The Music at the Heart of Teesdale project (M@HoT) is offering a free one day singing workshop for young musicians, run by renowned folk singer/songwriter Sandra Kerr.
The masterclass, which is open to any young person aged 11 to 18 years, will take place on Saturday, August 16, at The Witham, Barnard Castle, from 9.30am till 4.40pm.
“Thanks to funding secured from the Northern Heartlands project, we are able to offer this wonderful opportunity to young people in Teesdale completely free!” said M@HoT’s retiring project coordinator Neil Diment. “Some of our young Cream Tees musicians sang in her choir at Sidmouth Festival when we took our youth folk band there last summer and it is really thanks to them that this invitation came about.
“Sandra is such a warm and approachable person, and a highly experienced and talented singer and musician who loves working with young people and nurturing their talent. This is such a wonderful – and possibly unique – opportunity we are offering; I still can’t quite believe that someone of her stature in the folk music world has agreed to come and work with us!”
M@HoT’s Researcher, Mike Bettison agreed. “Sandra has been absolutely instrumental in raising the popularity of folk and community choirs in the UK and has been running the choir at Sidmouth folk festival since the 1980s.
“Until she retired last September, she was a lecturer on the Newcastle University Folk and Traditional music degree course since it began 17 years ago. In that capacity too, she has been very supportive of M@HoT since the our project began in 2012, and we are very grateful to her for helping us secure some brilliant young folk degree students who have worked with and inspired Cream Tees over the years.”
Older readers will of course forever associate her name with Bagpuss, the very popular children’s TV series from the 1970s. But Sandra was also part of the folk revival back then and sang in a group with Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger.
She says much of her work is down to the education she was very generously given by them at the time. “The support and encouragement of emerging singers, musicians and writers has always been a feature of my work, and has increased with the years. Passing on the tradition has always been part of the ethos of our folk music. One of my passions has always been to encourage people’s skills whether they are young, old, experienced or absolute beginners.”
For more information about the workshop please contact Neil Diment on 01833 638263, or to book just go to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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