EFDSS have announced that their Seed
Funding and Creative
Bursaries are now open for 2018.
The EFDSS Creative Seed
Funding is an award of £750 to be given to
new and emerging artists/groups of artists who wish to explore new
creative ideas in the genre of English folk music.
The EFDSS Creative Bursary
and Residency Programme, now in its 6th year, aims to
support artists in exploring new creative ideas inspired by and sourced
from traditional English folk music. This programme provides artists with
an opportunity to undertake creative exploration without the pressure of
a final product.
The Award offers a bursary of up to £2,000, to cover costs and expenses, research
facilities at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library and up to five days
of rehearsal space at Cecil Sharp House to an individual, existing band,
or new cohort of artists wishing to undertake research and development
into a creative exploration of English folk music.
There are three awards to
be made for each bursary.
For more information please see the Artists'
Bursaries page on the EFDSS site.
Item added 14/03/2018
A New Folk Music Show on Doncaster Radio Station
The Invisible Folk Club is a new
radio show recently signed up by Sine FM in Doncaster
for an hour of folk and acoustic music, poetry and discussion every Monday
night from to Tuesday.
The show is presented by folk singer and songwriter Jon Bickley
and produced by film producer and chorister Steve Yarwood. The
show has already featured Only Human (aka Tom Bickley) a multi instrumentalist based in Sheffield
and will soon be devoting a podcast to Oz Hardwick
the Leeds poet.
Folk Award Winners THE YOUNG’UNS to headline finals of Lincolnshire Folk Song contest
Radio Lincolnshire will host its annual Song for Lincolnshire competition on
November 2nd in Spalding and topping the bill this year will be the award
winning folk group The Young’uns.
trio, who won ‘Best Group’ 2 years running at the BBC Radio 2
Folk Awards, will perform at the South Holland Centre alongside a host of
local musicians including local duo Ben Smith and Jimmy Brewer.
The songwriting contest, which is in its 23rd year, invites
musicians from the county and beyond to write their own song which must be
about Lincolnshire. Through to the
finals this year are Geoff Convery & Jim
Hancock (Clarty Sough), Paul Dickinson, Kim Biggs,
Salutation, Ashley Groombridge & Angela King, Homity, Steve & Julie Wigley
and Penny Sykes .The evening will be hosted by BBC Radio Lincolnshire
presenter Jono Brine and will raise money for BBC Children in Need.
really exciting to bring Song for Lincolnshire to Spalding,” explains Jono “We have some fantastic songs that have
been entered this year and we can’t wait to have The Young‘uns performing in the town.”
event will take place on Thursday 2nd November from and will be broadcast live on BBC Radio
Lincolnshire. Tickets are free from The South Holland Centre. Advance booking
is highly advisable from the Box Office on 01775 764777.
The cast of last
Spring's sell-out community production "Folk 'Round 'Ere" stage a
specially written musical show full of the songs and traditional customs of
the Winter and Christmas period, guaranteed to get the audience singing along
and feeling festive. The performance is part of the Brigg Business
Partnership’s “Festival of Christmas Trees” to be held in St John’sChurch over the weekend of
the 8th-10th December. “Folk ‘Round
‘Ere” singers and musicians will stage their entertaining
production on Saturday the 9th of December at 7.30.
The singers will be
accompanied by a live band of guitars, mandolin, double bass, melodeon and
pipes who will also play some foot tapping seasonal
dance tunes. The children from 1st Brigg Brownies will also take part and
hope to earn their ‘singing badge’ in the process. The songs are
set in context by narrations telling the story of the people who sang them
many years ago. The production includes an excerpt from the traditional
"Plough Play' which still tours the villages of North Lincolnshire in January
every year, full of colourful and amusing characters such as “Dame
Jane”, “The Recruiting Sergeant’, “The Fool”
and “Joe Straw”.
The show is sure to make the most
of the wonderful acoustics of St John'sChurch and help to raise some money for
local charities. Tickets are available for £5 for adults and £2.50 for
children and can be reserved by ringing Julia on 07704 666916 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beverley Folk Festival
is urging folk music lovers from the town and beyond to support them in the
14th annual UK Festival Awards 2017 and Festival Kidz
The festival, which is
now working towards it's 35th year in 2018, has been
nominated for two awards from Festival Awards - "Best Small
Festival" and "Best Family Festival" and
also from Festival Kidz for "Best
Small Festival" Members of the public
can go online to cast their votes for the event now.
nominations, Festival Director Jim Pybus said
“It would be terrific if we were to receive an award in the run up
to our landmark 35th year and it would certainly give us a boost.
