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A group of concertina players from around the New Forest area.

We meet on Wednesday every week, usually at Greyfriars Community Centre in Ringwood

New members welcome.

Contact Richard Lane on 01202 763043 for more details

This is the page where the Webmaster can sign in to administer this website.

These contacts have been provided in order to help you find out more about the concertina in general and local groups that play together around the country.  The list is accurate at time of publication; however, WCCP has no control over websites belonging to other organisations.

International Concertina Association

Promotes concertinas and concertina playing.  Has a large music library.

www.concertina.org

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Concertina FAQ

Information on all aspects of concertinas including shops, dealers and much more.

www.concertina.info

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Concertina Net

Lots of articles on Concertinas, including tunes, playing, maintenance & for sale forum,

www.concertina.net

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Concertina Connection

Wim Wakker’s site – restorer and maker of instruments – lots of technical information

www.concertinaconnection.com

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Wheatstone

Maker and repairer, Steve Dickinson continues the Wheatstone name and reputation

www.wheatstone.co.uk

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Find that tune

Members often ask "Where can I find that tune?" Some good resources for tunes are:

The Session

The concertina.net Tune-O-Tron

JC's ABC Tune Finder

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GROUPS AROUND THE COUNTRY

J25

We are a concertina band named J25 (after the venue where we practice, close to Junction 25 of the M5), playing multi-part band arrangements, mostly on English system concertinas, though Duet system and Anglo system players are very welcome if they can cope with a variety of keys. We have close links with West Country Concertina Players.

The next Banding Together weekend will be at Dame Hannah’s at Seale-Hayne near Newton Abbot, Devon, 16th-18th June, 2017.

This  will be the 5th banding weekend J25 has organised, and we are excited to be playing under the baton of James Stretton, who was so impressed by the concertina band in 2016 at the Taunton Music Festival.  Places are filling up, and the number is limited, so now is the time to download your application form from our website at http://www.j25.btck.co.uk/BandingTogether and send in your deposit of £70. for the third year we have kept the weekend cost down to £210.
 
 
Please contact Colin Sleath at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 01179 686860 if you have any queries.

Interested?  To find out more:-

or our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/concertinaband/ 

or phone Colin Sleath 01179 686860 or Claire Wren 07584 305452

 

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SqueezEast Concertinas

Contact via this e mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Kettlebridge Concertinas

www.kettlebridgeconcertinas.org.uk

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Forestinas

A group of concertina players from around the New Forest area.

We meet on Wednesday every week, usually at Greyfriars Community Centre in Ringwood.

New members welcome.

Contact Rob MacDonald 07538 881089 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.

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Lewes, Sussex

The Lewes Arms holds a regular Folk Club and often runs Concertina Workshops

www.lewesarmsfolkclub.org

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The Chiltina Concertina Group

A Concertina group that meets once every month in Maulden, Bedforshire

www.chiltinas.org.uk

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Concertina Academy

The site of Pauline de Snoo – useful tutorial materials

www.concertina-academy.com

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Hands on Music

Organisers of Concertinas at Witney – annual weekend workshop

www.davetownsendmusic.com 

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Wren Music

A Devon based charity promoting the playing of folk music.

Devon’s Folk and Community Arts Development Organisation hold regular music sessions

www.wren music.co.uk

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Folk South West

Working to stimulate enjoyment, participation and creativity in music, song, dance

www.folksw.org.uk

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We now have a working Concertina band under the baton of Alan Dyer.

Alan will continue with the overall principle of maintaining a concertina band for members to have fun, playing a wide range of music and with the ability to accept invitations to play at various venues.

We practice from 9.00am till 11.00am on each Ruishton play day at Ruishton Village hall. - before our usual members meeting at 11.00 am.

We are now into our fourth year of performances and look forward to a busy time up to Christmas.

If you think you might be interested in joining us please contact Colin Campbell Tel: 01395 568343

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Although many different instrument makers were involved in the development of the concertinas and their fingering arrangements, WCCP Members play one (or more!) of the three main types of concertina available in the UK. WCCP organises instrument workshops, band groups and bar sessions so that all players have the opportunity to play individually, in groups of the same instrument and in bands using the various systems.

