The Shropshire Youth Folk Ensemble (SYFE) is now under the musical directorship of Ray Langton Music.
Following a significant publicity drive with eye-catching fliers provided through Shrewsbury Folk Festival, an initial Taster Day was held in April. Currently there are 12 members aged between 10 and 17-years-old.
There is a wide range of musical ability from Grade 2 through to Grade 8 with a mix of instruments including: violins, flutes, guitars, cello, double bass, saxophone and djembe.
An SYFE website has been established with a dedicated members area giving everyone access to all music and sound bites. This has proved immensely valuable in enabling the members to practice and be ready for performance.
This ensemble’s first performance in 2017 was at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury in July. This was a 20-minute performance set as part of the Shropshire Music Service Summer Gala Concert series. The second performance was on the Village Stage at Shrewsbury Folk Festival with a 45 minute set.
More thoughts and ideas are now emerging and they will be spending some time on working out further arrangements as well as learning some new pieces. Their next confirmed appearance is at The Shrewsbury Morris Christmas Ceilidh in December 2017 with other opportunities in the pipe line.
For each performance the programme includes a mix of traditional and recently written tunes and songs. Repertoire has been drawn from across England, Scotland and Wales and includes dance tunes, marches, jigs and sea shanties. As well as learning the pieces the ensemble has also worked on arrangements and thought about presentation and playing style.