All posts by David Wanless

But darling, I have nothing to wear!

Are you interested in coming to the Derwent Regency Festival, where there’ll be wonderful live music, lively dancing, interesting history, fine food, games and fun for all, over four days of diverse entertainment, but worried about what to wear?

Fear not! Regency attire will be admired but is not required. You’re welcome in whatever you like, ‘though for the Grand Ball and the Sunday House and Garden Party in particular, neat evening dress would be preferable.

If you do want to make an attempt at a period outfit, you can go a long way with some simple op-shop or reuse finds.

Gentlemen, want to make the ladies swoon with your Mr Darcy look? Here are some videos for you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvIzhgcgX5s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLTQtgsM1CI

Ladies, if you fancy creating your own Regency outfit from op-shop items, here’s a handy video link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KKViqeaD9c

See also

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T1D_C2Zmak

https://cationdesigns.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-regency-day-dress-made-from-sheets.html

https://www.janeaustenfestivalbath.co.uk/booking-and-tickets/regency-clothes/

https://www.colonialdance.com.au/what-to-wear-at-a-jane…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2gJhck0PmwwfwSnGMR21B4y/how-to-dress-like-a-jane-austen-character

There are many other online resources for dressing up in period outfits. Search for “easy regency outfit”.

Of course, feel free to come in any attire you like, but if you do make an effort on a period outfit, it will be admired. It all adds to the fun.

2021 FolkTas Grant Awarded

2021 is a happy time for the Folk Federation and three lucky Folk Grant recipients.

At its August meeting, the Folk Federation Committee assessed the applications we had received for the 2021 Folk Grant. We found three strong applications that we really liked.

Our Treasurer reports that the Folk Federation’s finances are doing well at the moment due to more people taking out memberships than did last financial year.  Therefore, since we could afford to this year, we decided to award the $500 grant to multiple applicants.

We are therefore happy to report that the Folk Grant 2021 has been awarded three times!

  • ●        Louise Conroy, who is running a bush dance at Deloraine Little Theatre at 7:30pm on 2nd October 2021 and three workshops that afternoon in dance calling, dance tunes and Ceili band accompaniment and rhythm. Lou wants to encourage the development of folk events and folk skills in the north of the state, and workshop participants will get the chance to try the skills they learned in the afternoon at the bush dance in the evening.
  • The Stranded Wailers, a sea shanty singing group who will perform at the Verandah Music Festival in Evandale on 27th and 28th November 2021. They will use the grant to fund songbooks to get the crowd singing and to subsidise accommodation so that as many of their members as possible can attend.
  • Ross Smithard, who is recording a dual CD album: one CD of original tunes he has written, and one of old time blues songs and tunes. Ross will use the grant to help pay for recording, CD production and to pay local musicians who will play with Ross on the recording.

We would like to give a huge thanks to all the applicants and to you, our Folk Federation members, who enabled this to happen.

2020 FolkTas Grant Awarded

2020 FolkTas Grant Award

The 2020 FolkTas grant was awarded John Hickey to develop a themed concert, “Recalling Young Irelanders”, that will entertain and inform audiences about the Young Irelanders who were exiled in Van Diemen’s Land.

The key elements to the proposal are:

  1. Development of a script that includes relevant music (mainly tunes and songs from
    the 19th century) and an entertaining, and historically accurate, narrative. This will
    include pertinent quotes from documented writings of the exiles. The concert will
    have a length of about one hour.
  2. Rehearsals with selected performers and revision of the script, and music, as
    needed.
  3. Completion of the script, and of a double-sided A4 handout that summarises the
    story of the Young Irelanders in Tasmania, and of musical items from the concert.
    Two forms of the themed concert are envisaged:
    1. A larger form that would include multiple performers (up to 6) who could deliver
      the concert at potential locations like the Cygnet Folk Festival and Westbury’s St
      Patrick’s Day Festival.
    2. A compact form with 2-3 performers, that could travel more easily and deliver the
      concert at events such as the National Folk Festival and the National Celtic Festival,
      and perhaps to non-conventional venues such as at the Port Arthur Historic Site.

Steampunk Ball 2021

Tickets: here

Set the dodgy controls of your favourite time travelling vehicle and whirl your way back in time to the Victorian era, but with a difference.

Destination: St James Hall, 462 Elizabeth St, Hobart (off Rupert Ave, enter behind church)
Date and time: Saturday, 29th May 2021 (or should that be 1871?), 7:15 for 7:30-11:30pm, but come at 7 if you’d like to watch or partake in some extra tea duelling.
What: Steampunk Ball

Fun and lively period dances with thrilling music by the Black Swans of Trespass.
Dancing master: David “Oddsocks” Wanless

Tea duelling under the masterful direction of our Tiffin Master.
Hat and glove elimination cotillion. Bring hat or gloves to participate.

