Jump to content

Ann Kirrane And Roger Digby At 2017 Palestine Festival And Workshops


Recommended Posts

I’m not sure how your winter is going, but there are icicles dripping off my barbed wire fence today. Yikes. Time to think about warm Spring days, dogwoods, azaleas, and the 2017 Palestine Old Time Music Festival, with a very special Concertina program this year! It is our thirteenth such gathering, and occurs March 23-25 in the small east Texas town of Palestine, a bit over an hour’s drive east of Dallas.

 

Concertinas: 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 Kirrane is a member of the famous Droney family of traditional musicians from Bellharbour, north County Clare. She plays Anglo concertina in the same style as her father Chris Droney and grand-father Jim. Her father Chris is now in his 92nd year, still playing, and 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. She is a rare performer whose return visit is eagerly anticipated by both the concertina players and the Palestine festival crowd in general.

 

Ann and her father Chris Droney conferred recently on what she should teach at her three workshops this year, and came up with six tunes from the Droney family’s vault: two polkas, two jigs, a hornpipe and a reel. The workshops are accessible to all types of concertinas, not just the Anglo which she plays.

 

Roger Digby has been an Anglo player for over 40 years, well 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. He is an experienced teacher and workshop leader. This is Roger’s first trip to the US since he took up concertina playing 40+ years ago….a rare treat for us.

 

Roger will give two workshops. The first involves left hand techniques for accompaniment and rhythm. Like many players of English Traditional Music on Anglo concertina, Roger tends to keep the tune on the right hand, and use the left hand to support and accompany that tune. His first workshop looks at the main ways of doing that. The techniques that it explains are available for players of other styles should they wish to use them. It is aimed at both Anglo and Duet players, and although based on English music this is not a workshop which is solely for players of that musical style. The second workshop will involve bellows control. Roger believes that the use of bellows is by far the most important aspect of playing the concertina. This workshop explores the different effects that can be achieved by bellows control and, most specifically, by change of bellows direction. It is suitable for all concertina systems and all stages of learning.

 

Concerts: Ann Kirrane will Emcee and perform at a gala concert on Thursday evening, 7pm, which will kick off the weekend. The music will feature a mix of related tunes and songs from America, Ireland and England. Ann Kirrane as well as Roger Digby will play tunes on the concertina, and will be joined by members of the Wright Family of Kennard Texas, as well as and Steve and Sheryl Hartz of Nacogdoches, all of them very accomplished in American traditional (“old time”) music and song, playing a variety of stringed instruments. Ann will be accompanied in her songs by Bill and Emily Galbraith of Houston. Some of our local concertina talent may even show up for a tune or two. It will be a fun evening! Ann and Roger will also have brief appearances at the festival’s other concerts on Friday and Saturday, noon and 7pm.

 

The Festival: 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. There is more information on the festival (including accommodations as well as the concertina portion) at http://www.oldpalmusic.com .

 

Registering for the concertina workshops and obtaining the workshop music package: The standard price for the weekend is $80, which includes all concerts, workshops and sessions. There are reduced fares for spouses and family members who do not play instruments. The concertina community taxes itself an additional $35 per person in order to help defray travel costs of our workshop hosts, Ann and Roger. That extra fee is collected beforehand or at the workshops. Those who confirm their attendance by emailing Katie Meeks at mrskatiemeeks@gmail.com, will receive early access to the workshop tunes and/or sheet music prepared by Ann and Roger, prior to the weekend. Please let us know you are coming! Katie can also answer questions about accommodations and the like, and is herself chairing a workshop for beginning Anglo players.

 

Who comes: We get a friendly group of players of various skill levels on a wide variety of concertinas, from Anglos to English system and most types of Duets. Moreover, if you are a beginner, you will find friendly help from any of these folks. Just let Katie know ahead of time, and we will organize an introduction to a player who can help you.

 

And Barbecue, don’t forget the barbecue…..

 

See you there!

Dan Worrall

 

post-976-0-60039800-1483739659_thumb.jpgpost-976-0-11926100-1483739677_thumb.jpg

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is Saturday (the second day of our three days of Winter). I will be playing by the fireplace this evenig. Meanwhile, I made motel reservations for the Palestine, TX weekend. See you there.

Edited by Kurt Braun
Link to post
Share on other sites

I absolutely can't wait--two great teachers! I always have a wonderful time at Old Pal, it is a great little festival and Palestine is such a nice place to visit in the spring. Looking forward to seeing everyone again in a couple short months!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I plan to attend! This is a special event for me because I also play mountain dulcimer, and the MD workshops are also great.

