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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.

Unfortunately, Covid-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events, but we intend to hold our next Melodeons in Wensleydale in the spring of 2022.

The event will take place over the weekend of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of April 2022.

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 in 2022 will be John Kirkpatrick MBE, Hazel Askew, Emmanuel Pariselle, Thierry Beuze and Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, three of whom had previously been booked for our cancelled 2020 weekend, while Emmanuel had been booked for 2021. Mini-workshops will be led by Theo Gibb, Rees Wesson, Vicky Cooper and Bob Ellis.

  • 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 are now open, so we recommend that you book as soon as possible as the most popular workshops are filling up very quickly.

If you are registered with the mailing list (join using the form on the right sidebar), you should have received an email informing you that bookings are now open. Please let us know if you did not receive that email. Anyone who registered previously and has not unsubscribed will be retained on the list and will have been emailed. Please remeber to check your junk/spam mail folder(s). 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 – Outhwaites Ropemakers of Hawes and 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 £20 rather than £80.  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.

As many of you will know, Steve Dumpleton died suddenly in the early summer of 2021. Steve was a co-founder of Melodeons in Wensleydale along with Brian and Bob. His loss is felt keenly by many of us, and we would like to commemorate his life by playing at the session on Sunday afternoon a tune he composed . We shall circulate the sheet music and a video file of this tune in February along with the other music for the weekend.

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.

If you have a motor home, then parking for motor homes is permitted at the far end of the car park, as in previous years, which it is at a cost of £10 per unit per night.

Details of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) arrangements can be found here.

Details of our data privacy policy are available here.