An informal evening of music featuring the tutors from our Piano Accordion Weekend – Paul Hutchinson, Murray Grainger, Amy Thatcher and Jane Ward – plus some spots from course participants too. An entertaining celebration of all things accordion!
Paul Hutchinson studied piano and church organ before being persuaded at the age of 17 to take up the accordion and form a ceilidh band. Since then he’s become one of the best-known and in demand players on the folk scene – in the UK and beyond – as one half of duo Belshazzar’s Feast, with trio Hoover the Dog, Pagoda Project (with Karen Wimhurst), and PLF. Paul is a regular tutor and musician at Halsway Manor, and the accordion tutor for EFDSS at Cecil Sharp House.
Murray Grainger is one of Britain’s most influential and innovative accordionists. Whether working with the finest orchestras, pushing the boundaries with his traditional projects or teaching around the UK, Murray is at the forefront of the British accordion scene. Trained in the classical accordion at The Royal Academy of Music, Murray has been a tutor in both classical and folk accordion at Chetham’s School of Music, on Newcastle University’s Folk and Traditional Music course, and as the Director of Education for Young Musicians Stornoway. He is a regular tutor on Halsway Manor’s Accordion Weekend.
Amy Thatcher is a professional accordionist based in the North East of England. Her reputation as one of the UK’s leading folk accordionists, both as a performer and composer, is garnered from working with luminaries such as Kathryn Tickell, Sting and The Royal Northern Sinfonia, The Shee and Monster Ceilidh Band. In 2009 Amy had the pleasure of collaborating with Sting on his Winter Song book and DVD, and contributed to his musical Broadway show “The Last Ship”. She’s an alumni of Newcastle University Folk Music Degree course and her exceptional accordion playing has taken her across the world from The Royal Albert Hall to the Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia, performing with small instrumental groups to full orchestras. She has a diverse range of musical influences and experiences, including contemporary avant-guard composer Terry Riley’s compositions to a hugely successful Leonard Cohen Tribute tour. 2019 saw the release of her debut album “Solo”, a dynamic and expressive instrumental album exploring new textures and arrangements for solo accordion. 2019 saw the release of her debut album “Solo”, a dynamic and expressive instrumental album exploring new textures and arrangements for solo accordion. “Amy has become my right hand woman” is how Tickell describes their working relationship over the last ten years.
Jane Ward has been playing accordion for 50 years. She performed extensively around Europe as lead player in Jenny’s Accordionists, and played in Scottish, German and Polish bands before agreeing to play for a morris side 28 years ago and discovering folk music! Following in the footsteps of Karen Tweed and Paul Hutchinson, Jane Ward took up the baton to lead the irrepressible No.1 Ladies Accordion Orchestra in 2014.