Hi & G’Day,
As I write this newsletter the sun is shining and the world as seen through my dining room window looks great – lots of flowers in bloom, and greenery everywhere. Also, we have another Club Night concert on the horizon, featuring the Stockport AC debut of Tom Alexander to look forward to on Wednesday, May 9th. Yes, things are indeed looking good.
Tom Alexander, from Glasgow, is best known as the one of The Alexander Brothers, the duo famous for their Scottish songs, stage, TV, radio and numerous recordings. Less well known is the fact that Tom was once an All-Scotland Accordion Champion, and is one of the most stylish of accordion entertainers. To give an idea of what he does as a solo accordionist, the tracks on his recent CD The Flying Scotsman are: The Flying Scotsman, Pistonette (valse musette), Mary Milne, The Game (Le Gibier), Dollanes Melody, Happy Hours (polka), The Floral Dance, The Dark Island, The Typewriter (Leroy Anderson), Le Menage (valse musette), Theme from Bilitis, High Level Hornpipe, The Jacqueline Waltz, The Swiss Polka, The Jiggin’ Pig, The Cuckoo Waltz and Alpine Express.
For those of you who still haven’t visited us at our new HQ, Woodley Methodist Church is located on the corner of Chapel Street/A560 Hyde Road, Woodley, Stockport, Cheshire SK6 1BL. By motorway, take J25 on the M60, follow the Bredbury signs, and then turn left at the traffic lights just after MacDonalds. Admission is £4. As always, we begin at 8pm, and all are welcome, especially those who would like to play a tune or two.
At the club’s AGM in February the meeting unanimously accepted a proposal to appoint Pearl Fawcett-Adriano as a Vice President, and this has now been made official. It is a great honour for Stockport AC to have Pearl, a former World Champion and a truly wonderful musician, in our ranks, and we look forward to a long and happy association.
The committee were re-elected en bloc, but with Adrienne Sharpe succeeding the long serving Roy Hamlet as Secretary, and with the addition of Rachel White. It was also decided at the AGM that as 2007 marks 20 years since the present Stockport Accordion Club was formed by Clifford Wood in 1987, and 60 years since Jack Ridings formed the very first Stockport AC in 1937, the club would produce a souvenir book. Compiling the book is a task that has fallen to me, and I will begin this in the next few weeks. A few months ago I ‘inherited’ Clifford Wood’s scrapbook, containing photographs and memorabilia dating back to the 1950s. I would love to hear from anyone with knowledge of the earlier incarnations of Stockport AC, particularly anyone who knew anything about Jack Ridings. Please get in touch – ASAP.
Bert Santilly’s Club Night in March was a real treat, with Bert playing such varied pieces as Couer Vagabond, the Morris jig Constant Billy, Girl From Ipanema, Gymnopedie, Take Five, Haymaker’s Jig, Sweet Sue, Sentimental Journey, La Cumparsita and Manhattan Spiritual plus duets Lullaby of the Leaves and La Vie En Rose with Johnny Coleclough, and with John Nixon, playing clarinet instead of his concertina, for Pick Yourself Up and Moonglow.
Rachel White and Sarah Hodge are competing in the UK Championships at The Spa, Scarborough, over the Bank Holiday weekend, May 4th/6th. Rachel is in the Advanced Solo and Senior Polka sections, and Rachel and Sarah are together in the Open Duet section. At the time of writing the days and times are unknown, but it is likely that they will be playing on both Saturday and Sunday. Marj & I will be there on Sat/Sun, so we’re hoping to be there to support them. If any of you can make it across to Scarborough, I’m sure you will enjoy the festival – and it’s free apart from the Saturday evening ceilidh with Gary Blair.
On Thursday June 14th, 8pm, Pearl Fawcett Adriano is in concert at the very beautiful and picturesque St Mary’s Church, Rostherne, near Tatton Park, Cheshire. What a super way to spend a Thursday evening! Admission is £6.50, which includes light refreshments. I have some tickets, and hope to see some of you there for what will be a very special occasion; contact organiser Richard Brotherton (0161) 928 4010.
Alan Venn’s mini festivals: June 18th/21st, the Mount Hotel, Blackpool – Harry Hussey (accordion) and Andrew Seddon + Norman Scott (organ); Annan Hotel, Llandudno - October 1st/5th - Harry Hussey and Andrew Seddon + Ian Wolstenholme (organ). For further info: Alan Venn - 01204 840 279.
This year’s Caister Accordion Festival takes place from November 2nd/6th at Haven Holiday Park, Caister, Norfolk. In the last newsletter I rather carelessly gave you a guest list based on the 2006 event, for which I apologise. Here is the correct info: Vladimir Ushakov, Svetlana Stavitskia and Sergei Likhachov (Russia), Bernadette Conlon (Australia), Giancarlo Caporilli (Italy), Gary Blair, Harry Hussey, Amaryllis, Romano Viazzani, Bert Santilly and Norvic Concordia. Contact Heather Smith: 01482 805 387. I have some forms, and it is not too soon to book. Time passes so quickly I am thinking that I might as well play Happy Birthday, Summer Holiday, Jingle Bells and Auld Lang Syne as a medley!
For sale: Corelli 120 bass musette piano accordion; 7 treble/5 bass couplers, internal mutes; colour – red; excellent condition; now only £700; Brian Hulme - (0161) 626 6142.
On February 23rd a few of us went to The Audley Theatre in Staffs to see Julie Best in concert, and it was an excellent concert in a nice venue. Julie was on top form. Before the show, John and June Jones went to a nearby pub for a meal, where they found themselves sitting close to Chris Tarrant, of Who Wants to be a Millionaire fame. Chris spent no less than 45 minutes talking on his mobile, and June had to restrain John, who was just dying to ask the inevitable question: “Who’s your phone a friend?”!!
I hope the nice weather sticks around for a while, and that you are all healthy and enjoying life. If you can make it to our Night guest on May 9th you will most certainly be entertained in style by the great Tom Alexander. In the meantime, keep squeezing…