The Halsway Young Folk Advanced course aims to challenge and inspire the next generation of professional folk musicians – could this be you?!
Led by Becki Driscoll you’ll work to develop your musical and performance skills. This is the course to do if you have aspirations of being a professional musician or educator, or are planning to continue your musical education at University.
Now in its fifth year, participants on previous years’ courses have created videos of their own new arrangements, and run festival workshops. This year we’ll be challenging our group to create a performance at Halsway from scratch, in only 5 days! You’ll choose the repertoire – from material you bring with you, and also from material created during the week – and rehearse together to create exciting performances that you can be proud of. You’ll be in good hands with lead tutor Becki Driscoll and Archie Churchill-Moss to guide you though the creative process.
Who’s It For?
For ages 16 – 21. You’ll be a competent musician (and maybe a singer too, though this is not essential), keen to work at a higher level. This is the course to do if you have aspirations of being a professional musician or educator, or are planning to continue your musical education at University. Or if you’re simply a good and experienced young folk musician who wants to spend a few days with like-minded people being creative and having fun with music, that’s fine too!
How to Apply
Please call us, or send on online booking enquiry. You’ll need to pay a deposit of £60 to secure your place; the balance is due 6 weeks before the course. Places are limited, and will be allocated on a first-come, first served-basis.
Once we’ve been in touch to confirm your booking, please complete this online Student Information Form to tell us about your musical experience and residential requirements. If you wish to share a room with friends there’s a space to request this on the form.
We do all we can to offer bursary places to young people with exceptional talent or for whom the opportunity would be especially beneficial, but whose financial circumstances would otherwise exclude them from the programme. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if this is something you would like to discuss.
Our Halsway Young Folk Lead Artist for 2022 is Becki Driscoll. She’ll be joined by artists Archie Churchill-Moss and Matt Norman as music tutors for the Advanced week. Kerrie Seymour joins the team as pastoral lead.
Becki is a musician, singer, composer and educator with many years’ experience. Based in the heart of the West Country she has a deep knowledge on love of our local – and wider – folk traditions.
Becki leads educational projects and workshops for festivals and specialist courses, ranging from beginners fiddle sessions, to mixed-instrument folk orchestras for all ages. She leads the prestigious English Fiddle Weekend at Halsway (together with Nick Wyke), and is an Associate Artist for Wren trust for whom she has led numerous community music projects including the Folk Orchestra of North Devon, the Fiddle Orchestra of Devon, regular music groups with children and young people, and a specialist early years project she developed with Bideford Bay Children’s Centre.
“folk music at its best” – The Living Tradition
Becki is well known for her celebrated musical partnership with Nick Wyke; two of the UK’s finest fiddle-players, together they give a playful and innovative take on English traditional music and song. They first collaborated as a fiddle duo on a busking trip around Spain and Portugal, and in the years since have worked with some of the leading lights of the English folk scene, always pushing the boundaries and developing new and inventive music. The duo’s compositions and interpretations of traditional songs are influenced by a wide range of musical cultures: “We are inspired by the people we meet and the places we’ve been. We like the idea of a global approach to the English tradition.”
“…lovely, inventive playing” – fRoots
Widely regarded as one of the best players of English traditional folk, Archie has worked as a session musician for some of the UK’s top folk acts (Cara Dillon, Eliza Carthy, Blair Dunlop), as well as performing with the trio, ‘Moore, Moss, Rutter’ – The outfit which saw him receive the coveted BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award in 2011.
The past two years have seen Archie tour extensively across Western Europe and perform at some of Europe’s top music festivals, including headline slots at ‘Colours of Ostrava (Czech Republic), Tønder festival (Denmark), Cropredy Convention (UK) and Cambridge folk festival (UK).
With a contemporary approach to composition and arrangement Archie has developed a style of playing that draws as much influence from the tradition as it does modern popular music. He is currently seen to perform with: ‘Tom Moore & Archie Moss’, ‘Sam Kelly & the Lost Boys’ and ‘False Lights’.
His engaging teaching style comes from a wealth of experience in his position as senior lecturer in ‘Folk Music’ at Leeds College of Music and teaching on the National Youth Folk Ensemble.
Matt is a performer, teacher, composer, arranger, workshop leader and conductor.
He predominantly works with traditional English music, steeped in the traditions of Devon and Dartmoor. He is also blues and classical musician, and a Dartmoor Step Dance Champion!
As a multi-instrumentalist, Matt plays mandolin, fiddle, mandola, banjos, piano and also sings. He performs solo and in bands including Gadarene and A New Vintage ceilidh band, and regularly deps in other line-ups. He’s also a singer and choir-leader.
Matt’s extensive teaching experience includes working in community and festival settings with all ages and abilities. He has a relaxed, fun and accessible approach to learning, tailored very much to the group. He has a broad expertise embracing mixed-instrument ensembles, choral and voice work, instrument specific tuition (mandolin, fiddle, banjo), and also step dancing.
Kerrie is a community artist, youth theatre director and project manager with a background in Social Work, specializing in Youth, Education and Children’s Residential care.
Working extensively with schools, community groups and a range of support services Kerrie has delivered countless projects from small theatre performances to large scale outdoor events. She strives to be part of creating fresh, innovative, thought provoking and exciting work that can motivate, inspire, and engage participants and audiences. At Halsway she’ll be leading fun team-building and confidence-boosting games and creative activities to complement the musical tuition, whilst making sure each young person feels included and supported during
Other courses on the HYF Programme
HYF – Intro (12-16yrs) is one of 4 courses we run for young people each year at Halsway.
HYF Junior is a great way for younger children (8-12) to have fun with folk music;
HYF Intermediate (12-18) includes performance opportunities at Sidmouth FolkWeek;
HYF Advanced (this course) (16+) is an opportunity for musicians and singers considering folk as a higher education or career option to work in greater depth.