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Moonrakers Folk Orchestra

Monday 27 Feb 4pm — Friday 3 Mar 10am, 2023

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

Course Enquiry

  • Halsway Manor will not share your details with any third parties.


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

  • £400– single ensuite room
  • £365– sharing an ensuite room
  • £365– single non-ensuite room
  • £330 – sharing non-ensuite room

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

  • £240

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

  • £225

Members of Moonrakers (www.moonrakers.net) bring their exciting and dynamic music to this special Halsway Manor 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’re 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. Music and recordings will be provided in advance.

In the evenings there will be plenty of opportunity for showcasing some of your own material.

Who’s 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 to choose from! This will be an initial set of tunes for the week, Jon and Jacqui will bring plenty more material, including some songs, so there’s scope to chop and change as required. The idea, however, 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 therefore just the skeleton – the tune itself – with beginnings of an arrangement. But what we may come up with together 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 (a counter-melody? A particular rhythm or strumming pattern? A bass part?)

It will be quite a relaxed week with an opportunity 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.

Please print out the music and bring a music stand and a note book/pencil.

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 workshops and folk orchestras across the country.