Virginia Reel


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This set of tunes was put together when I ran a Ceilidh Band: it was specifically for the dance Virginia Reel as this is a five-couple set and 40-bar reels are needed. The first tune is the traditional one for this dance while the other three consist of a traditional tune – The Girl with the Blue Dress – and two which I wrote specifically for this dance set, giving the tunes the somewhat eccentric titles A Real Reel and Staggering Home. After playing the four tunes, the first tune is repeated to complete the set and the dance.

It is arranged for what became for me a standard line-up for the Folk Bands I ran in my teaching career: Flute 1, Flute 2 / Descant Recorder, Clarinet in Bb, Violin, Accordion / Piano / Guitar and Bass.

It is a lively dance with a strong beat needed to lift the dancers. As always, the main melody and chords can be found in the Accordion part. Other parts can be substituted according to the resources available.

This arrangement will work as an ensemble for students of sufficient standard at KS4 and above and is suitable for use in GCSE examinations for all the major examining boards, though care must be taken regarding the doubling of parts where this might obscure the part being assessed. The Level of Demand will depend upon the part chosen and just how much of this arrangement is used.

It is, above all, music to be enjoyed by players, dancers and listeners alike.