Over the October half term, the first residential course for the National Youth Folk Ensemble took place at Halsway Manor in Somerset and it was a great success!
The first cohort of the Ensemble is made up of 17 talented young folk musicians who play fiddle, flute, accordion, melodeon, cello, viola, guitar, harp and Uilleann pipes. They travelled to Somerset from all over England and spent an intensive week learning from and making music with Artistic Director Sam Sweeney and music leaders Rob Harbron, Miranda Rutter, Saul Rose, Becky Price and Ben Nicholls.
The Ensemble members created music in small groups and as a full band, had one-to-one sessions on their instruments, wrote compositions, discovered repertoire in English tune books, performed to each other, had a ceilidh and had a taster working in morris dancing. They began to create musical arrangements for their first public performances in 2017, which will be on Friday 17 February at The Met, Bury supporting Leveret and Wednesday 12 April at Cecil Sharp House, London.
It was great to watch the young musicians get to know each other musically and socially and we are looking forward to seeing how the Ensemble develops over the next year!
Take a look at the photographs by Camilla Greenwell and this film by Roswitha Chesher for a taster of the residential course.
Find out more about the project and how to apply to join the Ensemble: efdss.org/nationalyouthfolkensemble