|Accordion Classes at Morley College London|
|Written by Accordion Friends|
|Tuesday, 20 April 2010|
As most of you know, Morley College runs two levels of Accordion
History of “Accordions at Morley”
“Accordions at Morley” was set up in 1999 to meet the need for an accordion club in central London - at that time, all the accordion clubs within reach of London met around the M25 on a Friday evening, a slow and unpredictable journey for anyone living in or near the centre.
The club also aimed to provide a slightly more formal educational content, through the association with an Adult Education College with an excellent music department and distinguished musical history.
The club gave its first lunchtime concert in May 2000, towards the end of its first year of existence.
After another year or so, the College recognised what club leaders Ian Watson and Julie North had to contribute and invited Ian to set up a beginners' course as part of the Music Department's programme. It was heavily over-subscribed. Once the first intake had completed their year, an Improvers' Course was added, and these two levels continue to be offered, though now taught by John Leslie. Pupils who had progressed through both those years were impatient to progress further, so the IAC was set up.
As the Club became more firmly established, it moved onto two meetings per month and now provides two lunchtime concerts each year. Attendance has grown from around a dozen players at the inception of the club, to at least double that in the last few years.
Other special events for the Club have included hosting a master class and recital by world famous Russian bayan player Oleg Sharov, and participation in the college's centenary celebrations of Mátyás Seiber.
This intriguing link with the college's history came to light in 2005. During what are sometimes called the "Golden Years of Music at Morley", after the Second World War, when [Sir] Michael Tippett was director of music, composition was taught by distinguished composer Mátyás Seiber, a Hungarian refugee. Seiber was a master of many musical styles and wrote a good deal of music for the accordion, much of it under the pseudonym G.S. Mathis. He also taught the most prolific British composer for the accordion, Graham Romani. “Accordions at Morley” was able to play a full role in the college's celebration of Seiber's centenary and a subsequent celebration in Cambridge.