Being up for an award acknowledges all the hard work carried out by our
volunteers and artists that continue to make the festival a success".
The festival, run and
organised by a team of volunteers, has become an important event to the
people of Beverley and the East Riding of Yorkshire
Beverley Town Clerk,
Helen Watson, commented “The festival is eagerly looked forward to
each year, bringing the best in Folk and World music to Beverley, as well as
lots of fun and a local economic boost. We wish them every success with
the award and encourage the people of Beverley to get behind them and
cast their votes for this local institution.”
Folk Dance and Song Society announces Gold Badge recipients
Four individuals and a family group are the latest
recipients of Gold Badge awards from the English Folk Dance and Song Society
(EFDSS).Gold Badges are given for
unique or outstanding contributions to folk music, dance or song,
distinguished service to EFDSS and/or exceptional contributions to
Gold Badges for 2017 will be awarded to: Johnny Adams
Nicolas Broadbridge Dave and Maggie Hunt The Wilson
They join an illustrious list of Gold Badge holders
including EFDSS founder and pioneering folksong collector Cecil Sharp,
composer and collector Ralph Vaughan Williams, performer/writerA L Lloyd, and musicians The Spinners,
together with EFDSS President Shirley Collins and Vice President Eliza Carthy.
The Chair of the EFDSS Board, Alistair Anderson, said:
“All of this year’s recipients have played important roles in
their individual fields. They have helped to inspire, to support and to
inform generations of folk artists and fans, making significant contributions
to the continuing strength and vitality of traditional English folk arts. We
are delighted to recognize them with these prestigious awards.”
Johnny Adams is a folk musician, recording artist and
producer of fifty years standing. From 1998 to 2008 he was on the National
Council of EFDSS, during which time he worked to formalise the Society's web
presence, including instituting the first online shop. More recently he has
been involved in sub-committee work. He co-founded The Village Music Project,
which researches 18th and 19th century dance music,
he coordinates the support group for the archive of the folklorist and
collector Doc Rowe, and was director of the Paul Graney
Archive of recordings made in the North-West of England between the 1950s and
the 1980s which is now housed at Manchester Central Library.http://www.john-adams.info/
Nicolas Broadbridge is an
accordionist and a specialist in Playford and similar
dance. He learned Country Dancing, Cotswold Morris and Longsword
in Surrey in the 1950s, later dancing with
Whirligigs demonstration team in London (working closely with Pat Shaw).
In 1982 he started two Playford groups in Scotland, The Glasgow and Edinburgh
Assemblies, and has run 34 annual Balls there. He formed the Assembly Players
in 1987 and has led them for balls, ceilidh dances
and workshops; playing on, directing and producing their nineteen recordings
of English Country Dances and one of Scottish Ceilidh
Dances. He is a composer, editor and publisher of tunes and dances, and a
researcher into C17th, C18th and C19th country dances. He has taught widely
in England, mainland Europe and the USA. www.nicolasbroadbridge.com
Dave and Maggie Hunt Dave Hunt is the founder of Sunshine
Arts, a long-established English folk arts group specialising in working in
schools, at Festivals and in the community. Widely known at folk festivals as
the children's entertainer Dr Sunshine, he is also recognised as a top caller
for English barn-dances and ceilidh dances, and as
an instrumentalist and singer. Dave teaches Border Morris, Longsword dancing and Mumming
plays at festivals and in schools all over the country. He has also run
workshops on calling and dance writing. Maggie Hunt’s particular
strengths have been in encouraging young people in the development of their
performance skills. As an integral part of Sunshine Arts, she has been
responsible for developing children’s dance and drama activities away
from the children’s tents and into mainstream festival activities. She
has a strong association with the North East including a regular part in the
traditional Skinningrove bonfire, assisting with
the design and construction of their spectacular displays.www.sunshinearts.co.uk
The Wilson Family are five brothers – Tom, Chris,
Steve, Ken and Mike Wilson – who emerged onto the folk scene in 1973
with their own blend of powerful unaccompanied sibling harmonies. In the
early days they were a six part a cappella group along with their sister Pat,
who stopped touringten years ago. They have organised and run a folk club in their
beloved Teesside for over forty years. The club is still running, providing a
platform for local singers. They are regular headlining guests at festivals
and clubs across the UK and Europe, and they appeared at the Royal
Albert Hall as part of the 2011 BBC Proms. In 2013 the family accompanied
Sting to New York to launch his critically
acclaimed album 'The Last Ship'. The Wilson Family are particularly known for
their dedication to both traditional and social comment songs, as well as
their pure joy of singing. They are often cited as a major source of
influence by younger performers on today’s folk scene.