The Anglo Concertina

The Anglo Concertina is commonly used for dance music and for song accompaniment. It is a close cousin of the harmonica and as such is a diatonic instrument, in that the middle and lower rows are positioned to play in two sets of keys; C/G, G/D etc. If you blow into a harmonica, one note is produced; if you draw your breath, a different note is produced. The Anglo Concertina is basically two harmonicas, split in half and placed on top of one another, with the lower notes of each placed on the left side of the concertina and the higher notes on the right.

anglo 350
Anglo Concertina

The 20 button instrument is the basic model. Other models may have an extra row on top, made up of scattered notes, many of which are sharps and flats, enabling you to play in other keys.

Working the bellows, this system gives a much punchier sound that makes the Anglo concertina very popular in playing for Morris Dance and Irish music.

The Duet Concertina

The Duet Concertina can be used for any type of music and song accompaniment as it can play in any key. It is similar to a piano in that the lower notes are on the left hand side and the higher notes are on the right hand side, however, the same note is played no matter which direction the bellows move. It is ideal for playing chords or accompaniment on one side and a tune on the other.

There are a variety of Duet concertinas; McCann, Jeffries, Crane (or Triumph) and Hayden. Each has it’s own unique, logical fingering system and in the right hands can play anything from Classical to Ragtime and even emulate Church Bells.

For those of us who are not piano players, this tends to be the most difficult instrument to master, however, perseverance is well worth while as it is possible to produce wonderful sounds. WCCP have nicknamed this instrument the ‘two brain concertina’ as it certainly keeps the whole brain working hard!

The English Concertina

The English concertina, like the Duet is fully chromatic and plays the same note whether on the push or the pull of the bellows. The fingering system is logical in that it moves from one side of the instrument to the other, thus making it easy to play fast runs.

Chords are easy to play as the notes are very near one another so it is possible to accompany a tune on this instrument and it is often used for song accompaniment. Experienced players use the bellows to good effect to make a similar punchy sound for Dance and Irish Music.

The majority of English concertinas are Treble instruments where the range is similar to a violin from G to C and depending on the number of buttons, they have from two to three and a half octaves.

english 350Treble English Concertina

In addition to the Treble, there are also other models of English Concertina: 

Piccolo

Very high, not many notes.

piccolo 350John Wild playing Piccolo English Concertina

Tenor

Extends the range down to lower C but loses the upper range

Tenor Treble

Covers the whole range from C to C.

Baritone

Has a range one octave below the Treble.

Bass

Covers the low notes only, two octaves below the Treble.

bass 350The Bass Concertina

Edeophone

The Edeophone English Concertina was the top of the Lachenal range, unusual for having twelve sides and a 56 button extended range. 

edeophone 350Lachenal Edeophone English Concertina

 

edeophone action 350Edeophone Action

 

During Sidmouth Festival week, WCCP hold meetings in All Saints Church Hall each morning from Monday to Friday. A warm welcome is extended to all who play the concertina including beginners and also those who would like to consider learning. Constructive workshops are the key to all events and all abilities are welcome

All Saints Church Hall, All Saints Road, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 8ES

Post Beginners Band Workshop with Sally Barrett & A More Challenging Band Workshop with Paul Barrett

Drop in sessions for beginners

9.00 a.m. Open for coffee/tea
9.30 a.m. Sharp - Workshop begins
10.30 a.m. Break for coffee/tea
10.45 a.m. Workshop continues
11.45 a.m. Workshop finishes

If you would like to learn something about this musical instrument why not join us?

If you play the concertina, or would like to play one, whether it is the English, Anglo or Duet system, then come and meet other players and participate in our various musical activities.

The Sidmouth 2016 Folk Week Drop-In had several new features, the most important of which was that it was FREE to all.

The organisers secured sponsorship from ICA, Banding Together and Barleycorn Concertinas which covered nearly half the costs. The WCCP itself funded the shortfall.

This, together with rigorous advertising, meant the Drop-In was very well supported not only by members but also by Mr/Mrs Festival-Goer and their families.

Most days saw between 40 and 50 people on site. At least 20 were regularly in the band, 6-10 were in Post-Beginner workshop leaving between 10-15 “walk-ins” most days who were welcomed with a coffee, an instrument and an enthusiastic tutor.

The week has resulted in 15 new members many of whom are intending to book for the October Kilve Beginners’ Weekend.

Someone enjoyed the experience :-

Concertinas at Sidmouth 2015

In early August, I made my almost annual pilgrimage to the wonderful Sidmouth Folk Festival in Devon. This year, as well as taking part in the many festival events organised around the town, I spent every weekday morning at a fringe event organised by the West Country Concertina players. They occupy All Saints church hall and provide a range of beginner concertina lessons for English, Duet and Anglo concertinas. In addition they organise an intermediate concertina band for around 20 slightly more advanced players. It was all free!

