Courses Events this Week Sessions Folk Clubs Festivals
Bands Solo Artists Musicians Wanted Musicians Available Callers
Resources Morris Dance For sale Crabshell Records News
Site map Contact FlaxeyGreen  

Courses at Halsway Manor


Contact FlaxeyGreen
To have details of course or workshops included on flaxey green please contact FlaxeyGreen

Select option for other resources on FlaxeyGreen

Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Website


Banter – New Year Bash for Musicians
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Friday 3 January 4.00pm — Sunday 5 January 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website
Join us for a New Years’ ‘get-together’ of music and dance for budding dance musicians. Led by members of the band ‘Banter’.  An opportunity to have a great deal of fun while learning how to play for dancers.

This is a new weekend at Halsway Manor covering topics including playing together, arranging tunes for dance, how to make people dance, and exploring rhythms and tempos. There will also be a few basic dance workshops for musicians to experience how it feels to dance. There will also be a medieval dance workshop, just for fun.

“A splendid disregard for musical boundaries, but with a respect for English traditional music” – Songlines – 4 star review

“Banter have opened a new chapter with their exciting take on basically English dance music” – Ashley Hutchings


Folk Harp Weekend
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Friday 17 January 4.00pm — Sunday 19 January 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website
Dive into the fantastic world of folk harp playing. Harpists are welcome to join us for a weekend of harp workshops and sessions with tutors Steph West and Merit Zloch. This is our first weekend of what we hope will be an annual weekend dedicated to harp playing in a folk context.

Using repertoire from the UK (with Steph) and Germany (with Merit) we’ll explore the music, arrangements and techniques for playing the harp in folk context.

The course will be taught by ear with notation available at the end of the weekend. You are welcome to bring your recording devices.


Simon Mayer’s Mandolin Weekend.
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Friday 24 January 4.00pm — Sunday 26 January 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website

Simon Mayor is beyond doubt this country’s finest mandolin player, moving effortlessly between classical, traditional folk, jazz & blues. His dazzling technical skills grace all the music he plays. He’s also a fine guitarist & fiddle player, with a delicious sense of humour & great teaching ability. “Exquisitely played” Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2

The overwhelming success of Simon’s ‘Halsway Manor Mandolin Workshop Weekend’ over the last three years prompted immediate requests for this return visit – and here it is!

Simon will cover all right & left hand techniques including position shifting, tremolo, decoration, tone production & more. There will also be the opportunity to accompany songs with singers from Hilary James’ Voice Workshop which runs alongside this event.


Two Sisters Song Weekend.
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Friday 24 January 4.00pm — Sunday 26 January 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website

This weekend runs alongside the Simon Mayor Mandolin Weekend

Hilary James and Simon Mayor’s annual visit to the idyllic Halsway Manor has – for the third year – the added attraction of Hilary’s sister Janet Giraudo who will be travelling from the South of France to join us for the weekend. Janet left for France over thirty years ago but the sisters have started to sing together again, revisiting songs from early teenage forays into folk clubs.

Singers of all abilities are invited to join Hilary & Janet to enjoy the pleasure of group singing as you discover the potential of your own voice. Explore the wealth of songs within the British folk tradition and take a peek beyond: ballads, sea shanties, lullabies, comic songs and more. You’ll be working largely ‘by ear’ with simple improvised vocal harmony but, for the more experienced, written parts for some songs will be available. As well as singing acappella the group will join Simon Mayor’s mandolinists for some joint pieces.

Simon, Hilary and Janet will perform an informal concert on the Saturday evening.


Moonrakers Folk Orchestra.
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Monday 3 February 4.00pm — Friday 7 February 10.00am, 2020
For more information go to website

Members of Moonrakers bring their exciting and dynamic music to this special Halsway Manor event for musicians and singers. Expect a relaxing, stimulating and engaging multi-instrumental week.

Whether you play bowed, fretted or reed instruments, whistles or flutes, or simply like to sing, you’re welcome on this course!

