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Author Topic: Any Experience with Competitions?  (Read 2656 times)

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forrest

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Any Experience with Competitions?
« on: April 26, 2015, 06:29:43 PM »

There is an annual event nearby that I often do not get to attend. It is called the "Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration"  located to a mountain town that is modelled on a Bavarian theme. (I will also post a link to the event in the "Events" heading).
    Now that I am a well-worn out cog in the working world, I have the time to attend this event, and it's only 20 miles off. Part of the proceedings include many categories of competitions, which are divided according to age of performer, style of music, groups, etc.
     There is a classification for "Diatonic", which allows only "Old Time" tunes to be played, namely, Schottishe, Waltz, or Polka. This category is usually dominated by a few entries of people playing large multi-row Steirische-type boxes, although there was a Swiss orgeli player who fared quite well. Upon request, the rules people also said that concertina would be allowed in this classification, as long as it was diatonic. Otherwise, melodeon or concertina could compete in any other classification, but would be facing mostly refrigerator-size PA's.
      I have considered trying my hand at the Diatonic category, but am in a quandary about what tunes to play that will fit the "Old Time" requirement. Anyone have advice or experience with this?   ???
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boxcall

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2015, 07:34:55 PM »

There's a lot of good old time tunes on this site
http://www.mne.psu.edu/lamancusa/tunes.html

I think I heard redwing on the video at the site you posted, all PA's as you stated.
and IMO it didn't have much drive to it. It looks like everyone is reading music and looking to see where there hands are positioned this can't help with feeling the music, I'd say.
I think you'd do well with any tunes you play for your music has good feel to it.
and if a big wind comes along that will help you win ;)
let us know how you do.
Another polka tune which I've been learning that's good is ( to young to marry, my love is but a lassie yet, etc, etc.)
The girl I left behind me
soldiers joy
to name a few.
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forrest

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2015, 08:15:33 PM »

Thanks, boxcall....I should probably provide a bit more detail. The folks in charge have furnished a definition for the term 'Old Time',  and here is a quote:

For the purpose of this competition, “Old Time” refers to the manner and style in which the selection
was written or is being played, not to the selection’s age or ethnic origin. Old-time music is fittingly
described as the style and tempo predominantly and successfully used for executing the polka,
schottische, waltz throughout a broad cross-section of North American and European communities
during the past few centuries. Also for the purpose of this competition, “LIAC Old Time” may include
the march. All cultural styles are equally acceptable as long as the selection is played in the manner
used by the culture of origin. With this as a guide, the decision of the adjudicators is final.


   A rather round-about explanation, and I wonder if that might exclude for instance, tunes by S. Delicq. Perhaps the limits are much broader than I imagine. I think the video you saw might have been a workshop. However, I did notice that some of the Old Time presentations I have witnessed were very careful and meticulously slow, as if playing a dance for very fragile senior citizens.
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boxcall

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2015, 08:48:38 PM »

"Old-time music is fittingly described as the style and tempo predominantly and successfully used for executing the polka, schottische, waltz throughout a broad cross-section of North American and European communities"

sounds pretty open ended to me  (:)
Hows this
http://youtu.be/nZxuT-ECqH8
or this then
http://youtu.be/NE8ve9Y_Vmk

there both danceable i would say and they sound similar to me.
maybe i'm missing something
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forrest

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2015, 09:27:10 PM »

Those are great examples. Perhaps it's me that's missing something.  Wouldn't be the first time  ;D.  But I am hoping for some tips or advice from someone who has participated or adjudicated one of these events. I still have time to decide whether something in my current rep will do, or whether to learn something new.
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boxcall

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2015, 10:14:00 PM »

well, I never participated in any competition so I'm no help.
I imagine if judges are PA players and thats what they like, it might be hard to do well even if your playing the right tune and playing it spot on.
But you got to try to find out.
I hope you do!
I can't wait till I'm a well worn out cog in the working world :D
right now i'm just worn out worker with happy customers.
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Theo

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2015, 08:00:26 AM »

If the competition is played in front of the audience then don't worry too much about the rules and the judges, just choose pieces that are broadly within the definitions and play to the audience. Just treat it as any other performance and enjoy the opportunity to entertain the audience.  If the judges like it too that is a bonus.
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Sebastian

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2015, 09:07:38 AM »

If the competition is played in front of the audience then don't worry too much about the rules and the judges, just choose pieces that are broadly within the definitions and play to the audience. Just treat it as any other performance and enjoy the opportunity to entertain the audience.  If the judges like it too that is a bonus.


      

AirTime

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2015, 03:30:25 PM »

Quote
in a quandary about what tunes to play that will fit the "Old Time" requirement

As much oomph in the oomph-pa-pa as possible?

I'd be happy to lend you my steirische box to give you a fighting chance!  ;)
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 06:33:49 PM by AirTime »
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forrest

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2015, 04:32:47 PM »

  Theo, you have nailed it for me. Now I can enter and go forward fearlessly. Thank you! And thanks, Peter, for your offer of the steirische box, although it might prove to be more than I could handle!.
  Several years back I had proposed to the governing committee of the event that perhaps in order to showcase the "International" aspect of the proceedings, that they allow the Old Time category to include jigs, reels, strathspeys, polskas, springars, an dro, hanter dro, tarantella, mazurka; in short, any folk style of dance tune that had some historical roots. Since the judges seem more concerned with performance and less with authenticity, it would offer a broader canvas and perhaps attract more participants. (The judges all seem to be PA players). I received a favorable reply, but nothing changed. So here goes...... :||:
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fishfeathersmacteeth

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2015, 05:01:28 PM »

In my experience of Melodeon competitions here in Scotland, it is whatever the Judge thinks is an appropriate tune...or set of tunes...

