Tutors 2024

Andy Cutting

Andy Cutting grew up in folk family. Both his parents were morris dancers and so spent most of his early years traveling the south of England on morris tours. He started playing the Diatonic Button Accordion (Melodeon) at the age of 16, shutting himself away and studying the box for nine months. He was hugely influenced by the playing of John Kirkpatrick and then, later, by Marc Perrone (France) and Riccardo Tesi (Italy). He developed his own style of playing which has been much imitated throughout the word and many of his tunes have become session standards. He has taught hundreds of people and continues to pass on much of what he has learned over the last 36 years in workshops.

He has played with many people and bands including. Chris Wood, Blowzabella, June Tabor, Martin Simpson, Topette, Leveret, Kate Rusby, Sting, Mark Knopfler, Roger Daltry, The WHO, Anne Niepold, Gudrun Walther.

Mel Biggs

Mel Biggs is a musician, performer and melodeon teacher based in Derbyshire, England.Renowned the world over for her perceptive, patient and mindful manner in teaching groups and individuals, Mel is a leading light in the world of melodeon teaching; both on and off-line. Having been teaching since 2009, Mel has an ever expanding toolkit of techniques at her disposal which she adapts to every new teaching scenario. You can expect a bespoke blend of learning-by-ear, call and response playing, analogies, visualisations and pattern recognition, tune deconstruction and notation in moderation. Mel is a consummate performer, vocalist and accompanist wracking up a wealth of experience in trio Moirai, playing for the vibrant Harlequin Morris, and most recently as an actor-musician in the 2022-23 UK & Canada tour of Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical.

Marinette Bonnert

Marinette Bonnert was originally from Malmedy, in the Belgian Ardennes, Marinette started playing the accordion at the age of 12 with Louis Spagna (dance music master in Wallonia) and discovered with him the importance of the relationship between dancers and musicians. She teaches melodeon and dance courses all over Europe and plays in several balfolk groups. A brilliant student, she taught the accordion, organized bals, and participated in the programming of music and dance courses in Borzée. She has developed a style of playing mainly focused on the integration of rhythms for dance, all served by a great melodic sensitivity. In the ‘90s, she played with dance groups like Tétralyre and Topaze. Then she met the violinist Raymond Honnay in Matoufèt, and created Moirai, a group with entirely feminine energy. From her 5-year stay in Austria, she returned with extensive experience in the broadcasting of dance music, thanks to collaborations with the folk scene in Vienna, as well as with the University of the Arts (Universität für Darstellende Kunst) from Vienna. Back in Belgium for around ten years now, she continues her musical projects, based on research into Walloon music and dance, through such bands as 21 BOUTONS, Calamalys, Folk à Donf. She also gives accordion lessons in several formats, focussing on dance music and the traditional music of Wallonia and has taught in several academies in Wallonia since 2014.

Archie Churchill-Moss

Archie Churchill-Moss is widely regarded as one of the best players of English traditional music, Archie has worked as a session musician for some of the UK’s top folk acts (Cara Dillon, Eliza Carthy, Blair Dunlop, Jim Moray), as well as performing with the trio, ‘Moore, Moss, Rutter’ – the outfit which saw him receive the coveted BBC Radio 2 Folk Award in 2011. The past two years have seen Archie tour extensively across western Europe and perform at some of Europe’s top music festivals, including headline slots at ‘Colours of Ostrava (Czech Republic), Tønder festival (Denmark), Cropredy Convention (UK) and Cambridge Folk Festival (UK). With a contemporary approach to composition and arrangement, Archie has developed a style of playing that draws as much influence from the tradition as it does modern popular music. He is currently seen to perform with: ‘Tom Moore & Archie Moss’, ‘Sam Kelly & the Lost Boys’ and ‘False Lights’. His engaging teaching style comes from a wealth of experience in his position as senior lecturer in ‘folk music’ at Leeds College of Music and teaching on the National Youth Folk Ensemble.

Paul Scourfield

Paul Scourfield   is a stylish melodeon player and singer, performing material mainly from the English tradition. Bought up surrounded by the folk music of his parents, he was inspired to take up the melodeon after going to see John Kirkpatrick at the local folk club. He has appeared at major festivals including Sidmouth, Whitby, Warwick, and Towersey, as well as folk clubs around the country. Paul is a well-respected workshop leader, giving insight into the mysteries of the melodeon and inspiration to participants. Paul also works in schools and was involved with the EFDSS Full English project, taking traditional music, song and dance into primary and secondary schools in Cambridgeshire. Paul has released an album “Freshly Squeezed” featuring songs and tunes from his solo repertoire. In addition to his solo work Paul is a respected dance musician, playing with innovative ceilidh band Chalktown, formed by ex-members of the legendary “Gas Mk 5”. Paul brings warmth and humour to any venue he visits, along with songs and tunes which alternately excite, move or make you laugh!!

Mini-Workshop Tutors

Vicky Cooper

Vicky from Sheffield plays for Silkstone Greens Morris side and has tutored at the Bellows and Buttons weekend as well as Melodeons in Wensleydale. As well as Morris music, she is particularly adept at playing European music on her G/C melodeon.

Bob Ellis

An experienced melodeon teacher and workshop tutor, Bob, from Gayle in Wensleydale, is the author of There was None of this Lazy Dancing! a book about the traditional dances and music of the Yorkshire Dales and A Well-Known Tunes at a Steady Pace Tunebook.

Richard Featherstone

Richard from Redcar plays for Jet Set and Locos in Motion morris sides and has tutored for the North-East Melodeon Playgroup. He has a wide knowledge of music genres including Irish, French, Dartmoor, and various one-row styles.

Theo Gibb

Theo from Marley Hill, near Newcastle, needs no introduction. He is probably the best melodeon tuner and fettler in the country. He tunes for Emmanuel Pariselle