Folk Sinfonietta

The Folk Sinfonietta is an occasional group, for professional players and highly proficient amateurs, playing specially orchestrated folk music together at the highest level.

Established in 2023 for our 40th Anniversary concert, the Sinfonietta comes together every few months to specifically rehearse for a performance. In Spring 2024 the group made a special recording of a medley of Dartmoor Step Dance tunes for the dance element of the Okehampton Lanterns project.

Even though this group works at a higher level, some Wren Music principles still apply:

  • No auditions. We ask you to decide if you feel you can keep up with the pace.
  • No need to read music. As long as you can learn quickly and accurately by ear.
  • No fixed parts. We orchestrate each piece based on the instruments that join the group.

The Folk Sinfonietta is led by Wren Music’s professional folk musicians, Jenny Read, Jon Dyer and Paul Wilson. Jenny said: “This is a great opportunity for experienced musicians who want a bit of a challenge. It’s also a chance for those who want to explore music within the folk tradition. If you’re one of these musicians and you’ve never worked with Wren Music before, we would love to hear from you.

“Musicians from other genres can expect the complexity of a classical ensemble but with different instruments and with the greater flexibility of a folk arrangement. The more musicians that can learn the folk tradition, the more we can raise the profile of folk music,” she added.

Paul explained how the musical arrangements work: “We score for the instruments that turn up for each project. At the first session, we had a wonderful array – saxophone, clarinet, recorder, concertina, lots of violins, cellos, mandolins, guitars, viola, and flutes. So the arrangement will be a bit like ‘classical meets folk’, with a lot of what you’d expect in a conventional orchestra, plus squeezeboxes and fiddles.

If you are interested to join, or you’d like to know more about the skills required, please ring us on 01837 53754 or email us at [email protected]

If the Folk Sinfonietta feels like it will be too advanced for you, you may like to try our weekly Folk Orchestra.