Patrons: Norma Waterson MBE & Kate Rusby
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2015 - 2016
We are always pleased to receive news items relating to folk arts in the region, but we cannot always guarantee to include them here. Concise, relevant copy with full contact details is particularly welcome, especially if you can also supply a photograph or other illustration.
See Also Clubs & Sessions News
A nationwide search
for talented young musicians to become the first members of the new
National Youth Folk Ensemble will come to Leeds later this year.
Led by the Ensemble’s Artistic Director, BBC Radio 2’s Folk Musician of the Year 2015 Sam Sweeney, each Sampler Day will include 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 in July. To register for the Leeds Sampler Day, musicians have to be aged between 14 and 18 on 1 September 2016, live in England, be able to play confidently on any instrument and have an interest in folk music.
Places on the Sampler Day are free but limited and booking is essential at www.efdss.org/nationalyouthfolkensemble.
EFDSS created the National Youth Folk Ensemble to increase opportunities for young people and audiences to discover folk music and raise the profile of folk music in England. The programme is supported by Arts Council England.
Katy Spicer, EFDSS Chief Executive and Artistic Director, said: “We are looking for excellent instrumentalists who are dedicated to developing as folk musicians and excited about collaborating with others who share their passion.
“This is a unique opportunity for young musicians and the first time a group of this kind has been established on a national basis. It offers a chance to develop in a nurturing environment with experienced and skilled musicians.
“We are hoping the
Ensemble will discover, encourage and inspire the folk performers, educators
and leaders of the future, and we would encourage as many young musicians
as possible to sign up to the Sampler Day in Leeds.”
Keep up to date with news about the ensemble at http://www.efdss.org/nationalyouthfolkensemble and tweet @theEFDSS #youthfolk
When popular Teesside trio The Young ‘uns embark on their biggest tour of the UK in April they aim to involve communities up and down the country in a series of free pre-gig grass roots events.
In their only UK tour of 2016, Sean Cooney, Michael Hughes and David Eagle, will set out to play 18 celebrated venues across England, Scotland and Wales. Their “Three For All” tour (April 13 - May 1) will take in venues including Cardiff’s St David’s Hall, Edinburgh’s Pleasance Theatre, Salisbury City Hall and Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
But on this tour they will be offering added value. Inviting members of the public to “call the tune” they will take time away from the concert hall stages to join forces with people and projects in the environs of their gig towns, with free events mirroring their all-inclusive tour title.
Says singer songwriter Sean Cooney: “We've decided to try to live up to the tour name. On as many afternoons as possible we'll be aiming to do something for free in or around the tour towns. We hope to celebrate the stories behind some of our songs in the places - and with the people - who inspired them, support the work of community groups and causes and sing in places of special local interest.”
Announcing the plan on Facebook the trio said they were open to ideas. “If you know of a good place to sing, a local cause to support, a community group who could use us for an hour or anything else we can do in or near Grantham, Kendal, York, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Shrewsbury, Cardiff, London, Bridgwater, New Milton, Bristol, Salisbury, Canterbury, East Suffolk, Warwick, Liverpool, Durham or Cockermouth give us a shout - we'd love to hear from you.”
Stockton Folk Club’s star graduates have proved themselves a unique proposition - writing and performing a capella or subtly accompanied songs that tell it how it is alongside traditional songs from their native North-East and further afield - songs of conscience, songs of warmth and wit, songs to provoke, songs to inspire.
In 2015 - a year crowned with their Best Group win at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - they performed an incredible 116 gigs in nine countries as well as hosting 20 school projects, three singing weekends and working with Aldeburgh Young Musicians. Renowned for their pitch perfect harmonies and rapid fire humour, their live show undeniably has the human touch.
Patrons of Suffolk’s fast growing FolkEast festival, the trio will be reaching audiences old and new on the April tour, kicking off at Grantham’s Guildhall Arts Centre in Lincolnshire on April 13 and ending at The Kirkgate in Cockermouth, Cumbria on May Day. As well as the shows in Scotland and Wales the tour will take in 11 English counties.
