Somerset Folk Song Day, with Yvette Staelens

Singing workshop and lecture


A day of musical exploration with Yvette Staelens. Yvette is well known for her inspirational teaching and performance, as well as conducting workshops throughout the land over many years. She has produced her own innovative compositions in the many CDs she has released with The Roots Quartet. She places herself within the great tradition of English folksong, and has been extremely influential in the continuation of that tradition, its expansion and re-invigoration.

Yvette is the Senior Lecturer in Heritage & Museums at Bournemouth University. Her particular area of research is Cecil Sharp's folk singers in the West Country and beyond. She has published three 'folk maps': of Somerset, Gloucestershire and Hampshire.

Her CDs include:

Songs of Frost & Fire


Somerset Sisters

Weymouth Strand

The Workshop:

Open to all ages and abilities. Don't worry if you've never sung before! Everything is taught orally and is accessible to all. We will be learning catches, rounds, folksongs... and will be expertly led into this rich world, its humour, its history, its weathered poetry. This is a wonderful opportunity to immerse ourselves in an important vein of our county's ancient singing culture.

Those who attend the workshop will be invited to perform during the subsequent lecture...

The Lecture:

Cecil Sharp's Journey through Somerset - an illustrated lecture

Cecil Sharp is famed for his extraordinary journey, collecting ancient and traditional folksongs. Yvette will celebrate his work and we will meet his singers: farmers, farm labourers, blacksmiths, milkmaids, housewives and a great variety of country folk, all from Somerset, some, in fact, from Burrowbridge itself. Many of these singers will be brought to life not only by their songs, but also by an an extraordinary series of early photographs. Yvette will be giving her Somerset folk map free to all who attend.

2011Martin Keeley