Resort in Fairlee on Saturday night at 8. For tickets ($20) and information, call 802-685-7900 or email

Looking Ahead

The National Theatre Live series of HD simulcasts of major productions from London resumes next Thursday night at Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center, with a screening of Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s The Hangmen. The less-dark-than-usual comedy, by McDonagh standards, stars David Morrissey (of the cable TV zombie series The Walking Dead) as a renowned executioner facing obsolescence after England abolishes hanging. The lights go down in Loew Auditorium at 7. For tickets ($23) and more information, visit or call 603-646-2422.

John Gorka, the folk veteran who admits in one of his signature songs to being from New Jersey, plays at Flying Goose Brew Pub and Grille in New London next Thursday night at 8. Reservations are required. For tickets ($25) and more information, visit or call 603-526-6899.

Next Thursday is the deadline for singers, dancers and actors ages 7 and older to sign up for the auditions that North Country Community Theatre will hold at the Dance Collective in West Lebanon on April 16 and 17 for its July production of The Secret Garden. To schedule an audition, email To learn more, visit

To benefit the Mascoma Valley Regional High School senior class’s Project Graduation, Mo’Combo and the Little Town Horns will perform a “Rock Island Blues Review” on April 15 at 7 p.m. at the Mountain Meadow Golf Lounge and Event Center in West Canaan. For tickets ($10) and more information, visit or call 603-769-4093.

Erin Harpe and the Delta Swingers will play and sing the blues at New Socials Bar and Grill in Claremont on April 15 at 7. Admission is free. For more information, call 603-287-4416 or visit

Theater/Performance Art

Shaker Bridge Theatre in Enfield lowers the curtain on its three-weekend run of Sarah Treem’s The How and the Why with 7:30 stagings tonight, Friday night and Saturday night and at 2:30 on Sunday afternoon. The drama, by the writer of HBO’s In Treatment and of the first season of Netflix’s House of Cards, mixes academic arguments about evolution with two woman biologists’ identity crises. For tickets ($16 to $32) and more information, visit or call 603-448-3750.

Northern Stage wraps its production of Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop this weekend at the Barrette Center for the Arts in White River Junction, starting with performances at 2 this afternoon and 7:30. Subsequent stagings of the drama, which reimagines the last night of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. through a conversation with a maid at a Memphis hotel, are scheduled for 7:30 Friday night and for 2 on Saturday afternoon. For tickets ($30 to $55) and more information, visit or call 802-296-7000.


Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Famer Roger McGuinn, cofounder of The Byrds, performs at Woodstock’s Town Hall Theatre tonight at 7:30. For tickets ($35 to $45) and more information, visit or call 802-457-3981.

Kayla Denny of Bethel, Carol Moriarty of Woodstock and Nora Skolnick of Braintree, Vt., play with the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra during its spring concert at the Unitarian Church in Montpelier on Saturday night at 7. For tickets ($12 to $15) and more information, visit or call 802-229-4191 or email

As a preview to the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra’s May 28 performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, guest conductor Filippo Ciabatti on Sunday night gives the first of two talks about the work’s structure, harmonic innovations and philosophical grounding. The first talk takes place at 7:30 at Faulkner Recital Hall, at the basement level of the Hopkins Center in Hanover. Part 2 of the presentation will take place on April 17 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit


Hosted by the Upper Valley Jewish Community, the New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival completes the Hanover portion of its run with screenings of two feature movies in room 013 of Dartmouth College’s Carpenter Hall over the next four days. Tonight at 7, the Upper Valley Jewish Community hosts Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa, a documentary about a white Jewish lawyer who endured persecution while supporting the anti-apartheid movement. The series closes on Sunday afternoon at 4 with Dough, which stars Jonathan Pryce as the aging owner of a struggling bakery in Israel that sees a jump in business after his new, Muslim apprentice starts mixing a certain controlled substance into the bread dough. While admission to all screenings is free, donations are welcome. For more information on the festival offerings in Hanover, call 603-646-0460. For more information about festival screenings elsewhere in the state, visit

