The Celtic Sessions at the Charlotte Folk Society are informal gatherings of local musicians focusing on Celtic Tunes played in the session style. This is a repertoire session, and together we learn a selection of common Jigs, Hornpipes, Reels, and Waltzes from Ireland, Scotland, and Cape Breton. Our goal is to learn to play these tunes in the various styles that have been influenced by Celtic Traditions.
Some simple guidelines for our gatherings:
All acoustic instruments welcome. We currently sport fiddles, whistles, bodhrans, bones, hammered dulcimers, accordion, mandolin, octave mandolin, guitars, and a bass. We've been favored with flute, concertina, and harp; along with an occasional ballad or rousing song.
We offer a Slow Celtic Session (page for that here), for those who wish to slide gently into this musical experience. The regular sessions tend to be a bit more lively. The playing is generally at the Intermediate Level and the tunes a bit more challenging. There will be "coaching", so if your instrument is out of tune or you're playing too loud, you'll likely be asked to make adjustments (with a smile of course!).
The format follows a relaxed session protocol. Everyone takes their turn in suggesting a tune or set, which are then played in unison. If you're not comfortable starting the tune, someone else will be glad to help out!
|Some Celtic Resources|
|"The Bowling Green, OH Slow Session" Tune Page|
|"What is a Session"|
|Irish Flute Tunes|
|"The Session" tune website|
|Vashon Celtic Players|
Though music stands will be seen at our sessions, an effort should be made to apply the appropriate rhythm and lilt to the tunes. They need to "Sound Celtic"! Listening to various session recordings or videos is highly recommended.
We have a tune list, and we've put many of these together into "Sets" of two or three tunes. "Suggested" settings for our tunes are available below for your convenience. Other sources for these tunes can be found through the links in the table on the right.
Now for the fun stuff!
We try to meet one or two times a month in homes or in the chapel at a local retirement village. The Slow Celtic Session (page for that here), is generally planned for the 2nd Sunday of the month. The regular session on a Sunday later in the month. You'll need to join our exclusive Celtic Session email list to learn the dates and places, as these will change from one month to the next. To get added to that list, email John Goldsbury.
The regular Sessions usually run for about 3 hours in the afternoon, and snacks and beverages are welcome. Come prepared to play a lot!