Enjoy diverse dances such as the Celebrated Opera Reel, the Quadrille Galope and the Chess Dance, wherein we all take on the roles of chess pieces on our giant chess board.

You are most definitely encouraged to dress in your finest steampunk, Victoriana or formal attire. Dress to impress. (For ideas, search the web for “make steampunk outfit”, “dress like a Victorian” or “make victorian outfit”, or look at the event page below.  You can do a lot with opp shop clothes and trinkets.)

All dances taught. No dancing experience or partner required. All ages welcome.
Please bring a plate of supper.

Tickets $19/$17/$16/$10. Online bookings preferred at events.humanitix.com/steampunkball.

Optional Steampunk workshop: The Chess Dance and other wonders: 1:15 for 1:30-3:30, $8, Uniting Church Hall, Elizabeth St, North Hobart, opposite State Cinema. If you’d like to learn or practice some of the dances beforehand, especially the Chess Dance, or just enjoy some further dancing, come along. At the ball, we hope to only teach the pawns’ role, so if you’d like to be a noble in the Chess Dance, attend the workshop.

Conditions of entry: folktas.org/coronavirus

folktas.org/steampunk
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/496410461495386
folkdancetas@gmail.com
03 6273 2127
Facebook/Meetup: dance folk tasmania
#hobartfolkdances
Instagram: folktas

Folk Federation of Tasmania Inc

Tickets: here

Derwent Regency Festival 2021

Friday 26th November – Monday 29th November

Hobart and New Norfolk, Van Diemen’s Land

What a wonderful weekend we had in 2020. You can see some photos here and here.

Here are the details for 2021.

Tickets: events.humanitix.com/derwentregencyfestival

Session and discounted weekend tickets are available.

Draft programme – subject to minor changes. Download printable version of the weekend’s programme (here) and the Regency House and Garden Party programme (here) .

ACTIVITYTIMEDESCRIPTIONLOCATIONPRICE
Friday 26th November
Georgian and Regency Evening at Narryna Heritage Museum5-7:30pmRegency costume showings, exhibition, tours of Narryna house (1830s merchant house), refreshments in the garden, maypole dancing and live music, meet and greet other festival goersNarryna Heritage Museum, 103 Hampden Rd, Battery Point$20
Dinner at Narryna7:30pm+Two varieties of soup, bread rolls, pastries (vegetarian pastizzi or sausage rolls) and cake. Mulled wine will also be available. Please let us know if you are interested, via the booking page.NarrynaPay the venue
Saturday 27th November
Regency Dance Workshop11:15 for 11:30am-1:30pm (time to visit Salamanca Markets beforehand)With live period music and Dancing Master David Wanless. Learn or refresh the basics of Regency dancing for the evening ball, or just have fun with some easy Regency dances. No partner or dancing experience required. Note that you are welcome to attend the evening ball whether or not you have attended this workshop. BYO water bottle.St James Church Hall, 462 Elizabeth St (off Rupert Ave, enter behind church)$12/$10
Intermediate Regency and Georgian Dances2:20 for 2:30-4:30pmWith live period music and Dancing Master David Wanless. Have fun with a variety of lively dances, some for the evening ball and some just because they’re exciting dances. No partner or dancing experience required but if you can make it to the earlier workshop first that would be good. Learn Mundy’s Quadrille for an informal display at the ball. BYO water bottle.St James Church Hall, 462 Elizabeth St (off Rupert Ave, enter behind church)$12/$10
Grand Regency Ball7:15 for 7:30-11:30pmGrand Regency Ball – dance or enjoy the spectacle
Divine period music including many Tasmanian pieces, by Van Diemen’s Angels (harp, piano, fiddle and flute)
Dancing Master David Wanless will lead you through an evening of fun and lively dances. No partner or dancing experience required, though attending the morning workshop would make it even more fun. Dress in something period or formal if you can.
BYO water bottle, cup and supper.
Entry conditions: folktas.org/coronavirus
St James Church Hall, 462 Elizabeth St (off Rupert Ave, enter behind church)$19/$17/$16/$10
Sunday 28th November
Regency House and Garden Party10:30am-4pmA day of Regency activities, fine food and tea at the historic Glen Derwent Heritage Retreat in the lovely Derwent valley. Your ticket includes delicious lunch and afternoon tea of period sweet and savoury food and hot and cold drinks, as well as Regency dancing, live music, a baffling magician, croquet, historic tours, maypole dancing, roses, peacocks and heritage sheep to view in the gorgeous grounds and period games to play. Period attire admired but not required.
Detailed programme for last year here.
Glen Derwent Heritage Retreat, 44 Hamilton Rd, New Norfolk$47/$41/$30/$15
After Party4pm onwardsInformal party at Glen Derwent, includes vegetarian dinner and refreshments. Tickets only available for weekend or Sunday ticket holders.Glen Derwent as above$25 (not included in weekend ticket)
Monday 29th November
Music and History Cruise on the Lady Nelson1:40 for 2-4pmAn afternoon sail on the Derwent river on the magnificent tall ship, the Lady Nelson, with refreshments, live music, singing and history. Regency, formal or nautical attire admired but not required. See if you can outdress the crew, but be warned – some of them may be pirates. Sinn Araon will provide beautiful Irish music and some sea shanties and other nautical songs for you to join in with if you so desire. You will also have the opportunity to help haul on a line or two if you so wish.Elizabeth St Pier, Hobart waterfront$40 (not included in weekend ticket)
Tickets: events.humanitix.com/derwentregencyfestival

