Valentine theme as accordion festival returns

February 15

All day - concert at 3.30pm

Miners Social Club, Coalpit Heath Village Hall

Free

A MUSICIAN who revived a festival for the region's accordion players is bringing it back to Coalpit Heath this month.

Last year Andy Coles organised the first National Accordion Organisation South/South West Accordion championships since 1981. The event was a success, with around 40 performers and a further 80 spectators, and a concert following the competitive classes.

This year the event will once again be staged at the Miners Social Club, Coalpit Heath Village Hall, on February 15. And because it is taking place on the weekend of Valentine's Day, there is a special section with romantic theme.

As well as giving competitors the chance to win a place at the National Accordion Organisation's UK national finals, there will once again be a concert, from 3.30pm, which is free and open to all to attend.

Andy said: "Last year was a resounding success and we enjoyed an unexpected concert by a UK National Champion of the 70’s, Rajinder Suthar, who is originally from Downend but now living near London. The introduction was thanks to his sister, who still lives there and contacted her brother after reading the Voice.

"We had a great range of competitors, from the young learners to those returning to the instrument in later life.

"Music ranged from classical, through tango, musette, polka and modern. Alexander Bodell, a World class prize winner, also provided a spell-binding concert.

"This year, Alexander will be adjudicating, and his younger sister Annalise will be providing the concert. She has already performed on the world stage and won many UK Championships.

"To celebrate Valentine’s weekend, we also have a special Valentine section that is open to soloists up to four players of any instrument. The only requirement is that the choice of music is associated with romance or love – so anything from Albinoni’s Adagio to Get Me The Church On Time is absolutely fine."

Winners in the championships will be chosen on overall appeal and musicality.

Local musicians are welcome and the entry charge is £10 for a soloist or £15 for a group of two or more.

Anyone who would like to take part should contact Andy by February 8 by email at AccordionSW@virginmedia.com.

More details on the festival can be found at www.accordions.com/nao/

Pictures: champion accordionist Annalise Bodell (left) will perform a concert at the event in Coalpit Heath and her brother Alexander will adjudicate