We’ll work on our own improvised arrangements of about 10 folk tunes and songs throughout the week; you don’t need to read music, but some instrumental experience is required. Music and recordings will be provided in advance.

In the evenings there will be plenty of opportunity for showcasing some of your own material.


Scandi Winter Weekend
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Friday 7 February 4.00pm — Sunday 9 February 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website

Beat the winter blues with an exploration of Swedish song and dance. A weekend to socialise and enjoy some Scandinavian culture.

The Danish call it ‘hygge’, the Swedes say ‘mysigt’, we might call it ‘that cosy feeling you get doing something wholesome with friends’. Halsway Manor is excited to bring you a full weekend of Scandinavian cosiness in the heart of winter. Try your hand at Swedish dance (with the Third Beat Dance Collective) and/or Swedish song (with Klara Andersson). There will also be some traditional food, Nordic crafts, a dance evening and a few surprises! There will be opportunities for everyone to have a go at everything at some point during the weekend or you can stick to either Swedish song or dance if you prefer.

The perfect antidote to these cold months.  This is a weekend in which to relax, snug up by the fire in your cosiest Scandinavian jumper and enjoy a weekend of singing songs and dancing to Scandinavian music. The menu for the weekend will include some typical Swedish fayre.


Reg Meuross Creative Songwriting
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Monday 10 February 4.00pm — Friday 14 February 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website

Folking.com Soloist of the Year 2019, Reg Meuross returns to Halsway to run another songwriting retreat. A wonderful opportunity for songwriters and aspiring songwriters to forget about the rest of the world and immerse themselves in their writing amongst like-minded people, and well-supported by Reg and his team. The programme includes group and individual tasks to stretch and challenge, opportunities to collaborate, a chance to play songs to Reg and the team for feedback (song clinics), song sharing with the group, Q&A sessions, space to write brand new songs, time to relax at the bar, and to enjoy good food and good fun. Reg will be assisted by singer songwriter Holly D Johnston and his manager Katie Whitehouse

Reg says: “Halsway is a stunning location for bringing people together in a creative way and I look forward to being back in February.

The words and ideas and thoughts that come from hard work and supportive interaction are uplifting and inspiring. It’s rewarding to help to ease people back into songs where they had perhaps become stuck or blocked in some way, and witness the sense of relief and renewed creativity. It is also hugely great to work with motivated people who have never written a song before and see the joy and satisfaction their first song brings to them and everyone around them.”


Bagpipe Weekend
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Friday 14 February 4.00pm — Sunday 16 February 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website

Our popular Bagpipe Weekend returns in 2020. Our Bagpipe Weekend runs alongside the Hurdy Gurdy Weekend, in a frenzy of reeds, drones and buzzing things! Our thanks to the Bagpipe Society for their support of this event.

We’re delighted to welcome Birgit Bornauw to teach Intermediate / Advanced level bagpipe players (G pipes only), and Dave Faulkner, who will lead a course to introduce complete beginners to the bagpipes.


PIVA: Real Roots
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Monday 24 February 1.00pm — Wednesday 26 February 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website

We’re delighted to be welcoming Piva back to Halsway for a fifth course exploring the Real Roots! of folk music, both the music and the instruments. Discover the world of late 16th century popular traditional music as heard in both court and country. The focus of the course will be playing 4 or 5 part harmony in small groups but it doesn’t matter if you are new to this music or an experienced renaissance specialist; sessions will be adapted to suit all levels.

We will, as ever, be looking at dance repertoire and how simple tunes can be adapted into different harmonies and arrangements and for those that wish to, we will also be playing some “art music” with layered polyphony.  There will be plenty of opportunities for all levels of players to experience these types of music.

As always, a particular feature of the course will be the opportunity of “having a go” on Piva’s extensive range of instruments, including renaissance recorders, crumhorns, bagpipes, viols and curtals.  Following the previous Piva courses at Halsway, people have taken up the violin, bagpipes and shawm!


