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Moonrakers Folk Orchestra

Monday 3 Mar 4pm — Friday 7 Mar 10am, 2025

To make a booking enquiry please complete the form below. We will contact you to confirm availability and complete your booking.


Full board per person (tuition, activities, all meals & accommodation):

£460 – single occupancy ensuite room/cabin
£420 – sharing an ensuite room/cabin
£420 – single occupancy non-ensuite room
£380 – sharing non-ensuite room

Camping per person (tuition, activities, all meals):


Non Resident (tuition, activities, all meals except breakfast):


Get a closer look at the accommodation options here.

Members of Moonrakers return to Halsway Manor bringing their exciting and dynamic Folk Orchestra event for musicians and singers.

Expect a relaxing, stimulating and engaging multi-instrumental week. Whether you play bowed, fretted or reed instruments, whistles or flutes, or simply like to sing, you are very welcome on this course!

We’ll work on our own improvised arrangements of about 10 folk tunes and songs throughout the week. You don’t need to read music, but some instrumental experience is required.

In the evenings there will be plenty of opportunity to showcase some of your own material.

Who is it for?

This course is aimed at instrumentalists and singers with some experience under their belts. You’ll need a good understanding of your instrument and to be open to working in small and larger groups and trying new ways of working.

You’ll be able to download resources (sheet music and sound files) for the week in advance of the course. We’ll post a link here nearer the time.

Don’t worry if you’ve been on the course before, there will be plenty of new material to choose from!

The idea is not to just learn tunes but to look in detail at how we might arrange these within a mixed ensemble of instruments. The sound files will provide the skeleton of the tune itself and the beginnings of an arrangement. What we may come up with together as we work with the tune could be very different! All will be explained on arrival.

Meanwhile, you’ll need to work through at least some of the material in advance, learn the tune and begin to think of how we might develop it  – maybe through the use of a counter-melody? a particular rhythm or strumming pattern? or a bass part? Please print out the music and bring a music stand and a note book/pencil.

Expect to have quite a relaxed week with opportunities to also have some one-to-one advice on developing your playing or writing. Don’t worry about your skill level, we will accommodate all standards of playing.

The Team

The tutors are two of Moonrakers’ members – Jon Bennett (guitar, bouzouki, ukulele, whistles, vocals) and Jacqui Johnson (cello, fiddle, whistle, vocals). Both tutors have many years’ experience of running enjoyable workshops and folk orchestras across the country.