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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.