Hertfordshire music charity reaches out to young and old

PUBLISHED: 15:30 02 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:37 02 April 2018

Kimpton Folk Festival 2017

Kimpton Folk Festival 2017

Supplied by Doug Jenner - Kimpton Folk

A Hertfordshire-based charity has launched an outreach programme aimed at “growing a love of folk music” in the young and the not-so-young.

Doug JennerDoug Jenner

The programme is being organised by registered charitable trust Kimpton Folk Events, known for its work in launching the highly successful Kimpton Folk Festival.

In line with its stated aim of “growing a love of folk music and the folk arts in the local community”, the three-tier programme aims to reach out to primary school children, teenagers, and the elderly, lonely and more vulnerable in society.

June Rowlands, trustee of Kimpton Folk Events and coordinator of the programme, said: “Having raised funds from numerous and diverse folk events, as well as receiving generous grants from local and national organisations, Kimpton Folk Events can begin its work on the outreach programme proposed as one of our founding objectives.

“The focus is on creating awareness in the wider community of the enjoyment and integration of folk music and dance, inclusiveness to all especially vulnerable and otherwise excluded members of society and teaching a new skills set to any who want to learn.”

A funded programme for Kimpton Primary School involves two workshops run by professional musician and teacher Paul Scourfield.

Supported by headteacher Tracy Clements and the school’s in-house music teacher, these will introduce children to singing, music and dance from their local and national heritage.

They will also help create a programme that the school can further develop to enable pupils to perform at future school, village and community events.

The workshops are set to take place on April 30 and June 18, after which, Paul – in conjunction with school staff – will work to create the opening village green item of this year’s Kimpton Folk Festival on Saturday, July 7.

The teen music ‘tutorials’ will enable senior school musicians in the community to learn British Folk Dance tunes by heart, work in a ‘band’ environment, and perform at events such as the annual village barn dance.

The skills set required to play at a competent level, follow a dance-caller and other musicians whilst observing the dancers is a complex partnership, and will launch these young musicians to appreciate their legacy of folk traditions.

Kimpton Folk Events is also in discussions with local secondary schools about developing this programme as an extra curricular activity.

The ‘Elderly and Vulnerable’ programme commences on the morning of April 18, from 10am to noon, with a free coffee, cake and music morning in Kimpton’s newly refurbished Dacre Rooms.

The performers will be an informal group of the local musicians who make up the regular sessions at The Boot pub on the second and fourth Thursdays.

Kimpton Folk Events chairman Doug Jenner said: “Since the founding of our charity we have achieved so much, not least the establishment of the folk festival itself.

“But for me, this outreach programme, nurturing and growing a folk heritage right across a community, is the most exciting thing we have done to date.

“June’s work in this area is nothing short of inspirational.”

Prior to the third Kimpton Folk Festival, which takes place on Saturday, July 7, 2018, Kimpton Folk Events is staging a fundraising concert in May.

This gig in Kimpton Memorial Hall on Saturday, May 19 will feature the Radio 2 Folk Awards nominated Sam Kelly & the Lost Boys.

A further concert will be held with the legendary John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett on Saturday, November 3, 2018.

• For full details of all Kimpton folk events, visit www.kimptonfolk.uk

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