An opportunity for young musicians from the South West and beyond to work with leading folk artists, to develop skills, confidence and creativity, and create a new performance piece. In a change to previous years’ Summer courses, this year we won’t be making the trip to Sidmouth; the uncertainty surrounding covid-19 makes it feel too risky. Instead we’ll be providing an immersive week of music, creativity and fun, in the beautiful and secluded surroundings of Halsway Manor. It will be intensive and challenging, but also supportive and fun!
Our 2021 team is led by musician, composer and educator Becki Driscoll, who will be joined by young professional folk musicians and a pastoral lead to complete the team.
Young musicians will spend the week working together to learn, arrange and rehearse new repertoire, developing musical skills and performance technique, and creating their own interpretations of traditional material. The group will live, work and play together, with opportunities for informal rehearsals and social gatherings to enrich their experience and understanding of the folk arts.
Who’s is it for?
This is a fun but intensive course for young people aged 12-18. Usually our Summer course is designed as a progression from our Spring Halsway Young Folk: Intro Week, but as this hasn’t happened this year, we’re more than happy to welcome newcomers to Halsway and the folk arts. You’ll need to have prior experience as a musician – any instrument is welcome – we’d recommend you need to be of a playing level of about grade 4 and upwards to get the most from the course. We’ll be teaching predominantly by ear, so if you’re used to reading music you’ll need to be prepared to give it a go! It’s not necessary to have prior experience of folk experience; it’s more important that you want to be creative, work collaboratively with others, and have fun creating a performance that everybody can be proud of.
How to Apply
Places costs £230. Accommodation, all meals, tuition and activities are included in the price.
Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first-served basis. Contact us for an application form, or download an application form here. Please return your completed application form with a deposit of £60 to secure your place.
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.
We are delighted to announce that Becki Driscoll as our Young Halsway Lead Artist. She’ll be joined by experienced folk artists and educators, including Kerrie Seymour (Pastoral Support) and young professional folk musicians to be announced.
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 ensembles. She leads the prestigious English Fiddle Weekend at Halsway (together with Nick Wyke), and runs RootNotes, a community music company that provides participatory music workshops for people of all ages in North Devon, including a weekly folk ensemble (featured on BBC Spotlight!) and regular music sessions for young people and families.
“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
Hannah began playing the fiddle at the age of 12, and her love of folk music spiraled as soon as she could play it. She recorded her first folk CD at the tender age of 13 as a duet with her brother Alex, before starting a ceilidh band together with Alex and pals Jon and Penny Dyer; ‘Dyer:Cumming’s’ are still going strong today!
Hannah’s introduction to teaching came through running festival workshops with Dyer:Cumming’s, but her enthusiasm soon expanded beyond the band, to running her own fiddle workshops at Towersey Folk Festival, running festival youth workshops with Shooting Roots, and running a folk group and folk choir while at college.
Hannah currently performs as a solo singer/musician, and with bands Dyer: Cumming’s, and the Klezbians – a 12-piece klezmer band born out of a love of Jewish Gypsy music discovered while studying music at Falmouth University. She has a busy teaching schedule including private violin tuition for adults and children, leading Fiddlin’ Folk children’s folk orchestra and Sherbourne Folk Band, in addition to working within primary and secondary schools.
Hannah just wants to be able to play, share her music, and encourage others to try it for themselves! Hannah is joining us for the first time as a Young Halsway tutor this year – and she’s even more excited than we are!
Kerrie Seymour (Pastoral Support)
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 their stay.