Is it that time already!? Come and enjoy the Christmas celebrations at Halsway Manor! We’ll be cooking-up a fine feast of festive delights with plenty to keep you entertained.
As well as a lot of dancing, singing, playing, we have elves in the grotto and puzzles in the bar. There will be opportunities for learning new Morris dance skills, French couple dancing, with many lovely performances in the bar and jig dolls reunited. All this plus the wonderful food and drink throughout.
The team this time will be Ivan Aitken as our dance caller and teacher and the fabulous Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer as the band and leaders of the singing and instrument workshops. Gareth Kiddier will host the event, and play in the band. As ever, we love to include your skills and talents if you so wish, especially in the bar sessions in the evening.
So expect enjoyable and varied folk activities – music, dancing, singing, quizzes, crafts, informal performances (bring your party-piece!) and general merry-making. Plus great food, roaring log fires and convivial company. Bring your instruments, dancing shoes, and walking boots too if you fancy a stroll, and prepare for a very Merry folk Christmas!
Who’s it For?
Everyone who would like to have fun at Christmas!
Host Gareth Kiddier with Ivan Aitken our dance caller and teacher and the fabulous Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer as the band and leaders of the singing and instrument workshops.
Gareth Kiddier (piano) has been playing on the folk dance scene for in excess of 15 years and is a passionate dancer, all of which shows in his driving rhythmical support of the dance tunes using well considered harmonic chords. When not with ECDB, he may be heard playing most weekends of the year with PolkaWorks and other occasional line-ups.
Ivan Aitken is a dancer and caller from Reading in Berkshire. He is a regular caller at local clubs, and also calls for dances and workshops at clubs and festivals throughout the country. Ivan calls for dancers of all abilities, and has worked with many well known bands. He has called at Sidmouth, Chippenham, Broadstairs and Bromyard festivals, at Halsway Manor and other dance weekends. Ivan likes to call a mixture of English, American and Scottish dances and is always on the lookout for new and interesting dances to add to his repertoire.
Vicki Swan (Swedish nyckelharpas, Bagpipes of various sorts, vocals and flute)
Vicki studied at the Royal College of Music on the double bass. She also plays the various types of bagpipes, flute, recorder, piano and nyckelharpa (Swedish keyed-fiddle). On leaving music college Vicki started down the long path of folk music and was only seen on rare glimpses back in classical orchestras. You’ll find Vicki now inhabiting the troll ridden forests playing her Swedish bagpipes, bagging tunes for new books. Vicki holds the Zorn Bronze Award for the traditional playing of Swedish bagpipes and runs workshops and teaches the nyckelharpa around the UK.
Jonny Dyer (Vocals, Guitars, Accordion)
Composer and competition-winning guitar player; Jonny’s outstanding technical ability, coupled with a wide-ranging musical taste has made him a tireless and forceful musical innovator. Jonny has been singing choral music and playing soul, jazz and folk for as long as he can remember.