NAVF 2020 – Hear it from the Workshop Leaders! - Span Arts
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NAVF 2020 – Hear it from the Workshop Leaders!

Over the festival weekend, we’ve organised a whole range of informative, fun and inspiring workshops for anyone looking to practice their vocals under the supervision of some incredible a cappella masters. The workshops will offer festival goers the opportunity to sing together with the acts and each other in a wide range of styles from Corsican, to Welsh harmony, Georgian to Looping plus many more!

Ahead of the festival we spoke with some of the workshop leaders to gain a little insight into what to expect when taking part in their sessions.

Caroline Bithell will be leading workshops in Corsican and Georgian, here she tells us about where her passion for singing came from along with her intentions for the workshops:

I was born and grew up in Wales so maybe it’s not surprising that singing has always been an important part of my life. I’ve always been fascinated by other places, cultures and languages, so realising that there was this thing called ethnomusicology (or musical anthropology, bringing together music and culture) was like meeting my destiny.

I got to live in Corsica with my three children while working on my PhD, which was about the revival of traditional music on the island. It was the happiest time of our lives.

We’ll be welcoming people of all ages and abilities to these fun and inspirational seminars – singing is a great way to boost community spirit and encourage social interaction between local people, both of which we love to do here at Span.

 Songs from Corsica and Georgia have that magic moment when unusual harmonies come together and make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end! I’ll be setting the songs in context by talking a little bit about what it means to sing these songs on their home ground – where, when and why are they sung? I hope this will help you feel that bit closer to the people who sing these songs as part of their everyday lives in other times and places.”

Caroline’s workshops are taking place on 15th February at The Queens Hall 10am and 1pm.

Llewelyn Jones began his vocal and music production journey 20 years ago. Releasing his first album in 2006, an EP in 2008 and is currently working on the Iroko live lopping and double bass project. He is a masterful MC or any situation performing a live looping and vocal set, solo and on-road as the duo ‘Iroko’. Llew will be leading a looping workshop on Saturday 15th February at 10am at Span Arts.

I grew up in Ireland until I was 12, I live in London and I miss Wales!

What I’m looking forward to most about my workshop is seeing people who have never created vocal looping productions and a whole new range of skills they can develop and enjoy no matter what their experience of music is! 

Through my workshop they will gain confidence, a new set of skills and a belly full of sounds made purely using the voice!”

West Wales born, bred and  a member of The Gosedd of Bards of the National Eisteddfod of Wales Margaret Daniels will be leading a Welsh Harmony workshop, she explains why she is excited to meet the participants and introduce them to new forms of Welsh song.

“My whole career has been spent in music and musical education. I have formed and conducted choirs overseas and in the UK.

I look forward  to introducing Welsh music of different styles and moods to an enthusiastic group which is ready to work hard to achieve a satisfactory result  and to have fun in the process.”

Margaret’s workshop Welsh Harmony will take place on 15th February at 10am at The Queens Hall.

Also on the line-up we have Irish Folk with Ye Vagabonds, Choral Activism lead by Kirsty Martin and Durga Ramakrishnan  a South Indian Carnatic vocalist.

With these workshops and the NAVF 2020 Concert, we’re hoping to demonstrate the immense diversity and capabilities of a cappella as both vocal practice and musical genre; providing plenty of inspiration to aspiring a cappella singers, and any of our audience members looking to expand their a cappella experiences.

All workshops are 2 hours long with a half an hour preview at the end. 

Tickets £12.

For all workshop information visit the NAVF website