Discounted weekend tickets are available.

See also “But darling, I have nothing to wear” for hints on costumes (admired but not required).

Information about finding the venues, and reducing our environmental impact in transport and at the events, is at folktas.org/venuesenv/

There are many other lovely things to do in Hobart and surrounds.  Some places to visit with some Regency relevance are Port Arthur, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery or simply wandering through Battery Point.

Cathy and David, 03 6273 2127, folkdancetas@gmail.com

Folk Federation of Tasmania Inc, folktas.org/regency

Facebook/Meetup: Dance Folk Tasmania

Instagram: folktas

Your tickets support local folk music artists, as well as the venues who support us.



2020 Song and Tune Writing Award Winners

Performers Compose Themselves For Awards Night

(Article from the Folk Federation’s Drumbeat Magazine, Feb 2021)

A Covid 19 year set a grim picture for the Folk Federation’s Song and Tune Writing Awards in 2020. But with courage in the face of adversity and all that – the competition forged ahead and culminated on Saturday November 21st in a brilliant concert celebrating Tasmanian talent, creativity and originality.

Whilst we had expected a “bumper crop” of songs as people may have hunkered down during lockdown periods the actual number of entries was down slightly from last year.   However the standard was high with 15 separate acts performing on the night, each allocated 2 songs. All of the entrants into the competition this year attended the concert which may also be a first (although one was via pre-recorded video, not for any pandemic-related reasons, simply by virtue of being an in-demand professional musician).

The concert featured performers from right across the state including Louise Conroy and Michael Horton from Launceston and Chris Okunbor from Wynyard and the organisers would particularly like to thank these performers for making the huge effort to be there on the night.

A special feature of the night was the younger talents of Jess Earney – who won the Under-19 award (best composition – song or tune), while Jemma Rose Sweeny and Rosie Cann also wowed the audience with fantastic performances. A special moment was when Jemma performed on the piano unassisted by sound technology creating the perfect lounge room atmosphere.

The winner of the Mike Silverwood Award -Song category was Dave McNamara for his song “Three Loves” while Dave also shared the honours of the best tune this year with Rachel Meyers for their tune – “Nipaluna Sky”.

At the eleventh hour, the organisers also chose to award a $100 prize each for a Highly Commended song and tune, the winners of which were Louise Conroy for her song Red Dancing Shoes, and CC Thornley for his tune Queenstown Rains. CC couldn’t be there on the night but in a Song Comp first he pre-recorded a spiffing YouTube track featuring his song which was played for the crowd.

The judges must have gotten something right because Dave and Rachel shared the prize of the People’s Choice award in a tie for best Performer/Act with Stephanie Katz – a repeat of a previous year when the result for the People’s Choice was tied. Each year the fact that every artist gains a number of votes in the People’s Choice confirms the variety, appeal and talent on offer at the Awards concert.

A lovely aspect of the competition was the emerging use of Tasmanian indigenous language – palawakani in song lyrics with Sally Brown and Té Sman featuring songs with many indigenous references. Thanks to our other performers who all gave very credible renditions of their songs – Matthew Valentyne, Cheryle Holmes and Brendan Wakely who kicked the night off with his moving song about Tassie’s environment – Mountain Peak.

