Our October Concert
Our October concert started with David Rigby playing Beautiful Dreamer, Let Me Call you Sweetheart, On Top Of Old Smokey, Clementine, Spinning Wheel, Whispering Hope, The Wild Rover and Highland Cathedral. Our next player was Patrick Halpin who played Spancil Hill, Tipperary, Coming Round The Mountain, Old Flames, Leaving Of Liverpool, Danny Boy, Fraulein and McAlpines Fusiliers. John Robinson was next on the stage, John gave us Rare Old Moutain Dew, Whistling Gypsy, Burning Bridges, Green Fields Of France and Blaydon Races. Our next player was Ann Parker playing Chopsticks, Romanze, Beautiful Days and Tarantella. After the break we continued with Rebecca playing Home on the Range, My Wild Irish Rose, Valse D’Amile and Moon River. Much to the delight of the audience we were now to be treated to a spot from Helen Rich who is one of our previous guest artists. Helen took to the stage and gave us a mini guest artist spot playing Trieste Overture, Bourrasque, Brahms Hungarian Dance, Toby, Sonatina In G, Some Jigs, Chanson D’Amour and Cubanola. Helen then played one of her own compositions which Helen wrote for her O Levels when she was 15. Helen then continued her spot with a Russian tune ending with Frosini Variations. Bernard Bamber had the unenviable job of following Helen. Bernard started with I Love You Because and then went on to play Paper Roses, You’re The Only Good Thing, He’ll Have To Go and I’ll Be Your Sweetheart. It was time for the last two players of the night, our first one was Sara Daly playing I’ve Got Spurs, Marble Halls, The Ash Grove and I’m Confessin That I Love You. Finally to finish the night I played Whispering Hope and Now Is The Hour.
This Wednesday our concert night features Craig Bradley as our guest artist. This is the first time Craig has played at the club. Craig will be playing a nice variety of music from Folk to Classical with the emphasis on light popular music that should appeal to everyone. I hope you can come along and support him. Please tell anyone who you think might be interested in coming along and if you are a player then please remember to bring your accordion. See you on Wednesday. Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start.
Christmas Songs for Our December Concert
Its that time of year when it’s a good idea to brush up on your Christmas tunes and your Party Pieces for our December concert night. For our last concert of the year we always have our Jacobs Join (see separate story) and we also encourage people to entertain us with another instrument if they play one. In Previous Years we have had keyboards, poems, guitar, bagpipes, drums, new duets having a go together and monologues being recited while we enjoyed our food and of course Accordions. If you have never played on the stage at the club then in December it is a nice easy night to make your debut.
January Guest Artist Night Change
In January we have a change from our concert night format, this is due to logistical problems with running a guest artist night on the 21st of January. The 21st of January will now be a practice night. This means that both of our January meetings will be Practice nights. This is an informal night where players play in different spots around the room, talk, drink coffee and socialise. We return to our concert night format in February with a local players concert on the 18th of February. Practice nights are informal nights where players (and non players) get to chat and get to know each other better. There is nothing arranged or directed on practice nights and you don’t have to keep quiet, so it’s a great chance to socialise, learn, drink coffee and chat while listening to others play.
We are starting to collect Membership fees for 2015, this is to remain at the same price it has always been which is £5 per year. With inflation you could say that every year its got cheaper to be a member of the club and to attend our concerts because I have kept the fees as low as possible, I try to keep prices down to make the club affordable but to manage to cover all our expenses and pay artists to play for us. You can pay your membership on the door in November, December or January. The proceeds go towards the great artists we have lined up in the coming months, stamps for postage and also an Internet service to send out the newsletters to those who choose to receive the newsletter by email (those who get the newsletter by email get working links they can click on rather than have to type in). If you are paying by cheque please make your cheque payable to “David Batty”.
Our December meeting is our annual Jacobs Join Christmas Party. This is where we all bring along some sandwiches, meat pies, sausage rolls, cake or something else to make a feast to share. This is the last time you get to see other club members this year. This is also the one club night a year that anything goes, if you play the keyboard then bring it along. Spanish Guitar, singing, juggling and any other talents are welcome at our December night as well as normal accordion playing.
