We had another really enjoyable weekend at Quantock Lodge (near Bridgwater), which is our weekend for beginners and improvers. We had over 75 attendees and lots of new people joining us for the first time. One newbie commented that having been to several similar events with different instruments, concertina players are by far the friendliest!
Beginners and Improvers enjoyed receiving focused group tuition on their Duet (Crane, Hayden and McCann), Anglo or English concertinas. The more proficient players enjoyed honing their skills in the Folk Stream or Advanced Band. There were also several options sessions dotted throughout the weekend including song accompaniment, rounds and slow sessions.
Dave Elliott provided concertina servicing and expert advice and Barleycorn Concertinas also brought a tempting range of instruments for sale.
On Friday night, we joined in an open session with anyone playing, as well as chatting in the bar.
On the Saturday night, we heard our tutors play, interspersed with us all playing some more tunes, as well as enjoying the other talents of the attendees, which included Morris dancing, storytelling and singing. There was also much laughter!
Before going home on Sunday, we got to hear what each group had been working on in an end-of-weekend showcase. It is amazing what can be achieved in just 2 days, and the more showcases you do, the more you learn to just enjoy playing, regardless of not playing perfectly at times! We also all played a new going-home tune as a whole group, which was a lovely way to end the playing part of the weekend, before enjoying a cream tea (as if we hadn’t all eaten enough over the weekend!).
If you are new to the concertina, or you are an improver, please consider coming to the next Quantock Lodge weekend in late September 2023! It is so much more than the sum of its parts and an uplifting, motivating weekend with the strong possibility of making new friends. See you there!