Home News Youth Folk Comes to Kent this May
Posted on: 11 February, 2020

Youth Folk Comes to Kent this May

Five people are seated in a row towards us. on the left, a boy and a girl play wind instruments, a recorder and a clarinet. In the middle is the tutor, mid-sentence with mouth open and hands gesticulating. On the right, two boys play accordion.

Update 30/03/20:

On the 17th March, EFDSS made the decision to pause all events until 31 May 2020 due to coronavirus. Their priority, as well as Kent Music’s, is keeping staff, participants, artists and tutors safe. You can read the statement here: https://www.efdss.org/about-us/what-we-do/news/10007-cecil-sharp-house-c19

However, we’re pleased to say that the events will still be going ahead – they are moving online! Below is the statement and more information from the EFDSS team, and more information can be found here:  https://www.efdss.org/learning/young-people/national-youth-folk-ensemble/sampler-days

“We are happy to say that our Youth Folk Sampler Days will happen online in May 2020! We have cancelled the events scheduled in venues due to the coronavirus pandemic, and we are encouraging young musicians to take part from home.

The National Youth Folk Ensemble team will deliver virtual workshops introducing young musicians to folk tunes, techniques and creative ideas. We are planning a mix of pre-recorded tutorials and interactive activities using readily available online technology.

Young musicians can still audition for the 2020-21 National Youth Folk Ensemble by registering for a Youth Folk Sampler Day. We hope that the final auditions will still happen in person at Cecil Sharp House on 11 and 12 July 2020. If this is not possible, we will organise alternative provision.”



The English Folk Dance and Song Society, in partnership with Kent Music and Tenterden Folk Festival, are proud to present one of only eight free sampler days throughout England this year, to take place in Ashford on May 31st.

The creative, challenging workshop is designed to give young musicians a chance to find out more about English folk music, and specifically the National Youth Folk Ensemble. The ensemble celebrates excellence in youth folk music, bringing together talented young folk musicians from across England to create and perform inspiring new arrangements of folk music and work with leading folk artists.

Despite having a rich history of folk music in the county, young people in Kent have limited access to engage and experiment with traditional music. We’re so excited to be a part of opening the doors of opportunity for young people at this free workshop staffed by talented and enthusiastic musicians.

All keen young musicians aged 12 – 18 eager to explore new arrangements and styles of music are invited to take part in the creative and challenging workshop this May.

No previous experience with folk music is necessary and, unlike a classical orchestra, there are no restrictions on the type of instrument you play – just that you play it with confidence!*

Each Sampler Day of creative music-making features:

  • workshops with superb musicians who are also highly experienced educators
    • Q&A with Ensemble staff
    • an optional short audition, if you are aged 14+ and want to apply for the National Youth Folk Ensemble

All playing and learning will be done by ear, offering young musicians the opportunity to develop an area of their musical skill set which they may never have had the chance to previously.

Spaces are extremely limited and booking is essential, so we would encourage any interested parties to sign up  for their free place as soon as possible at efdss.org/youthfolk.

Date and Time:
Sun, 31st May 2020
11:00 – 16:00

Ashford School
East Hill
TN24 8PB

*NB: Musicians with electric instruments must bring their own amps and leads. The National Youth Folk Ensemble’s repertoire is currently instrumental only so the Sampler Day is not suitable for singers.