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Part-song and ballad workshop, Beverley, Sunday 26 May 2013

Sunday 26 May 2013
10:30am - 3:30pm
Beverley Friary (YHA)
Songs of Revelry and Reflection from Yorkshire and beyond, 1700-1900
A part-song workshop with Vivien Ellis

Drawing on popular harmony-singing traditions from Chapel and Tavern, Parlour and Theatre, this workshop took participants on a fascinating, enjoyable and uplifting musical journey. With unusual songs to raise your spirits, tickle your ribs, touch your heart and make your Granny blush, we discovered what our ancestors loved to sing, and rediscovered the beauty of those stories and harmonies, and their power to move us today.

Material was drawn from folk ballads, theatre repertoire, songs and hymns published in Beverley, Hull, York and further afield (including repertoire from The Carnival Band's concert), and popular books of catches, rounds and drinking songs.

Songs in three, four and more parts were taught by ear with reference to notation - so everyone could be included, in a light-hearted, focused and inspirational day of unusual harmony.

Vivien Ellis is an empowering, inclusive and experienced teacher who performs early music with The Dufay Collective, international ensemble Sinfonye, The Carnival Band, and her duo Alva with Giles Lewin. She has toured throughout the UK and Europe, and has made several tours of North and South America, Canada and Australia, appearing in major festivals and concert series. Vivien has made numerous recordings as a soloist, has featured in many radio broadcasts, TV soundtracks and theatre performances including work with the RSC and the Globe Theatre. She teaches at E15 Acting School and HISS (Historically Informed Summer School).

Beverley Friary (now belonging to the YHA) is built around the remains of a 600 year old Dominican Friary mentioned by Geoffrey Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales. The Friary was built at the behest of Henry III, who in 1263 granted the monks the wood from 15 oak trees in the Forest of Galtres.  Wall paintings from the medieval and Tudor periods still grace its interior in spite of its suppression by Henry VIII in 1539. In the front garden stands a 15th century gateway, moved here from another location. Over the years it has had many uses but has recently reopened after a major restoration and refurbishment by the YHA and the Beverley Friary Preservation Trust.

This workshop took place as part of Beverley and East Riding Early Music Festival.