When I arrived the leaders of the all groups were very friendly and I was made to feel very welcome. There was even a bearded anglo player sat outside the church playing each morning trying to lure people in – wonderful!
The Intermediate band music was beautifully arranged by our leader, Paul Barrett and featured music inspired by Nursery Rhymes, Folk music, the Victorian Drawing room and even the Beatles. Interestingly it was the Nursery Rhyme variations that really challenged me! During the week, there was also a display of concertinas for sale organised by Barleycorn concertinas. Dave Townsend also came along one day to lead a session playing one of his arrangements and treated us to a solo performance as well.

Usually, at Sidmouth, I spend the week at sessions playing traditional tunes by ear but at the WCCP week, I had the opportunity to sight-read arrangements of music for 2 trebles, baritone and bass concertinas. It was fun, challenging and inspired me to want to continue this when I returned home from the festival. I am now trying to start a concertina band group in South Suffolk.
Well done West Country Concertina Players – a great week which was much appreciated by those who attended.

Rob Neal

 You can see some photos in the WCCP Galleries.

 

 Of course, when you decide to move on from the way things have been done for quite some time, it is always with a certain amount of trepidation. We had thought long and hard about the move to St. Audries Bay and we feel that everything we had hoped for, has worked. We loved the ballroom and its acoustics with the well stocked bar, and the room to eat and relax, and the welcoming and efficient family run St. Audries Holiday Camp, all combining to make a really good atmosphere. Then there was the weather, we were so lucky to have our English summer that weekend. It made the palm trees seem right and sitting on the verandah watching the setting sun over the Severn estuary, with the lights of Cardiff twinkling across the water .......... idyllic, not to mention the calm and peace of the site itself.

We have had a lot of really good feedback, here are a few extracts

Ciaran wrote

It was a wonderful weekend and I am so glad to have met so many nice WCCP folk. I enjoyed it immensely and I came away with many references and tunes to look up and new ideas and great memories, especially of the ceilidh and the concert. It was just a splendid weekend.

Sandra emailed

I had a lovely time, and was very pleased with the group I worked with. Thank you so much for looking after me so kindly, and efficiently.

From: Adrian Waters

This is a brief note to say how much Oli and I enjoyed the St Audries Bay weekend. I know that you put a huge amount of effort into making it such a success. Many thanks again for a great weekend. Adrian and Oli

From: Bill Martin

I just wanted to thank you for Ciaran because he was a brilliant tutor, excellent company and a stunningly good musician. The time shot by and I have come away from the weekend inspired and better equipped. It was all very enjoyable. I thought the facilities were fine and the staff at St Audries were friendly and helpful. Many thanks for a great weekend

From: Alan Streeting

Just a quick note to say well done to you both, and Colin and Rosalie. I know there was a lot riding on it, but judging from the wonderful atmosphere, especially at the final concert, everything's set for the 30th event next year. The Showcase was brilliant proof that all four workshops had been superbly led by committed and enthusiastic Tutors. As always at WCCP weekends, the atmosphere was all about sharing and encouragement, so everyone felt there was something for them. Thank you.

Many thanks to all participants for all your feedback. We will be working together with the staff at St. Audries to address the suggested improvements and desirable changes to make next years WCCP March weekend even better.

We were particularly fortunate in that our Tutors were exceptionally good and thanks again to Sandra, John, Ciaran and Paul. Having set a high standard, we are continuing the good work with Alistair Anderson, John Kirpatrick and Iris Bishop for our 30th Anniversary in March 2013. Booking starts in November.

You can see some photos from the St Audries Bay Weekend in the WCCP Galleries.

John and Mal Derricott. Colin and Rosalie Dipper

 

