Our July Concert

At our July concert, Colin Ensor started off the night playing Secondary Waltz and At The Balalaika. I then played played Black Mask Waltz and Oslo Waltz. It was now time for our guest artist Stefan Andrusychyn to take to the stage. Stefan was making his debut at Leyland but I had heard him before and I knew that we were were going to be in for a treat. He opened his first spot of the night with Tocata and Fugue in D by Bach. The classical theme continued with Sonata In F by Scarlatti and then on to 1st Movement- Winter by Vivaldi. After the classical pieces it was time for a tune often associated with the accordion, it was Frosini’s arrangement of Carnival of Venice. After Oblivion by Piazzola, he continued with Misty, Indifference and then an Anonymous Russian Folk Tune. As we approached the end of his first half he played Don Rhpsody. After the break, Bernard Belshaw played Radetzky March, Blaze Away, Moonlight Serenade, Spanish Gypsy Dance, Moulin Rouge, Pigalle, Ecstasy and You Make Me Feel So Young. Our next player, Graham Driver, played Weasel’s Revenge, Strike The Bell, Staten Island and Bonnets o’ Blue. Stefan then returned to the stage and finished the night with Monti’s Czardas, Beautiful Days, Autumn Leaves, Estoria from The Merry Widow, Dora’s Mazurka / Alvira, an anonymous Russian Tune, Russian Dance, Figaro’s Aria, Flick Flack, and finally to finish, Ukranian Waltz – The Skiff. Stefan provided us with some great music and he was very sociable chap who the audience quickly warmed to. Referring to his blindness he told a great story about his guide dog needing retraining because it keeps taking him to Tescos and to the dog grooming parlour. Earlier in the evening someone from the bar said to me that we have quite a few blind people in tonight, I was puzzled until he continued and said that Stefan kept bringing them in to the bar. He thought that Stefan was the seeing person and those holding his arm were all blind ! We will bring Stefan back next year, before he had finished his spot I was already being asked by various members in the audience when he was coming back . David Batty


Gypsy Arts Festival

The Gypsy Arts Festival South East takes place on September 6th and 7th at The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Kent, England. The festival features live music, dancing, storytelling, open fire cooking demonstrations and tastings, and various Gypsy Traveller crafts. The Festival will also feature music, step dancing and art workshops, and Gypsy Traveller film screenings. Most of the performers include accordions and/or melodeons, and The performers include The Orchard Family, The Jaipur Kawa Brass Band, Parno Graszt, Hai La Drum, The Walking Wounded, and Sarah the Singing Gypsy.


Tom Bennet and Audery Davies

Both Tom Bennett and Audrey Davies have recently suffered heart attacks, both are now home from hospital and doing well. We look forward to seeing them back at the club and send best wishes to the pair of them.


Birmingham Accordion Centre

We have update the Birmingham Accordion Centre website to include a list of the accordions on sale in the shop. This means you can now browse through the stock without having to leave home. The prices and specifications are listed alongside a photograph of each accordion. The site can be found at www.accordioncentre.co.uk.


V-Accordion Weekend

I have just found out that day or weekend passes are available for anyone interested in visiting the Roland V Accordion weekend at St. Audries Bay on 6th and 7th of September. The Sunday 7th promises to be a good one with over double the number of entrants on last year. Ring John on 01323 733700 or contact St. Audries Bay on 01984 632515 for further details.


This Wednesday

This Wednesday is our local players concert, featuring 3 hours of entertainment and fun from our own local talent. As usual, the doors open at 7.30 for an 8pm start. Make sure you turn up early for a good seat. Please bring your family and friends. I will see you on Wednesday.
David Batty