Ron passed away on the 10th October 2014, His Funeral was held on 14th October with Harry Hussey playing at Ron’s Service. Ron was a well know Accordionist and an Examiner at the British College of Accordionists, National Accordion Organisation Chairman, Composer, Arranger, Orchestra MD at his Accordion Orchestra Ronmar and an Accordion Teacher. Ron was born in Carlisle on 22nd January 1929, he was given an accordion as a Christmas present in 1935, Ron took the British College of Accordionists examinations and passed all 8 of them. When Ron was called up for National Service in the 40’s and his accordion went with him. He took part in the World Arts Festival in Moscow in 1957 and won a silver medal, from this Ron went on to learn free bass. Ron ran a successful Accordion School and Orchestra in Carlise until 2005, well known accordionists that came from the School and Orchestra are Julie Best, Craig and Scott Bradley and many more, Ron’s Orchestra took part in competitions where they won the All Britain championships twice. Later Ron and Julie Best became a Duo and toured Accordion Clubs and Festivals, the Duo played at Leyland Accordion Club in 2002. Ron released a number of CD’s. Ron is survived by his wife Margaret and son Ivor and Grandchildren.
Craig Bradley November Guest Artist
Our guest artist this Wednesday is Craig Bradley from Manchester. Craig has been playing the accordion for over 30 years and has been a UK accordion championship prize-winner on more than one occasion in solo, duet and ensemble classes, he has also been teaching accordion and piano for nearly 20 years. As well as getting a Degree in Music he has reached Grade 8 in both accordion and piano. Craig is an accordion teacher and is currently giving lessons to at least one of our players from Leyland and is one of those teachers who is happy to teach players to play the kind of music they like to play, rather than test pieces more suited to competitions. On Wednesday you can expect to be entertained with a variety of Argentinian Tangos, French Musette pieces, Folk tunes and Classical pieces. I hope you can attend the club on Wednesday to support Craig as he makes his debut at Leyland.
Midland Accordion Festival
The Midland Accordion Festival was held on 7th—9th of November 2014, The Artists at the festival were Alan Young, Roy Hendrie, Rosemary Wright, Malachy Cairns, Helen Rich, Harry Hussey, Jovan Rnjak, Sarah Chant, Helen Newton & Nigel Pasby and Gary Bell. Elementary Band was led by Rosemary Wright, Vintage band led by Adrienne Griffiths and Scottish Band led by Angie Lukins. Saturday also featured an hour of Play Your Party Piece (which is the same format as our Local Players nights) Harry Hussey held a workshop where you could have any questions answered. On Sunday a 2 minute silence led by Stan Shakespeare and Alan Young was followed by players performing pieces they had learnt over the weekend. The next Midlands Accordion festival is to be held on 6th to 8th of November 2015.
Accordionist Charlie Watkins passed away on 28th October 2014 aged 91, Charlie’s funeral was held on 7th November. Charlie was the creator of PA Systems, his PA Systems were widely used and powered many festivals such as the Stones in the park concert in 1969, Charlie can been seen sat on the side of the stage in the video of the stones in the park concert. Charlie joined the merchant navy at the age of 14, he served throughout the war it was in the navy that Charlie learnt to play the Accordion and became interested in the structure and mechanics of the guitar, when Charlie returned home after the war he hoped to make the grade as a professional musician. In 1949 Charlie and his brother Reg opened a Record shop in Tooting, London, 1951 they moved to a small shop in Balham, London and started selling Guitars and Accordions. Charlie’s fascination with the guitar, its mechanics and now its electronic reproduction paved the way to the first Watkins “Westminster” Guitar amplifiers and later the “Copicat” Echo and the “V” Fronted Dominator amplifier. 1957. Charlie’s brother Reg opened a factory in Chertsey, Surrey where Reg designed and produced the 2nd. British made solid electric Guitar being beaten to the post by a week or two by the Dallas “Tuxedo”. Joined later by their brother Syd Watkins they developed the Watkins Rapier Guitars into an immediate and lasting success. They were made by the 1000 and sold all over the world. 1958. Invented the “Watkins Copicat®” Echo unit. Inspired by the “Morino Marini” Quartet of ‘Comi Prima’ fame. 1966. Invention of the “Slave” P.A. System. 1967 Balloon Meadow, Windsor, England, August 1967, Fleetwood Mac make their first live appearance. The first 1000 watts of pure Hi Fi power used in live music had arrived. The neighbourhood was stunned by the sound system and Charlie ended up being arrested for disturbing the peace. There is a 6 minute video on Youtube of Charlie talking about how he made his first amp bit.ly/1ExqKuV. This is a brief summary of Charlie’s History, to read more visit Charlies website and read the history page www.wemwatkins.co.uk/history.htm. Charlie had Blaze Away as his signature tune, so on the last night of the Midland Accordion Festival Alan Young and Harry Hussey played Blaze Away as a tribute to Charlie.