bandstand sessions in July

July 3, 2022

bandstand sessions in July

We’ve had this month’s edition of the Oxford Slow Session today (incidentally also at the band stand), and now there are four Sundays left for our more informal bandstand sessions, namely:





As always, core playing time will be 4pm-6pm, but feel free to come earlier or stay later. The park closes at 9pm this month.

I’ll be there and playing tunes unless the weather is absolutely atrocious. Any change of plan will be announced in this blog entry and on my facebook page. If for whatever reason we are unable to use the bandstand, the alternative location is one of the little paved areas at the car park end of the park, near the star-shaped crossing of the paths. With the hard surface, these also offer reasonable acoustics, although very little shelter.

Picture from today’s very lovely Slow Session, which was well attended and spilling over onto the sunny side of the lawn.

In other bandstand news, once the schools break up, members of Cowley Orchestra will hold some chamber music sessions at the bandstand, typically on Wed evenings, around seven, and then a bit earlier in August as the park will close earlier. Anybody interested in joining these give me a shout.

noite de San Xoán

June 27, 2022

St. John’s night has been and gone, but a belated celebration is coming up on Saturday 2.7. 6pm till 2 am.:

Oxford Panforreteiras are pleased to be organising this get-together again, in collaboration with REGA-UK.

We will meet up in Port Meadow (Oxford) to celebrate the magic of St John’s night, AKA “Noite de San Xoán”.

Bring your own food and drinks and join in the celebration. There will be barbecues available to cook your food, a bonfire, Queimada and music. Bring your instruments if you have them and if not come ready to sing and dance to some Galician tunes!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Godstow Car Park

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bandstand sessions in June

June 9, 2022

Unless there is really bad weather on the day, we will be playing tunes at Florence Park bandstand on the remaining three Sundays in June, namely:




As always, core playing time will be 4pm-6pm, but feel free to come earlier or stay later. The park closes at 9pm this month.

Any change of plan will be announced in this blog entry and on my facebook page.

Oxford euro sessions

May 16, 2022

The monthly Euro session is coming up this Wednesday, quoth Ed:

The Oxford Eurosession for May will take place this coming Wednesday, the 18th, at the Plough, Wolvercote (OX2 8BD), starting at 8.30.

There’s another monthly Euro (plus) session happening at the White House, about which Ray says:

For May, the afternoon EuroPlus session at the White House, Abingdon Rd (OX1 4PD) will take place the last Sunday (29 May) instead of the usual fourth Sunday.  Going forward, we’ll revert to fourth Sundays, even when a month has five Sundays.  It starts at 4:30 PM as usual, and runs to about 7:30. 

bandstand sessions – season 2

May 12, 2022

I forgot to announce it here, but on Sunday 8th of May we had the first big outdoor session of this summer at the Florence Park bandstand, I counted at least 19 at peak time, and the audience was appreciative too. It was great fun and the general mood was we want to do more of these.

As far as I’m concerned, we could do all the remaining Sundays in May, ie:




I’d suggest to start playing at 4pm sharp.  Meaning you can go to Flo’s Cafe and sort out your caffeine and food needs beforehand, as there will be no tea break.  

I normally expect to be there from 3:45 and to leave at 6:15

As for tunes to play, anything goes, but we may rely heavily on the vast repertoire of the Oxford Slow Session, which you can find here:

and if you don’t know the tunes and want to sight read them we can announce the titles.  

We may also play some of the Galician tunes you find here:  as well as tunes from Oxford’s Scandi and French sessions, so anything really.

Suitable for kids of all ages who can safely run around on the lawn around the bandstand. (there’s also a playground a short walk away).

After these dates, we have the official Slow Session coming up on June 5th.

one of last summer’s sessions at the bandstand.

Montañesa de Lugo

March 6, 2022

The ever growing songbook of the Oxford Slow session now includes a Galician tune, Montañesa de Lugo. Which means you can access a PDF of the score and several links to performances / tutorials here.

We played this quite regularly in Mano’s sessions and afterwards whenever Mick was around to lead it, as he loved to play it in alternating major and minor versions, but it has fallen by the wayside since both left, so it’s a good opportunity to revive it. Looks like we’re only going to play the major though.

euro session on Tuesday

November 21, 2021

this month’s Oxford Eurosession will take place on Tuesday 23 November at Wolvercote village hall, The Green, Wolvercote OX2 8AB, starting at 8.30.

free entry, bring your own drinks & nibbles.

Tuesday will also mark the 800th birthday of Alfonso X el Sabio, who compiled the cantigas de santa maria, so we may hear one or two tunes out of that (not all 420 though). One that we have played a few times in Galician and harp sessions is number 7, karaoke video is here. Others that I have played occasionally include no. 100, 166, 353.

bandstand sessions in August

August 14, 2021

after a belated slow session last Sunday, the remaining three Sundays will be open anything goes sessions at the bandstand in Florence Park, starting 3:30, typically finishing just after 6pm (but park remains open until 8:30 this month, so nothing to stop you playing longer).

So the dates for the next open bandstand sessions are:



Since the beginning of June, we have played music at the bandstand every single Sunday and have seen amazing audience interactions, ranging from inquisitive toddlers to dancing couples, so let’s just continue that way while summer lasts. 

this was the June slow session.

Cantigas de Santa Maria online

July 12, 2021

It only took them 750 years or so, but the Cantigas de Santa Maria are now online. They’re hugely important both as a document of the Galician language and as an example of mediaeval music, not to mention the gorgeous illustrations, some of which I have used as illustrations in this blog.

They were commissioned by Alfonso X the Wise, whose 800th birthday is coming up in November, so as a little birthday present, the Spanish Heritage people have put two of the four original manuscripts online in their entirety. One more than 500, the other more than 700 pages. That will take me a while to admire all the beauty of it.

You can access either or both from this index page which also has an introductory paragraph for each.

screenshot of the codex with the famous images of musicians. The cantiga beginning underneath the image is Rosa das rosas, No. 10.

There is also an excellent database of the texts and notation, where you can translate the dots into modern notation:

Cantigas de Santa Maria for singers

(Also works very nicely for recorder players, and surely for other instruments too !)

And this YouTube channel has many (maybe all?) of them as recordings with original illustrations and a karaoke-style text line, so you can sing along.

bandstand sessions in July

July 6, 2021

We have played music at the bandstand every single Sunday in June, so let’s just carry on like that. With the July edition of the Slow Session out of the way, we now have four Sundays ahead for the more informal “anything goes” Flo sessions, namely the three remaining Sundays in July as well as August 1st. This is because the August edition of the Slow Session will be on the second Sunday, Aug. 8th.

So do come along on any or all of the dates July 11, 18, 25, August 1, at 3:30 pm

Depending on who shows up we may play French, Scandinavian, Galician, Scottish, Welsh, and/or Slow Session tunes (which are English/Irish/Scottish mostly). Just turn up and I’m sure we’ll find something to play.

I hear there is going to be a ukulele group meeting at Florence Park, but in a different corner of the park, at 2pm. Should they decide to move to the bandstand we may have to wait till they’re done or use another spot. Let’s just see how it goes.

Picture from the slow session in June – when we have the smaller Flo sessions I am usually too busy keeping the music flowing to consider taking snaps.