This year I will make a point of eating at Shep's. Yummm.

 

If anyone wants to rideshare from Dallas - I'll be flying into Love Field - or is interested in saving some bucks by sharing a hotel room, PM me.

 

TomR

Edited by Tom Rhoads
Link to post
Share on other sites

Great, Tom. It will be good to see you again! We'll have a good group, as always.

 

Others -- especially those in the US -- do consider joining us! As I said in the previous posting, this is a very special year, with workshop leaders from both Ireland (Ann Droney Kirrane, from North Clare/Galway) and England (Roger Digby from Essex), playing in very different styles. Neither are commonly in this country. And there are tons of other music items and concerts to satisfy even the most jaded, non-concertina'd spouses. The old time American music and singing in the main festival is wonderful to hear and to play along with in the sessions. There is always a shape-note singing workshop that raises the rafters. Etc., etc. All concertina systems are both represented and welcome. And we promise Spring weather and flowers.

 

This is basically a Friday and Saturday event, kicked off this year by a Thursday evening concert that is emceed by Ann - featuring music and dance that keys in on the musical ties among Ireland, England and North America.

 

Send us a note via Katie Meeks at mrskatiemeeks@gmail.com if you are coming, and we'll get you on the digital list for the workshop tunes.

 

 

Best,

Dan

Edited by Dan Worrall
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ruth,

No worries...you'll keep up! I wish there were such learning opportunities when I started out playing in the seventies. No net, no networks....luckily a couple of friends in Austin got me started. Just the occasional inspirational boost, which today is what Old Pal provides, is all that is needed!

See you there.

Dan

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Dan, I've been practicing daily for about 15-20 mins, sometimes twice daily for a couple of weeks now and I'm noticing real progress! Seems there's a pay off to regular practice after all. :) Out of all the tutor books I've looked at I am considering Gary Coover's Harmonics book as the best for my needs and desired style of playing. What's held me back from buying it is the need to thoroughly learn where all the notes are first on my G/D anglo so I can transpose his fingerings without too much trouble tho the left hand is going to the most time consuming.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ruth,

If harmonic playing is your thing, then Roger Digby's workshop on use of the left hand (for accompaniment) is not to be missed. He is extremely skilled at that style, having played that way for decades.

And you'll enjoy Ann's Irish tune workshops as well. My advice for any beginner is to try to master both styles at some stage in your Anglo journey.

Cheers,

Dan

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ruth

 

You do not need to transpose, get Gary's book and use his tab/fingerings on your G/D. Everything should work except that your concertina will sound a fifth lower than Gary's on his videos.

 

You could even fix that by recording his videos and using software to lower the sound by a fifth. I think the free Audacity software can do it, but there are lots of commercial softwares as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Ruth, That is good advice from Don. I'll bring a spare CG that you can use during Roger Digby's workshop, if you wish... It will make it easier in the moment. Your GD is just fine in Ann's workshop.

Edited by Dan Worrall
Link to post
Share on other sites

True Don I could do that but if I want to play the tunes with any other music and then I'm stuck! Also I am getting pretty good at reading the notes and connecting them to the buttons without focusing on the fingerings numbers. I'll try both ways to hear how it sounds.

 

Dan that's very kind of you. Thankyou. I just bought your book on the history of the conceryina. Amazon delivers it Thursday. Looking forward to dipping into it!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Just a month away now! Those who have confirmed should by now have received the workshop schedule plus access to the Dropbox with all the workshop music and tunes. There is still plenty of time to sign up, so join us....should be a memorable weekend in the east Texas Pineywoods!

 

For confirmation, please email Katie Meeks at mrskatiemeeks@gmail.com or message me via this site.

 

See you at Palestine,

Dan

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan et al,

Once again I'm happy to donate some Anglo concertina books as giveaways at Old Pal.

 

I will really miss not being there in person this year (always great music and workshops and BBQ), but if I can't go at least my books can!

 

Gary

Edited by gcoover
Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan et al,

Once again I'm happy to donate some Anglo concertina books as giveaways at Old Pal.

 

I will really miss not being there in person this year (always great music and workshops and BBQ), but if I can't go at least my books can!

 

Gary

Gary,

 

We need to get the costs of that Honolulu to Palestine non-stop flight down to manageable levels! Many thanks for thinking of us with the books; as always in recent years, you are missed.

 

Dan

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...