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National Folk Ensemble

Published on 13/01/20

On the 7th of January HVC was lucky to have alumni of the National Folk Ensemble visit.

On the 7th of January HVC was lucky to have alumni of the National Folk Ensemble including Sarah Matthews - a local fiddle player and Sam Sweeney - a well known fiddler in his own right and the violin player from Bellowhead - visit us for a whole day of workshops. 

First thing in the morning, we were treated to an interactive and dynamic performance by the ensemble to our Year 9, 10 and 11 musicians. HVC pupils were given the opportunity to ask questions and hear each of the musical instruments in turn. The alumni gave us interesting stories as to how they discovered the world of folk music, how they made it as a professional musician and why they love folk music so much! A highlight was learning a body percussion rhythm that fit to one of the tunes they played to us.

Later on in the day the NFE gave us two workshops - one to our dedicated Folk Group - which is a combined ensemble from our own HVC folk ensemble as well as our Ukulele and Guitar Ensemble - and one to our older Year 9 - 11 musicians.  In the last workshop of the day - we learnt an old tune called Sarabande that was discovered on an old piece of manuscript dated around the 1650s! We learnt the tune by ear (no sheet music in sight!) and explored how to shape the piece to make it our own. 

Have a listen below to our folk ensemble at the end of our first workshop featuring a solo by the school bell!

We are excited to welcome the NFE alumni back in a few weeks time to do deliver more workshops to our fantastic musicians!