Join the Mellstock Band to celebrate a traditional West Country Christmas! We’ve an afternoon workshop for musicians and singers to explore West Gallery Carols, followed by a chance to see the Mellstock Band’s latest Christmas concert ‘Leaves of Life’ at 8pm. You can also book for dinner!
West Gallery Carols Workshop: Sat 15 Dec / 2pm
A workshop for musicians & singers.
In most parts of England, from the mid 1700s onwards, groups of singers and instrumentalists played and sang in the gallery of their village church and went round the parish at Christmas to sing carols. Mixing powerful voices, strings and wind instruments, with vigorous rhythms, soaring counterpoint and strange harmonies, this is the sound of the pre-Victorian rural Christmas!
Musicians & singers are invited to join Dave Townsend & The Mellstock Band in an energetic and fun workshop to explore the carols and songs from the old West Gallery bands. Don’t worry if you can’t read music or have never sung in a choir – we’ll go through all the parts and think about the best style for singing this vibrant tradition. Bring melody and bass instruments as well, so that we can re-create the sound of the church bands.These are songs for everyone, wherever convivial and warm-hearted music is appreciated.
The Mellstock Band: The Leaves of Life: Sat 15 Dec / 8pm
A West Country Christmas Concert
Christmas Music from English Tradition – Carols and Revels from Farmstead, Manor, Alehouse and Street with tales and poems by Thomas Hardy, William Barnes, John Clare, Charles Dickens and others. A costume performance with early & modern instruments.
In The Leaves of Life The Mellstock Band celebrates the customs of Wintertime in rural England, exploring beliefs and superstitions, and drawing on seasonal ballads and folk carols as well as West Gallery carols and village dance music. The symbolism of trees combines with tales of shepherds and their sheep, winter-time feasting and strange visitations, presented with merry and majestic tunes, songs of love and laughter, carols and original harmonies.
About The Mellstock Band
The Mellstock Band entertain with a unique combination of singing, instrumental music and spoken word, encompassing west gallery harmony, traditional songs, glees, dances, marches, poems and stories.
As well as performing their popular themed costume shows, they play for dances, present workshops and provide rural sounds for all kinds of public and private events.
“Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the Mellstocks.” (Susan Segal, Riverhouse Arts)
The Mellstock Band present the genuine sound of English traditional folk music – merry and majestic tunes, songs of love and laughter, carols and original harmonies.
Dave Townsend (Director)
Concertina, Violin & Voice
Violin & Voice
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Serpent & Voice