Here is a report from a member about the Kilve event in October 2014

Kilve Court is a wonderful place to visit set in the rolling hills of Somerset ,yet within walking distance of the beach. Twice a year, something magical happens,when people of all ages and from all over the country get together to learn about and play the concertina. WCCP has led the way ,for over 30 years, in getting this amazing instrument more widely known. This year's October fest was a prime example. Home grown tutors plus the incomparable Iris Bishop,helped the total novice and old hands like me, become better players -----and they succeed !! Experienced players who only come to the advanced meet in March , missed a treat. Because the tunes are more simple, you can concentrate more on band technique and the less obvious nuances of music. Usually when you have a question about musical "grammar", you don't have an expert on hand to answer! I had several "light bulb" moments about syncopation and chords. In the intermediate band, Claire guided us through several fun tunes, most notably "King of the Road " and "Itsy Witsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" that helped us become more cohesive as as band. By the sound of the Sunday showcase , the other groups were as successful. To make this great week-end even better,Martyn, the amazing Chef, is not only a master baker(bagels,croissants and gateaux) but also sources all his fish, meat and veg locally. They never stop feeding you!!!!!! Learning more about your instrument,getting it fixed,if necessary,or even borrowing one if you are a novice is all part of this . Letting your hair down in the bar ( you know who I mean,Claire!) Is also part of this experience. As you might have gathered, I had a truly great time!!!!

Sandra Sharp


Here are some reports from members about the Kilve event in March 2014

The Duets players consisted of me, Paul McCann, Alex Friendship, Vernon Barrett, Roger ? There were some others but I have forgotten their names. Our tutor was Gavin Atkin accompanied by his wife Julia who provided the vocal support. Gavin was a new tutor to most of us and his style of playing is different, freer, in as much his left hand playing is much more in tune with modern popular music. The melodies were quite simple, but the left hand was different/difficult In consequence, although we are all reasonable duet players this left hand action required some effort. It sounded great when we played it and Gavin was much more concerned with the overall effect. The sessions were good fun and I enjoyed it all. Bob

I thought the workshops were excellent, and Gavin a very knowledgeable and good teacher, albeit with a tendency to take things a bit quickly. Perhaps he was flattering us with a better level of ability than we actually have! I have brought all the notes home and will have to brain them through at my own speed. I'm determined to get the Duke Ellington piece sorted (sometime......) Paul

I thought it was good to be back at Kilve after the St Audries experiment. Although the caravan accommodation was nice there, the Kilve atmosphere did not transfer across. I had a great weekend. Excellent tutors, delicious meals and wonderful company. The potential for a crossover between English and Anglo players was refreshing. I enjoyed the Saturday concert with the variety of music, dancing and singing. The only disappointment for me was that, as usual, there was not room in the bar so I was unable to join in the Friday night session. Kate

I am still buzzing after having just returned from the WCCP Concertina weekend at Kilve Court, West Somerset. Such a fantastic weekend, from the warm welcome to the final goodbyes. It was good to be back at Kilve, where the club has had many successful residential weekends. Kilve Court is nestled into the side of the Quantock Hills and only a short walk to the beach, if only you had time to fit it in. The workshop leaders, Gavin Atkin, Harry Scurfield, Dave Townsend, Dave Elliot and Clair Wren, made sure that everyone was kept busy, offering workshops to suit everyone. From Concertina maintenance to Concertina Band, the house was filled with the sound of concertinas. The enthusiasm of the leaders must have enhanced the atmosphere. We even had a surprise appearance from Mary Hopkins, providing the highlight of the music session in the bar on Saturday evening. It was more of a surprise for me standing at the bar, half knowing the face but not the hair, and not recognising it was Clair, until she brought her guitar out to play. The Final Concert on Sunday afternoon was a show in itself, presenting the variety of workshop music the weekend had to offer. A big thank you went to the Catering staff, who made sure that the menus offered suited the dietary requirements of everybody. Thanks must go to the organising team, Sally, Clair and Arthur, who brought it all together. It was a wonderful weekend and I will certainly look forward to attending next year. Mike


You can see some photos in the WCCP Galleries.

Here are reports from members about the Kilve event in October 2012.


