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Midlands Concertina Group meeting 10 Nov 2018

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The next meeting of Midlands Concertina Group will be from 13:00 to 17:00 on Saturday 10th November 2018 at:


Arnold United Reformed Church Hall

Calverton Road





The hall is directly opposite the entrance to Surgeys Lane.  https://www.google.com/maps/@53.012143,-1.123416,14.03z


You don't need to be a member.  You don't even need to be a concertina player.  Anyone with an interest in concertinas is welcome.


A typical meeting involves somewhere between 15 and 25 people, playing English, Anglo and duet concertinas.  There are usually some unusual instruments such as baritones, piccolos, and even the occasional bass concertina or midi instrument.  It is not unknown to find 50 or more concertinas in the room.


Music played includes English, Irish and Scottish traditional tunes, arrangements of classical and choral music, self-penned tunes, show tunes, jazz — anything you can play, we'll listen to, and sometimes we'll join in.


The usual format is similar to a folk club singaround: each musician plays a tune or medley.  Occasionally, a duo or trio will play a set piece.  Sometimes someone will sing and accompany themselves on the concertina.  Now and again someone will do a step dance while someone plays.  A few times, we have other instruments playing duets with concertina.  There are no rules other than that the concertina needs to feature.  At most meetings, everyone gets the opportunity to perform twice, but no one is obliged to perform at all.


It's a great opportunity to hear what the concertina can do, and to show off what you've been practising.  More experienced members are generous with their time showing you their instruments, explaining techniques and giving a few minutes' coaching or encouragement in the interval.  Often someone will bring a simple piece for the group to work on together in a separate room during the interval.


There's no charge to attend but voluntary contributions towards the cost of the hall and the refreshments are welcomed.


(We meet at a church hall, but the group is not in any way connected to the church.  Heathens welcome.)



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8 hours ago, OLDNICKILBY said:

I am not happy with the term "Heathen". Just because we do not believe in the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus. Keep Bloody Religion out of it . 
This is a wonderful afternoon  and I would love to come but as the dreaded M N D has struck me I am unable to play now


Hi, I'm a considered atheist (that is, I decided, rather than just drifting into it) and a one time member of the National Secular Society and the British Humanist Association and have even had a few articles published in the Freethinker.   I have no religious affiliations and consider all religions to be as good or bad as each other.  Surely that doesn't preclude humorous reference to "non Christians" (including myself) as "heathens", which was no more serious than when, as Fool, I introduce Dolphin Morris as a "pagan futility rite".  My serious point was that the group is nothing to do with the church where it meets and that all should feel welcome and able to attend.

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On 10/23/2018 at 7:13 PM, d.elliott said:

Cannot make this meeting, but you are only about an hour or so away, how often do you meet?


Twice a year, at approximately 6 monthly intervals.  We sometimes use a different venue, also in Nottingham.  I usually circulate the dates and details in this forum and then write up the meeting afterwards.


Sorry you can't make it this time.  Hopefully you can make it next time.



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On 10/31/2018 at 10:41 PM, Paul_Hardy said:

I hope to attend the MCG  meeting  this time. I've not been to previous ones.


I note that you start at 1pm, and I'd be coming up from Cambridge - is there any general gathering for lunch before the meeting?

Hi, Paul.  No, people gather at the hall from about 13:00 and there is a period of nattering and informal playing before the first "once around the room" starts.  Tea/coffee and biscuits are on constant supply but there's no meet up for lunch before hand.

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I was there for the first time. An enjoyable afternoon. There were I think 17 concertinists, and at least 30 concertinas! Format was round the room, twice, with coffee break in between. We finished by all playing a set of WW1 marching songs that I’d brought. Thanks for welcoming new attendees.

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A great afternoon.


I think there where were 19 people present, including one who was knitting, one who was taking notes, and one who played flute rather than concertina.  In fact, we had two flutes in the room.


Concertinas included 5 baritones, numerous trebles and one (my) piccolo Anglo.  There were English, Anglo and duet boxes, with at least two people present who played on two different systems during the afternoon.


Music played included the usual selection of English Morris, Northumbrian pipe tunes, Scottish and Irish tunes, one Israeli tune, novelty songs (Teddy Bear's Picnic), music hall, WW1 songs — and a short piece of tango music played on 5 concertinas and one flute.  Our resident trio, "Behind the Times" (who called them "Out of Time"?  Go on, own up!) played, then we had anEnglish/Anglo duo, an English/flute duo and a duet/flute duo.  Various people played well known tunes and people joined in, singing, humming, or playing, as took their fancy.


Once again, an inspiring afternoon with a range of people showing what these incredibly versatile instruments can do if you practise hard.


I think we had a total of 4 first timers, which is pretty amazing.  The turnout would have been over 20 but for two or three of the regulars having to make their apologies at the last minute due to a range of illnesses.


Next meeting, approximately 6 months' time.  Details to follow in approximately 5 months' time!

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