The Celtic Sessions at the Charlotte Folk Society are informal gatherings of local musicians focusing on Celtic Tunes played in the session style. Now we have a pretty good idea of what an accomplished session sounds like, and with all due props and respect to those fine musicians, our sights are a bit more humble. We play a selection of Jigs, Hornpipes, Reels, and Waltzes from Ireland, Scotland, Eastern Canada, and New England. Our goal is to learn new tunes played 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, 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 is welcome to suggest tunes, which are played in unison. Players still learning the music are invited to play at the edge to get a feel for the Celtic styles.
|Some Celtic Resources|
|"What is a Session"|
|"Small Circle" Tune Learning Session Playlist|
|"Traditional Celtic, Irish, and OT Tune Book"|
|"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. Listening to various session recordings or videos is highly recommended.
Celtic Music is not necessarily an "aural" tradition. Many of the tunes played today have changed little in the past two hundred years, so an effort should be made to learn an accepted session version of a tune.
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!
The Celtic-lovers among us try to meet one or two times a month in homes. One of those will be a Slow Celtic Session (page for that here), planned for the 2nd Saturday of the month. The other one will be a regular session (this page), typically on a Sunday later in the month. You'll need to get on our super special 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.
Sessions usually run from 2 PM till 5:00 'ish, and snacks and beverages are welcome. Come prepared to play a lot!