Dartmouth College alumnae Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg, whose previous collaborations include the acclaimed Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, unveil their latest documentary, In My Father’s House, at the school’s Loew Auditorium in Hanover tonight at 7. The 93-minute film follows Oscar- and Grammy-winning rapper Che “Rhymefest” Smith around Chicago’s South Side over a period of 18 months, while he struggles to reconnect with the father who abandoned him more than 20 years before. For tickets ($5 to $9) and more information, visit or call 603-646-2422.

The Protect Our Wildlife advocacy group screens the film Medicine of the Wolf during its gathering at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich on Sunday night. With perspectives ranging from naturalist Jane Goodall to Native Americans, the 2015 documentary by Julia Huffman explores the struggle in Minnesota to help wolves co-exist with human residents. The gathering, which starts at 5:30, also features presentations by the advocacy group Project Coyote, by Vermont wildlife rehabilitator John Aberth and by the Upper Valley Humane Society, as well as a silent auction. For more information, email


Hanover Yoga Studio on Lyme Road is inviting Upper Valley residents ages 16 and up to a meditative “trance dance” tonight 6:30 to 8. Admission is $14. For more information, email

Bar and Club Circuit

Joseph Stallsmith sings and strums at the Canoe Club in Hanover tonight at 6:30. Following him to the microphone with 6:30 to 9:30 shows over the coming week are guitarist Billy Rosen on Friday, saxophonist Katie Runde and guitarist Ted Mortimer on Sunday, pianist Bob Lucier on Tuesday and guitarist Ted Mortimer with a solo set on Wednesday. And on Monday night starting at 5:30, Marko the Magician performs tableside sleight-of-hand.

The Bone Factory pulls into Windsor Station tonight from 7 to 10 to play Americana music and more. Next up in the coming week are Derek and the Demons on Friday night at 9:30, the “psychedlic prog-hop” ensemble Binger on Saturday night at 9 and the Ruby Street duo of Shelly and Robbie Parker with an acoustic set on Tuesday night at 6.

Singer-songwriter-pianist Matt Meserve plays at Jesse’s restaurant in Hanover on Friday night at 5.

Singer-guitarist David Greenfield performs at the Colatina Exit in Bradford on Friday night, 7 to 10.

The folk duo of Mark and Deb Bond plays in the loft at the SILO Distillery on Sunday from noon to 2.

Open Mics

Ed Cheramie hosts the monthly First Thursday Morning Jam at ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret today starting at 9:30. For more information, visit

The Mon Vert Cafe in Woodstock hosts its monthly recital of poetry tonight from 5:30 to 7. While admission is free, space for performers is limited to 10. To reserve a spot and learn more, call 802-457-2758 or visit Recite! at Mon Vert Cafe on Facebook.

Ramunto’s Brick & Brew Pizza in Bridgewater hosts an open mic starting at 7:30 on Thursday nights. Performers receive a free large cheese pizza.

String players of all ages and abilities are welcome at the weekly acoustic jam session at South Royalton’s BALE Commons on Friday night from 6:30 to 10.

Al Carruth and E.J. Tretter host the Sunapee Community Coffeehouse’s monthly open-mic on Friday night at 7, in the basement of the Sunapee Methodist Church. Singers, storytellers and other performers should sign up before showtime with the hosts.

Joe Stallsmith leads a weekly hootenanny of Americana, folk and bluegrass at Salt hill Pub in Hanover on Monday nights at 6.

Bradford’s Colatina Exit holds an open mic on Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

The Seven Barrel Brewery in West Lebanon runs an open mic on Tuesday nights at 8.

Jim Yeager hosts an open mic at Hartland’s Skunk Hollow Tavern, at 8:30 on Wednesday nights.

David Corriveau can be reached at and at 603-727-3304.

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