World Concertina Day 2024

A number of events to fly the concertina flag in Australia.

South Coast

A Concertina Flash Mob with concertinas in hand gathered at the regular Candelo Village Market which occurs monthly on the first Sunday.  This time it was two days before the actual WCD which fell on the following Tuesday the 6thof February.
Present were Mike Martin, Millicent White, Tristan White and Steve Wilson.  A mix of tunes and songs were presented and the sight of four concertinas playing together created some interest and inquiry.

Goulburn

The usual Australian session held on the first Friday of the month was dedicated to concertinas. Songs and poems about concertinas and the Concertina Reel were played with great enthusiasm.
A video of the Woolshed Hop was cobbled together  and can be seen by clicking here.

North Coast

Mnawesome is a Brisbane women’s session group, convened by Deirdre Hurley Angelos. We played a couple of tunes from Caitlin Nic Gabhann’s Irish Concertina Lessons to celebrate the day. 
Sandy Gray 

Western Australia

On February 4th 2024, Western Australian concertina players joined together in Mindarie for their second observance of World Concertina Day.  There was a ‘whole lotta squeezen’ going on’ as Elvis might say if he were looking down from on high, with Aussie traditional songs, some pop, some folk, and even an opera piece played.  Players included Christine Bolt (Anglo), Yvonne Grey (English), Monty Kelly (English), Nick Eustance (English), and Al Riebau (English).  Concertinas both old and new, English and Anglo, and steel and brass reeded were discussed and demonstrated (Suttner, Wheatstone, Morse, Wakker, Lachenal). A highlight of the afternoon was a Skype link between the Mindarie celebration and Steve Wilson with his youthful students Tristan and Millicent transmitting live from the fabled mystical town of Wyndham in NSW.  The plan is to meet again in six months and then have another WCD celebration next year. 
Al Riebau

World Concertina Day 2023

A Concertina Convergence was held at The Goulburn Club in Goulburn NSW in February 2023 with a whole weekend of workshops, concerts and general concertina stuff. 

Reviews

Thanks again David for your great effort. Lyndel and I were delighted with the C.C. It exceeded our expectations. I was amazed how much interest there was in Grandad and his Stanley and really enjoyed the concert. Great to be a part of the 4 part harmony group.
Bruce Kurtz   

What a splendid weekend! Thank you so much. It was a packed program with something for everyone, and I (along with everyone else) thoroughly enjoyed it.  The culmination of a lot of hard work on your part.  Every little detail was thought through, from the excellent program through to the photos, drawings, figurines, and even the provision of prints of the etchings for the captions - I hope we see those in print. They were hilarious. And Mary's delicious dinner! 
And what a perfect venue. 
Margaret Fagan

I'm not surprised to hear that there has been consistently positive feedback because there was such a buzz around the venue all weekend.  Everything I managed to get to was wonderful, fun, inclusive and inspiring, and it seemed people had put a lot of work into planning their contributions. My only complaint was that, as usual, I couldn’t get to everything!!!
All in all, a fantastic weekend. 
Thank you to Dave and all of you,
Conner Carole  (Helman)

It was a great event. I think that everyone got something out of it. Maybe the only complaint was that there weren’t enough “free” spots during the day when people could mingle and do one-on-one or small group sessions.
George Bolliger

Whole heartedly agree a great weekend and a wonderful venue.
Steve Wilson

Thanks Dave for your brilliant organisation and a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. Although I’m not an official mover and shaker at the Goulburn Club these days, it still thrills me that the Club is used by community and music groups like this and involves many members as well as introducing the club to outsiders. Thank you for the monetary donation to the Club as well. Every dollar helps keep the Club afloat and allows people to enjoy what the club has to offer.
Ron McLaughlin

World Concertina Day 2023

Western Australia

We had a successful meeting on the 5th February with nine players in attendance. Lesley Sylvester (English, Wheatstone) played in the boatshed at Rottnest Island, as she was on duty as a volunteer Rottnest Guide. Richard Miles (English ) sent his apologies.

People attending were Leslie Butler ( English, Lachenal and Wheatstone), Sergio Patuto ( Anglo made by Ian Simpson), Allen Riebau ( English by Wakker), Monty Kelly ( English, Lachenal) Nick Eustance  ( English , Wheatstone), Judith Morrison ( Anglo, Lachenal), Yvonne Gray ( English , Wheatstone ) , Hilary Johnston ( Anglo,Lachenal) and Christine Boult( Anglo, Ghent and Dipper).

We were all from varied backgrounds and had different musical interests. Sergio and Hilary are great at the Irish tunes. Nick sings with a shanty group, Al, Leslie and Christine also sing with their concertinas. Three of us (Leslie, Hilary and Christine) go to a fortnightly group playing mainly English tunes. Two of us also play for the Morris.

We celebrated our differences and sang shanties, bush songs, American songs, played English and Irish tunes and also The Doodlakine Waltz written by Phil Gray, Yvonne’s husband. Tunes included were John Kanaka, Lucy Farr’s Barn Dance, The Three Sea Captains, Maggie in the Woods and many others.

A celebration for World Concertina Day 2024 is definitely planned for North of the River at Al’s house.  

Concertina gatherings have been a feature of the National Folk Festival in Canberra at Easter for  a while. The general pattern is for workshops, sessions and repair guidance.

More detail requested.

A concertina convergence occurred in Yackandandah, Victoria from the  23rd to 25th November 2018 and a lovely weekend was enjoyed by the many who attended.  Yackandandah, a beautiful little town, was chosen as a location fairly central to concertina aficionados from both NSW and Victoria as previous gatherings favoured those closer to Canberra and Sydney.

The main venue was the Java@Yack Cafe which offered a variety of spaces for workshops and sessions and the advantage of food and beverage on site.  The Star Hotel hosted a Friday evening welcome session and a Saturday evening concert.  The town caravan park
within walking distance was the principal choice for accommodation for most with some opting for motels.

A great session evolved on the Friday evening with some diehards  continuing quite late.  Saturday heralded a sunny day to compliment a
variety of indoor and outdoor activities, workshops and sessions, some impromptu. A concertina caterpillar wiggled into the town park at
lunchtime.  That night the blackboard concert at the Star provided opportunity for the bold and brave to showcase their playing, the evening being very entertaining.

Sunday was wind-down day with a maintenance workshop and a tune session to see off those heading home in the afternoon.  Those
staying over enjoyed a wonderful evening session in the rustic campground kitchen.

All in all a wonderful weekend we all agreed.  Thanks to Pete McMahon who put some videos of the weekend together.

The program can be seen here.