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Lawrence Reeves

Concertina Maintenance Talk at the Southeast Tionól

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It was a pleasure to finally meet Greg in person, and he was the first person I chatted with when I arrived at the Harp Pub for our Friday night session. Greg was swarmed by many concertina cases, instruments and players. As soon as I was seated I was handed the new small Carroll concertina with the Art Deco finish. A very powerful instrument in a small package. I also played Greg's personal instrument which is number two. Again, a fine instrument indeed. We asked Greg to attend our event for two purposes, 1st to be on hand if any small adjustments might be needed, and secondly to give a one hour demonstration and talk on maintenance for concertinas. Greg was "one of the guys" during class, and I would say he had a great time in class. After our afternoon class on Saturday we went upstairs to a room set up for his talk. Greg covered many common problems that we may encounter in normal day to day use of new and vintage concertinas. We discussed debris clogging the reed ( happens to me), loose reeds in the pan, bad valves, and even the chamois felts that need occasional replacement and adjustment. He was able to clearly answer all questions fielded by both novice and experienced players in the room, and gave us some written information to take home. I really appreciate Greg's participation in our event, and it made a nice addition for the concertina players in attendance. Greg also had a few instruments as samples of the reed, vale and cracked reed pans we discussed. He suggested a few tools that we should all own, and what repairs we should feel comfortable tacking ourselves. Greg was also very popular with a few of us, auditioning some vintage instruments he has for sale. There is a Linota I am still lusting over, and hope to someday have( or a very similar one). We are already in the planning stages of the 2011 Southeast Tionól, which ill be in Orlando next year. Due to the successes of our past three concertina tutors, we are likely to have a concertina class again.

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I have known Greg for a number of years from the Noel Hill school and highly regard his skills with concertina repairs and tuning. It was great to see him again and participate in his repair clinic. We hardy had enough time to scratch the surface, but the session was very informative. He also seems to have a real knack for finding and fixing up worthy instruments which he then offers for sale. Larry wasn't the only one drooling!!

 

The concertina workshops at the Tionol were an enjoyable experience and I hope they will be repeated again next year at Orlando. I know I want to attend again.

 

Ross Schlabach

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