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The Carnival Band in residence with Folkestra, 19 and 20 February 2015

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Folkestra and Carnival Band

The National Centre for Early Music joined forces with traditional music specialists The Carnival Band, leading early music singer Vivien Ellis, and the Sage Gateshead's acclaimed youth folk ensemble Folkestra to celebrate the launch of an exciting new project exploring the 100 top hits of the seventeenth century.

The Big Ballads Project is an ambitious three-year undertaking, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, to record the hundred best-selling broadside ballads of the seventeenth century and make them available to the public via a free access website and a series of performances around the UK. Research for the project is being undertaken by Dr Christopher Marsh of Queen's University Belfast and Dr Angela McShane of the Royal College of Art.

As part of the launch of this project, young people from Folkestra had the opportunity to learn about broadside traditions and repertoire through two days of practical workshops with The Carnival Band and Vivien Ellis on 19 and 20 February. This intensive residential culminated in a high-profile public performance as part of The Carnival Band's Scandal, Sensation and Sweet Musick event at the National Centre for Early Music on 20 February at 7.30pm.

While in York, members of Folkestra also had the opportunity to sample the local folk scene, visiting one of the city's most famous Tudor buildings, the historical Black Swan Inn, to take part in the Black Swan Folk Club's Singers & Musicians Night.

More information about Folkestra here