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Halsway Young Folk Intro

Monday 8 Apr 11am — Friday 12 Apr 12pm, 2024


Full board (accommodation and all meals), tuition and all activities:

  • £230

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first-served basis.

Complete this form to enquire about availability.

An opportunity for young musicians to work with supportive folk artists, to develop skills, confidence and creativity. Help to create a new performance piece to be shared with parents and friends at Halsway at the end of the week!

Musician, composer and educator Becki Driscoll is back as our Creative Lead. For this years’ Young Folk Intro Week she’ll be joined by a team of professional musician-tutors including Matt Norman, Archie Churchill-Moss and Kerrie Seymour.

We’ll be providing an immersive week of music, creativity and fun, in the beautiful surroundings of Halsway Manor. It will be intensive and challenging, but also supportive and fun! 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.

Arrival on Monday is from 11am and you’ll have your first session with the tutors at 11.30am followed by lunch. Before you go home, on Friday at 11.30am, there’ll be a chance to perform the pieces you’ve been working on for family and friends. This performance usually lasts for about an hour.

Who is it for?

This course is designed as an introduction to folk for young people aged 11-16 (ie secondary school, KS 3 & 4). Prior musical experience is essential, and all acoustic instruments are welcome, but it’s OK if you’re new to folk. If you’re a pianist, you’ll need to bring a keyboard and power supply with you so that you can take part.

It’s intensive and hard work at times, but we guarantee you’ll have fun too and make new friends. If you come away hooked on folk, you might be invited to join us on the Halsway Young Folk ‘Intermediate’ Week in the summer, which culminates in performances at Sidmouth Folk Week!

If you’ve already been to this course and one of the summer courses, the Intro week isn’t designed for you to participate in again. We want to give young people who haven’t had chance to develop their folk playing or who haven’t tried residential courses before the opportunity to dip their toes in the water in a safe and supportive environment, with other young people who are at the same level of experience.

How to Apply

Please complete this enquiry form. You’ll need to pay a deposit of £60 to secure the place; the balance is due 6 weeks before the course. Places are limited, and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Completing the enquiry form is the only way to book our Young Folk courses – this allows us to make sure that each young person is applying for the course most suited to their experience.

We may be able to offer a small number of partial bursaries to those for whom cost is a barrier to attendance. If you wish to discuss this, please contact Crispian Cook on [email protected]

The Team

Becki Driscoll (Lead Artist)

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.

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.”

Matt Norman

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.

Archie Churchill-Moss

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 courses.

Kerrie Seymour (Pastoral Support) 

Kerrie is a community artist, youth theatre director and project manager with a background in Social Work, specialising 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.