Fiddling Around

My ears were recently filled with the sweet sounds of fiddling while working on two stories for the Valley News. In Montpelier, Vt., the Northeast Fiddlers Association had their monthly gathering on a Sunday afternoon. After an hour of playing together, players signed up to play a selection of 3-4 songs. The group celebrated their 50th anniversary a couple of years ago. The next day, I photographed Patrick Ross rehearsing in Newbury, Vt., with fellow players for the Mountain Money All-Stars’ three-show concert. Here’s a few of my favorites:

From top, Jill Newton, of Saxtons River, Vt., plays with a group of fiddlers and accompanists on guitar, banjo, mandolin and percussion shakers during the monthly gathering of the Northeast Fiddlers Association; Len Dessormeau, of Colchester, Vt., practices and decides which four tunes to play onstage; Lee Deyette, of Randolph, Vt., checks the sound of a fiddle that belonged to the late Martin Wheeler, of West Topsham, Vt., as Oleta Marckres, of Eden, Vt., watches. Deyette said the fiddle, a raffle prize at the get-together, had not been played in a while and its liveliness would come back once it returns to performance; The group jams at the start of the gathering; From left, roots musicians Chance Lindsley, of South Ryegate, Vt., Patrick Ross, of Newbury, Vt., and Hunter Paye, of Portland, Ore., rehearse at Ross’s home for three upcoming Mountain Money All-Stars shows. Paye grew up in the Bradford area and is back visiting his mother; Lindsley, who is the principal at Newbury Elementary School, is recovering from recent heart problems that nearly killed him; Ophelia Ross, 2, helps her father with the fiddle during the rehearsal.

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March Madness

In the past few weeks Upper Valley teams took to the road to pursue high school championships and I have been following them for the Valley News with my cameras and laptop. It’s a treat to photograph the teams’ athleticism and the emotional support from fans!

From top, Lebanon basketball players Olivia Greeley, Joslin Wainwright, Josephine Brown, Kassidee Rogers and Rebecca Wright wait on the bench for the state championship awards presentation in Manchester, N.H., along with student fans after their 44-35 win over Hollis Brookline for the school’s sixth state title; Thetford coach Eric Ward, right, the team’s bench and their fans encourage the Panthers as Windsor’s lead shrinks late in their championship game in Barre, Vt. Thetford won on a last-second shot, 53-52; Stevens High School sophomore Derrick Stanhope, center, cheers with a capacity crowd watching the championship game with Kearsarge in Manchester, N.H.; Stevens’ Nick O’Brien and the Kearsarge fans react to the Cougars’ 51-46 win over the Cardinals; Former Hanover High hockey players, from left, Eliza Laycock, Delia Nahabedian, Kelly Brigham and Matti Hartman congratulate current players Cici Barton, left, and Maddie Lyons as they leave the ice with their championship hardware in Manchester. Hanover defeated Exeter, 3-1, for their eighth straight title and the ninth in the past decade; Windsor assistant coach Sarah Attwood consoles freshman Olivia Rockwood following the Yellowjackets’ championship loss to Thetford in Barre.

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Giving Back

As the Upper Valley’s Town Meetings begin this week, I did my first video (yikes!) and portraits of a few elected officials for the Valley News and asked why they felt public service was important. Web editor Maggie Cassidy’s editing skills made the video shine!

From top, Euclid Farnham, Tunbridge’s moderator for 35 years; Kelly McConnell, Hanover school board member for two years; Mary O’Brien, on the Hartland selectboard for 14 years; Marianne A. Blake, elected as Windsor’s Lister/Assessor for 25 years; Jeff Peavey, Lebanon school board member for 14 years; Phil Carter, Canaan cemetery trustee for 10 years.

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Couples’ Choice



Geoff Hansen Photography ReviewsFor the second year in a row, I have been given the 2017 Couples’ Choice award by WeddingWire! The web site gives the honor to the top five percent of professionals in their network, based upon the reviews given by couples. I’ve met so many wonderful people as a wedding photographer — I really appreciate their opinions about me and my work (which can be seen by choosing the icon at right).

All Together

Last weekend, I photographed an annual tradition in Hartland — the Famous Roast Beef Supper at the First Congregational Church for a Valley News story. Started in 1966, the dinner is held on six consecutive Saturdays and is put together by volunteers from the church and the community. It was inspiring to see everyone pitching in for a good cause! Follow this link to read the story.