Item added 19/10/17
National folk arts library to undergo a major
England’s national library of folk music and dance
is to undergo a major refurbishment this summer to ensure it is fit for
future generations to explore and discover the folk arts.
The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML), the library of the
English Folk Dance and Song Society based at Cecil Sharp House in London, will be closed from July 19 to September 5 while
work is carried out.
The VWML is the country’s biggest dedicated library and archive of folk
music, dance, and other traditions, and received Designated status from the
Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) in 2011.
It opened as part of Cecil Sharp House in Regent’s Park Road in 1930 to make Cecil Sharp’s personal book
collection accessible to the public.
The library was one of the few rooms in the Grade II listed property that
escaped serious damage from a WWII bomb, and so it still features the
original bookcases made by Heal’s on
Tottenham Court Road and its Art Deco ceiling.
The seven-week programme
will include the renovation of the historic bookcases by accredited
conservators Bainbridge Conservation, painting the ceiling, new flooring,
curtains, and readers' lamps.
A new display case to exhibit items from the archive will also be installed,
along with facilities for browsing the VWML’s
extensive catalogue and online resources. The National Folk Music Fund, set
up by Ursula and Ralph Vaughan Williams to support the VWML, is funding the
£50,000 cost of the refurbishment.
Laura Smyth, Director of the VWML, said: “The Vaughan Williams Memorial
Library is the nation’s most prized resource for folk traditions and
has been very well used by musicians, researchers, writers, historians, and
other visitors over the years.
“The reading room has not undergone any major refurbishment since 1940,
and the historic furniture has become chipped, tired, and cracked over the
decades. This carefully planned refurbishment will ensure that the library
can continue to serve our users and be a place of discovery for the folk arts
for many years to come.”
Library staff will continue to operate an email, telephone, and letter
enquiry service during the closure period. For more information, go to www.vwml.org.
Poet Ian Parks and musician Mick Jenkinson are creating a series of songs about Doncaster as part of new commission from Arts Council funded
Right Up Our Street. The duo are
working on the project, called, Songs of Our Town, with a view to releasing
an album later in the year of the songs and poems that they’ve written
with the help of the local community.
Ian, from Mexborough, said: “Mick and I are
so excited to be working on this project. We met a few years ago when we were
both working on the Ted Hughes festival and knew that our creative styles
would work well together. “I’d been looking for
someone to collaborate with for almost ten years and then along came Mick
from just down the road in Balby! Together we
developed this idea to create an album of songs of our town and to work with
the local community to hear their stories and memories of Doncaster to weave into the songs.”
The project aims to deliver an album about
different elements of the town, people and places, unsung heroes and
unexplored landscapes. “We’ve been taking the idea
out and working with groups to help them to take their stories and write
their own songs. “There is a strong sense of legacy about
the project. We are developing people’s writing skills in special
sessions, sharing stories and creating songs,” said Mick.
Rachel Ryan, from Right Up Our Street said:
“This is one of our commissioned projects and we are extremely pleased
with Ian and Mick’s proposal which will culminate in an event during DNweekeND in September where the songs are all performed.
“The sessions they are holding around Doncaster are all free and there are no restrictions. They
are for people off all ages who have a story to share.”
Other opportunities to work with Ian and Mick on
Songs of Our Town will be: The James Paine memorial event on June 17 at
the Mansion House.
