'Blackberries and Bandages' - The Home Front in WW1
This project looks back 100 years to Devon during the First World War. Rather than focus on the events in mainland Europe, it reflects on life in Devon during the war years.
Song-writing workshops and sessions started in January. The idea is that each Rough Music Orchestra and each Voices in Common Choir learns one item each and we will be rehearsing with a core team of singers and players over this term. We will then perform three separate concerts, featuring the core team and the choirs/orchestras from the area. There will be concerts in Paignton, Honiton and Barnstaple.
There will be opportunities for both singers and instrumentalists as part of the ‘core team’, and the three concerts will feature local choirs and orchestras in support.
Rehearsals have been / will be held on Thursdays and Sundays here at Ebenezer Hall.
Sunday rehearsals: May: 7th, & 21st; June 11th & 18th
Thursday rehearsals: May: 18th & 25th, June 1st.
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,
Here is what we have planned for 2017 – click on the links for more information, which will be updated as we confirm more of the details.
This is an initiative from the vocal experts at Wren Music designed to help you find new ways of producing great tone, singing safely, choosing good repertoire and performing with style. It was a great success when we ran it in 2016, so we are continuing with the workshops in 2017 - Saturday 13th May / Saturday 22nd July
Led by the team Sarah Owen, Marilyn Tucker and Paul Wilson these events are for you as an individual singer. This year each day will have a separate focus as well as core content relating to performing skills and vocal health. Each day will be rounded off by a Friendly Circle with afternoon tea!
22nd July: Harmonies and accompaniment
The festival is preceded by this five-day Folk Song School, where there is an extensive range of classes from developing techniques such as pitching, ornamentation and harmonies, to developing repertoire and performance skills. Run by Wren’s professional singing tutors, the Song School is also supported by famous names from the folk song scene; our recent visiting tutors have included Sandra Kerr, Sam Lee and Martin Graebe.
This year the Song School will be led by Wren Music’s vocal team of Paul Wilson, Sarah Owen and Marilyn Tucker and the main guest tutor will be John Kirkpatrick. The Folk Song School gives you time out to concentrate on your own singing: your voice, your performance, your repertoire. Tuition is done in a range of settings from large group work, to one-to-one surgeries with the tutors, and many small group sessions are developed as the week goes on.
Topics include: finding your strong octave and pitching, harmonies, accompaniments, overcoming nerves and so on . . .
The week is suitable for first time singers through to professionals – and the emphasis is on learner led activities, one-to-one and/or small group working with individual tutors and peer support.
Fees: £300 for the week
Optional £25 Baring-Gould Folk Weekend Ticket for those attending Song School
Taking place in indoor venues in Okehampton, the Festival is Wren Music’s annual celebration. A weekend of music and song is what you will get, with concerts, workshops, the festival feast, music sessions, singing sessions, a folk orchestra, festival choir, youth events, morris dancing and ceilidhs. Most venues are halls and churches around the town, with a few local pubs being used for sessions.
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.
Weekend Tickets: £40 Standard: ** buy three get fourth FREE! **
Children and students £25
Please note: Individual event tickets are only available on the door
The programme comprises, workshops, sessions, folk clubs, dances and concerts, all held at indoor venues within easy walking distance of each other.
This year we are very pleased to be able to welcome from Florence the trio Vincanto, a group of singers we met as part of our European project. They have a great store of traditional Tuscan and Italian folk songs and work in ways very similar to Wren with community projects. Other artists booked so far include John Kirkpatrick, Polly Bolton, Hannah Cummings and of course the full Wren team will be there to showcase highlights from this year’s busy Wren programme. There is an emphasis on Family Activities on Sunday, with NEW for this year a Scare Crow festival to add to the annual Conker Competition (Hannah Cummings is our current Champion!)
The full programme will be available in August so please watch out for it here on www.wrenmusic.co.uk
As well as the exciting programme of song and music, Ale&Cake will be around all weekend providing delicious snacks and light meals, and running our bars at both the Charter Hall and Church Hall, where everything is locally and ethically sourced and almost all home made. The piece de resistance of their input is the Harvest Lunch on Saturday, pre-bookable at a cost of £15.00.
Concerts: (Tickets £5 under 16's £3 - online here or through local phone numbers below)
Saturday 24th June: Barnstaple: Holy Trinity Church featuring FOND, Voices North and West Devon (Tickets - call 01837 53754)
Saturday 1st July: Paignton: 7.30pm Palace Theatre featuring, FOOT, Torbay and Exeter Voices (Tickets - call 01803 665800)
Saturday 8th July: Honiton: 7.30pm The Beehive featuring Rough Music East Devon and Voices East Devon (Tickets - call 01404 384050)
Wren Music's Mens choir (MenSing) are joined by Paul Wilson and guests to perform a Father's Day Concert at the Cygnet Theatre, Exeter
- Friday 16th June, 7.30pm
Tickets £10 - Theatre Box Office 01392 665885 or visit www.wegottickets.com/cygnettheatre