The Intermediate/Advanced groups are now full. Places are still available for beginners who would like to camp or stay offsite. Submit an enquiry form if you would like to join the waiting list for a place or accommodation.
Guaranteed to be one of Halsway’s noisiest weekends, this popular Hurdy-Gurdy Weekend runs alongside our Bagpipe Weekend with masterclasses, workshops, sessions and a Saturday night concert/dance. A frenzy of reeds, drones and buzzing things! Early booking advised.
The weekend is hosted by Claire Dugué, hurdy-gurdy maker and repairer, and she’ll be available to help people get the most out of their instruments with tips for maintenance. Our international tutor team includes:
- Francesco Giusta and Benoit Michaud (Intermediate/Advanced Hurdy Gurdy Workshop – one group each)
- Scott Marshall (Beginner Hurdy Gurdy Workshop).
Each tutor will dedicate themselves to a specific group for the full weekend allowing for maximum learning and progression. You will need to decide which tutor you wish to work with and tell us when booking; numbers in each group are limited. Because course places are limited, we aren’t able to take bookings from those not wishing to fully participate in one of the workshop groups (unless you’re coming as the friend or partner of a participant, and sharing a room).
For an extra £60, participants can stay until Monday morning, including supper and B&B. Please enquire when booking.
Beginners with Scott Marshall: This workshop is for both complete day one beginners and for those who have been playing for sometime but want to brush up on their core techniques. Scott will tailor his workshop to the students.
You will work on good habits of posture and left hand fingering articulation. Regarding the rhythm and right hand technique, Scott will work through the basic useful buzzes and towards the “coup de quatre” level. Exercises will be linked to tune fragments and simple group pieces to make the workshop a more pleasant memorable experience.
Intermediate/Advanced with Francesco Giusta: The workshop will focus on the dynamics of the instrument, regarding both left and right hand. We’ll focus on folk and early music repertoire working on style and musical expressivity. Suitable for both G and D instruments.
Intermediate/Advanced with Benoit Michaud: During this workshop we’ll work around different small pieces. We will tackle technical aspects of the hurdy-gurdy: the rhythmic equivalences of the “coup de poignet” (right hand), the dissociation between right hand and left hand, melodic ornamentation and instrument settings (cotton, string support, keyboard). Suitable for both G and D instruments
Who is it for?
This course is for players of the hurdy-gurdy who already have their own instrument.
Claire Dugué, a native of France, encountered the hurdy-gurdy in London during her college training as an instrument maker. She was captivated by the instrument and has been making hurdy-gurdies ever since, producing quality instrument for amateur and professionals alike. Claire has become integral to the organisation of the weekend; she will be hosting the event and be also at hand to help with the technical aspects of setup and maintenance.
Francesco Giusta (IT): Francesco took an interest in the hurdy gurdy at the age of 11. He later improved and developed his technique with virtuosos on the instrument including Gregory Jolivet, German Diaz, Matthias Loibner, Valentin Clastrier and Tobie Miller.
He has played in several folk and early music bands, and has played as a guest of well-known Italian groups like Lou Dalfin, Malanova and L’Orage. He has been to many folk and early music festivals, and has also held several hurdy gurdy workshops and masterclasses in Italy, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Netherland, Austria, UK, Switzerland, Finland, Spain and the USA.
He has recorded several albums – his latest record, “The Hurdy-Gurdy at the French Royal Court”, was released in 2021. In 2015, he won the first price at the hurdy gurdy ‘solo’ competition at Le Son Continu festival in Chateau d’Ars, France, receiving the title of ‘Maître sonneur’. At present, he plays with Trigomigo, Tre Martelli, Baroque Duo, Les Vielleux de la Reine, and teaches in Torino, Cuneo and Frankfurt.
Benoit Michaud (FR): Benoit Michaud is becoming one of the driving forces in the hurdy-gurdy scene in France. Benoit started playing the hurdy-gurdy at the age of 9 at the conservatory of Nevers in the centre of France. He continued his musical training in Poitou and obtained a music teacher state diploma. He perfected his skills with Gilles Chabenat , and many others.
He likes to accompany song, image, circus and storytelling. This is why, in addition to his solo projects, Benoit explores the hurdy-gurdy in various collaborative projects such as Arbadétorne, La Furie, Aubépine, Duo Michaud/Guérin, Betadynn and a show based on short stories from the French writer Maupassant.
Scott Marshall (UK) has been playing hurdy-gurdy since 2005. He has been a regular festival and workshop tutor for the last decade. In 2017 he recorded his first solo album Gurdymania, followed in 2018 by Gurdymania 2, using multiple hurdy-gurdies and effects units. He is currently recording the third and final Gurdymania album before moving onto new folk and metal projects. He will be teaching the beginners class at Halsway focusing on good habits, solid playing skills and creating musical exercises for practice.