Melodeons in Wensleydale is a weekend of workshops for players of D/G melodeons.

Our first weekend took place on 20-22 April 2018 and was a great success with four great tutors and 70 participants. Our second event took place on the weekend of 10-12 May 2019 with numbers increasing to 74, and was greatly enjoyed by all the attendees.

Following the Covid-enforced cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events, we held a very successful third workshop weekend over the weekend of 1-3 April 2022 with five tutors and 82 participants.

In April 2023 we had another very successful event with 5 tutors and 72 participants.

For 2024 the event will be held on April 12-14th and the main tutors will be Mel Biggs, Marinette Bonnert (Belgium), Archie Churchill-Moss, Andy Cutting, and Paul Scourfield. The tutors for the mini-workshops will be the same as this year except that Hugh Taylor will do the Dales Tunes workshop.

Please note: Due to rising costs the cost of the weekend in 2024 will be increased to £85 and the cost of an extra ticket for the Saturday evening concert will be £10.  This is the first increase since the weekend started in 2018.

The venue will be the Dales Countryside Museum in the small market town of Hawes amid the beautiful scenery of upper Wensleydale. The weekend will include:

  • Daytime workshops with some of the best melodeon players around.  The main tutors will be Mel Biggs, Marinette Bonnert (Belgium), Archie Churchill-Moss, Andy Cutting, and Paul Scourfield. Mini-workshops will be led by Theo Gibb, Vicky Cooper, Hugh Taylor, Richard Featherstone and Rees Wesson.

  • a Saturday evening concert by these tutors;

  • advice about instrument maintenance from professional melodeon repairers;

  • the opportunity to learn a few traditional tunes from the local area;

  • tune sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Please note that there are only 90 places available on the course due to space constraints and it is first come first served.   Bookings will open on 1 November 2023..

If you are registered with the mailing list (join using the form on the right sidebar), you will be informed by email of further developments, including a reminder when bookings are about to open. Anyone who registered previously and has not unsubscribed will be retained on the list. If you are unsure as to whether you have registered, then please re-register; you will not get more than one email.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors – Acorn Instruments – we are now able to offer a limited number of bursaries to encourage young people to attend Melodeons in Wensleydale and thus help to safeguard the future of melodeon playing in British folk music. These bursaries will amount to £60 per person, meaning that the cost of the course to successful applicants will be £25 rather than £85.  Please visit the sponsorship page for more details.

There will be trade stands for those who wish to purchase instruments or accessories and a respected melodeon fettler who can undertake minor repairs and adjustments on the spot. Melodeons in Wensleydale will also provide the opportunity to socialize and share experiences with others who play this addictive instrument.

The workshops are not suitable for absolute beginners, but will cater for a range of abilities from those who can play a few tunes with a simple bass accompaniment through to experienced musicians. For further details, see the Ability Levels page.

The programme is offered in good faith, but the organizers reserve the right to make changes in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Early booking of accommodation is advisable because Hawes is a popular holiday destination, where accommodation is often booked many months in advance.  Please see the page of possible accommodation with phone and web details.

Special arrangements have been made to allow parking for motor homes at the far end of the museum car park. Places are limited to ten vehicles, so please contact us by email if you would like to reserve a place. The museum charges a fee of £10 per unit per night and this should be paid direct to the museum at reception when you arrive.

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