Item Added 3/2/16
to receive international lifetime achievement award
Chief Executive Katy Spicer will receive The Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement award on behalf of EFDSS during the opening evening of the 28th annual Folk Alliance International conference in Kansas, USA, on Wednesday, February 17, 2016.
The award is named for one of the founders of Folk Alliance International, which is the world’s largest gathering of the folk music industry. Each year, the awards are presented to a living recipient, a memorial recipient and an active organisation and are determined by a select international panel.
Past recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Awards include Pete Seeger, The Weavers, Harry Belafonte, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mavis Staples, The Carter Family, Bill Monroe, Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, Robert Johnson, Bessie Jones, Alan Lomax, The Newport Folk Festival, Old Town School of Folk Music, National Council for Traditional Arts, and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, among others.
EFDSS Chief Executive Katy Spicer said: “As an organisation, we are thrilled to be recognised for our work in preserving, promoting and disseminating traditional English folk arts.
“To join such esteemed organisations such as the American Folklife Center and folk luminiaries as song collector Alan Lomax is a great honour.”
Item added 14/01/2016
Are you a talented young instrumentalist? Do you need help with musical costs? You may be eligible to apply for up to £2,000.
Awards for Young Musicians (AYM) believe that all talented young people deserve the chance to progress in their music making. That’s why they’re awarding up to £100,000 in grants to exceptional young instrumentalists in need of support. AYM are inviting applications from instrumentalists aged 5-17 playing any musical genre to join their 2016 Awards Programme. As well as receiving flexible funding towards the costs of their musical development Award winners will benefit from individually tailored support, which may comprise mentoring, workshops and master classes with professional musicians, the chance to observe rehearsals with professional orchestras and other musical partners, and performance opportunities.
AYM’s key criteria are musical talent and financial need. To be considered for an Award the young musician must be recommended by their instrumental teacher and an organisation or group with whom they make music (e.g. an orchestra, band, music club). The young musicians’ parent/carer(s) also need to complete an application form, including a personal statement from the young musician and evidence of their musical ability. Whether they are studying classical Western music, classical Indian music, jazz, folk, blues, rock or commercial music they can evidence this ability in a number of ways; it is not essential to have taken formal exams.
Many AYM Award winners progress on to win prestigious music competitions or take up exciting careers in the music industry. For example in 2014, classical pianist Martin James Bartlett, whom AYM first supported when he was 9 years old, won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition, with three other AYM award winners reaching the sectional finals.
The deadline for applications is Friday 18 March 2016 and Awards will be announced in May 2016. Those interested may wish to complete a simple online eligibility questionnaire before progressing with a full application. Full details of how to apply can be found at http://www.a-y-m.org.uk.
Across AYM’s annual Awards and other strategic programmes the charity has an ambition to reach 1,000 young musicians every year. In order to achieve this ambitious target AYM are continuously fundraising with the support of its dedicated team of volunteers, individual donors and patrons including: Paul Lewis, Shabaka Hutchings, Duncan Ward, Ksenija Sidorova, Zeb Soanes and Julian Lloyd Webber.
To get involved in fundraising or to find out about how to apply for a 2016 Award from AY M please visit their website www.a-y-m.org.uk. For enquiries about the Awards programme email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 302 0023.
Item added 3/12/15
FiddleOn magazine, a specialist magazine
devoted to the fiddle, is joining forces with The Living Tradition,
the premier magazine for folk and traditional music with a primary focus
on the UK and Ireland. This development, which brings further editorial
expertise, additional subscribers and a wider reach is good news all
A free online resource
to encourage more people to learn and teach folk related music, dance,
drama and other arts has been launched by the English Folk Dance and
Song Society (EFDSS). The charity has created its Resource Bank –
which is freely available to anyone to browse at http://www.efdss.org/resourcebank
- to encourage more people to learn about traditional music, dance,
drama, other arts and customs.
The Resource Bank features three main components:
Beginners’ Guides – introductions to folk music, dance, song, drama, costume, customs and collectors
Resources and Teaching Tools – a variety of resource packs, many with audio and video resources,for use in educational, and other informal learning settings.
Jargon Buster – an easy reference guide for folk related terms and phrases.
