The Yorkshire Concertina Club joined thousands of concertina players all over the world to celebrate the first World Concertina Day on Sunday 6th February.
The event, organised by the International Concertina Association to celebrate the 220th birthday of Sir Charles Wheatstone, the inventor of the English Concertina, and the 70th anniversary of the ICA, included concerts by performers in the United States, Canada, Japan, South Africa and Sweden, and of course all over the UK, including Leeds where the YCC is based.
Our contribution to the celebration was a concert at the Corner House Club, where we played some of our favourite band pieces, and also featured songs performed by Russ Etherington who accompanied himself on a treble concertina.
Graham Heffernan (YCC chair) said that while the YCC met each month in an upstairs room of the Corner House, this was the first time it had performed there for regulars in the public bar. “Corner House Club members put up with the odd noises from our rehearsal room every month, and to say thanks for their hospitality over the years, we thought it would be great to share our music with them as part of World Concertina Day,” he said.
“We had some lovely comments afterwards, and hope that playing for the Corner House Club might become a regular part of the YCC year.”
YCC members who took part in the inaugural World Concertina Day event were:
Russ Etherington – treble and baritone English concertina
Ruth Flint – treble English concertina
Helen Graham – treble and baritone English concertinas
Phil Graham – Anglo concertina
Steve Griffiths (deputy band leader) – duet concertina
Graham Heffernan (YCC Chair) – treble concertina
Adrian Jackson – treble and baritone concertina
Rhona Stevens – treble concertina
Carolyn Wade (band leader) – treble and bass concertina
The playlist included:
American Patrol trad US
Shannon Waters by John Willis
Hymne a l' Amour by Marguerite Monnot
Moonlight Serenade by Glen Miller
Bernie the Ragtime Ferret by John Willis
Harry Bloodgood trad
Only You by Buck Ram and Ande Rand
A Policeman's Lot by Arthur Sullivan
The Little Mouse by John Willis
The Plane Tree trad
Yorkshire Concertina Club Rag by John Willis
Nellie the Elephant by Ralph Butler and Peter Hart
The Great Escape by Elmar Bernstein
Yesterday by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
As part of our rehearsal time, we also played a brand new composition by Alan Day, the World Concertina Day March, written especially for the event. We look forward to recording and submitting our version of this piece to the ICA over the coming months, joining other concertina clubs’ submissions as Alan has suggested,
For more information on World Concertina Day and to see what players around the world have been doing to celebrate go to https://concertina.org/world-concertina-day/