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Give Voice! Weekend 2015

Friday 4 Dec 8am — Sunday 6 Dec 5pm, 2015

To make a booking enquiry please complete the form below. We will contact you to confirm availability and complete your booking.

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A weekend of song-sharing and workshops with Tom & Barbara Brown, Pete Coe, Janet Russell and Bonny & Cynthia Sartin.


This weekend is for people of all ages (teenagers to pensioners) and abilities – in the comfortable and relaxed surroundings of Halsway Manor. Big Sings (with everyone having a chance to lead chorus songs – if they want to) when the bar is open, and opportunities to explore songs and individual singing in between. You can explore the library, get help finding online folk resources or have a ramble around the glorious countryside – it’s up to you!  You’re welcome to bring accompanying instruments if you wish.



Arrive in the afternoon – rooms available from 4.00, dinner at 6.30pm.
Evening       Time to socialise before a Big Sing from 9pm in the bar – your opportunity to lead a chorus song or two!


Morning        Where’s My Voice? Janet Russell helps you find your voice, discover what it can do, and how to look after it.
After lunch    Big Sing in the bar
OR                 Sing Us a Story. A theme session, sharing narrative songs, led by Barbara Brown.
Afternoon      What’s In It For Me? Bonny & Cynthia Sartin assist you in exploring the contents of Halsway’s Grant/Kennedy Memorial Library.
OR                  Making the Song  Pete Coe helps you to create songs that strike a chord with others.


Morning        I Can Do That!  For those who would like feedback on their solo singing, assistance in feeling more confident, and how to approach songs, including accompaniments.  With Tom Brown, Pete Coe, Janet Russell & Bonny Sartin.
OR                 Fish & Ships   A theme session, sharing songs on a subject which most people should be able to find a song about.  Led by Barbara Brown.
After lunch   Big Sing in the bar until cream tea time!

GIVE VOICE ends with tea at 4pm (ish!) BUT for those wishing to stay a little longer…

5-6.30pm    Concert from weekend song leaders
Evening      Survivors’ Song Session in the bar.


Depart after a big Halsway breakfast!


Bonny & Cynthia Sartin:
Cynthia is in charge of the library at Halsway, which includes the Peter Kennedy collection which Bonny, of Yetties fame, has been cataloguing.  Cynthia and Bonny know this library inside out!

Janet Russell: 
As well as being a member of the renowned Sisters Unlimited, and the more recent song and dance quartet Jigjaw, and of course, her solo career, Janet also has runs not one, but three community choirs, so she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to the voice!

Pete Coe:
A man of many talents, Pete has been described as the back-bone of the modern folk revival, and as well as his solo performing career, continues to involve himself thoroughly in his local scene.  His original songs are ‘devastatingly potent’, from ‘The Streets of Rochester’ to his hilarious ‘The Sound of Hohner’, so who better to help you towards better writing?

Tom & Barbara Brown:
Grounded in the living tradition of singing in the West Country, these two have a long history of encouraging and enthusing amateur and new performers to share songs and singing, and creating a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in which to do it.


To make a booking please phone Viv Butler, Events and booking Manager on 01984 618274 (+44 19 84 61 82 74) or EMAIL US with your requirements.


All events, meals and accommodation (arrive from 4pm Friday, depart 7pm Sunday):

£210 – single ensuite room;
£190 – sharing ensuite room;
£190 – single non-ensuite room;
£160 – sharing non- ensuite room.

Optional Sunday night supper, bed and breakfast: £30 per person.

Camper vans / caravans: £120 to include all meals and activities (an extra charge will be made should you wish to stay the Sunday night).


Further options available for day visitors (workshops / sessions only – no meals) – please phone for details.

Bring a friend to share a room – plenty for them to see and do in the area while you indulge your love of singing! Non-participants’ price: £110.


We get lots of plaudits for our food which is wholesome, plentiful and prepared on the premises each day by our two chefs, Ian and Amy, using fresh ingredients from local suppliers wherever possible. All dietary needs are catered for, just let us know when you book.


Our reasonably priced bar stocks a great selection of Somerset ales and ciders as well as wines, spirits and non alcoholic drinks. You can pay as you go or have a bar tab and settle up by cash or card when you leave. The bar is a great place for informal music sessions in the evenings.


See our travel information page. If you are coming from abroad we can arrange to collect you from Taunton Railway Station.