It’s the return of the Summer Fiddle weekend – a course dedicated to developing your fiddle playing through a range of different repertoire. We’re delighted to have Rachael McShane and Catherine Geldard with us for the first time to work with intermediate and advanced players. If you are a beginner or an improver, Becki Driscoll will be your guide in this weekend. Have a look at our Fiddle Playing Levels to help you choose the right group.
Workshops include technique, expression and repertoire (using our extensive folk library) and there will be plenty of time to play together and receive some individual help. This is an intensive weekend of workshops for fiddle players of all ages who can play folk dance tunes up to tempo either from the music provided, or by ear. Some music will be supplied in advance. Other tunes will be chosen at the event in response to participants’ requests – a Saturday afternoon ‘Open Space’ session offers a chance for workshops on areas requested by course participants, and for individual tuition.
Who is it for?
An intensive weekend for adult fiddle players of all ages and abilities – with the exception of absolute beginners. Check our Fiddle Playing Levels to decide which group you need to be join. If you’re not sure, feel free to ring us for a chat.
Intermediate and Advanced – Rachael McShane
Rachael McShane is a renowned folk singer, cellist, fiddle, and viola player from the North East of England. She gained fame as an original member of the award-winning folk big band Bellowhead, recording five studio albums with them and winning a staggering 8 BBC Folk Awards. Away from Bellowhead, Rachael is the leader of The Cartographers, a band featuring traditional folk and contemporary sounds. The Cartographers have garnered a loyal following thanks to their impressive live performances and critically acclaimed debut album, When All Is Still (Topic Records, 2018).
Intermediate and Advanced – Catherine Geldard
Catherine Geldard is a fiddler steeped in the traditions of the Shetland Isles, who has gone on to diversify across many styles and genres. She has been performing regularly around the UK and abroad with bands such as the Monster Ceilidh Band, NE3Folk and most notably at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, both in Edinburgh and on tours to Australia, New Zealand, New York, Shanghai, Switzerland and Germany.
Outwith the folk world, Catherine is also in demand for session work, recording with rock bands and artists around the North East of England. In addition to her performance work she is an accomplished composer, completing a commission for the author Ann Cleeves to celebrate the final novel in her Shetland series of books. In Autumn 2023, Catherine finished a month performing in the high energy ElectroPipes act at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, before moving on to a new project involving an all-female line up taking inspiration from both trad music and 90s nostalgia. Watch this space…
Becki Driscoll 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.
One more tutor to be confirmed – watch this space!