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North America Workshops In 2018


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Well, I did it every year for a long time, then the list went into limbo when Paul turned off the static web pages. How about I take a day or two to resurrect it and post it here? I know we have the one in Washington State in August, Augusta seems to have suspended Irish week, I expect Noel Hill is going in July and August as usual, no doubt Catskills Irish arts week has classes in July, Lark Camp in California has a less-structured event in late summer, now and then (but not every year) Milwaukee Irish or Swananoa or Pinewoods or the fall event in Florida will have a class...give me a day or two. I'm sure others will chime in - my focus was longer events, but weekends (Palestine in Texas in Spring, Squeeze-In in Massachusetts in Fall) sometimes deliver a lot for the short time as well. The landscape has changed in the last few years; I think some "Irish weeks" found the students were getting spread thin and didn't make their earlier quotas. A few more events for styles other than Irish/systems other than anglo are appearing. Is any particular neck of the woods of most interest to you?




Edited to add: Full schedule that I know of so far posted below, and thread title revised.

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Ken, if you could post a 2018 U.S. schedule, that would be terrific and much appreciated. Anything happening in the Midwest would be of special interest, but the dates are really more important than the locations. If it's worth getting to and I can make the dates work, location isn't a deal breaker. I just need to start getting some in-person input from some actual players. Been in the basement too long.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Concertina Learning Opportunities in North America, 2018

Seventeenth annual edition, compiled by Ken Coles, 17th of April 2018


Every winter I like to find out who will teach concertina and where. Many dates have been confirmed, so here is the latest version, restricted to the U.S. and Canada. Try the ICA website for U.K. and Europe events. Many schools fill up early, so contact your choice soon. Spring is nearly as full as summer. Once again it looks like you could go to half a dozen in a row, or dozens of you can go to one school. Boggles the mind, or perhaps the bellows.

I'm late doing this year's list, but I did so anyway since it may be useful to newcomers. And yes, I did miss editions twelve to sixteen owing to reorganizations here at C.net.

If you know more (additions) or different (corrections) about any of these, let me know via an email or post on this thread. The majority of these are still for Irish-style playing on anglo system concertina. I'd love to see other styles (and I think the student market would support them also), and those offerings are slowly appearing.

-- Ken Coles


Listed as follows: Dates, place, sponsor or school if any, teacher(s), style and level, Web contact info. All are for anglo system concertina, unless otherwise noted.

March 29-31, 2018, 14th Annual Southwest Concertina Squeeze-In (by my count), at the Palestine Old Time Music Festival, Texas. We always hear great things about this event on the forums; see this forum thread for the most recent report (all styles, all systems).

April 20-22, 2018, St. Louis MO, St. Louis Tionol (an Irish pipers gathering), list includes a concertina workshop, instructor “TBA.” Details are at www.tionol.org.

May 25-27, 2018, Huntingdon, PA, 19th Annual Folk College with Simple Gifts, a wonderful group of musicians/teachers that includes Rachel Hall. Folk College offers many workshops for all instruments. In past years Rachel has sponsored workshops on English concertina and concertina band (for all systems). The web site has details and lists some outstanding staff for 2018 (I've enjoyed Guy Davis for many years). I'm hoping to attend this one myself one of these years!

June 7-10, 2018, Mystic CT, 39th Annual Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival, usually has various concertina performers in song accompaniment and occasionally in other styles. Check their Web site, specifically the link under “Upcoming Events."

July through September, 2018, Plymouth, MA, Pinewoods Camp of the Country Dance and Song Society. This multi-week program sometimes includes concertina players on staff and gatherings of players of various styles on both English and anglo (e.g., song accompaniment at Harmony of Song and Dance Week, Morris at English Dance Week). This is one of the few places in North America I've found where you can study Morris dance and music; for example, singer and concertinist Jeff Warner is teaching song and accompaniment classes at English Dance Week and Bob Walser is on staff for Harmony of Song and Dance. Check the Web site for details.

July 8-14, 2018, Swannanoa, NC, Swannanoa Gathering Celtic Week. Grainne Hambly listed for concertina classes this year. Web site

July 8-14, 2018, East Durham, NY, Irish Arts Week. The past dozen years have included outstanding coverage (primarily anglo) with three or four teachers each year. From the web site: Concertina classes will be taught by Alex Boatright and Brenda Castles. All the nocturnal wildness you could wish for, also. (Irish, just intermediate and advanced this year). Web site.

Elkins, WV, Augusta Irish Week last met in 2016 and is no longer held. The web site lists many other interesting programs (non-concertina)

June to August, 2018, Woodstock, NY, Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Camp, three week-long programs and lots of other events (growing all the time); no explicit concertina instruction this year, but a huge variety of musical styles. Web site

July 27 - August 4, 2018, Mendocino, CA, Lark in the Morning Music Camp, Jack Gilder (Anglo system, Irish style). Check their Web site by their Webmaster, concertina player and sometime C.netter Jack Gilder!

August 5-11, 2018, Cascadia Irish Music week, Olympia, Washington. A successor to the late Friday Habor Irish Music Camp, with the concertina class taught by Liam O’Brien of County Clare, Ireland (intermediate/advanced, Irish style, anglo). They also list an Intro concertina class. (see the Web Site)


August 6-10, 2018, Goderich ONT, Celtic College prior to the Celtic Roots Festival (also in August, the 10th to 12th), this year’s staff not listed yet, but I’ll bet Frank Edgley would know what is planned. Other interesting Canadian music too; I want to go one of these years. Web site

Frank wrote in 2004 (this year's dates inserted):
Most people arrive on Sunday (Aug. 5th), and stay until the week-end festival (Aug 12th). This is a great week, with over 50 instructors, mostly in instrumental music, but also with classes in singing, Irish language, cooking, Celtic artwork, blacksmithing, stone carving etc. for spouses who may or may not play an instrument. There are free concerts every night, by musicians who will be appearing on the weekend, slow jams and sessions. [in 2003] performers included Dervish, Davey Spillane, Sean Keane, Gearoid OhAllmuirhain, and others. The school is a real steal at $360 (in 2017) US per person, and local accomodations are quite reasonable. At this summer school the teachers and performers are the most accessible of any I have attended.

July-August, 2018, Noel Hill Irish Concertina School, Ohio, New York, Oregon, 3 one-week sessions, Noel Hill (Irish, all levels).
July 22-27, 2018, Cincinnati, OH
July 29-August 3, 2018, East Durham, NY
August 5-10, 2018, Newburg, OR
Read lots about NHICS here on Concertina.net or go to the Web site.

August 13-17, 2018, Milwaukee, WI, Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School, no concertina class listed this year. Web site

September 21-23, 2018, Chimney Corners Berkshire Outdoor Center, Becket, MA, Northeast Squeeze-In, many players in all styles and on all free-reed systems! Instruction is informal and self-organized. One of this writer's favorite musical events. Run by volunteer organizers via their Web site and the C.net forums.

September 29-30, 2018, 19th Portsmouth NH, Maritime Music Festival, no classes, but in the past has featured an outstanding group of English, anglo, and duet system players - a great chance to listen and watch some experts. Web Site

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