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At the heart of English folk

Announcing our latest musical collaboration in partnership with Folk by the Oak

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) and Folk by The Oak announces its latest music commission, touring to Cambridge, Bury, Cardiff, Bristol, London and Gateshead in November 2015 culminating in a performance at Folk by the Oak festival in July 2016 featuring Martyn Joseph, Nancy Kerr, Sam Carter and Maz O’Connor with Patsy Reid and Nick Cooke.

As the UK marks a year rich in constitutional anniversaries, including 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta and 750 years since the Simon de Montfort parliament, four folk songwriters are invited to celebrate our pursuit of democracy.

BBC Folk Singer of the Year Nancy Kerr, Martyn Joseph, Sam Carter, and Maz O’Connor will compose new music in response to the rights and liberties that people have fought to achieve and protect over the past eight centuries.

They will consider milestone moments that mark the passage of key pieces of legislation, and also review moments when the aspiration for rights or liberties were articulated.

To support the creative process, the artists will have access to the Parliamentary Archives and historians, together with folk material from the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.

The four songwriters will be joined by musicians Patsy Reid and Nick Cooke for the culmination of the project - a UK tour in November 2015. The group will also perform at the Folk by the Oak festival in Hatfield in July 2016.

The project has been commissioned by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) and Folk by the Oak in partnership with the Houses of Parliament’s 2015 anniversaries programme,Parliament in the Making. It is partly funded by the PRS for Music Foundation. 

Concert tour dates

PRS for music Foundation

Tues 24th November - Cambridge Junction 

Wed 25th November - Colston Hall, Bristol 

Thu 26th November - The Met, Bury

Fri 27th November - St David's Hall, Cardiff

Sat 28th November - Cecil Sharp House, London

Sun 29th November - Sage Gateshead


The Sweet Liberties team at Parliament



National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


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