New project brings major folk song collection to the
A new project to incorporate a pivotal collection into the world’s
largest online searchable database of folk songs and music has been
The digitised collection of
James Madison Carpenter, which has previously only been accessible by
visiting the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, will be added to the Vaughan Williams Memorial
Library Digital Archive, thanks to a grant of more than £63,000 from the Arts
and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Follow-on Funding Scheme.
Carpenter’s work includes a wealth of traditional songs, ballads and
folk plays, collected from performers in Scotland, England and Wales by the Harvard-trained scholar, mostly in the
As well as more than 2,000 items of traditional song and 300 folk plays, it
contains some items of traditional instrumental music, dance, custom,
narrative and children's folklore.
project is being delivered by the Elphinstone
Institute, the centre for the study of Ethnology, Folklore, and
Ethnomusicology at the University of Aberdeen, in partnership with the English Folk Dance and Song Society, which
runs the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library and Archive (VWML) at Cecil Sharp
House in London.
A new learning resource for
teachers will be created for the online EFDSS Resource Bank using a selection
of material from the collection. EFDSS will also deliver a series of creative
learning projects with young people, adults, and in schools to introduce the
collection to a new audience.
The project will culminate in a celebration
concert at Cecil Sharp House in March 2018 featuring material from the
Laura Smyth, Director of the VWML, said:
“The Carpenter Collection will be a fantastic addition to our digital
archive with collected materials from the early 1930s – a period with
little activity from English based collectors.
“It also features a large number of
audio recordings, allowing us to get even closer to the original
Dr Julia Bishop, leader of the James Madison
Carpenter Collection Project, said: “‘The Carpenter Collection
has been hidden for so long. This is a wonderful opportunity to return it to
the communities and places where so much of it originated.”
Item Added 20/04/17
Nationwide search for next cohort
of the National Youth Folk Ensemble
The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) has
launched a nationwide search for talented young musicians to become the next
members of the National Youth Folk Ensemble.
A series of Sampler Days will be held throughout England during May and June
to audition musicians aged 14 to 18 for up to 25 places in the 2017 –
2018 Ensemble, which is supported by Arts Council England.
Led by the Ensemble’s Artistic Director, former BBC Radio 2 Folk
Musician of the Year Sam Sweeney, each Sampler Day includes creative
workshops with a team of professional folk artists, individual auditions, and
a question and answer session with Ensemble staff.
Selected musicians will be invited
to a final audition in London on July 8 or 9. To register for a
Sampler Day, musicians have to be aged between 14 and 18 on 1
September 2017, live in England, be able to play confidently on
any instrument and have an interest in folk music.
EFDSS launched the National Youth Folk Ensemble in 2016 to increase
opportunities for young people and audiences to discover folk music and raise
the profile of folk music in England.
During the year, members will take part in four weeks of intensive
residential courses around the country, receiving high quality tuition and
guidance from leading professional folk artists.
They will also develop skills in performance, arrangement and leadership and
give public performances
Katy Spicer, EFDSS Chief Executive and Artistic Director, said:
“The first year of the Ensemble has been a huge success.
“It has been a chance for the young musicians to develop and challenge
their own abilities and learn from some of the best musicians in contemporary
“We are now looking for more excellent instrumentalists who are
dedicated to developing as folk musicians and excited about collaborating
with others who share their passion. Whether they go on to make the final
ensemble or not, taking part in a Sampler Day will be a valuable
developmental opportunity for any young musicians interested in traditional
Sixteen-year-old Cori Smith is a classically
trained viola player who said she had been “transformed” since
joining the National Youth Folk Ensemble.
“I’ve met so many talented people and it has been great to learn
from them. I was a bit intimidated at the start, joining in the sessions with
tunes that some other people just seemed to know, but by the end of the
residential sessions, I had improved so much and was able to join in and play
along by ear. It’s really developing my listening skills.
“It is such a warm and supportive environment, you can’t fail to
be inspired,” she added.
National Youth Folk Ensemble Sampler Days 2017:
Saturday 27 May – Colston Hall, Bristol
Sunday 28 May – Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester
The Pig and Whistle, Swineshead, is under new management, and they have changed the name
to The Green Dragon – address of course, remains the same.
Session organisers Anne and Tom have also moved this year, so the contact
phone number is now 01775 822569