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Old Palestine Concertina Festival & Workshop


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Happy New Year and greetings to all!

 

We are very excited to announce the 7th Annual Concertina Workshop in conjunction with the Palestine Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival in Palestine, TX, to be held March 24, 25 and 26, 2011. You can check out the Old Pal website at: www.oldpalmusic.com.

 

For those of you who have been before, you know how much fun it is spending two and a half full days and evenings of jam sessions, workshops, and concerts in the East Texas piney woods in springtime. If you haven't made it to Old Pal yet, the welcome mat is always out for concertina players of all types, from pre-beginner all the way to expert squeezer.

 

In addition to a wonderful old building full of dulcimers, guitars, mandolins, fiddles and shape note singers, the concertina players commandeer a couple of rooms specially for concertina workshops, jams and good fellowship.

 

This year's featured visiting concertina player is Jody Kruskal, renowned old time Anglo concertina player - yes, there really is such a thing! This will be his third time at the Old Pal Festival, and he will give four concertina workshops as well as appear in several concerts and jam sessions during the festival. His workshops will feature:

 

• Old Time Music for All Types of Concertina

• Old Time Music for Anglo Concertina

• Master Class

 

Check out his website at: www.jodykruskal.com for lots of news and great tunes.

 

Do you have a concertina you don't know how to play? Are you thinking of getting a concertina? Are you just learning or are you already an expert player? Ever wanted to learn old time music on the concertina? How about the chance to play ensemble music just like the concertina bands of yore? Do you enjoy the opportunity to meet fellow players and enjoy listening or playing along? If so, then this festival is for you!

 

The concertina workshops are in the final planning stages, so now is the time to send in any requests. We will have concertinas of all sizes and shapes and fingering systems - English, Anglo, Crane Duet, McCann Duet, Jeffries Duet, Hayden Duet, even a bass English, and who knows what else might show up. This is where you can see dozens of different concertinas all in one place, by just about every concertina maker imaginable. If you're thinking of getting a concertina, this is an excellent opportunity to look, learn and try the various types.

 

A special treat will be a repair workshop with noted Texas concertina builder Harold Herrington, maker of Herrington Concertinas. He is always eager to share his vast knowledge of concertina construction and repair, and he usually brings an exciting new prototype to show us.

 

Another favorite feature is our Concertina Banquet where concertina players with their spouses and friends dine together and then perform solo pieces for each other with all types of music on all types of concertinas.

 

All of this is in addition to nightly and lunchtime concerts by scores of Old Time musicians who come to this festival from all over the US, and did I mention there are jam sessions going on all the time, everywhere, even after the main concerts? The two-and-a half day festival is only $70 ($140 for families), and there is and additional $30 to cover the concertina [/font]workshops and guest artist (Jody Kruskal).

 

If you are planning on attending please let me know asap. Also let me know what type of concertina you play, and if there are any specific lessons or activities you'd like to see or participate in. We're a very egalitarian bunch who love to play and love helping others learn to play better, so no matter your skill level you're in good company.

 

Please send me a message with your email address to confirm your interest - that will also place you on the email list for pre-distribution of sheet music for the workshops as well as logistics information, etc. And please pass this information along to anyone you know who might be interested.

 

Last year we had about 20-25 concertina players from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and even California. Hope to see you all at this year's festival!

 

 

Gary Coover

English, Anglo and Jeffries Duet

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I wanted to come last year, couldn't make it, but this year I plan to be there! Since I play old-time music on guitar and mountain dulcimer as well as concertina, this event is a natural for me.

 

Question - Registration for the Old Pal old-time festival is at the door only - is any advance payment required for the concertina sessions?

 

Anybody looking to share a motel room, or transport to/from Dallas (Love Field)?

 

--TomR

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I wanted to come last year, couldn't make it, but this year I plan to be there! Since I play old-time music on guitar and mountain dulcimer as well as concertina, this event is a natural for me.

 

Question - Registration for the Old Pal old-time festival is at the door only - is any advance payment required for the concertina sessions?

 

Anybody looking to share a motel room, or transport to/from Dallas (Love Field)?

 

--TomR

Hi Tom,

 

The main festival charges at the gate. The extra 'concertina fee' will be collected at the first workshops.

 

One Dallas area attendee is Harold Herrington; try sending him a PM to see if he might know others from there.

 

Enjoy it...it is a great festival!

 

Cheers,

Dan

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  • 2 weeks later...

So far, we have at least 15 confirmed concertina players coming, and we're still two months away from the actual event - that's very exciting! We've got a good mix of English and Anglo, plus two Cranes and at least one Jeffries Duet. Still waiting to hear from any McCann Duet players. And there will be at least two English basses - we might have to work up the first ever concertina arrangement of "Big Bottoms" by Spinal Tap!

 

We will be sending music and notes out shortly for those who have confirmed they will be attending, so if you haven't yet me know yet please do so in the next week. I'll also send out info about the really cool concertina t-shirt designed by professional artist Carol Lay from LA.