Anglo Scottish Dance Week
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Monday 2 March 4.00pm — Friday 6 March 10.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website
A light hearted week of Scottish and English folk dance with a friendly and experienced team. There are dance workshops each morning, with afternoons free for you to explore the sights this lovely area has to offer, or to relax and enjoy the Manor and grounds. Dances every night include a Scottish Ball, a ceilidh and a Costume Playford Ball, so bring costumes if you have them!!

Northumbrian Small Pipes Weekend
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Friday 6 March 4.00pm — Sunday 8 March 10.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website
Hosted by Christine Corkett with a great team of tutors – Andy May, Pauline Cato,  Chris Evans, Rob Say and Francis Wood – this popular workshop weekend gives everyone from absolute beginners to intermediate and more advanced players a thoroughly enjoyable opportunity to develop their abilities, technique and repertoire. The course starts on Friday evening with an introductory session to assess people’s needs and a tune session in the bar, followed by workshops all day Saturday and Sunday and a Saturday evening tutor’s concert.

Northumbrian Small Pipes Taster Day
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Saturday 8 March 10.00am — Sunday 8 March 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website

Come and try the Northumbrian Smallpipes in this special taster day for absolute beginners! If you’ve ever wanted to learn to play the Nortumbrian pipes this will be a great introduction.

Led by Francis Wood, we’ll have simple sets of teaching pipes available, designed for beginners.  This is an excellent opportunity for those who enjoy the gentle sound of small pipes and would like to learn a little about their technique, repertoire and history.


Beyond the Tune
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Monday 16 March 4.00pm — Friday 20 March 10.00am, 2020
For more information go to website
This is a course for musicians – of an intermediate level and above – who wish to develop their arranging skills through ensemble playing. Players of all instruments welcome, but this course caters particularly well for harpists, under the dedicated tuition of Moira Gutteridge. Part of the time the group will be split in two, allowing for focused tuition with Moira for the harpists, while all other musicians work with Peter. There will be plenty of time for playing as a full ensemble, to share and try arrangements, and also time to work in smaller groups to devise arrangements based on the skills developed through the course. You’ll also learn and practice tunes for dancing, with one evening taking the form of an informal dance for local dancers, called by Madeleine Smith, who works closely with Moira and Peter to select suitable tunes and dances.

Advanced Nyckelharpa
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Monday 23 March 4.00pm — Friday 27 March 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website
An enjoyable, full-on, fun packed workshop week for the more confident nyckelharpa player. This mid-week course is designed as the next progression for learners that have worked their way through beginners, intermediate and are looking for something more advanced to get their teeth into. There will be a big emphasis on technique, exercises, studies and less on straight tune learning. For more information contact Vicki Swan telephone 07721 519719.

Scandinavian Tunes for Accordion
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Monday 23 March 4.00pm — Friday 27 March 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website

A mid week course led by Jonny Dyer for beginner/intermediate accordion players looking to explore playing Scandinavian music on the accordion.

Topics covered will include polska, schottis and finding that elusive second beat. There will also be a focus on general technique and some ensemble playing. There will be time for a trip to the legendary Pebbles Tavern cider (& gin!) bar in Watchet and a walk up into the Quantocks to blow the cobwebs away.

This course is being run along side the advanced nyckelharpa course, so there will be opportunity in the evenings to play Swedish music with the nyckelharpas. There will also be the possibility to partake in some morning warm-up Nyckelrhythmics.


Sackpipa and Swedish Bagpipe Tunes
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Friday 27 March 4.00pm — Sunday 29 March 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website
An enjoyable full-on fun-packed workshop weekend with Vicki Swan to introduce players to both the säckpipa (Swedish Bagpipes) and Swedish bagpipe music.

Halsway European Ensemble Weekend
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Friday 10 April 12 Noon — Monday 13 April 1.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website

An extended weekend course for musicians to develop their ensemble playing skills. Drawing on European folk/contemporary/popular music traditions we’ll be making new arrangements that can go in any direction. The aim is to explore and combine all sorts of influences and ideas to make spine tingling music that is more than the sum of the parts.

The course is fairly intensive and includes all day ensemble workshop sessions with the aim of performing all the pieces we create together at a public concert on the Sunday night.


