Taking place in indoor venues in Okehampton, the festival is Wren Music's annual celebration. A weekend of music and song will be 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. See reports on this event in 2016 and 2017
Closely linked to the Festival is the annual Baring-Gould Song School. After the highly successful Song School in 2017, we look forward to yet another event in 2018, with a full complement of singers enjoying a range of workshops, song sessions, individual tuition and group singing. See reports on this event in 2016 and 2017
Details of other 2018 events to follow ..... also watch the Calendar!
In addition to its Regular Group and Project work, Wren runs a wide range of other Special Events, each of which offers participants the chance to stretch themselves and explore new opportunities,
Following the success of recent projects, we are inviting singers to form a special choir to join myself, Paul Wilson, Jon Dyer and Hannah Cumming for a major new concert to be held as part of the Dartmoor Resonance Festival in June this summer.
The Gothic Dartmoor concert draws on the songs from the Baring-Gould folk song collection, and songs inspired by his other writings, most notably his Book of Werewolves and Book of Dartmoor, to explore the more mythical side of folk song of Dartmoor.
The concert is scheduled for Saturday 23rd June in Okehampton, and we anticipate the choir to sing four songs.
There will be a launch event at Ebenezer Hall on Sunday 22nd April 3.00pm to 5.00pm. During which we will let you know more about the project, and which songs you’ll be singing. From this Paul Wilson will see which voices we have and will make vocal arrangements to suit.
There will then be three other rehearsals on Sunday: May 20th, and June 10th & 17th from 2.00pm to 5.00pm at Ebenezer Hall.
As with all Wren choirs, there will be no auditions, and to be part of the choir you will need to commit to: the performance, four rehearsals and learning all the words.
At Ebenezer Hall, Okehampton
Are you aged 14-18, or know someone who is? Can you play an instrument confidently? Do you want to take part in an inspiring day of creative workshops? Book now for a FREE Youth Folk Sampler Day run by EFDSS in Okehampton on 2nd June. The day will be "a-stand-alone" day with great tutors, lots of music making, a chance to make new friends and have lots of fun!
Fairplace United Church, Okehampton, EX20 1DT
A day of music workshops exploring the tunes of Dartmoor Fiddler William Andrew
This year the Wren Fiddle Day has a focus on music from Dartmoor!To tie in with the Dartmoor Resonance Festival, we will be exploring the music played by William Andrew, a 19th century fiddler from Sheepstor, near Yelverton.
William was visited by the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould in the late 1800s as part of his work collecting the folk songs of Devon and Cornwall. He was a fiddle player rather than a singer; in fact he is reported to have said that he “minded his viddle more than them zingers”! He was a literate musician, and kept his music notation in a net suspended from his living-room ceiling. This included Ancient Church Music and Playford tunes, as well as popular dance and song tunes. Baring-Gould noted down several tunes played by William Andrew and we will be focussing on some of these at the fiddle day.
The morning sessions will look at some of the hornpipes and how to make variations, plus exploring tunes in more unusual keys. The afternoon sessions will include a “Dartmoor Folk Orchestra”, with parts for all abilities as well as a general tune learning session, suitable for all instruments.
There will be an “improvers” fiddle group running alongside the main group in the morning. This will be suitable for less confident fiddle players but not for complete beginners. You can change group during the morning if you feel you are not working at the right level!
Morning workshops are for fiddle players only. Afternoon workshops are suitable for all acoustic instruments. Please let us know if you play a transposing instrument (eg Bb).
Rebecca Houghton from Viva Violins will have a stall at the fiddle day, selling violin and string-related accessories and she will hold a string surgery over the lunch-break to address string-playing issues and answer questions about your instruments.
For more information about the day please email Becki Driscoll: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01837 53754.
Prices and tickets:
All day: £30 / £20 under 18s | Morning or afternoon workshops: £15 / £10 under 18s
To book your place - Tickets here or call 01837 53754.