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BUSH DANCE, IRISH SET DANCE, CONTRA DANCE & MUSIC PERFORMANCE
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The MFS is a non-profit community organisation operating in the ACT-Monaro region providing access to both entertainment and direct involvement in a wide range of folk music, dance, and spoken word activities. See: What the Monaro Folk Society does. The MFS is based in Canberra, Australia.
Objectives of the Monaro Folk Society
The basic objectives of the Society are to foster enjoyment of and interest in all aspects of folk lore; including singing, dance, music, stories, ballads, poetry and literature.
Where did the MFS come from?
The Monaro Folk Society was in many ways a product of the Australian folk revival of the 1960s. In 1969, the students of Campbell High School, together with the teachers and a few ‘folky’ friends, produced Dick Diamond’s Australian musical “Reedy River”. This event seems to have focussed a burgeoning interest in bush music and folk culture in the Canberra region. The Monaro Folk Music Society was formed shortly after, primarily to facilitate the running of Canberra’s first folk festival at the ANU in 1970.
The Society went on to host regular bush dances at the Yarralumla Woolshed, as well as many other events including three National Folk Festivals.
In 1989, the Society funded the launch of the Merry Muse Folk Club, and this was made an official activity of the Society, as its the performance and entertainment arm, in 1995.
The Society, which changed its name from the Monaro Folk Music Society to the Monaro Folk Society Inc. in 2002, remains a vibrant and well-respected organisation to this day. A detailed history of the Society from its roots until the end of the 20th century was published in 2004.
The Society is the registered proprietor of The Merry Muse.
What does the MFS do?
The MFS works for its objectives through an extensive program of entertainment, education and mutual assistance. The Society’s top-quality performance venue – The Merry Muse – doesn’t only showcase local and touring artists, it also encourages performer development through walk-up opportunities.
The Society offers an extensive public dance program including classes, workshops, and display groups, with MFS dance bands providing live music at workshops and dances.
The Society provides a framework for the development of musicians of all levels through music and singing sessions and dance bands and provides advancement for learning and improving skills in group environments and performance, amplified on stage.
The Society also maintains relations with other organisations of like mind.
The Society’s newsletter Monaro Musings is published monthly except January. The newsletter commenced publication in 1991. Before publication of Monaro Musings began, there was a simpler publication, MFMS Newsletter.
What does the MFS look like?
The Monaro Folk Society Inc. is a not-for-profit community body incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory under the Associations Incorporation Act 1999. The Society is managed by an elected Committee of 10 members (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Public Officer, and five ordinary members), who are assisted by a number of appointees and appointed committees.
The Monaro Folk Society works with other organisations and individuals to promote its objectives.You will find links to those friends and associates throughout this website.
Joining the MFS
Membership of MFS is open to any person, and the membership year runs July to June.
Benefits of Membership MFS members are admitted to virtually all paid-entry MFS events at a preferential rate, and also receive the monthly Monaro Musings. Members can also take part in the Society’s music or singing sessions or dance display groups.
And one more thing — MFS is a very friendly social environment, for listeners and watchers as well as players, dancers and singers at all levels of skill!!