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 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 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 80 places available on the course due to space constraints and it is first come first served, so we recommend that you book as soon as possible after bookings open on 1 November 2021 to avoid disappointment.  If you booked for 2020, and then chose to allow your payment to be rolled over to 2021, then we will contact you a few days before the 1st November to allow you to choose your options in advance.

If you are registered with the mailing list (join using the form on the right sidebar), then we will send you an email as soon as the bookings open. Anyone who registered previously and has not unsubscribed will be retained on the list. However if you are unsure, 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.

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.

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