Irish Summer School

The 36th annual music summer school known as Scoil Éigse the Annual, organised by Comhaltas Ceoltori Eireann, took place in Tullamore this week. This summer school of Irish traditional music is the most comprehensive of its kind with classes on the fiddle, concert flute, whistle, 2-row button accordion, concertina, uilleann pipes, harp, banjo, piano accordion, traditional singing in English and Irish, set dancing, traditional dancing, accompaniment and Irish Language. The Scoil Éigse is a phenomenal development through which hundreds of Irish people as well as many visitors from foreign lands, come to a better and deeper understanding of Irish music and culture. There is no age limit at the Scoil Éigse and certainly no generation gap. Enthusiasm knows no age barriers and whether you are keen on learning sets or making a comeback on the accordion you will find fellow pupils to join you in a session, to exchange tunes, songs or steps. For further information about future events email: liza@comhaltas.com or visit www.comhaltas.com


Fleadh Cheoil

The 2008 All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil will be held in Tullamore, County Offaly, from August 22nd to 25th. The All Ireland, organised by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, is the world’s largest festival of Irish music, song and dance, with over 200,000 people gathering from all over the world, during this cultural celebration. There will be over 10,000 competitors and performers taking part in this mighty ‘Feast of Irish Music’. Accordions and other free reed instruments figure prominently at this festival. Separate solo competitions are held for the 2-row button accordion, piano accordion, concertina, harmonica, melodeon, and a ‘miscellaneous’ for a variety of instruments that includes three row diatonic and five row chromatic button accordion. There are also competitions for the following ensembles: duet, trio, ceili band, instrumental group, accordion band, and miscellaneous ensemble. For further information email: info@fleadh2008.com or visit their website www.fleadh2008.com


Accordions International 2008

Italy’s Pino Di Modugno (pictured right), returns to England as a chief guest at ‘Accordions International 2008’, Seacroft Holiday Village, Norfolk, November 14th to 17th. His previous UK festival was in 1997.Pino Di Modugno, winner of numerous national and international competitions in both jazz and classical music, is renowned as one of Italy’s accordion elite. He has performed in many countries, including the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal and Venezuela.Also appearing at ‘Accordions International 2008’ are the Lars Ek Hot Trio – Sweden, Giancarlo Caporilli (picture lower) – Italy, and UK artistes Stefan Andrusyschyn and Denise Leigh (soprano), Harry Hussey, Bert Santilly, and accordion sextet Norvic Concordia.‘Accordions International 2008’ continues a popular tradition of pre-Christmas festivals in the East Anglia region founded in 1986 by the late Malcolm Gee. The present organiser is Heather Smith.For further information email: heather@accordions.karoo.co.uk


British College of Accordionists

The 2nd BCA Francis Wright Memorial Scholarship is to be held on Sunday September 21st in Leicester. The three finalists selected are Caitlin Barnes-Davies, Thom Hardaker and Julie Langton. Caitlin is a former NAO national champion and a student of Stella Hughes. Thom a former student of Harry Hinchcliffe, has just completed his first year of study at the Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory in St Petersburg under Professor Oleg Sharov. Julie is the reigning NAO national champion and a student of Gina Brannelli. All have successfully attained Grade 8 BCA Examinations (or higher). The jury will consist of Raymond Bodell (BCA Principal), Alistair Gillespie (Senior Examiner), and Frederick Parnell. The British College of Accordionists, founded in 1936, has been offering graded examinations and diplomas for over 70 years and Francis Wright was for more than 30 years Chairman of the BCA Board of Administration. For further information email: bcaexams@btinternet.com


A Roland Is Born

If you are interested in the production of Roland Electronic accordions and would like to see around the factory making them then you must visit www.accordionusa.com/fe_08_08.htm where you can see the production process in glorious colour pictures. This web page is a great insight into how their accordions are assembled and tested. There is rumoured to be a new Roland accordion being released on the 12th of September in Paris.


Accordion Encyclopedia

Since January 2008, student Sabrina Fuetterer, as a part of her degree dissertation at the Institute of Cultural Administration in Ludwigsburg, has had online an accordion encyclopedia which she has initiated with assistance from the Hohner-Conservatory of Trossingen. The objective of her project is to collect knowledge about the accordion and to make it accessible to everyone, who is interested in accordions. This new source is available in German and English, making it possible to exchange opinions on the web in these two languages. For further information email Sabrina Fuetterer: fuetterer@hohner-konservatorium.de