July 2016

Posted by Ed Hicks on July 21, 2016

Old Time Music, Kids Summer Camp, Finish Fiddle Workshop, Gaelic Voices, Open Sea Shanty Session, Scandinavian Music Course

Wow! After a sudden flurry of activity we’ve now got loads of new stuff listed on the website and some great new courses coming up. I’ll try to summarize it here and write more about it below.

There is: The choir’s new member’s session (this Thursday 21st), the amazing Trad Academy Summer Camp (for kids aged 8-13) from Sun 14th to Fri 19th August, then a Gaelic Singing workshop with James McDonald, then a six week Old Time Music course with me, then a Finish Fiddle workshop with Suvi Oskala, then in November and December Esbjorn will be teaching us Scandinavian Music again.

Have I missed anything? Probably yes. Also there will be flatfooting workshop starting again in September. I imagine they’ll start on Monday 12th September and do two six week terms but I’m just confirming the room (probably at the Round Chapel again). There’ll also be another workshop with Hen’s Teeth again on Sat 5th November. More details about that to be published soon.

Want to know more info? Keep reading or click on the links above…

Sea Shanty Choir New Members Session

This Thursday the choir throw open their doors to great new members young and old to come and join them in singing maritime songs and sea shanties. The session will happen at the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green and is completely free so come on down and join in.

The choir really is a force to be reckoned with. They just sold out Wilton’s Music Hall for two nights running with their amazing production of the Rime of the Ancient Marina and it was really great.

Also we managed to get about fifty members of the choir out to the Åland Island to perform at the Baltic Sea Shanty Festival earlier this month. It really was totally wonderful. There was lots of singing, dancing and partying on a massive boat (there’s a picture of it above) and we all went sailing on a smaller boat (you’ll have to imagine that one). Thank you so much to everyone who was involved in organizing the trip and making it happen. It was a huge success.

Come along and join the choir! Everyone is welcome to join in the singing.

Trad Academy Kids Folk Music Summer Camp

This is coming up really soon. We’re going to borrow twelve banjos from Hobgoblin and teach all the kids how to play the banjo. There’s also going to be fiddle classes with Chance Kellner, singing and dance sessions everyday and there’s going to be a treasure hunt and loads of other fun stuff.

We’ve been doing more planning meetings and everyone’s getting really excited about it. Thank you to our volunteers who’re coming along to help out. It’s a really good team. We’ve got enough kids signed up to make it happen but there’s still room for more so if you know anyone aged around 8-13 who plays an instrument and wants to come on a folk music summer camp this August tell them to get in touch. We’re hoping this is going to grow and grow and become and annual fixture so come along this year and you can say you were there when it all began.

One Off Courses in the Harrison Basement:

Gaelic Singing

We’ve also got two one-off sessions at the Harrison Pub. First up is an afternoon long session with James McDonald on Gaelic singing. James is a great singer and has spent a lot of time learning from traditional singers in Ireland and Britain. If your interested in solo unaccompanied singing this is a great opportunity to learn about it but most of the singing on the day will be in groups and you won’t have to sing along if you don’t want to. I think lots of people from the Sea Shanty Choir might be interested in this course so come on down if you want to learn about some other types of folk singing.

Finish Fiddle

We’ve run lots of fiddle courses before at the Harrison but mostly old time fiddle. If you’re interested in learning more about the specifics of this particular type of Scandinavian Fiddle style this could be the session for you. This is a rare opportunity to learn about the unusual bowing styles of Finish fiddle music. If you come along and like it you can come along and work on playing Scandinavian music in a bigger group with Esbjorn later in the year.

Old Time Fiddle

Save the date of Saturday 5th November (how are you going to remember that?) for some more Old Time Fiddle stuff with Jane and Nathan from Hen’s Teeth.

Six Week Courses:

Old Time Music Course

Another six week course where we can all work on playing old time American string band music together in a group. Open to all instruments but especially aimed at string players (banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bass). We’ll be working on learning tunes together by ear over the six week with an emphasis on rhythm and groove and playing together. Hopefully we can also try some small band stuff and get to hear everyone playing together in smaller groups so we can really feel the instruments interlock properly. This one’s taught by me (Ed Hicks)!

Flatfoot Dancing

I reckon we’ll start this up again on Monday 12th September probably at the Round Chapel but I just need to confirm the room booking with them. For now save the date (and six Mondays afterwards), keep an eye on the website and polish up your dancing shoes.

Scandinavian Music Course

Esbjorn’s back to teach us all more about Scandinavian Music and he’ll be extra “authentic” after spending a week at Bingsjo folk festival in Sweden (there’s a picture of Chance playing some fiddle tunes with two of Esbjorn’s friends above). This isn’t happening till November and December but again save those dates!

Thank you!

Right, I think that’s about it for now. What a lot of good stuff we’ve got coming up! As usual there’s all the dates listed below and sorry for any mistakes I’ve made in the copy. This is not a test.

Thanks to also everyone who helps out in making these things happen. There’s increasingly lots of people who help out with their time and expertise in putting all these things together and it really is great to get to work with so many good people. Ohh, and look at the picture of everyone playing music in the river at Fire in the Mountain festival above! How cool was that? There was apparently a flatfooting class in the river too. Thank you for reading to the end and look forward to seeing you all really soon.


Dates of upcoming events
Sea Shanty Choir New Members Session
7:30pm – 9:30pm, Thursday 21 Jul 2016
Free taster session for all new members
Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green
With Pete Truin
Please email us to reserve your place

Trad Academy Summer Camp – August 2016
6:00pm – 9:00pm, Sunday 14 Aug 2016
£320 per child for the week (email us for information about concessions)
Chellington Centre
With Chance Kellner, Ed Hicks and Pete Truin
Please email us to reserve your place

Gaelic Singing Workshop with James McDonald
1:00pm – 5:00pm, Sunday 11 Sep 2016
£25.00 (email us for information about concessions)
The Harrison Pub, Kings Cross
With James McDonald
Please email us to reserve your place

Old Time Music Course September and October 2016
Wednesdays ∙ 7:00pm – 8:30pm ∙ 14 September 2016 to 19 October 2016
£45 for six weeks (email us for information about concessions)
No 14 Bacon Street
With Ed Hicks
Please email us to reserve your place

Finnish Fiddle Tunes with Suvi Oskala
2:00pm – 3:30pm, Sunday 18 Sep 2016
£10 for the workshop (email us for information about concessions)
The Harrison Pub, Kings Cross
With Suvi Oskala
Please email us to reserve your place

Scandinavian Music Course October and November 2016
Wednesdays ∙ 7:00pm – 8:30pm ∙ 2 November 2016 to 7 December 2016
£45 for six weeks (email us for information about concessions)
No 14 Bacon Street
With Esbjorn Wettermark
Please email us to reserve your place