The Resource Bank
is the lasting legacy project of EFDSS' celebrated project, The Full
English, which saw the digitisation of thousands of English folk manuscripts
to create the world’s largest free online searchable database
from some of the country’s most important folk music collections.
Rachel Elliott, EFDSS Education Director, said: “We create and manage diverse, high quality and imaginative projects working with folk material including music, dance, song, stories and crafts in a range of formal and informal learning settings including primary and secondary schools, with youth and community groups and adult learners. “The Resource Bank aims to bring all the knowledge and resources that are developed as part of our education programme and to allow anyone anywhere in the world access to it. “Sharing these resources will help us to safeguard the future of folk arts by stimulating more understanding and participation in traditional folk arts by a new audience and a new generation.”
Item Added June 2015
Dancers, poets, storytellers, musicians, visual, digital or multi media artists are being invited to apply for the 2015/16 round of creative artist bursaries offered by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS).
EFDSS, makes up to four awards annually to fund the research and development of new work linked to the folk arts.The creative artist residencies are part of EFDSS’ Artists’ Development Programme that provides professional development support, both creative and business, to artists.
The Creative Bursary Award includes the daytime use of rehearsal rooms at Cecil Sharp House (but not 24 hour storage space), access to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, and a grant of up to £2,000 to cover costs and expenses.
Katy Spicer, EFDSS Chief Executive said: “Since the creative artist bursaries programme was launched in 2012, we have supported contemporary and folk dance choreographers, storytellers, and classical and folk musicians and composers. “We have been delighted to see many artists go on to create full shows and new music for CDs from the research and development EFDSS has supported.
“We are always keen to hear from people who are interested in exploring the potential of the English folk arts from a cross-genre, cross-arts, or cross-culture creative view point.”
For guidelines and applications forms go to http://www.efdss.org/efdss-artists-development/artists-bursaries. The deadline for submitted applications is 9pm on 29 May 2015 for residencies to be taken between September 2015 and March 2016.
Completed applications should be sent via email to email@example.com or posted to Neil Pearson, Artists’ Development Manager, Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent’s Park Road, London, NW1 7AY by the deadline. The successful candidates will be announced in late June.
For more information about EFDSS’ Artist Development programme, go to http://www.efdss.org/efdss-artists-development/aspire-programme.
Item Added 20 /4 /15
Could you be the next Ed Sherran or Paul Simon? Then
acoustic music festival organisers in North Yorkshire are looking for
A draw will be made to decide on the running order
and this will be posted in Festival Office and the Festival website.
Item added 20/04/15
Organisers of Bedale’s acoustic music festival – BAMfest – are calling on local people to get involved and help make this year’s festival even better than before.
An Open Evening for Volunteers is being organised for Tuesday February 24 at Big Sheep Little Cow Farm in Bedale between 7 and 8pm. Light refreshments will be served.
Festival volunteer co-ordinator Josh Waterton-Bailey said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of the festival, without them we wouldn’t be able to make the festival happen. In exchange for a few hours of volunteering across the weekend, we will reward you with free festival tickets”
“We have organised this open evening to explain what is involved and give people an opportunity to meet the Festival team and other volunteers. We’d love to see even more people get the BAMfest buzz!”
Volunteers are required to assist in various areas - to help set up site/venues and clear site/venues, to steward on the festival campsite, the BAMfest ticket desk/info point, help to sell BAMfest merchandise/CD’s as well as venue stewarding.
Full details are on the BAMfest website - www.bamfest.co.uk. If you want more information call the BAMfest hotline on 07925 817116 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BAMfest is now in its third year after being launched in 2013. The three-day event attracts hundreds of visitors to the market town, with local pubs and cafes all getting involved.
The2015 Festival will see appearances by Martin Stephenson and the Daintees, Blackbeard’s Tea Party, Henry Priestman, Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra, Babajack, Les Barker, Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby, The Young’Uns, The Jon Palmer Band, The Duncan McFarlane Band and many other acts from across the UK.
An extra Farm stage is being launched this year on the Festival site allowing organisers to bring dozens of new bands to Bedale.
Item added 17/2/2015
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