An intensive weekend for piano accordion players of intermediate level and above. You’ll work with a crack team of tutors Paul Hutchinson , Murray Grainger and Rachel Bell.
You will spend time, in small groups, honing technique, repertoire and interpretation of folk tunes and accompaniment. Advanced players will also work on improvisation. There will be time for informal evening sessions and a Saturday night tutors’ concert.
The Reed Lounge will be providing a trade stand with boxes to try as well as a range of spares and accessories.
“I particularly enjoyed the camaraderie of the participants and the emphatic teaching to individual needs by the tutors.” 2018 Participant.
Who’s it For?
This course is for intermediate and advanced players. These are the course levels that we are using. If you are a complete beginner we are running a course suitable for you alongside this one (details here).
For this intermediate and above level course as a minimum requirement, you’ll need to know your way around the right hand and have an understanding of the left hand layout too. You’ll have a fair idea of rhythm, be able to follow at a reasonable pace, and be starting to think about musical style and how to control your sound. You’ll also need to be able to read music.
The Programme is available to download here.
Music for the 2019 course is available to download below.
You should have received an email from us telling you which group you are in; if not, please give us a call (or check your spam folder….). Please print and bring your music with you! We don’t expect you to be performance-ready (!) but please take some time to familiarize yourself with your course material before the weekend; it means workshops can focus on interpretation and technique, rather than learning tunes. Please note that Rachel has supplied two sets of tunes; you only need look at the first set in advance, but please print the ‘Extras’ and have a look at them if you have time. They may or may not feature in her workshops depending on time and the needs of the group!
“I left feeling more confident, with a more open mind on chording and with a renewed enthusiasm to TRY sometimes to play without music! Thanks so much for a helpful and friendly weekend with no responsibilities and loads of fun.” 2017 Participant.
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.
Rachel Bell is an accordion player, tunesmith, and music teacher from the wilds of Pennsylvania. She is new to Halsway but we are very excited that she is joining us as a tutor for this course as she is rarely home given the demand for her music throughout the United States and beyond. Her musical horizons span a variety of dance traditions from New England contras to English country dances and French dances. Rachel can be heard at dances and on the concert stage with Peregrine Road (with Karen Axelrod) in Alchemy (Eric Martin Karen Axelrod) and in Old World Charm School (with Karen Axelrod and Susan Kevra). She also plays contra dances with Seaglass (with Andrew VanNorstrand and Eileen Kalfass) and recently launched a brand new contra, concert, and French band with Becky Tracy: Eloise & Co. Her debut CD, “Tone Chamber,” was released in June, 2016, an her first album with Eloise & Co. will be available in July 2018. Rachel has also been collaborating recently with Susan Kevra to create a growing collection of English country dance/tune compositions.