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  1. This is a first announcement of the Concertina Weekend at the Palestine Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival in Palestine, Texas on March 23-25, 2017…our thirteenth! Always a musical treat in the midst of fragrant springtime dogwood and azalea blossoms, this will be a special one. This year, our concertina workshops will be graced by not one but two skilled and renowned teachers and performers from the other side of the pond: a repeat appearance by Ann Kirrane, of Tuam, Co. Galway Ireland, and a first time visit by Roger Digby, of Fordham, Essex, UK. Both will give multiple workshops as well as perform in concerts. Ann, a daughter of famed concertina player Chris Droney in north Clare, will teach Droney family tunes from that region, as well as sing and play in concert. Roger, a well known performer in southeastern England as well as a proponent of traditional English Country Music, will teach workshops on left hand Anglo technique as well as bellows control. All this occurs in the midst of an old time music festival with friendly sessions and twice-a-day concerts. Performers and teachers, on all manner of stringed instruments, come from all over the Southern States and Midwest. It is a small festival, meaning that one can readily access all the performers, and all the sessions are welcoming. A search of this website for ‘Palestine’ will bring up many reports from past years, where our previous concertina headliners have included Jody Kruskal, Bertram Levy, John Roberts, and others. You can also visit the main festival site at http://www.oldpalmusic.com . We hope you can come! If interested, please send a message to me via this site that includes your email address, and I’ll put you on the mailing list for further details as they emerge: costs, schedules, sheet music, etc. The following includes snapshot bios of Ann and Roger; we are excited at having both of them attend! Cheers, Dan Ann Kirrane (née Droney) is a member of the famous Bellharbour family of traditional musicians. She plays concertina in the same style as her father Chris and grand-father Jim. Her father Chris, now in his 92nd year and still playing, is from the famous Burren region of north Co Clare, is known the length and breadth of the country and beyond. From the age of seven Ann learned to play and won at the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil on three occasions. While she continues to play, these days her clear soaring voice is her primary instrument. After the launch of her first solo album 'One Small Star' in 2004, Ann toured in the U.S. and this year her second album, 'Behind Yon Mountain' was launched at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Ennis, Co. Clare. She is currently touring the eastern U.S., and is hugely looking forward to a return visit to the Old Pal Festival in March 2017. She is a rare performer whose return visit is eagerly anticipated by both the concertina players and the festival crowd in general. An Anglo player for over 40 years, Roger Digby is known for his performance and knowledge of the traditional dance music of rural England, ‘English Country Music’. He founded ’Flowers and Frolics’ in the mid-70s, a band at the spearhead of the resurgence of interest in ECM and continues playing in that style today with ‘The Valiant Dance Band’. With the young, supremely talented, fiddle player Liz Giddings he has formed a highly respected duo playing a wider range of traditional music. He also gets together with Liz and Michael Sheehy once a month and plays the Sliabh Luchra music that Michael has taught him and he still, very rarely, recreates his long-standing musical partnership with Bob Davenport, now an octogenarian and regarded as one of the greatest living traditional singers in the UK. Roger has always enjoyed taking the Anglo into musics where it is not expected to be found! He is an experienced teacher and workshop leader. He has very forthright views on the nature, the importance, and the integrity of Traditional Music - a topic best avoided in his company unless you have a good few hours to spare! This is Roger’s first trip to the US since he took up concertina playing 40+ years ago….a rare treat for us.
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