Once again a huge thanks to the Folk Federation Team, the Fern Tree Tavern and especially David Beniuk who mixed and set up sound requirements with ease and managed the Covid safe procedures nimbly in between. Thanks also to those regulars who “keep coming back” to support the night and check out the songs and stories that Tasmanian folk artists are telling.

All in all it was a terrific concert and bodes well for forthcoming competitions and concerts.

Steampunk Ball 2020

For the 2021 ball, click here. Time travel is so confusing!

Set the dodgy controls of your favourite time travelling vehicle and whirl your way back in time to the Victorian era, but with a difference.

Destination: St James Hall, 462 Elizabeth St, Hobart (off Rupert Ave, opposite Blue Gum, enter behind church)
Date and time: Saturday, 31st October 2020 (or should that be 1870?), 7:15 for 7:30-11:30pm.
What: Steampunk Ball

Fun and lively period dances with simply thrilling music by the Black Swans of Trespass.
Dancing master: David “Oddsocks” Wanless

Tea duelling under the masterful direction of our Tiffin Master.
Hat and glove elimination cotillon. Bring hat or gloves to participate.

You are most definitely encouraged to dress in your finest steampunk, Victoriana or formal attire. Dress to impress. (For ideas, search the web for make steampunk outfit, dress like a Victorian or make victorian outfit, or look at the event page below.  You can do a lot with opp shop clothes and trinkets.)

All dances taught. No dancing experience or partner required. All ages welcome.
Please bring a plate of supper.

Tickets $19/$17/$16/$10 at (events.humanitix.com/steampunkball) or credit card at the door. Bookings advised.

Conditions of entry: folktas.org/coronavirus

This ball is being held in conjunction with Narryna Heritage Museum. Some of us will be dancing at Narryna in costume on Saturday, 10th October. See www.narryna.com.au for details.

folktas.org/steampunk
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/658486131635679
folkdancetas@gmail.com
03 6273 2127
Facebook/Meetup: dance folk tasmania
#hobartfolkdances

Folk Federation of Tasmania Inc

If you’d like to learn or practice the Chess Dance, come along to Danceoholics Unanimous, after our Buttongrass Ball on Friday, 9th October, at the same venue (St James Hall). From about 10:30pm we will all take on the roles of chess pieces on our giant chess board. All being well, we’ll be doing the dance during the evening at the ball.

Derwent Regency Festival 2020

For the 2021 festival, click here

Friday 27th November – Sunday 29th November

Hobart and New Norfolk, Tasmania

What a wonderful weekend it was. You can see some photos here and here.

The original details for the festival are below. Look out for us again in 2021.

Tickets: trybooking.com/BHQFT

Session, early bird and discounted weekend tickets are available.

Draft programme – subject to minor changes. Download printable version of the weekend’s programme here and the Regency House and Garden Party programme here.

ACTIVITYTIMEDESCRIPTIONLOCATIONPRICE
Friday 27th November
Georgian and Regency Evening at Narryna Heritage Museum5-7:30pmRegency costume showings, exhibition, tours of Narryna house (1830s merchant house), convict women stories, refreshments in the garden, maypole dancing and live music, meet and greet other festival goersNarryna Heritage Museum, 103 Hampden Rd, Battery Point$20
Possible Communal Dinner7:30pm+Please let us know if you are interested, via the booking pageA restaurant in HobartPay the venue
Saturday 28th November
Regency Dance Workshop11:15 for 11:30am-1:30pm (time to visit Salamanca Markets beforehand)With live period music and Dancing Master David Wanless. Learn or refresh the basics of Regency dancing for the evening ball, or just have fun with some easy Regency dances. No partner or dancing experience required. Note that you are welcome to attend the evening ball whether or not you have attended this workshop. BYO water bottle.North Hobart Uniting Church Hall (cnr Swan & Elizabeth Sts, opposite State Cinema, enter by downstairs left hand door)$12/$10
Intermediate Regency and Georgian Dances2:20 for 2:30-4:30pmWith live period music and Dancing Master David Wanless. Have fun with a variety of lively dances, some for the evening ball and some just because they’re exciting dances. No partner or dancing experience required but if you can make it to the earlier workshop first that would be good. Learn Mundy’s Quadrille for an informal display at the ball. BYO water bottle.North Hobart Uniting Church Hall, as above$12/$10
Grand Regency Ball7:15 for 7:30-11:30pmGrand Regency Ball – dance or enjoy the spectacle
Divine period music including many Tasmanian pieces, by Van Diemen’s Angels (harp, piano, fiddle and flute)
Dancing Master David Wanless will lead you through an evening of fun and lively dances. No partner or dancing experience required, though attending the morning workshop would make it even more fun. Dress in something period or formal if you can.
BYO water bottle, cup and supper.
Entry conditions: folktas.org/coronavirus
St James Church Hall, 462 Elizabeth St (opposite Blue Gum, enter off Rupert St, behind church)$19/$17/$16/$10
Sunday 29th November
Regency House and Garden Party10:30am-4pmA day of Regency activities, fine food and tea at the historic Glen Derwent Heritage Retreat in the lovely Derwent valley. Your ticket includes delicious morning and afternoon tea and lunch of period sweet and savoury food and hot and cold drinks, as well as Regency dancing, live music, croquet, historic tours, maypole dancing, roses, peacocks and heritage sheep to view in the gorgeous grounds and period games to play. Period attire admired but not required.
Detailed programme here.
Glen Derwent Heritage Retreat, 44 Hamilton Rd, New Norfolk$47/$41/$30/$15
After Party4pm onwardsInformal party at Glen Derwent, for weekend or Sunday ticket holders, includes vegetarian dinner and refreshments.Glen Derwent Heritage Retreat, 44 Hamilton Rd, New Norfolk$25 (for weekend or Sunday ticket holders)
Monday 30th November
Possible outingTBCDepending on interest, we may organise a promenade, a picnic, a museum visit or similar or an informal dance. Please let us know if interested, via the booking page or email to folkdancetas@gmail.com.TBCN/A
Tickets: trybooking.com/BHQFT