 

As a sneak preview, Jody Kruskal is planning on teaching:

 

Elk River in G

Tombigbee Waltz in G

Shove the Pig’s foot a little Further in the Fire in G

Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss (Western Country) in D

Tenessee Mountain Fox Chase in C

 

I will be teaching a class on Third Row Anglo for those who might still be stuck on the C and G rows. Tunes will be Bobbing Joe in Dm, Leaping Jack in C, Herrington Hall in C, and a French Waltz in Dm.

 

We're also planning on a class of 4-part hymns, perhaps one on ear training and arrangement, a slow jam or two for beginners, arrangements for duets, and once again we'll tackle the Pachelbel Canon in D for those who are paper-trained and adventurous.

 

It's a pity Dan Worrall will be at his son's wedding elsewhere that same weekend. We offered them a concertina ceremony at Palestine but the offer was inexplicably declined. Probably something do to with the bride and groom hearing enough concertina from Dan at home? Dan's done such a great job organizing this event the past six years, we have some pretty big shoes to fill - he will definitely be missed. Dan, if you start having any withdrawal symptoms just phone in at any point and we'll conference in a tune. Sorry, but we're keeping all the good BBQ from Shep's to ourselves!

 

More info soon as the workshops develop. Once again, let me know if you're coming and I'll make sure we send you the music out in advance.

 

Thought for the day, from the words of Hugh O'Brian from a Bruce Lee movie on TV this week: "We ought to do some squeezing". Could Wyatt Earp's next movie be........wait for it........"Kung Fu Concertina"?

 

 

Gary

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm pleased to announce the concertina workshops have now been finalized for the concertina portion of the Old Palestine Music Festival, and we have a great location reserved for our annual Concertina Dinner. So far we have over 15 confirmed attendees, and we know there will always be quite a few who show up the day of.

 

If you are coming and you let me know which classes you're interested in, I'll make sure and send out any special music and mp3's so you can get an advance look or even a head start. If you play by ear, or consider yourself paper-trained, we've got you covered both ways.

 

These concertina classes will be for all systems:


  •  
  • Slow Jam (Nancy Bessent)
  • Tune Swap (Nancy Bessent)
  • Accompanying Tunes and Songs (Kurt Braun)
  • In the Footsteps of the Sally Army - Hymns for Concertina Bands (Ron Wilson)
  • Old Time Music for All Concertinas (Jody Kruskal)
  • Master Class with Jody Kruskal
  • Pachelbel's Canon in D (Ron Wilson & Gary Coover)
  • Construction & Repair with Harold Herrington

 

Specifically for English Concertina:


  •  
  • Irish Tunes & Styling for English Concertina (Mark Gilston)

 

Specifically for Anglo Concertina:


  •  
  • Old Time Music for Anglo - 1 (Jody Kruskal)
  • Old Time Music for Anglo - 2 (Jody Kruskal)
  • Third Row Anglo (Gary Coover)

 

Jody has prepared some great old time tunes and teaching materials, including special mp3's both slow and fast. He always has a tremendous amount of energy and we are excited to have him back this year. My class on Anglo is for those who have yet to venture beyond the C and G rows and will concentrate on chords and old English tunes.

 

We have a wonderful tradition every year for all concertina players/spouses/families/partners/hangers-on - this year we will be having our dinner on Friday night at the newly rebuilt Ranch House Restaurant in downtown Palestine. This event is always great fun, with dinner music provided by anyone with a few solo tunes to share. It's our own mini-concert, and a great way for everyone to relax and enjoy the sounds of all the different types of concertinas. As in years past, we will have music from English, Anglo, Crane, Jeffries and Hayden duets.

 

As we've mentioned previously, the classes are on Friday and Saturday in an old 3-story brick school building that will be full of old time musicians with their own classes and concerts, with old time jam sessions sprouting up all over the place at all hours of the day and night. Check out the line-up and schedule at www.oldpalmusic.com.

 

Jerry and Margaret Wright do a great job of organizing a fun festival, and we're always excited to be part of it. Just let me know if you're planning on coming and I'll make sure you get on the confirmed email list for music and mp3's.

 

 

Gary

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  • 1 month later...

I'm hoping to find transport from Plano, TX (north suburb of Dallas) to Palestine on Thursday the 24th, and back to Dallas Love Field on Sunday the 27th. I can pay a share, or share the cost of a rental car. Alternatively, I could rent a car myself and give a lift to/from the Dallas area to someone who can chip in. I'd just rather not take on the cost (and carbon footprint) of a rental car all by myself.

 

Also, if anyone has hotel space to share, I can sleep on the floor and pay a share of that.

 

If you're interested, please send me a private message.

 

Thanks,

Tom Rhoads

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Wish I could come this year, but ye olde weekly chemo won't allow it :(

 

Rhomylly,

We all wish you the speediest of recoveries, and the strength to deal with such a drastic cure. Hopefully you still have energy to play a few notes now and then, give that bad stuff an extra bashing with your concertina! We'll be thinking of you in Palestine.

 

Gary

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I'll be thinking of you all, too. It's supposed to SNOW tonight, and I have very fond memories of all the blooming dogwood trees in Palestine.