So far I am on a 100% place rate and 50% win rate... :-)

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Chris Ryall

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2015, 12:43:24 AM »

Done a few in my youth. There used to be a singing competion in Whitby, a win, much to my adolescent surprise. Quickly followed by the Morpeth gathering a couple of years later; disqualified! my song was considered "Scottish" :|bl

My own final attempts were at Chavanée's fête Embraud, devilishly encoraged by Maxou Heintzen on the gate "if you enter the competition - free - the whole family"! Skint, we went for it.

No disqualification this time …  for doing  English music at a French fesival … nor a place in the laurels. But they then awarded a kind "special prize" for being English and joining in! The next year "la famille Ryall" actually made the programme. Sadly all 3 juniors quickly disappeared, exeunt stage left and right … leaving embarrassed parents to … improvise something!

I could also cite Andy Cutting's experience in the St Chartier 1990 competition "disqualified: too good for an amateur" and Dave Falconer's playing his socks off in the bagpipe event a decade later … 2nd place 😀 the committee has decided  "not to award a first prize this year"! 😉 I can proudly report that Callum Armstrong won "pas de probleme" last year 😄 But he was really good!

So … great fun … not always about "who is best" and don't be disheartened if you fail to win when in foreign parts. Just enjoy them
« Last Edit: May 21, 2015, 12:49:26 AM by Chris Ryall »
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forrest

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2015, 04:44:42 PM »

Great stories, Chris,  thanks for relating them!  (:)

    I am beginning to have a more relaxed view, and  have gone ahead and signed up for two categories. The Diatonic requires two "old time" selections, and VarietyII requires that you are between the ages of 60 and 69, and will perform two pieces of any style (except Classical, which has it's own category).
   I was also informed that different instruments could be used within a category, so I am settled into using my C/F Erika and my G/C Pokerwork which are both in fine voice at the moment. I have the tune choices down to a short list, and have tried to select ones that are scarcely heard in these parts, as well as ones that I can play pretty automatically. Actually, I am  settled on the Variety tunes: (1) A pair of Playford tunes, Rusty Gully & Newcastle, and (2) S. Delicq's Nadiejda
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TomBom

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2015, 05:57:16 PM »

I have the tune choices down to a short list, and have tried to select ones that are scarcely heard in these parts, as well as ones that I can play pretty automatically. Actually, I am  settled on the Variety tunes: (1) A pair of Playford tunes, Rusty Gully & Newcastle, and (2) S. Delicq's Nadiejda
That's a lovely selection of tunes. Nothing will go wrong!
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forrest

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2015, 03:33:16 AM »


That's a lovely selection of tunes. Nothing will go wrong!

Yes....save misplaced fingers or a sudden mental episode....you are correct!   ;D
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Pete Dunk

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2015, 11:27:23 PM »

forrest, I'd be petitioning the organizers to introduce an 'open' solo class next year, any instrument, any style. Also an open class for ensembles of any kind.
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forrest

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2015, 05:46:00 AM »

forrest, I'd be petitioning the organizers to introduce an 'open' solo class next year, any instrument, any style. Also an open class for ensembles of any kind.

Hi Peter...I think these are already in place. Perhaps you may not have seen the link to the event I posted in the News and Events . Among the other categories are the Leavenworth Open, Classical Open, and LIAC Old Time Open. There are also categories for duets, and bands as well. If you follow the link above to the webpage for the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration, find the link for competitions, and there you will find listings of all categories and rules and requirements for same.  ;)
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forrest

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2015, 04:08:49 AM »

Just an update. I have been away for a couple of weeks, having had to travel the day after the competition. It was a very nice experience. I entered two events; Diatonic, and VarietyII (which is an age class of 60 to 69). The Variety came first, and I played a duo of Playford tunes, and Delicq's Nadiejda. I was the only diatonic player in this class. Others were playing big PA's, and I was playing humble little Hohners, my PW and my Erika. I felt pretty good about my performance, as I saw both judges tapping their feet while I was playing, and the notes came out in the intended order.
   The Diatonic event was about 4 hours later, so I had to wander around and burn some time, and get nervous. My playing was a bit shaky at first, but I put a good finish to it. In the Diatonic group, there were six players counting myself. All except me were sporting very grand Steirische boxes of 4 or 5 rows. Most had 6 chrome horns aboard, one had 8, and one even had 10! After the performance, one player was curious that I could elicit minor chords from my little boxes (which have thirds taped). I was quite surprised to learn that the big Strassers and Zupans had only Major chords (?).
   So imagine my surprise when I received a phone call whilst sitting in the airport two days later informing me that I had received first place in the Variety category, and won prize money and a small medal. I did not, however, place in the Diatonic division, even though the judges comments and scores were quite favorable. Still and all, it was fun, and I was able to make a few connections with some other players. However, I think I was the sole melodeonista at the bash. The judges seemed to be impressed that someone showed up and did not play oomp's and pa's, or variations on "Dark Eyes". I might try it again next year, maybe a tune on concertina too.
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Nick Collis Bird

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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2015, 07:03:31 AM »

Well done Forrest, congratulations. ;D
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Re: Any Experience with Competitions?
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2015, 07:21:08 AM »

That's good news Forrest, well done!!
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