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Gary Coover at Palestine Texas concertina workshop, March 26-28

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Since I posted last month about the Old Pal old time music festival and our annual concertina workshop there, we've had an addition to the line up! Gary Coover, known to most of you as the publisher of a very fine series of books on playing the Anglo concertina in the harmonic style, will be with us in Palestine on March 27-28 for the festival, and will teach two workshops. So, there will be lots going on! Benedict Gagliardi and Armand Aromin from the Rhode Island group Vox Hunters will teach separate Anglo and English concertina workshops, Gary will teach Anglo workshops, and yours truly will host a Clare tunes workshop - following up on the three visits in recent years by Ann Droney Kirrane. Do come....it will be loads of fun.


We are thrilled that Gary is returning. Gary was one of the organizer-founders of our very first worskhop in 2005, and was a regular until he scampered off to Mai Tai land, entranced by swaying coconut palms and ukuleles. It will be great to welcome him home. He has some new book projects that he has been working on...we'll no doubt see what they are all about.

'Attached below is a copy of the first announcement from a few weeks ago, for particulars on the festival and on the Vox Hunters, who we are also very excited to have some to the concertina weekend!





The older post: 

Hardly even a decent frost here yet, but I'm drawn to images of spring leaves and flowers replacing all of our gray Texas winter landscape. It's time to start thinking about this year's concertina workshop in beautiful Palestine, east Texas: dogwoods, bluebonnets, and free reeds!


This year is the 16th year of our annual workshop within the Palestine Old TIme Music and Dulcimer Festival, March 26-28 in the east Texas Pineywoods. This time, we are excited to have Benedict Gagliardi and Armand Aromin from the Rhode Island group Vox Hunters heading south to our workshops. This means we will have classes and sessions for both Anglo AND English concertina this year. Find out more about Benedict, Armand and the Vox Hunters here.


Our workshops run from Friday morning through Saturday afternoon, and will include streams for both beginners and more experienced players, as needed. If interested, please send me a message via this site by February 15, saying 1) if you are coming, 2) what system you play, and 3) your experience level. With this information, hopefully by February 15,  we can plan out the workshops in more detail, and will send you beforehand the workshop schedule, logistics, and any sheet music. If you have requests or suggestions for a specific type of concertina workshop, let us know and we’ll see what can be done. As in all previous years, we charge $35 for the concertina workshops, on top of the normal Old Pal admittance, which covers the concerts and other activities.


Information on the larger Old Pal festival can be found here. It has concerts every day at lunchtime and in the evening, from Thursday evening until Saturday night, plus impromptu sessions at all hours inside and outside the main building. The Vox Hunters will play in the concerts along with a host of old time musicians hailing from the Appalachians westward to Texas. It is a small and very friendly festival, and very accommodating to us concertinists – come ready to play along!


All the best,


Edited by Dan Worrall
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  • 2 weeks later...

For those coming to Old Pal, what sort of workshops would you like me to do? We can work on harmonic style chords, third row demystification, or for beginners we can take one tune from single melody through various types of accompaniment. The Rollston Press books will also be available at the "friends" discount to attendees.


It looks like Seth Hamon will also be attending - he's inherited the Harold Herrington workshop and is already working on new models and improvements, so it will be a great chance to hear what he's up to and his future concertina plans.


And, I think Dan and Erica forgot to mention the absolutely incredible East Texas BBQ available near the festival site. That's the one food I really miss living in Hawaii (everything here is Korean BBQ, not the same by any stretch of the imagination). We always make at least one pilgrimage to "Shep's", and also find time for good Mexican food too. Good friends, good food and good music - doesn't get much better than that!



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  • 4 weeks later...

Just weeks away from Old Pal now......March 26-29. 


Workshops are now slated for a variety of concertina topics, with the first workshop at 9am on Friday.

Benedict Gagliardi and Armand Aromin from the Rhode Island group Vox Hunters will give several workshops on Anglo and English (in separate groups). Gary Coover will give a workshop on Anglo two-handed harmonic playing, then another on chording/accompaniments. He also is planning to give a workshop on the Jeffries Duet - someone out there has one besides himself!

We'll have a Clare tunes session for concertinas. And of course, lots of larger sessions and concerts for all sorts of instrumentalists who enjoy a variety of styles of old time music!


Let us know if you are coming (you can send me a PM via this site), and we'll add you to the list.Details are on the first post of this thread.


Springtime, dogwoods, barbecue, and concertinas.....what's not to like?


See you there.


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What a difference a week makes.


The concertina workshop at the Palestine Old Time Music Festival in late March is cancelled. Our headliners, the Vox Hunters, cancelled due to virus issues stemming from air travel from the NE, so with that Erica and I decided that we should keep our powder dry for next year. The festival itself is not cancelled, at least yet, but if you are interested in it please check with their website for updates. I understand that a number of other performers have also dropped out. 


No self-quarantining here, but it is shaping up to be a very strange year indeed. 



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