Upcoming workshops in and around Oxfordshire.

Broadside Ballads workshop, Sat 10th Feb

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Saturday 10th February
Time: 2-5pm
Venue: St James’ Church Hall, Beauchamp Lane

Join singers from Rising Voices Community Choir and three guest choirs at this launch workshop for the exciting new community singing project, "Songs of Life and Love". Local artist and choir leader Cat Kelly has been commissioned by the Bodleian Library to create six new arrangements of songs from their collection of Broadside Ballads, for singing with community choirs.

To browse through the Bodleian Library's collection of ballads, ranging from 16th-20th century, have a look at this website:

At this workshop you'll have a chance to learn the ballad 'Sing On', which will be the song for the opening ceremony at Folk Weekend 2018, as well as an old music hall style song from the 1800s, and a song called Flora and James - a more modern twist on the traditional 'girl follows her boyfriend to sea' type of ballad.

The choirs (and anyone who wishes to join them) will perform all the songs together in the Bodleian Library on Sunday 22nd April, as part of Folk Weekend: Oxford.

The workshop will take place in the church hall at St James' on Beauchamp Lane, Cowley. We recommend parking in Castle Car Park at the bottom of Beauchamp Lane, entrance from Crowell Road. There will be a few spaces by the church reserved for those with mobility needs. Tea and cakes will be provided. Workshop times: 2-5pm.

This workshop is offered FREE of charge with thanks to funding from the Bodleian Library. To reserve your space please go to 

Winter Carols at the Westgate

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You are cordially invited to join Folk Weekend: Oxford for Winter Carols by torchlight, outside the Westgate Library and shopping centre, 7.30pm on Tuesday 19th December.

You can download lyrics and music from the Folk Weekend website, and you can also listen to recordings of all the different parts. If you'd like some help learning the songs there will be a workshop in the Westgate Library from 6pm, where choir leader Cat Kelly will go through the parts to all the songs.

For the performance, we will sing the carols in the following order:

Hark Hark
Sans Day carol
Shepherds Rejoice
Jesus Christ the Apple Tree
While Shepherds Watched (Pentonville)
The Sussex carol
The King
The Uttoxeter Souling Song
We wish you a Merry Christmas

All ages and abilities welcome! This is part of a week's worth of events celebrating the re-opening of the Westgate Library, so do have a look at what else is going to be on.

Songs for All Seasons: Spring. Community Singing Workshop on Saturday 4 March

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Hearty and harmonious community singing with renowned choir leader Cat Kelly

Cat Kelly Spring Sing

Folk Arts Oxford are pleased to present the second of their new series of seasonal singing workshops. Inspirational singing leader Cat Kelly returns with a selection of cheery and uplifting songs to get you warmed up and ready for Spring.

Time: 09.30am - 12.30pm

Date: Saturday 4th March

Venue: Headington Baptist Church, 78 Old High Street, Headington, Oxford OX3 9HW

You can expect a high-energy workshop of glorious harmony, with all songs taught by ear so no need to read music, and everything broken down in to simple steps.

Cat is known locally for her inspirational singing workshops and choirs, and has well over a decade of experience teaching community choirs, as well as a lifetime of folk to draw from. See for more information.

  • Includes tea and coffee, and maybe even biscuits if Cat can persuade her mum to get baking...!
  • Please bring a bottle of water and a pencil; lyric sheets will be provided.

To book, click on the link below:


Join the National Youth Folk Ensemble 2017-18

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Join the National Youth Folk Ensemble 2017-18

Sign up to attend a free Sampler Day at a venue near you

National Youth Folk Ensemble


The National Youth Folk Ensemble is for talented young instrumentalists aged 14- 18 who are dedicated to developing as folk musicians and excited about collaborating with others who share their passion!

Ensemble members will participate in four weeks of intensive residential courses in different parts of England and receive high quality tuition and guidance from leading folk musicians. They will develop skills in performance, arrangement and leadership as well as give public performances.

Saturday 27 May

Colston Hall, BRISTOL

Sunday 28 May

Royal Northern College of Music,

Monday 29 May

Sage Gateshead, GATESHEAD

Tuesday 30 May

University of Sheffield, SHEFFIELD

Wednesday 31 May

Stamford Arts Centre, STAMFORD

Friday 2 June


Saturday 3 June

Cecil Sharp House, LONDON

Sunday 4 June



Sampler Days are an inspiring introduction to the Ensemble, including free creative workshops with Artistic Director Sam Sweeney, short individual auditions and a Q&A. To register for a Sampler Day, musicians should be aged between 14 and 18 on 1 September 2017, live in England, be able to play confidently on any instrument and have an interest in folk music. Young musicians who meet the criteria but don’t wish to audition for the Ensemble are welcome to take part in the workshops.

For more information visit the National Youth Folk Ensemble website

Build-a-Band Workshop for Improvers, Saturday 11 February 2017

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Build-a-Band workshop - improvers

Time: 09.30am - 12.30pm

Date: Saturday 11th February 2017

Venue: Headington Baptist Church, 78 Old High Street, Headington, Oxford OX3 9HW


A group workshop for folk musicians


Love playing folk music, and want the next step up? Come and meet like-minded people, have a go and learn some new skills along the way! We'll learn a couple of tunes, have fun with arrangements and musical games to make our playing sparkle. We'll also include tips and tricks you can take home to make your pieces your own.

Tutor Steph West has been running workshops for over ten years in a variety of settings and is here to make your morning go with a swing! Previously she's worked with Shooting Roots, EFDSS and Guildhall's CYM, as well as harp specialists the Clarsach Society.


Steph West, workshop leader

For improvers - ages 8 to 98! Suitable for Grades 3-5, or three or more years' experience of playing your instrument

  • Bring your instrument (please let us know if it's a transposing instrument like saxophone)
  • Bring a recording device if you have one
  • Music (score / ABC notation) will be provided at the end if the session
  • Bring a snack if you want one, tea and coffee available in the break

To book, click the link below:



From time to time groups or organisations hold one-off workshops that are open to everyone - details will be uploaded here as we have them.

Follow the links below for more detailed information on regularly occuring workshops and courses.


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