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Oddest Place You've Played Your Concertina?


Helen
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I call this tale the "Silent Concertina".

Quite a few years ago I got a call one evening from a friend who was the producer of a local group doing the musical "Carnival" He said that the script called for a concertina, and that he had tried using an accordian, but it wasn't right. Would I come to the next rehersal and see if I could help out. As most everyone is aware, concertina players are great proselytizers so I said OK. As it turned out he wanted to "borrow" my concertina. Well, I had no intention of letting some hamhanded actor get ahold of my Jeffries, but I had a mother-of-toilet-seat Scholer that I could let them use. Then the music director wanted to know if I could play "that thing?" I don't think she had ever seen an Anglo. "Sure", I replied, not knowing what I was letting myself in for. Not being a sight reader, I took a copy of the score home to see what was wanted.

Imagine my consternation when I found out that the actor came onstage at the beginning, under a spotlight, playing the theme song SOLO! The orchestra picked up the theme as the houselights came up. I had never done a real solo gig before, and certainly not before a theater audience.

However I had committed, so I plunged ahead. First was the matter of the instrument for the actor. I have been perturbed by movie scenes where the actor is busily pumping away, with no thought to authenticity. So I took the reeds out of the Scholer, but left the valves intact. Thus the actor had to push buttons in order to move the bellows. Then, during rehersals, I sat directly below him in the pit and played my box over my head so he could get some idea of how the motions corresponded with the music. During the performance I was still right below him, but my actions were cloaked in the darkness. The tune turned out to be a simple melody line that was no problem.

The effect was such that people complimented the actor on his playing!

Cheers,

Geo.

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As a firefighter I often find time to practice while on duty. The station where I am assigned has a bay large enough for several trucks, with a high ceiling (30 feet) covered with tongue-and-groove pine planks and large beams. The floor is concrete and very expansive. The overall effect is that of playing in a large concert hall. I wander among the trucks playing as loudly as I please. Most of my coworkers have come to expect (and ignore) my sessions. My second favorite, also at the firehouse, is in the large tiled bathrooms, again for the wonderful acoustics!

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I call this tale the "Silent Concertina".

Quite a few years ago I got a call one evening from a friend who was the producer of a local group doing the musical "Carnival" He said that the script called for a concertina, and that he had tried using an accordian, but it wasn't right.

 

My father told me that the ONE condition of buying me my first concertina was that if his local amateur theater company ever did Carnival, he could borrow it.

 

"Love makes the world, go 'round, love makes the world go round. Somebody soon will love you, if no one loves you now."

 

Insipid words, but it really is sweet little tune. (my parents already did this show when I was oh, 10 or 11)

 

Haven't had the concertina long enough to get wierd. But when my husband makes me take the dogs into the back room with me while I practice, one of my pit bull/red heeler mixes gives me the funniest RCA-Victor-head-cock look. Cracks me up every time.

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