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Paul Wilson – Musical Director

 

Paul is a performer, educator, choir leader, songwriter, arranger and folk song collector. Paul has an illustrious career as a folk music educator over the last 30 years. He holds an Honorary MA in Music Education from Plymouth University.

He sings in a duo with Marilyn Tucker – www.marilynandpaul.com - and the two of them have performed concerts and events both nationally and internationally.

Together they founded Wren Music, and they have recently been awarded the prestigious gold badge – from the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

Paul works with all ages and phases of people across the South West and beyond including large scale singing projects, first access instrumental work, special needs projects and with gifted and talented young people.

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Wren Music is staffed by a team of skilled, experienced and highly qualified professional musicians of international repute. In addition to their artistic talent they also bring the qualities required by skilled educationalists. These include strong people skills and innovative teaching practises as well as a passionate commitment to working creatively with individuals and communities.

Supporting the musicians is an expert administrative and technical team maintaining the infrastructure essential to the smooth functioning of a diverse and ambitious organisation. This includes ensuring the availability of a large store of musical instruments and technology, enabling high quality recording and an up-to-date web presence.

Marilyn Tucker – Artistic Director / CEO

 

Marilyn is co-founder of Wren with Paul Wilson. Marilyn has overseen the growth of the company from a two person to the organisation we have today.

Marilyn is a singer, storyteller, songwriter, oral historian and keen folklorist. Her singing is influenced by her family background living in the Dartmoor village of South Zeal, with a maternal side that sang at every family occasion and her father a singer who was very much in demand in local pubs and as a soldier in India to sing to his comrades. Marilyn’s own singing comes from the heart and has been described by John Kirkpatrick as ‘an example of English folk song should be sung’.

Marilyn has a B.A. in Social Sciences from Exeter and has completed the National Foundation Course for Arts Managers.

David Faulkner – Senior Community Musician

 

David Faulkner has been a member of the Wren Music team for over 15 years. He is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, dancer and singer.

David has focused on a wide range of areas for Wren, including Youth Inclusion music, Early Years, Adult Folk Orchestras and Disability Inclusion Groups.

Through working with Wren David has toured in Newfoundland, performed in and organised many concerts across Devon. Outside of Wren David works with influential groups such as the Eel Grinders and Zephyrus. 

Becki Driscoll – Senior Community Musician

 

Becki Driscoll is an experienced fiddle-player, composer and workshop leader who has worked with Wren Music for over 10 years. She leads the Folk Orchestra of North Devon and the Fiddle Orchestra of Devon as well as running regular music groups with children and young people and a specialist early years project she has developed with Bideford Bay Children’s Centre. Alongside her work with Wren Becki performs regularly with her duo Nick Wyke & Becki Driscoll. www.englishfiddle.com

Nick Wyke – Senior Community Musician

 

Nick Wyke is a fiddle player, guitarist and singer who has worked as a community musician with Wren Music in various capacities since 2001. From a background in rock and other music Nick has built on his knowledge of the folk idiom within Wren and as a freelancer over the last 15 years.

He has developed a specialist knowledge around the tunes from manuscripts collected in England from the 17th Century on, and in fiddle and guitar techniques, as well as bringing aspects of music theory and structure into his work with Wren.

He plays with "Nick Wyke & Becki Driscoll", "Gadarene" and "The Jim Causley Trio" as well as calling and playing in various ceilidh outfits.

Sarah Owen – Senior Community Musician

 

Sarah Owen is a vocal coach, choir leader, composer, arranger and performer.  She studied music at The University of Birmingham (BMus) and Goldsmiths College (MMus) before returning to Devon to train with Wren Music as a community musician, where she is now Head of the Vocal Programme.   With a particular interest in the techniques of healthy voice production, Sarah has trained to an advanced level in the Estill Model (with Anne-Marie Speed, The Voice Explained, London), a programme to understand and control the specific structures in the vocal mechanism.

