"Ain't I a Woman?" - a celebration for International Womens' Day 2018

- part of the Wren Music Her Story Project

Since the first Wren Music concert for Internation Womens' Day 2016, women from the Wren Music team have built an enthusiastic womens' choir from across Devon.  The Her Story project has written many new songs in the folk style, to build on and expand the representation of women in traditional folk song.

In 2018 the Wren Music project for International Womens' Day will be exploring 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 feature 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 features a 15 piece womens' chorus and a 50 piece womens' choir.

This participatory singing project is open to anyone who defines as a woman, whether or not they are part of a Wren Voices in Common Choir.

Rehearsals for the main Choir singers are:

    28th January (2.30 - 5pm) - and then the same time on (Sundays) February 4th, 18th and 25th at the Cygnet Theatre, Exeter. 

This year Her Story goes 'on tour' with concerts in Devon and over the border into Dorset.  Concert dates are:


    Saturday 3rd March - Okehampton - CANCELLED   

  • Sarah Owen, Marilyn Tucker and Amy Wilson present this vocal show celebrating women of the past and present. 
  • Special guests Rosa Rebecka and Emily Howard, and a 50-piece women’s choir.
  • Tickets are £10 for the concert.
  • There is a women's singing workshop in the afternoon. Tickets are £12 for the concert with the workshop as well. (It's not possible to buy the workshop on its own.)
  • There will be a bar available before the show and during the interval.

   Thursday 8th March - Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, 7.30pm

   Friday 9th March - Cygnet Theatre, Exeter, 7.30pm

   Saturday 10th March - Plough Arts Centre, Torrington, 7.30pm

See Her Story videos and reports on Singing Her Story (Her Story1) and Her Story2 ...


Rough Music Orchestras Day - Saturday 3rd March - CANCELLED

The annual Orchestras Day for all the 'Rough Music' orchestras will be held in Exeter on the 3rd March from 10.30am - 4.30pm in Belmont Chapel, Exeter.

As well as large orchestra pieces there is also the opportunity to work on a range of topics and skills in small groups throughout the day.

Open to all members of Wren orchestras.

Baring-Gould Folk Festival - 26th-28th October

Taking place in indoor venues in Okehampton, the festival is Wren Music's annual celebration.  A weekend of music and song will be held, with concerts, workshops, the festival feast, music sessions, singing sessions, a folk orchestra, festival choir, youth events, morris dancing and ceilidhs.

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.  See reports on this event in 2016 and 2017

Baring-Gould Song School - October (dates TBC)

Closely linked to the Festival is the annual Baring-Gould Song School.  After the highly successful Song School in 2017, we look forward to yet another event in 2018, with a full complement of singers enjoying a range of workshops, song sessions, individual tuition and group singing.  See reports on this event in 2016 and 2017


Details of other 2018 events to follow ..... also watch the Calendar!




2018 Major Events

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,