Find out more about The National Youth Folk Ensemble
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Established by the English Folk Dance and Song Society in 2016, the National Youth Folk Ensemble 2019-20 gathers talented musicians aged 14-18, who are dedicated to their development in the folk music industry. They’re looking for excellent instrumentalists to join the four weeks of residential courses, tuition and dedicated guidance from leading folk musicians to develop their skills in performance, arrangement and leadership to be ready to perform like a professional folk artist. The members aren’t just learning music and playing with instruments, they’re also learning to perform as professionals and to have a great stage presence. They are happy to work with those who share the same passion and excited to share experiences and knowledge with them.
The Ensemble has up to 25 players and is open to any instrument. It focuses mainly on instrumental music, with song and dance included as elements of the programme, still having a significant focus on English traditional folk music. Traditional music mixed with young diverse talented people having different views on things, using different instruments and having backgrounds of different genres will give the songs justice and it will for sure sound interesting.
I think it’s great that these talented young musicians get inside the folk community. Well known national folk artists get to know them so they might get invited to some other folk events and activities, and have some other doors opened to them. The Ensemble is also a great chance to form links and relationships between the fellow young musicians, perhaps to collaborate in the future. The Ensemble is seeking for positive relationships with similar youth folk ensembles in the other nations of UK aswell, and hopefully in time around the world. And it’s free, so financial circumstances aren’t a barrier and every talented young artist will get a chance.
The high-profile performances at major festivals and venues around England are also part of the four-week Ensemble, so all members are guaranteed to take part in the amazing experience which will kick off their folk music careers. This year’s Ensemble will perform in Richard Whiteley Theatre, Settle (21 February), Cecil Sharp House, London (11 April), Wickham Festival (2 August) and Sidmouth Folk Festival (4 August at The Ham and 5 August workshop).
If you wish to be a member of the National Youth Folk Ensemble, you have to start the audition process with a Sampler Day short audition. Following the Sampler Days around the country, some musicians will be invited to a final audition in London on June 22nd or 23rd 2019. We cincerely courage all interested musicians fitting the criteria to participate! See efdss.org/youthfolk for more detailed criteria and book your free place for the Sampler Day through this link: https://www.efdss.org/efdss-education/national-youth-folk-ensemble/sampler-days . See you at the audition!
By Riina Karvonen