I always look forward to the October Kilve, not least for the meals, cakes and biscuits. But I have been losing weight since the excesses of Sidmouth made all my clothes shrink (I have been successful because I am now unquestionably overweight, which is an improvement from being "a beast"). Anyway, I thought it best to eschew the more calorific comestibles and to eat lots of vegetables. This year I also had a slight trepidation because it was to be the debut for Oli and I as workshop leaders. The WCCP were very supportive of me when I started playing and they have enthused Oliver too, and as I since have learned quite a lot about concertina wrangling; I thought that I ought to give something back to the WCCP by way of thanks; and Esther gave us the opportunity to do so. I had pitched the workshop for post beginners, and Oli and I had selected some rounds that had interesting but relatively "easy" tunes. We even practiced some four part rounds (two parts each) to see what they sounded like. So,after tea break on Saturday morning , Oli and I set up expecting a few people to come along to point and smile, and we got over thirty wiry keen participants, not to mention Arthur who arrived two minutes from the end and apologised for being late! The musicians in the group were very kind to us, and tolerant, as we introduced then to: the highly technical concept of "Starting on the W of the One"; and advanced concertina techniques like: "The Whop", "The Slug", and "The Advanced Slug"; all ably demonstrated by Oli. This deviation from classical music descriptions was startlingly effective and we managed to very effectively turn ink into music by the end of the session. However, I noted that our workshop has had a corrosive effect on all those who attended, especially the more classically trained musicians, and even affected some who hadn't! Specifically I noticed that the multi-talented Claire at one point implored the baritones to "slug this bit", which was startling; and I was woken from my post prandial slumbers on Sunday afternoon by Mr McCann bellowing "WHOP THIS BIT!!!" at his duet players! I seem to have started a fashion for the use of a new vernacular for which I apologise most humbly - especially to all those with a classical music training. The band and bar sessions were, as is customary, great fun, and the bright filtered ale quite palatable. I had such a good time, that at one point I found that I had lost Oli; who, after claiming that he was going to bed, didn't. I finally found him having a mini-session with the other boys in the hall; and very good it sounded too. All in all a great weekend that was thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end.

Adrian

Oli writes

I do enjoy Kilve. the atmosphere there is very supportive and every moment is a great experience. I enjoy the food, I enjoy meeting people there and talking to them,and I find the Bar sessions in the evenings to be full of excitement (which is why my dad once stayed up until about 1 in the morning) and every moment to be enjoyable. Everyone is encouraged to be a part of the Bar sessions, even the newcomers to Kilve. One of the good things about Kilve this year was that I wasn't the youngest there. Though the majority are older, it is nice to see younger people showing a commitment to a concertina experience. I don't normally see other people of my generation playing the concertina, so playing with other people that are younger than I am is a real treat. I'm looking forward to next year already.

Val writes

Sandy Sharp promised Dave, Den and I that we would love Kilve and learn such a lot. As Kilve virgins, we arrived apprehensively on 19th October 2012, terrified of being amongst all those people who actually know what 'F sharp' means! Everybody we looked at was an actual musician and not a feeble beginner. We couldn't hide behind the title of 'absolute beginner', we knew only too well our limitations.

Now you know what I am going to say next! All the players were so supportive, cheerful, sociable and totally understanding of the experience we were about to enjoy. Being able to admit lack of understanding in such a non threatening environment was such a relief to us and really helped our learning. Even freezing during a performance is treated as a learning experience and we would like to thank everybody for that generosity of spirit. We did rescue ourselves somewhat in the pub on Sunday night

The catering was excellent. We sat with so many different people over the weekend which again is evidence of your easy going sociability. Thank you all for that.

We were on such a high on our way home that I have to confess that we had to stop at a service area to talk through every minute of the weekend again, knowing that the allotted 10 minute listening slot we might get at home just would not be enough! Thank you so much for organising such a good weekend, making us so welcome, teaching us so well. Now we are confidently practising for Kettlebridge Carols in Maidstone and testing the humidity in our houses, to better store our concertinas.

You can see some photos in the WCCP Galleries.


Here is a short report about the Kilve event in October 2011.

75 members and guests along with 9 tutors gathered at Kilve for our October Music Weekend, and what a great time we all had. The new Chef served up some super food, (he even has his own website!) and thanks to the great organisation by Esther and her team everything ran smoothly.

We have had lots of fabulous comments post weekend, just room for one extract here.

What one participant had to say.

Ann Williams.

I have not been playing the concertina for long and had attended another concertina weekend where it all went over my head, and everyone seemed so much better than me which left me feeling somewhat deflated. But one thing to come out of that weekend was a recommendation to try Kilve from Sally of Kettle Bridge Concertinas, I went home and booked straight away. As I arrived at Kilve, the welcome could not have been warmer and I immediately felt at ease, and even plucked up the courage to take a turn myself in the bar session. I have lots of great memories to takeaway, and ideas to build up my playing. I will definitely be back next year!!

 

WCCP CONSTITUTION

MEMBERSHIP FORM

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL FORM

Concertina Support Fund application form

Bursary application form

The above documents and forms are PDFs which you should find easy to read and print.

Note that you can save a PDF document to your local disk by clicking the right mouse button on the above link and selecting Save Link As from the menu.

In the unlikely event that your computer cannot open PDF documents, you will need to install Acrobat Reader from Adobe. You can download it from this page.