Pressing the Buttons @

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The Museum of East Anglian Life is running a second Cider & Song Festival this year and EATMT are happy to have again been commissioned to programme the music.   

Alongside this event, the museum have given us access to some of their spaces to run four workshops on the Saturday for experienced and basic to improving players of English and Anglo Concertinas and melodeons.  We are delighted to welcome Sally Barrett, Alan Day, Steve Dumpleton and Otis Luxton as your tutors for the day.

Each tutor will be running a morning session (10.30am – 12.10pm) and an afternoon session (2.15pm – 3.55pm).  There will be a two hour lunch break to allow you time to wander around the Cider and Song festival site which takes place on the back lawn of Abbot’s Hall.  We’re organising a lunchtime session on the festival site to take part in if you want to put your morning workshop skills to practice!

After the afternoon session, there will be an opportunity for all participants to come together for a small “Show Case session” which will take place at 4.15pm.  After Pressing the Buttons comes to a close (approximately 5pm), do stay on and enjoy the evening’s music, song and cider.  For a full line up of the weekend festival visit the Cider and Song website or our events page

Workshops are priced at £35 (Friends only rate)/£40 (for two workshops) or £25 per workshop.  A Saturday festival ticket comes as an additional cost of £10 and this includes entrance to the evening concert in the Cider Tent and allows access on to the festival site over the lunchtime. 

Spaces for the workshops are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.  The workshops are not suitable for Absolute Beginners but there will be the opportunity to try for free elsewhere on the Festival site if this is something you are looking for.  

Please complete the booking form and either:

  • post with cheque (payable to EATMT) to EATMT, The Old Stables, Crowe Street, Stowmarket IP14 1DL 
  • email the booking form and once received, you will receive details of how to make a direct bank payment.  

We do not have the facility to take card payments over the phone.

The Osier Café will be open for refreshments during the day plus other on-site caterers on the Festival site organised by the Museum. The bar will be stocking a wide choice of ciders as well as offerings of beer, apple juice and other soft drinks.

Acorn Instruments will be joining us for the day (

Further details on the Cider and Song Festival will be updated during the Summer so keep an eye on both websites: and

Pressing the Buttons

EATMT Melodeon and Concertina Workshop Day – Saturday 19thOctober 2019


Steve Dumpleton has been playing the melodeon and anglo concertina for over 30 years.  He specialises in playing for dancing, performing with Sheffield women’s dance team Lizzie Dripping, Fenland-based Ouse Washes Molly Dancers and local ceilidh bands.

He is an experienced teacher of both instruments and an accomplished workshop tutor, appearing regularly at Whitby Folk WeekMelodeons at Witney and Wensleydale and at Sheffield-based folk events.  Steve was a regular tutor at the Trust’s Melodeons and More workshops and has been involved for many years with other events run by the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust. 

Steve is also a seasoned classical musician, bringing the grounding and discipline of over 40 years as an orchestral clarinettist into successful fusion with our long-standing folk traditions. Steve’s style of playing, expressing rhythmic vitality coupled with melodic phrasing, is firmly rooted in the English dance tradition, notably from East Anglia, Lincolnshire and Northumberland.  Working in West Wales has also developed his love of Welsh traditional music.

Sally Barrett is self-taught, ‘coming out’ in 1981 when she joined the ceilidh band Shinanikins.  Around 20 years ago she joined The West Country Concertina Players, regularly attending their residential weekends both as a participant and as a tutor. She also tutors at their Sidmouth workshops which run alongside the famous annual Folk Festival. Sally lives in Norfolk and loves playing in concertina bands, leading SqueezEast Concertinas and the Fiddlesticks Women’s North West Morris band.

Otis Luxton is a melodeon player and woodworker with his roots firmly grounded in East Anglia.  He studied melodeon at Newcastle University before embarking on a career in luthiery, as well as working in music education at Snape Maltings.  Otis is influenced by contemporary accordion players from across the world and is most happy when playing in sessions or for dance.

Alan Day started playing the Anglo Concertina when he joined the Broadwood Morris men of Horsham in Sussex.  One of their members played an Anglo and Alan was hooked!  He bought a cheap Hohner CG with big white buttons and started to teach himself how to play.  There were no tutors available then – only John Kirkpatrick recordings.  He went on to play for barn dances with the Broadwood Band before joining the Biggest Trio in the World which metamorphosed into Rosbif, one of the first English-based French dance bands playing French, English and Breton music.  They also ran French dance workshops, travelling to a number of UK and French music festivals.  Alan also was repairing, tuning and renovating concertinas for Hobgoblin Music at the time.  Alan can often now be seen playing in Suffolk sessions, drawing on his own compositions and his experiences of playing jazz, blues, French, English and Music hall for many years.