Easter House Party
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Monday 13 April 4.00pm — Friday 17 April 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website
A fun and friendly ‘House Party’ for all who enjoy folk dancing and playing and want to try a range of dance styles. There will be dance workshops each morning, afternoons are free to explore this lovely area or take a ramble in the Quantock Hills.  Bring your walking boots and instruments. There’s a dance each evening with the occasional music session and sing-around in the bar afterwards.

Halsway Playford Assembly
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Friday 17 April 4.00pm — Sunday 19 April 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website

Led by Andrew Swaine with music from Boldwood. The Halsway Playford Weekend is always a stimulating and enjoyable experience!

A vigorous and fun weekend of dancing, the course is aimed at dancers – both experienced and new to Playford are welcome – who want to explore the music and dances published in the English Dancing Master.

The dance will be led by Andrew Swaine who is an experienced caller for most genres of English country dancing, including ceilidh, American contra, Playford (early country dancing, starting with the publications of John Playford 1651 onwards) and modern country dances at all levels written since the revival in the early 20th century.

Expect a varied and joyful programme of workshops and social dancing, aimed at interpreting the dances for a modern audience with enthusiasm and enjoyment, whilst also setting the dances in historical context and referring back to the original sources.

There will be a Playford Assembly Ball on the Saturday evening – costume strongly encouraged!


Give Voice
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Monday 20 April 4.00pm — Friday 24 April 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website

Building on the success of their annual Give Voice Weekends we’re delighted that Tom and Barbara Brown have agreed to hose a relaxed week of Folk Song and Singing with a great all-singing team.

Join us for a  week of song-sharing and workshops with Tom & Barbara Brown, and guest leaders  Bonny Sartin, Janet Russell, Jeff Wesley, Jim Mageean and Marianne McAleer!

Singers of all ages (teenagers to pensioners) and abilities are welcome to join the fun, in the comfortable and relaxed surroundings of Halsway Manor. The programme includes practical workshops, presentations, a film screening, discussions, song sharing and Big Sings (with everyone having a chance to lead chorus songs – if they want to) when the bar is open.

There will be plenty of opportunity to explore songs and individual singing in between, or have a ramble around the glorious countryside – it’s up to you! You’re welcome to bring accompanying instruments if you wish. The extensive folk library will also be open throughout the weekend should you wish to delve into the collection.

The week includes a twilight ‘Leaders’ Concert’ on the Wednesday evening.


Brass and Reeds Week
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Tuesday 5 May 1.00pm — Friday 8 May 1.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website

Have you ever felt like you picked up the wrong instrument for the music you’ve fallen in love with? Brass and reed players on the folk circuit are few and far between and can feel a bit isolated – and so we’re delighted to offer a course specifically for you!

Each of the tutors are highly experienced, and specialise in a different area of the folk tradition: Jo Freya (Blowzabella, Narthen) – Central Europe and beyond; Tim Walker (Banter, Tickled Pink) – English music; Michel Duijves (Maalstroom, Mind the Midgie) – Celtic music. We’ll explore this music together, finding ways to better ‘fit the folk style’, how we play, decorations, repertoire, keys and transposition and anything else we can think of together.

The week will mostly be about playing music but we will also have sessions and discussions to help develop ourselves as players and this type of course and resources for the future.


Going Further Fiddle Weekend
Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Friday 8 May 4.00pm — Sunday 10 May 4.00pm, 2020
For more information go to website

Following on from last year’s Advanced Fiddle Weekend with Rowan Rheingans, this course – with both Rowan and Anna Rheingans – is for experienced fiddle players who wish to expand on their skills and deepen their personal style. We will learn some new repertoire together and do some smaller ensemble work, supporting individual players to further develop tone, technique, musicality and style.

Although the Rheingans Sisters’ playing and teaching is rooted in traditional European styles, this course is open to all advanced fiddle players.

This years’ two-tutor approach will allow for advanced workshops alongside a second steadier-paced group, exploring technique and repertoire from pan-European traditions, plus one-to-ones, a tutors’ gig, and some surprises!