Workshops For All!

There are some great acts on at Priddy this year, not just on the main programme but also the Fringe too. What’s more we have lined up a great programme of free workshops on everything from singing in harmony to playing village band music of yore!

Issy Emeney

On the Saturdy, Issy Emeney will be hosting a singing workshop at 3pm.  Besides being a fine melodeon player, Issy is also an experienced arranger and workshop leader of English Traditional song. You won’t need to read music as  Issy’s workshop will be taught by ear so why not come along.

Earliery on Saturday (10am), guitarist and writer Dave Green will be giving a talk on the very thing which brings us all together – music. Where does it come from? What is it for? Why does it move us so? What do the laws of harmony tell us about the structure of the world?

Drawing on extensive research that underpins his novel The Musician, David reframes the narrative history of music in a way that asks us to re-examine our beliefs and rekindle our sense of wonder, not just with music, but with everything. The talk will include a live performance with tracks from the new album ‘Unsteady On Our Feet’

On Saturday at 11am, Called to be Saints  will be holding a workshop on  West Gallery singing. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries a lively and vigorous repertoire of choral music developed in English village churches. Choirs were normally supported by small bands of wind and fiddle-family instruments. As they often sang and played from the west gallery of the church, this music is generally referred to as West Gallery music.

At the festival the choir will run a workshop to give a taste of this glorious music, led by John Shaw (who also performs with the Hotwells Howlers and the Bristol Shantymen.) Sheet music will be available, but the ability to read music, whilst helpful, is not essential. The “Saints” will be also be giving a showcase of some of their music later in the church.

On Sunday (10am),  Nick Mitchell  will be holding a bodrhan workshop. Nick first tried the bodrhan at a Priddy festival a few years ago. He watched Flook in action and was impressed by John Joe Kelly’s playing…and later spent some time drinking pints in the fest bar with John Joe…and so a love of bodrhans was started.

Nick has been to many bodrhan workshop weeks in Ireland, has made his own bodrhan and is now ready to share what he has learned. Bring your own bodrhan, (there will be a few to borrow) and be ready to enjoy a new perspective on bodrhan playing.

An hour later,  The Old Somerset Russetts will be sharing their insights on English village band music arranged in parts.  This year’s workshop draws on the 18th century collections of wonderful dance music published by John Johnson, under the sign of the Harp and Crown on Cheapside.  Suitable for all melody instruments.  Sight-reading an advantage but ear-players welcome. Guitar chords will be provided.

And don’t forget there will be informal sessions and sing-a-rounds in the Queen Vic pub – all welcome!