As well as leading regular choirs with children, teenagers, adults and people with a range of disabilities, Sarah is experienced at working on a wide range of vocal projects, from large scale singing events to song writing and leading vocal training sessions.  As a performer, Sarah is part of folk and electronic duo, Solarference, and a soloist with chamber ensemble, Lavolta.

Sarah particularly loves how singing can bring people together from all walks of life and build communities.  She passionately believes that not only can everyone sing but that each of us has a beautiful voice, which we can explore and develop to bring out its very best.  

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Jon Dyer – Community Musician

 

Jon Dyer is a practicing folk musician and performer based in Devon. After graduating from Falmouth University with a BA Hons in Music Performance in 2013 he has been working with Wren Music where he has gained many valuable teaching skills and experience. Jon is an experienced performer and regularly performs across the UK with Gadarene, Jon Dyer & Alfie Gidley and Palinka. 

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Emily Howard – Community Musician

Matt Norman – MOOD

 

The Mandolin Orchestra of Devon (MOOD) is directed by Matt Norman. Matt is gaining a well-deserved reputation as one of the leading lights of the new generation of Devon-based folk artists. He is an innovative and entertaining musician, exploring traditional and contemporary English music as a performer, arranger, composer and songwriter. His imaginative approach to repertoire is complemented by his virtuosity on the mandolin. He has developed a unique style on the instrument, using rich textures and dramatic contrasts. Over the past couple of years Matt has regularly performed at major folk festivals in England and Europe, including the Sidmouth and Baring-Gould Folk Festivals. His CD Eight Days Late (Wren CD007) has been well-received by lovers of acoustic folk music. 

Paulo Tucker – General Manager

Debbie Jessop – Admin Assistant

 

Debbie is our part-time admin assistant covering a variety of roles. A local member of the West Devon choir in Okehampton, Debbie only started singing at sessions in 2013. She enjoys singing and learning to play her instruments and participating in Wren projects such as Random Melody. She has a special interest in Yiddish song and occasionally sings in Loksh un Kneidl.

Debbie comes from an engineering background in industry and later became a maths, engineering and IT tutor in her local college. More recently Debbie has chosen to work in Community Development roles, teaching exercise sessions, creative dance, and cooking skills to adults in challenging life circumstances. She has also led the development of weekly social groups, local food co-ops, monthly dementia support activities and a befriending scheme.

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Emily Howard leads the Torbay Folk Choir and the Acorn Roots Choir. Emily has been playing singer/songwriter shows since the age of 14, and she brings this performance experience to her music leading. She studied a B Tech in popular music at South Devon College, and a BA Hons in Music Performance at Dartington College, relocating to Falmouth University. Emily achieved Grade 8 in singing through Trinity Guildhall, and is an accomplished guitar player. She has recently taken up the accordion, and her secret talent is she can play a good mouth trumpet!

Rebecka Lyons

 

Born to a Swedish mother and an American father, Rebecka grew up among the lakes and forests of southern Sweden. Coming from a musical family, she sang with her parents and siblings from an early age. She began to write songs and poetry at the age of five, and later learned to play the flute and guitar. She left Sweden for Devon in 1998 and spent three years at Dartington studying music, composing songs and playing with her fellow students.

 

She now works mainly as a freelance singing practitioner. As well as the West Devon Folk Choir she runs a Swedish choir, gives individual singing tuition to people of all ages, and runs a singing course for Drama students at Plymouth University. This social side of music-making complements her performing career, which has seen her supporting some of Britain’s finest acoustic and folk artists, including Martin Carthy, Phil Beer and Cara Dillon. Rebecka released her third studio album, Songs for Mrs. Beautiful, in September 2012, and her latest EP, Home, was released 2015 by Folkstock Records and proclaimed ‘a delight to the ears’.

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Paul Tucker (Paulo) has been with Wren since 1999 (and earlier if you notice the family name!). He is the office manager and also Wren’s sound engineer, responsible for all the recording equipment, PA at events and the stock of instruments that Wren holds. He trained as a sound engineer at Deep Blue Sound in Plymouth he has built a reputation as an acoustic music specialist in the sound world. He plays guitar when he is not at work.