After a very well received performance in December 2017, the 'kick-off' for 2018 was on Sunday 4th February 10am - 5pm at Ebenezer Hall. See our MenSing page for more info .....
Local folk songs are central to this project and volunteers help us work with a number of groups in the town to teach the songs, and there was a big sing-song and cream tea on 16th February. Images from the songs were shown which inspired the imagery for some big and small lanterns alike ready for the procession on the Friday night.Workshops to create the Lanterns took place at Charter Hall and Ebenezer Hall in Okehampton throughout the week for lantern making, choir and drumming. The main procession was on the Friday night which met at St James’s chapel and processed to the Pavilion in the Park for the spectacular finale.
This 2018 Lantern event was co hosted by OCRA and was made possible with support from Okehampton United Charities.
In 2018 the Wren Music project for International Womens' Day explored assumptions: Women have children. Women cry. Women vote. Women can't do some things ...
In Ohio in 1851 Sojourner Truth, an activist and freed slave, gave an impromptu speech challenging the status quo of relations between north and south, rich and poor, black and white, and between men and women. Her speech included the repetition of the question "ain't I a woman?" and challenged many assumptions of the day.
"That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman?"
The concerts went 'on tour' across Devon and into Dorset and featured the architects of the Her Story project: Amy Wilson, Marilyn Tucker and Sarah Owen with guest appearances from Rosa Rebecka and Emily Howard. The concert also featured a 15 piece womens' chorus and a 50 piece womens' choir.
A day for youth folk aged 14-18 was held full of inspiring and creative workshops. This was a free Youth Folk Sampler Day run by EFDSS in Okehampton on 2nd June. It was "a-stand-alone" day with great tutors, lots of music making, a chance to make new friends and have lots of fun!
There is more information on the EFDSS website: www.efdss.org/youthfolk
A day of music workshops exploring the tunes of Dartmoor Fiddler William Andrew was held at Fairplace United Church, Okehampton with tutors Nick Wyke and Becki Driscoll. The theme this year tied in with the Dartmoor Resonance Festival,
Morning sessions (fiddlers only) looked at some of the hornpipes and how to make variations, plus exploring tunes in more unusual keys. The afternoon (all acoustic instruments) sessions included a “Dartmoor Folk Orchestra”, with parts for all abilities as well as a general tune learning session, suitable for all instruments.
There was an “improvers” fiddle group running alongside the main group in the morning which was suitable for less confident fiddle players but not for complete beginners.
Rebecca Houghton from Viva Violins ran a stall, selling violin and string-related accessories and held a string surgery over the lunch-break to address string-playing issues and answer any questions about instruments.
The Gothic Dartmoor concert was held with Marilyn Tucker, Paul Wilson, Jon Dyer, Hannah Cumming and specially formed Gothic Dartmoor Choir and drew 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 Gothic Dartmoor concert explored a rich vein of myth and legend through the tales of Dartmoor. The songs were selected from the folk song collection made at the end of the C19th by squire and parson, Revd. Sabine Baring-Gould, and inspired by his other writings including The Book of Dartmoor and The Book of Were-Wolves. This concert was part of the Dartmoor Resonance Music Festival.
Another amazing Festival and Song Week in Okehampton - report to follow .....
Trev & Kat singing
'Grey Funnel 2'
at the opening concert
6th November saw the first rehearsal in the Landkey Carols HLF funded project, leading up to a full day of workshops to learn some of the half-forgotten carols found in the North Devon villages of Landkey and Swimbridge. The rehearsals took place at The Old School Centre, led by Nick Wyke (who currently runs the North Devon Folk Choir). Elsewhere in the project Paul Wilson worked with both Landkey and Swimbridge Schools, and also ran a couple of relaxed afternoon sessions for those who were unable to attend the singing rehearsals, to chat about the carols and the old tradition of travelling round the countryside to sing them.
The project culminated this year with a full day of workshops and performances led by Nick Wyke and Jon Dyer. Singers and players were welcomed to the day, Workshops 10am to 3.30pm, followed by a performance of everything learned plus other carols familiar and new at 4.00pm. Spotlight did a 2 minute documentary of the project on Friday 21st December.
Using the tools of folk creation - was held with Marilyn Tucker and Paul Wilson in November
was held on Saturday, 8th December at Filleigh Village Hall, Filleigh EX32 ORS