 

We missed you Rhomylly. It was great. Old Pal is nothing if not reliable. The music was fantastic and so was the weather and flora. But the best was the people and we had some really good new ones this year. Definitely high points of the each of the last seven years for me. The old friends are too numerous to mention. It was particularly good to meet face to face c netters Rod Wagoner with his impeccable Crane duet and Tom Rhoads and his Carroll. Great guys and great concertinas.

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I'll be thinking of you all, too. It's supposed to SNOW tonight, and I have very fond memories of all the blooming dogwood trees in Palestine.

 

We missed you Rhomylly. It was great. Old Pal is nothing if not reliable. The music was fantastic and so was the weather and flora. But the best was the people and we had some really good new ones this year. Definitely high points of the each of the last seven years for me. The old friends are too numerous to mention. It was particularly good to meet face to face c netters Rod Wagoner with his impeccable Crane duet and Tom Rhoads and his Carroll. Great guys and great concertinas.

 

Rhomylly, I've been the chemo route myself and wish you the speediest of recoveries. This being my first Palestine, I hope that those dogwoods will inspire you to come next year. It was a great event including a Jam on Sat until 3AM with the likes of Tom and Jody Kruskal. Kurt, wisely, got some sleep for his dirive back.

 

Of course, meeting Kurt after a long correspondence here was a rieal high point for me. Two Crane Duets in E Texas and not a Maccann in sight! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Edited by saguaro_squeezer
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Well, I got back from Old Pal tonight, exhausted but happy. Plenty of good free reed vibes. Large quantities of excellent BBQ. Big thumbs up for Jody Kruskal as a teacher. And I attended a few good dulcimer workshops too. Didn't win that beautiful dulcimer in the raffle, oh well... maybe next year. I certainly hope I can go next year!

 

Zzzzzz....

Edited by Tom Rhoads
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After reading the reports about the festival, I plan to start saving so I can go next year. I would certainly learn a lot about playing my English concertina. I also enjoy listening to hammered dulcimer music. The combination of the two instruments in one festival would be wonderful.

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A big ol' Texas thanks to Jody Kruskal and to all the wonderful concertina players who helped make the 2011 Old Pal Concertina Weekend such a wonderful success! The event just gets better and better, and this year it included players from 6 states which I think is the most ever.

 

We had English, Anglo, Crane and Hayden Duets, plus one mini and two basses. Musically we had a nice mix of accomplished players and absolute beginners, and even the weather was a mix of hot and cool.

 

The redbud trees, dogwood trees, azaleas and bluebonnets were in full bloom along the roadways, and there were areas where the purple wisteria was over 100 high in the trees. And of course, legendary East Texas BBQ. So good in fact, that we all went to Shep's BBQ twice. There is a sign in the restaurant that says "No one leaves here hungry". Very true.

 

Jody taught us all "Waltz Across Texas" which about a dozen of us then performed on the auditorium stage to a full house that gleefully joined in with the singing. Due to Jody's arranging skills we had quite the full concertina band sound, and numerous people commented afterwards about how much they enjoyed it.

 

Another high point of the weekend was an impromptu jam session after the main concert with 6 concertinas that outlasted all of the other old time music jam sessions around the festival. We played everything from Irish to English to German to Oldtime to whatever, but had to leave at 3am when they locked up the building!

 

Once again, thanks to Dan Worrall for all his efforts over the years to make this event a success. I can't believe he let something like his son's wedding get in the way of his attending Old Pal this year.....talk about a lame excuse!

 

Gary

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A big ol' Texas thanks to Jody Kruskal and to all the wonderful concertina players who helped make the 2011 Old Pal Concertina Weekend such a wonderful success! The event just gets better and better, and this year it included players from 6 states which I think is the most ever.

 

We had English, Anglo, Crane and Hayden Duets, plus one mini and two basses. Musically we had a nice mix of accomplished players and absolute beginners, and even the weather was a mix of hot and cool.

 

The redbud trees, dogwood trees, azaleas and bluebonnets were in full bloom along the roadways, and there were areas where the purple wisteria was over 100 high in the trees. And of course, legendary East Texas BBQ. So good in fact, that we all went to Shep's BBQ twice. There is a sign in the restaurant that says "No one leaves here hungry". Very true.

 

Jody taught us all "Waltz Across Texas" which about a dozen of us then performed on the auditorium stage to a full house that gleefully joined in with the singing. Due to Jody's arranging skills we had quite the full concertina band sound, and numerous people commented afterwards about how much they enjoyed it.

 

Another high point of the weekend was an impromptu jam session after the main concert with 6 concertinas that outlasted all of the other old time music jam sessions around the festival. We played everything from Irish to English to German to Oldtime to whatever, but had to leave at 3am when they locked up the building!

 

Once again, thanks to Dan Worrall for all his efforts over the years to make this event a success. I can't believe he let something like his son's wedding get in the way of his attending Old Pal this year.....talk about a lame excuse!

 

Gary

Gary,

 

If this was the best Palestine workshop ever, and all signs point to that, it was in large part due to you stepping in to organize it...kudos and many thanks to you and all the other volunteers. I wish I could have been there....especially the band waltz!

 

Next year will be our 8th...so all y'all mark the last weekend in March on your calendars!

 

Dan

 

ps. we wants pictures....

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