Wren Music 

    a world where every voice is heard 

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History of Wren Music ...

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2000s

  • Voices 2000 - Wren’s Millennium Project
  • Write and perform ‘Brand New Day’ as the song for everyone to sing
  • Goes on to win its category in the Natural Voice Practitioners Network Song Awards in 2008
  • Baring-Gould Song School begins
  • First Folk Orchestra formed in East Devon
  • Dragons - A multi-cultural celebration at Sidmouth Folk Festival
  • First youth exchange with South Africa
  • First Bagpipe and Plucked Strings days in Okehampton
  • New Folk Orchestras in North Devon (FOND) and Torbay (FOOT)
  • ‘Nice Warm Socks’ voted into top three national lottery awards
  • First visit by South Africans to Devon
  • Roots A cappella, Torbay, North Devon and West Devon Folk Choirs formed
  • 2008 Wren celebrates 25 years!
  • Wren becomes Company limited by Guarantee with charitable status
  • Mix 4 Six: National Music Partnership programme with Devon Music services
  • Devon Tradition project to digitise the Baring-Gould song archive (paper based) and Paul Wilson audio collections

 

2010s

  • Launch of the Wren Friends Scheme
  • Shore to Shore: Wren team invited to celebrate birth of English Canada
  • Baring-Gould archive digitised and linked with English Folk Dance and Song Society website
  • Mandolin Orchestra of Devon (MOOD) formed
  • First EU transnational project - Traditional European Songs Singing Together (TESST)
  • New projects for SEN and for the vulnerable in Care Homes
  • Moved to our new HQ Ebenezer Hall
  • A Random Melody: a celebration of the photos of James Ravilious and the songs of Devon
  • Singing Her Story celebrating International Women’s Day
  • Major choir, orchestra and concert performances at Sidmouth Folk Festival
  • Marilyn Tucker and Paul Wilson awarded Gold Medals for achievement in folk by EFDSS

 

 

 

 

Wren Music has been a force in folk arts and education since 1983, and has promoted the twin themes of Participation and Performance since those early days.

 

Wren’s Founders, Marilyn Tucker and Paul Wilson, had already been working together as part of the Exeter Folk Arts Workshop, and had toured as part of that group in 1980 with ‘From Bratton to Porlock Bay’ a show featuring the songs from and about Exmoor, and an annual tour of Old Peoples’ Centres from 1979 which continued within Wren until 1990.

 

In the early days there was very much a project focus; a village history, a neighbourhood's old and young affirming their identity, or a seasonal celebration - all these things and more would make a Wren Community Celebration Project.  And it was from the desire for sustainability for the participants of those projects that our regular choirs’ and orchestras’ programmes emerged.

 

paul & marilyn 1985 big
paul & marilyn now big

1980s

  • Wren Music founded in 1983
  • First community projects in Sticklepath and Newtown
  • Marilyn and Paul sing at Ewan MacColl’s 70th Birthday concert at Festival Hall
  • Move into one room office at 1 St James Street, Okehampton.
  • Songs of the West - our first celebration of the songs collected by Revd Sabine Baring-Gould

1990s

  • Publication of ‘Circle Left’ Folk dance tune book for schools
  • Songs of the West concert at Killerton House; we are introduced to the greater Baring-Gould song collection
  • Our first Newfoundland Exchange
  • Public launch of the Baring-Gould Folk Song Collection
  • The first annual Baring-Gould Folk Festival
  • Wren celebrates 10 years