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At the heart of English folk
National Youth Folk Ensemble



Rachel Elliott, Education Director – overview of the programme as part of the EFDSS Education programme and national strategy

Sarah Jones, Programme Manager (National Youth Folk Ensemble) – responsible for the development and delivery of the programme

For further information please contact Sarah on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Artistic Team

Sam Sweeney, Artistic Director 2016-19

Awarded the coveted BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year 2015, Sam is an exceptional fiddle player and multi-instrumentalist who has made his performing mark through his duo with Hannah James, as a member of Jon Boden and the Remnant Kings, and most notably as a member of folk super-group Bellowhead.  An exponent of English traditional music, Sam also performs with some of today’s most acclaimed English folk bands including Fay Hield and The Hurricane Party, Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band, and founded Leveret with Andy Cutting and Rob Harbron. Sam is an experienced folk educator who has taught at Folkworks Youth Summer School, Aldeburgh Young Musicians and the English Acoustic Collective Summer School, as well as running his own fiddle workshops for advanced players. 

Music Leaders:

Rob Harbron

Miranda Rutter

Jenn Butterworth

Archie Churchill-Moss

Andy Cutting

Dave Gray 

Natalie Haas

Sarah Hayes

Benji Kirkpatrick

Rachel Newton 

Ben Nicholls

Sam Partridge

Becky Price

Emma Reid

Saul Rose

Jack Rutter

Seth Tinsley

Peter Wiegold


Pastoral Team

Jack Healy (Pastoral Lead)

Natalie Reid 

Martha Lloyd 

Lucy Duff


Advisory Working Party

We are fortunate to have a group of experts from the folk music and music education sectors guiding and supporting the development of the National Youth Folk Ensemble. The current members of the Advisory Working Party are:   

Alistair Anderson, folk musician and founder of Folkworks

Ed Milner, Head of Music Learning, Sage Gateshead

Graeme Surtees, Head of Learning and Participation, The Stables

Katy Spicer, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, English Folk Dance and Song Society

Liza Austin Strange, Director, Fosbrook Folk Education Trust

Maia Ayling, Development Manager, Shooting Roots

Marilyn Tucker, Artistic Director/CEO, Wren Music

Philip Flood, Director, Sound Connections

Ruth Wild, Head of Instrumental and Vocal, Director of Roots Alive, ArtForms, Leeds

Sean Gregory, Director, Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning



Arts Council England


National Youth Folk Ensemble on Instagram

See highlights from the Ensemble's residential courses and performances