From top: Volunteer hostess Linda Genovese, of Hartland, Vt., checks her list of diners to be seated. Instead of waiting in line, this year diners listened to piano music in the sanctuary; Volunteers Ali DeCuollo, left, and Jean Day, both of Hartland, laugh about their hands cramping while helping to peel 150 pounds of potatoes for the supper. Day has been helping since 1968 — this year is DeCuollo’s first; Gordon Barbour, right, of Windsor, Vt., enjoys his meal with his sisters as volunteer server Stub Fernandez, left, of Hartland, hustles to refill a serving platter; From left, kitchen crew volunteers Rhonda Lamica, Harriet Dumas, Carmen Summarsell, Pat Richardson and Mike French (in background), all of Hartland, laugh about the gag prize — a cookbook “Cooking in the Nude” — Dumas won for having the closest guess to the evening’s turnout of 229. Leftover rolls were sold after church the next day and beef, rolls and gravy were part of a meal church members put together on Tuesday for the Hixon House, an adult homeless shelter at the Upper Valley Haven; Diners head home after attending the annual Famous Roast Beef Supper. Two-hundred sixty pounds of rolled prime rib beef, 100 dozen rolls, 150 pounds of potatoes and 45 pies are prepared for each of the meals held on six consecutive Saturdays.

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After Dark

Lately, I’ve been working several night shifts at the Valley News, filling in for staff photographer absences. Arriving home bleary-eyed is not much fun, but I do enjoy photographing sports for its drama and the challenge to see the usual in a new way. Here’s a few of my favorites:

From top: Windsor’s Ben Meagher drives through the Newport defense by (from left) Ethan Houde, Cole McNamara John Thibault and Noah Wood in the third quarter in Windsor, Vt.; Dartmouth’s Eleni Tebano (9) challenges Cornell’s Valerie Audet for control of the puck at center ice early in the second period of their Ivy League game in Hanover, N.H.; Thetford’s Danielle Robinson (4) vies for a rebound with Windsor’s Ashleay Wilcox, left, and Anika Abrahamsen in the first half of the game in Thetford, Vt.; Long Trail’s Will McCullough (12) splits the defense by Sharon’s Harvey Kelley (21) and Joshua Amodeo in the second half of the game in Sharon, Vt.; Lisa Johnson, of Hanover, N.H., center, Eric Colberg, of Lyme, N.H., second from right, and Steve Kahl, of Hanover, right, work as volunteer markers on the 20-meter jump at a five-team meet in Hanover. Their children also compete on the Hanover High School team.; Oxbow’s Shirley Hayward draws a charge from Montpelier’s Maggie Barbero-Menzel while pressing in the first quarter of their game in Bradford, Vt.; Hartford sophomore forward Jasmine Wilson is congratulated by her teammates after scoring a hat trick against North Country-Lyndon in White River Junction, Vt.; Hartford sophomore Cole Gardner-Buisson watches his roll progress while warming up with his teammates before the start of a four-team match in Springfield, Vt.

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Rebels with a Cause

Last weekend, I photographed the Mr. TA Pageant for a Valley News photo page. The Thetford Academy event is a silly spoof of beauty pageants but is also a fundraiser to help Rwandan students receive a high school education. The fifth annual pageant rasied a record $6,400, enough to help 10 Rwandan students! Follow this link to see more work in the Photo Galleries section of the newspaper’s web site.

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From top: Thetford Academy junior Colombe Kayihura rehearses a traditional Rwandan dance with classmates during a rehearsal. The pageant is an annual fundraiser for Rwandan children’s education — an anonymous donor paid for Kayihura’s flight to the United States and she is spending the school year on campus; From left, seniors Reshma Rampersaud and Maggie Harlow, Kayihura and sophomores Owen Deffner and Aiden Cudhea (dressed as the Panther masot) laugh at one of the dance numbers during a rehearsal; Senior Noah Perry demonstrates his favorite dance move during the Meet the Contestants portion of the pageant. Perry’s escort, senior Hannah Harkins, is at right; Dressed as Melania Trump, Owen Deffner tells the same jokes his brother and fellow contestant Eamon Deffner told a few minutes before; Shirtless following the talent portion of the show, senior Mitchell Higgins, second from right, his dancers, from left, juniors Dylan Thorburn and Nick Moses and sophomore Aiden Cudhea and escort senior Reshma Rampersaud plead for cash votes. Audience members voted for contestants with donations to the Raise Rwanda charity, with $6,400 raised in donations and ticket sales; Junior Eli Kaliski reacts as classmate Gabrielle Curtis is named the winner of the Mr. TA Pageant. Started in 2011 as a spoof of beauty pageants to raise money for Rwandan children’s education, Curtis entered this year to spoof the spoof; Curtis is congratulated by friends on the stage after winning the pageant.

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