The continuing national lockdown meant that our 21 March meeting was again online, and this time we welcomed leading UK concertina tutor Alex Wade who ran a workshop from her home in the North East.
We always enjoy her workshops as she likes to challenge us with something a little different, and this time it was with a Danish piece Den Toppede Hone Fra Vensyssel, sometimes called The Peat Dance, a popular session tune in parts of Scotland.
A rough translation is "The topped hen from Vensyssel", though whether this means a hen with an impressive comb or a headless chicken we are not sure - what we do know is that it was a great tune, a bouncy jig with three parts, arranged for band playing by Alex.
This workshop focussed on technique for getting lift into a dance tune, and giving it shape.
The notation is available on The Session here, and a version of it played by Random Quartet, a Danish string quartet, here.
While online workshops are not ideal, as we can't get a real sense of band playing on our own at home, it was good to have a go at something new and really drill down into technique.
White Rose Morris' concertina player Adrian Jackson (second from the left) led the YCC February meeting with a workshop on the history and technique of playing for Cotswold morris dancing.
In a fascinating meeting he explained what the Cotswold dances were, where they came from, how to interpret the traditional tunes and accompany the dances, many which have an irregular musical pattern.
The group were able to play along and add a few new tunes to their repertoire.
The meeting, on 21 February, was mid lockdown, which meant we were all online, and Adrian's workshop worked really well in this format. He was able to share pictures and videos of morris dancing - a bit more difficult to do in our face to face gatherings.
Having access to online resources meant that we could get a good idea about how the music worked with the morris stepping, and we could each play along at home.
Adrian is a member of YCC, and also a dancer and musician with White Rose Morris, which is based in Huddersfield. The dance team perform all over the UK, and have their own Facebook page @WhiteRoseMorrisMen where you can find information about where they will be dancing over the summer.