|Music Weekends History / Background: |
singing, guitar picking and just 'plain old music' weekends at Savio House, Bollington,
near Macclesfield, Cheshire (UK) are held twice per year (see timetable below).
They are run by Joe Cainen, a guitarist of note, from Warrington in the north
of the county of Cheshire, UK (North-West England).
These are superb
weekends with very friendly people, most of whom play and most of whom are more
than willing to help others along the way. The weekend starts on Friday evening
with most people turning up around 6:00 to 7:00pm for tea, though there are inevitable
stragglers due to work commitments and the exigencies of travelling. After tea
the first session of the weekend gets under way. It starts with a few communal
items with everyone joining in (or not as they wish) with some songs and some
tunes (instruments depend upon who turns up but usually includes 20 or so guitars
and a sprinkling of others such as clarinet, flute, penny whistle, mandolin, and
even banjo. This is followed by a round robin where everyone around the large
room takes it in turn to play or sing something or pass if they don't feel up
to it. On many occasions two or three people will do something together that they
have been working on since the last weekend. This goes on until about midnight
when the more world weary begin to drift off but the hardy ones are known to still
be there and both playing hard and drinking occasionally through until 3, 4, 5,
or even 6 in the morning (just as well the soundproofing is good).
starts at about 9:00am and, punctuated by breakfast and lunch, is comprised of
groups forming to practice, small groups passing tunes and tablature, even smaller
groups of teaching taking place, a few hours of folk dancing to Derek Style's
accordion or his fiddle, and a degree of time spent in leader groups working on
something for each group to perform in the Saturday evening session, and if you
wish you can even join in with the weekends Barbershop group. The evening proceeds
in much the same fashion to Friday evening but by this time there are the group
performances worked up and the Barbershop performances as well as everyone's individual
and group offerings. Of course by now everyone is raring to go having got over
Friday's end of work tiredness and these Saturday sessions are often by far the
best of the weekends.
Sunday starts in much the same fashion but is often
a little bit more subdued than the Saturday - possibly because people are knackered
after the Saturday evening session but also ever so slightly because the realisation
is already dawning that it will soon be time to go home to face work once more
on the Monday. The Sunday session starts after lunch and goes on until about 4
to 4:30pm whence everyone departs amidst much friendly banter, hand-waving and
smiles - yet another excellent music weekend with tunes running through ones head
all the way home.
Many people, particularly in their early days with
regard to attending the weekends, arrive on the Saturday, some only stay for the
Saturday and drift off in the late evening or even in the early hours of Sunday
morning. A very few, those with heavy commitments in either work or family, just
turn up for the camaraderie of the Sunday. Come along as you wish.
make a reservation for the weekend please contact Joe at: IGAS, 60 Acton Avenue,
Appleton, Warrington, Cheshire, WA4 5PT, United Kingdom - Tel.: (01925)
602217. If you do not wish to attend for the full weekend I am sure Joe will
be able to accommodate your requirements - or why not just turn up for the Saturday
evening sing-around for a taster of the event to see if you enjoy it - I am sure
you will. See you there !!
Joe Cainen's Comments:
As always, the emphasis of the Folk Music Weekend will be on providing opportunities
for people to engage in dance and song activities of their choice in a relaxed
and informal atmosphere, with occasional very light washing-up duties. The barbershop 'quartet'
will once again come into its own and we will have, for example, guitar workshops
so that beginners (at all levels!) can exchange ideas and improve their technique.
We hope to build on the tremendous success and warm, welcome atmosphere of previous
weekends at Savio House, not to mention similar ventures at Spode House, the Maryvale
Centre and Dehon House, over the years.
Newcomers will be made
most welcome - the weekend is open to all, so please invite your friends to
come along and join in.
Savio House is just outside the small town of
Bollington, five miles north of Macclesfield. It is situated in its own spacious
grounds in very pleasant surroundings bordering on the Peak District National
Park. The Centre is easy to get to: it can be reached by car in 45 minutes from
the centre of Manchester, and Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Stoke, Derby and Frodsham
are all within an hour's journey by car; there is a frequent train service to
Macclesfield from Manchester, and also from London, Stoke, Stafford and Milton
Keynes. A regular bus service links Macclesfield with Bollington, but we hope
to give lifts as required from Macclesfield.
The Savio Centre provides
comfortable accommodation for a maximum of 48 persons. There are 37 single rooms,
several of which also contain a comfortable fold-down bed-chair to enable them
to be used as twin rooms, and one family room. The fees for the Weekend (if you
are staying the whole weekend and require a room) will be £71 for adults
and £59.75 for the unwaged. Infants and small children go free, but please
note that the Centre makes no special provision for babies. There are further
reductions for juniors. Special offer for newcomers: just £50 per
person. These fees include a non-returnable deposit of £6 per person. Given
that the Centre provides all bed-linen and offers a good standard of cuisine,
I am sure that you will agree that these fees represent extremely good value for
money, unlike the Ornithology Weekend attended by the famous Long-John Silver
which allegedly cost him an arm and a leg. Indeed, as the fellow said, "Omnes
lagani pistrinae gelati male sapiunt!!" or as Anne Hathaway said as she tried
to write a poem after leaving Shakespeare, "These days I seem to go from
bard to verse".
If you cannot join us in May or September but would
like to be on our mailing list for the next/following weekend(s) please simply
write to let us know. We ask you to do this so that you won't feel 'persecuted'
by receiving a letter every six months and so that we can keep administration
costs low. Please telephone to book as prices vary from year to year. I look forward
to hearing from you soon and seeing you at Savio House for what, hopefully, will
be another enjoyable, relaxing and successful Music Weekend. Cheers.