Tender Roots, Barnsley
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Patrons: Norma Waterson MBE & Kate Rusby
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Tender Roots logo and link to web page Tender Roots: Barnsley 

Update: Oct 2003   Showcase: 20 Nov 2003   Youth festival: March 2004  

The project

Tender Roots is part of the South Yorkshire Youth Music Action Zone - Music Mine, which was instigated and funded by Youth Music. The project will introduce students age 9 to 14 to folk traditions, using a series of stepping-stones. "Taster" sessions and workshops during autumn 2003 and winter/spring 2004 will lead up to participation in the Wombwell Folk Festival, 2004.

The taster sessions and workshops will be provided using the school pyramids for Kingstone School and Penistone Grammar School. The project starts at Kingstone in September 2003, continues in 2004 at Penistone, and ends at Wombwell Folk Festival in May 2004.

Phase 1: Kingstone

Late September 2003
Evening taster sessions for feeder primary schools and year 7 and 8 pupils. All welcome.

18 and 19 October 2003
Weekend workshop at Kingstone School from 10 am to 3 pm.
Music Director Chris McShane will be joined by local folk musicians, and the workshop will end with an informal concert.

Phase 1: Penistone

February 2004
Evening taster sessions for feeder primary schools and year 7 and 8 pupils. All welcome.

20 and 21 March 2004
Weekend workshop at Penistone Grammar School from 10 am to 3 pm.
Music Director Chris McShane will be joined by tutors and students from Newcastle University's folk and traditional music course, and students will have the opportunity to perform at The Fleets over the weekend.

The festival

May 2004
All students will be invited to workshops as part of Wombwell Folk Festival.

The tutors

Chris McShane
Music Director of the project. Also leads the Barnsley Guitar and Folk Ensembles, and is a peripatetic music teacher based at P.A.D.S. A highly regarded and experienced folk musician, arranger, teacher and workshop leader.

Visiting tutors:

Alistair Anderson. Lecturer in folk and traditional music at Newcastle University. Player of English concertina and Northumbrian pipes.

Ciaran Boyle. Champion bodhran player.

John Fuller. Experienced pro musician (guitar and flute).

Robin Garside. Singer and songwriter. Guitar, fiddle, banjo and other instruments.

Rachel McShane. Singer and musician. Winner of the first Barnsley Young Musician of the Year competition.

Damien O'Kane. Banjo, guitar, whistle.

Booking and contact

Booking forms for the workshops are available from
Tender Roots Project
Barnsley Guitar and Folk Ensembles
c/o 8 Huskar Close
S75 4SX
Telephone 01226 790430
Email caprice.no1@virgin.net


Youth Music logo   Youth Music website:

7th September 2003.  

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Update: October 2003

Stephen Dolman writes:

To help spread the word that folk music is cool the Barnsley Guitar & Folk Ensembles' "Tender Roots" project kicked off on September 25th at Kingstone School with a concert and invitation to attend a weekend workshop being held on 18 - 19 October.

The concert, given to students aged from 9 to 14, started with a set from local folk heroes Chris McShane, Ciaran Boyle, John Fuller and Robin Garside. They introduced a number of folk styles and encouraged the audience to join in with what Robin described as "Barnsley's National Anthem"!

The second half saw two new young groups make their concert debut. The Magical Four, Daniel Micklethwaite, Joseph Nicholson, Michael Ravenscroft and James Spence, started with a fine rendition of the Wild Rover; in fact such was the grittiness of the performance you believed that these 13 and 14 year old lads had indeed spent the spare time drinking and womanising.

Next up were the Merry Sisters; Lucy Dolman, Bridget Pearson and Rebecca Waters. Their short set included their own arrangement of Sir Eglamore, a tune which appeared on Kate Rusby's first solo CD and is still a favourite at her concerts.

The concert ended with all the musicians inviting the audience to join them on stage for a rousing finale.

The first phase of the project will end with a concert at Priory Campus on 20 November. Students will be joined in concert by one of the country's leading young artists, in a showcase event.

Phase two of "Tender Roots" will start in February, in collaboration with Penistone Grammar School.
October 2003.  

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Photo of Sam Pirt November Showcase

On Thursday 20 November, Priory Campus Barnsley will showcase a wealth of young folk talent, headlined by Sam Pirt, past winner -as part of the band 422- of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award.

First on stage will be six young acts from Barnsley, graduates of the "Tender Roots" project. The concert will display what they have already achieved and give them a platform to build upon.

The twenty young musicians, aged between 9 and 15, will present a variety of tunes from rock influenced jigs, through Irish polkas and Breton dance tunes, to music they have composed themselves. They will be supported by course tutors Ciaran Boyle (bodhran), John Fuller (saxophone), Robin Garside (fiddle), Rachael McShane (fiddle) and Damien O¹Kane (banjo).

After a short interval, Sam Pirt and friends will take the stage. Sam (piano accordion and taps) will be joined by Michael Jary (concertina) and Mat Nelson (saxophone and guitar).

Chris McShane, musical director of the project, said "We had a great workshop towards the end of October. Everyone tried something new, whether simply forming a band, or trying out a new instrument. Singing is an important part of the folk tradition, but its something many young people feel uncomfortable doing. It was therefore fantastic to see young people start singing some of the songs from our rich heritage. Sam is an ideal person for anyone to come and listen to. Although essentially self taught, Sam brings the tradition bang up to date with his arrangements and interpretations".

Tickets are available in advance or on the door at £4.00 each, with special discounts for families. Phone 01226 790430 (evenings) for details. Barnsley Youth Folk Festival 2004

The Fleets, Barnsley

Friday 19 March

Ceilidh with Swing Yer Granny: 7.30 pm

Saturday 20 March


featuring Damien O'Kane & Rachael McShane

The Merry Sisters — Slipnote — Kokopelli - from the Tender Roots Project

Barnsley Folk Ensemble
Barnsley Guitar Ensemble

Tickets for each event: £3.00, £10.00 family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children)

Penistone Grammar School

Friday 19 March and Saturday 20 March

Tender Roots Workshop

10 am to 3 pm

Sunday 21 March

Workshop concert: 3 pm. Entry free: all welcome.


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