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.
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. This year there will a new structured evening programme to encourage supportive singing plus a special showing of the film ‘The Dartmoor Entertainers’ hosted by Bill Murray.
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.
Manor Pavilion, Sidmouth - Sunday 6th August 2017, 2:30-4:00 pm
The latest and best from Wren’s ‘Voices In Common’ adult choirs, with special sets from the new female and male projects – HerStory and MenSing. With Wren Music Vocal Leaders plus Sarah Owen and Paul Wilson.
£8 for an adult ticket (on the door)