Press Release, 1 October 2012
The Music at the Heart of Teesdale project’s new youth folk band met at The Hub last Friday, 28th September for their first workshop of the new school year. Cream Tees, the name chosen for their band by the young musicians, worked hard practising their tunes, both old and new, with tutor Hinny Pawsey in preparation for their first public concert and ceilidh planned for later in the term on Friday, 30 November. They were rewarded with a real cream tea at their break, with scones baked specially for the occasion by band member Milly Diment!
While some of the older members of the group have now moved on, the band was pleased to welcome three new young recruits, including fiddler Teddy Hart-Davis. “It was great to be able to play in a band with people I know,” he said. “It was hard at first, but listening by ear and working out the fingering I got it eventually. My playing will definitely improve! ”
Hinny Pawsey is really excited that the members of the band are starting to make these tunes their own. “They are putting the Cream Tees stamp on them! ” she said, and added, “With every tune we play, every dance we laugh our way through, we seem to become less and less a group of individuals and more and more a band. It’s so lovely to hear the music getting better and better! I can’t wait to find out what this new generation of folk musicians will bring to the tradition. ”
There was more good news from the project’s Rosie Cross, who was able to announce some additional funding from the County Durham Community Foundation. “This extra money will enable us to offer some traditional dance workshops in the New Year, ” she said. “Our research for the project has thrown up a passing reference to the intriguing fact that there was once a longsword dance in Startforth. We plan to bring in a dance tutor to work with young people from the area, and bring the dance and music aspects of the project closer together, not just for ceilidhs but sword dancing too. ”
David Ferrari, Director of Faculty for Arts and Design at Teesdale School, was full of praise for the project and the opportunities it provides for young people in the area. “They are not just learning about their folk music heritage, ” he said, “but also developing skills of musicianship such as playing by ear and, of course, playing for fun. We are very fortunate to have such access to talented folk musicians like Hinny Pawsey and Rosie Cross. The project compliments the wide range of opportunities we have for music making at Teesdale School, which also includes Soul Band, Vocal Tees, Wind Band, District Orchestra and our production of Grease in March 2013. ”
“Any young person who is really passionate about learning traditional music, ” says Hinny, “we can find a space for them. ” The Music at the Heart of Teesdale project is part of the wider Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership supported by Barnard Castle Vision, Durham County Council and the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.
To find out more about the project, or if you have any information about the music, songs or dance of Teesdale, contact project co-ordinator Neil Diment on 01833 638263 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org