Discounted weekend and early bird tickets are available.

Information about finding the venues, and reducing our environmental impact in transport and at the events, is at folktas.org/venuesenv/

There are many other lovely things to do in Hobart and surrounds.  Some places to visit with some Regency relevance are Port Arthur, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery or simply wandering through Battery Point.

Cathy and David, 03 6273 2127, folkdancetas@gmail.com

Folk Federation of Tasmania Inc, folktas.org/regency

Facebook/Meetup: Dance Folk Tasmania



2019 Song and Tune Writing Awards Winners

Tassie Composers Hit the Right Notes at Awards Night

(Article from the Folk Federation’s Drumbeat magazine, December 2019)

Saturday November 2nd saw the Kunanyi Folk Club host the FFT’s Song & Tune Writing Awards Concert. The deadline for the Awards had been a month previous and the judges had been busily listening and cogitating. A last minute flurry of entrants from the Youth Songmaking Sessions meant that the Under 19s category was better represented than it had been in some years. All entrants to the Awards (as is always the case) were invited to perform at the concert. It was great to see the Under 19s performing in such an intimate venue. David Beniuk, a previous winner, current judge and also co-organiser of the Kunanyi Folk Club tells us more:
“Huon Valley singer/songwriter Anne Toner has taken out the prestigious Mike Silverwood Award at the Folk Federation of Tasmania’s 2019 Song and Tune Writing Awards.
Anne took out the top prize for her piano-driven, gospel-inspired composition Someday Soon. Performed with vocalist/guitarist Tiffany Eckhardt, the song of the year winner was among a host of highlights at this year’s awards.
The tune-writing award went to duo Yyan and Emily for their sophisticated and beautiful composition Brown Mountain.
But perhaps the most hotly contested category in 2019 was the under-19s award.
With a record number of entries in the youth category, the two prizes on offer were won by Alex Buktenica for Higher Ground, and Molly and Isaac for Falling.
To cap off a great night for the future of Tasmanian folk, the People’s Choice Award was won by another under-19 entry, Eve and Amelia for their astronomy-inspired song Kepler.
It was a fitting end to a night kicked off with the folk-rock rhythms and urgent lyrics of future stars The Unknown.
And after a host of stirring performances from this year’s entrants, the night was closed out with a set from internationally renowned North West blueswoman Chris O.
Prizemoney totalling $1000 was awarded across the four categories.
The songwriter of the year is each year awarded the prestigious Mike Silverwood Award, named after the legendary Deloraine accordionist when the competition was revived in 1996.
The awards night was hosted by the Kunanyi Folk Club, established in June this year in partnership with the FFT, for the first time.” — David Beniuk

The committee are very grateful to the organisers of the KFC for hosting the concert. We congratulate and thank all entrants for the time and talent they spent creating their entries. Once again the Peoples’ Choice category proved that the evening provided something for everyone with the voting being nicely spread across all entrants and categories.
The Song & Tune Writing Awards are an annual event open to all Tasmanian composers of original tunes or songs in a folk style. The spirit is one of encouragement rather than competition, so be brave in 2020 when the event comes around again!!