We’re delighted to welcome West Country Concertina Players to Halsway Manor to host a packed concertina workshop weekend for intermediate / advanced level players of all systems. You do not need to be a member of WCCP to come (though you might consider joining them – it’s only £10 annually); the weekend is open to all. This is a popular weekend and priority will be given to WCCP members through an opportunity to book early.
Workshop strands are as follows, you will need to let us know which group you’d like to join when booking:
- Concertina Band with Claire Wren
- English System – Dave Ball
- Anglo System – Andy Turner
- Duet System – Iris Bishop
An essential part of the team, ‘The Concertina Tinker‘ Dave Elliott will be in attendance throughout the weekend offering ‘Concertina A&E’ and practical advice and expertise regarding maintenance.
There will be time to relax in the comfort of Halsway Manor, with evening playing sessions in the bar, plus an informal tutor’s concert on the Saturday evening. There’s also the option to stay an extra night and book for Sunday supper, B&B, the perfect time to relax and unwind after a busy weekend of music and socialising.
A selection of music for the Duet, Anglo and English workshops and all music for those opting for Band will be made available ahead of the weekend. Band music will be part and instrument specific.
A note re. Band Workshop: We’ll be in touch, as Claire will need to know what instruments you will be bringing and whether you would be willing to lend or play other instruments within the band workshop. Band balance only works if enough people play lower pitch instruments. All players must be prepared to play at least one line on a lower pitched instrument.
Who’s it For?
WCCP offer a course for all abilities from beginners upwards in October each year – see website for details.
This Halsway course however is aimed at players at a more advanced level; you’ll be a competent player, fluent in your chosen system and ready to develop technique and repertoire in a group workshop environment. We regret that beginners / post beginners cannot be accommodated on this course.
You do not need to be a member of WCCP to come, but we are opening bookings early for WCCP members.
Claire Wren has been running concertina band workshops for over 25 years. She has written extensively for concertina band and smaller ensembles. Claire is the Musical Director of Banding Together and also directs her own concertina band “J25”. Claire’s favourite pastime is rehearsal!
Andy Turner has been singing traditional song for over 40 years, and playing Anglo concertina almost as long! He’s worked with many great names over the years, including The Oyster Band, and Chris Wood, and he’s currently kept busy playing for dance bands The Geckoes, Chameleons and Oxford Nags, plus concert band Magpie Lane. He continues to perform solo, concentrating on English songs and tunes from traditional sources, but also including self-penned dance tunes, and the occasional item by writers such as Billy Bragg, Bing Lyle, Elvis Costello and even George Formby!
Iris Bishop is one of the country`s best exponents of duet concertina and accordion, playing with a number of great bands and regularly accompanying Martyn Wyndham-Read. Also her expertise in knitting and associated design is second to none!
Dave Ball plays melodeon, violin – & English concertina! He is also a very experienced band leader and good-humoured dance caller, with a range of unusual dances and interesting tunes. In recent years he has been co-organiser and tutor for the Swaledale Squeeze; Festival Orchestra Leader at Whitby Folk Festival; played the concertina on the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London for an hour as part of an artwork by Antony Gormley. In June 2019 he completed a 5 year project collecting at least one tune for each day of the year, whose tune name references that particular day.
Dave Elliott: since inheriting his Great Uncle Harry’ s instrument many years ago, Dave has repaired, serviced, and restored literally hundreds of concertinas from the big bass to the minute miniatures; the finest of the Jeffries Anglos to the most basic, through the English system’s Aeolas, Edeophones to basic student models; 70 plus key duets too, well the list goes on. Keeping it in the family, he will be assisted over the weekend by his daughter Amanda.