on the agenda was stopping at our hospitalities spot to sign in, get a
badge, and finding out where to stash your stuff. The accommodations vary
from fancy rooms in the Manor house to one's own tent in the pine grove
- depending on one's druthers and how early one registered (the deluxe
accommodations are usually filled by June).
Next was trying to make it through the various jams to get to your digs!
High up on the list of things to do was checking out our workshop schedule.
It's an interactive affair in which one can request a workshop and offer
to lead one. This year's impressive, instructive and insightful workshops
included a number of familiar ones and some new ventures and exploratory
territory for many. Everyone partook at will and whim! Those not so occupied
could be found jamming with others or occasionally playing by themselves,
getting down the new tune or technique.
THIS YEAR'S WORKSHOPS:
by Rich Morse
Chords for Beginners by Tony Hughes
Slow Jam with Wendy "The Ear"
Easy & Fun Tunes for all Boxes
Also by Wendy
English Country Dances/Playford
Contra Band with Craig Hollingsworth
Solo Hour (show off YOUR pieces!)
with Ken Sweeney
Duet Concertinas Unite!
with David Barnert
Chordal Workshop for Chromatic
Klezmer Workshop by Sy Kushner
Tricky Fingers for Piano Accordion
by Wendy again!
Douce Ambiance also by Craig
Rhythm & Chords for English
Concertina with Rachel Hall
French Canadian Tunes
with Doug Creighton
Blues Workshop with Ed Marris
All Sorts of Stuff about the English
Also by Ken
The abc's of ABC by David Barnert
Tunesmith & Wordsmith,
Composers & Authors
with Jim Allen
The Making of the Céilí - Slide Show
by the BB staff
Concertina Repair & Maintenance
by Mario & Ken
Old-Time Country Gospel
Between workshops many found their way to the "goodies" room to check out the impressive assortment of enticements for sale. Beyond the The Button Box's usual broad assortment of squeezeboxes, recordings, and books, there was another vendor of (predominantly) piano accordions, and a couple tables laden full with participants' boxes for sale.
This year's Saturday night concert, even more eclectic than usual, featured performances on a diverse array of instruments, including hammered dulcimers, flutes, recorder, bagpipe, nyckelharpa, piano, fiddles, banjos, harmonicas, - oh yes - and lots of squeezeboxes! Nothing unusual about them!
And his grace might be called Geraldfordian;
But Joe Lieberman swings
Like a klezmer on springs
To a horn with Gore on accordion.
As I played in the reeds with Veronica;
She squeezed "Soldier's Joy"
From my bellows, while I
Blew "Money Musk" on her harmonica.
Worked the bellows with his knees.
In his kilt, on the draw
Almost everyone saw
An instrument certain to please!
The ensuing lively contradance was followed by waltzes, schottisches, and some swing dancing. While back at Manor - tunes, songs, stories... and somewhere out back an especially welcoming hot tub! The next morning arrived all too soon for the several who awokened at the crack of dawn by a couple of VERY early morning accordionists (whom shall remain unnamed).
Sunday was a day of recovery, coffee and leisurely brunch, some more
tunes, a few stray workshops, deciding that you just couldn't pass up that
CD/book combo, the group photo, and just hanging out and taking it easy
before heading out. Hope to see you all next year!
Phone: (413) 665-7793
P.O. Box 372
Sunderland MA 01375 USA
This page updated: 4/1/02