CHRIS ALGAR has been dealing in concertinas for thirty years, having bought his first one in 1974, when he was a young school teacher. Over the years the concertina dealing increased, and finally, in 2001, he retired from teaching in order to devote all his time to it. His Barleycorn Concertinas in Stoke-on-Trent is generally thought to have the largest selection of concertinas in the world, including rare and unusual ones. Though for many years a Morris musician, he how plays Irish music in a couple of bands.
ALLAN ATLAS teaches music history at The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, where he heads the Center for the Study of Free-Reed Instruments. Among his concertina-related publications: Contemplating the Concertina: An Historically-Informed Tutor for the English Concertina (Amherst: The Button Box, 2003) and ‘The Victorian Concertina: Some Issues Relating to Performance Practice’, forthcoming in Nineteenth-Century Music Review,2 (Ashgate, 2005).
RICHARD CARLIN is the author of The English Concertina (New York: Oak Publications, 1977) and numerous articles on the instrument in such journals as Free Reed, Mugwumps, and The Free-Reed Journal. The present article is an outgrowth of a National Endowment for the Humanities Youth Award, which supported his project of recording and interviewing concertina players in England in 1975; he is currently Senior Editor for music books at Routledge publishers.
STEPHEN CHAMBERS collects and does research on early free-reed instruments, especially the concertina. Among the gems of his collection: Wheatstone & Co.’s very first concertina! He caught the free-reed bug at the age of eighteen, which disease seemingly runs in the family, as his great-grandfather had a three-manual American organ (with pedal board!) in the house, while his father’s ambition was to learn the piano accordion (World War II got in the way). Among his publications: ‘Louis Lachenal: “Engineer and Concertina Manufacturer”, Part 1’, The Free-Reed Journal, 1 (1999), and ‘An Annotated Catalogue of Historic European Free-Reed Instruments in my Private Collection’, in Harmonium und Handharmonika: 20. Musikinstrumentenbau-Symposium, Michaelstein, 19. bis 20. November 1999, ed. Monika Lustig. Michaelsteiner Konferenzenberichte, 62 (Michaelstein, 2002).
ROGER DIGBY has been playing Anglo for more than thirty years. A founding member of the infamous ‘Flowers and Frolics’, he was a central figure in the revival of English Country music, and still plays the repertoire of southern England. He has also taken the Anglo into other areas, and is as likely to play ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ as he is ‘The Shepton Mallet Hornpipe’. A thirty-year friendship with Bob Davenport, one of England’s leading traditional singers, continues today and stretches both Roger and the Anglo to their outer limits!
RACHEL HALL is a second-generation English concertina player who performs a variety of ethnic folk styles with the trio Simple Gifts. She is especially interested in the role of the concertina in the tradition of Jewish music. Her recordings with Simple Gifts include Other Places, Other Times (1996), Time and Again (1999), and Crossing Borders (2004). Rachel is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.
J. KENNETH MOORE is the Frederick P. Rose Curator in Charge of Musical Instruments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he oversees the curatorial care, display, educational programming, and funding for the Department of Musical Instruments. He currently serves on the boards of the American Musical Instrument Society and the International Committee of Musical Instrument Museums and Collections. Recent publications include: ‘The African Roots of the Banjo’, in The Birth of the Banjo (Katonah, NY: Katonah Museum of Art, 2003), and ‘Organology and the Museum Environment’, in Japanese Musical Instruments: Toward a New Organology—Proceedings of the 25th International Symposium on the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, Tokyo, 13-15 November 2001 (Tokyo: National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, 2003).