A great evening of fun and entertainment with North Devon Folk Orchestra, North Devon Folk Choir, North Devon Roots Band and Roots Acoustic. A special thankyou from us all to Nick & Becki for organising us! :)
Taking place in indoor venues in Okehampton, the festival is Wren Music’s annual celebration. A successful weekend of music and song was held, with concerts, workshops, the festival feast, music sessions, singing sessions, a folk orchestra, festival choir, youth events, morris dancing and ceilidhs.
The Festival is inspired by the folk song collecting of Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924), one of the Victorian era's great social historical researchers, who undertook the first serious and sustained attempt to collect the traditional songs of the English peasantry and workers, predominantly in west Devon.
The Festival was followed by the Baring-Gould Song School.
Here is a review of the Sandra Kerr concert, written by one of our young musicians:
"Baring-Gould Folk Weekend is a small folk festival held on Dartmoor each October. This year Sandra Kerr was the special guest at the Family Concert which was held on the afternoon of Sunday October 23rd at the Charter Hall in Okehampton. Sandra Kerr is an award winning folk musician and song-writer who is famous for co-writing the music for the much loved 1970s children's TV series Bagpuss. She was expecting to have an audience that was largely made up of children, and was a little surprised to find that an adult fan base was present complete with soft toys of characters from this cult classic. They were all keen to hear some songs from their childhood, and introduce their own children to the magical world of the saggy, pink and white cloth cat.
Sandra Kerr decided to start her performance by playing the English concertina along to a Leon Rosselson song called Why does it have to be me? This little ditty written by the satirical song-writer for his five-year-old daughter depicts the world from a child's perspective with its endless rules and restrictions. This song went down well with the audience and they were all singing along with the catchy chorus. Sandra Kerr continued her set with her fun children's song of girl-power called Katy the Conqueror, about a little girl who beats all the boys at conkers.
However, the moment I was waiting for was when she picked up her autoharp and played the slow upwards glissando, which was used in the tv series as the sound of Bagpuss waking up. It was a magical moment. She then played The Bony King of Nowhere and Turtle Calypso, both from the Bagpuss series. Who could fail to be enchanted by these beautiful folk tunes? Unfortunately poor Sandra was suffering from a cold, which made it a little difficult for her to sing, but this did not spoil the audience's enjoyment of this wonderful performer and her heart-warming music. The only thing that could have improved this performance for me was if there had been more time for Bagpuss!"
This was a Wren Music touring concert that sparkled with local interest took to the road in summer 2016. It featured new arrangements from the great Devon folk song collections inspired by photographs from the James Ravilious Collection – to see something of the production - click on the video to the right ....
Singing Her Story was a special concert developed by Wren to celebrate the unsung heroines of women’s history, and was a commemoration of International Women’s’ Day.
Sarah, Marilyn and Amy from Wren were joined by a specially recruited women’s chorus in a concert that was first performed at the Cygnet Theatre in Exeter then featured at Sidmouth Folk Festival before a final concert at the Baring-Gould Festival.
To see something of the production - click on the video to the right ....