East Anglian Traditional Music Trust
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Past Traditional Music Days
Back to Traditional Music Day 2017
Traditional Music Day started in 2002, and information and photographs from 2004 onwards is archived here, in reverse date order.
A small but superb line-up of the best traditional musicians and singers is what we endeavour to find for you each year and 2016 was another fine vintage crop, with: Nancy Kerr, compelling singers Roisin White from Northern Ireland and Peta Webb and Ken Hall. On the musical side, the ever-popular Dartmoor Boys travelled east for a welcome return and the English Dulcimer Duo featuring folk legend Sue Harris made a rare appearance. There was also fine Irish music from Michael Sheehy bringing a flavour of Sliabh Luachra via high Suffolk.
In 2015 our guests were Kevin & Ellen Mitchell from Derry and Glasgow, Peter & Barbara Snape from Lancashire, young Irish musicians Darren Breslin, Orlaith & Brogan McAuliffe, Proper English with a rake of good English tunes for the ceilidh called by Barry Goodman, young melodeon player and singer Matt Quinn from Sussex and last but not least the inimitable Les Barker, poet, comic genius who has his audiences rolling in the aisles with laughter.
Click here to see more about the 2015 guests and event.
In 2014 we welcomed the legendary Irish melodeon player Jackie Daly, alongside singers Joe Aitken and Geordie Murison from north east Scotland. On the English side we had the biggest ceilidh band we could squeeze into the marquee - the ten-piece English String Band, plus Pete Coe & Alice Jones and a string of high quality supporting performers.
Click here to see more about the 2014 guests and event.
In 2013 we featured Irish and American music and song alongside music from across England, and of course, much from our own region. Our special guests included Martin Carthy, Jeff Warner (USA), Con O'Drisceoil & Jerry O' Reilly (Ireland), Debs Newbold and the Liam Robinson Band along with Norfolk's own Ray Hubbard.
Click here for more about the guests at the 2013 TMD.
Guests in 2012 included singer Thomas McCarthy and Reg Hall, John Carty, Liam Farrell and members of the Linane family from London playing real quality traditional Irish music; storyteller Patrick Ryan; songs and music from Shropshire from Bartram, Brookes & Weatherall and Northumbrian music from Andrew & Margaret Watchorn. It was the year that the newly refurbished Abbots' Hall House opened at the museum, and we held four regional presentations of music and song in the Conservatory. Reg Reader and grandson Tom Knight were at the centre of a Dulcimer drop-in in the newly refurbished Counting House.
Another wonderful selection of music, dance and singing on a beautiful warm day, and the most advance ticket sales we’ve had over the ten years ... what more could we wish for? And we weren’t the only ones to appreciate it, as the comments below show.
'A really special, lovely festival. Quite simply, it was the best time I've had for ages. So many lovely people to meet, wonderful music and dance, the most beautiful setting, too. What a fantastic job you are doing there.' Shirley Collins, guest artist.
'Thanks so much to you and the team for a wonderfully stupendous Traditional Music Day!!! I had a great time and am totally privileged to be a part of it!' Kerry Fletcher, stepdancer.
'Well done to you and all the volunteers who made it a very enjoyable day.' Peter and Kathleen Everson, Stowmarket.
'Better than ever- we all enjoyed ourselves immensely. I cannot think of anything that could have been done better.' Dave Ponting, Essex.
'Just to say thanks for a brilliant day of music and dance: so many good performers, both featured and in the general mix. I thought there was a really good balance and am only sorry I couldn't catch every single thing on the programme.' Ian Kearey, guest artist (Duck Soup).
“'Congratulations and thank you for a wonderful, very entertaining & informative day.' Nigel Rozier, Stowmarket councillor.
For further details about the 2011 Traditional Music Day, click here.
Click here for a short compilation video of the 2011 Traditional Music Day made by Uggy Brown.
Click here for Pat Pickles' article about her experiences (with misbehaving jig dolls!) at the 2011 Traditional Music Day.
The sun shone once again on Traditional Music Day as hundreds of singers, musicians, dancers and listeners gathered at the Museum of East Anglian Life for another feast of traditional entertainment. All the invited guests were on great form, and the concerts, talks and other indoor events were all well-attended. The weather meant that lots of informal, spontaneous sessions took place outside. It’s always very satisfying when performers that we have booked as special guests come back in ensuing years because they enjoyed it so much, and there were dozens of them this year, adding to the high quality of all the sessions and informal events. As ever we couldn’t put on this event without the support of many local performers, and for many people it is our local traditions that make this an event worth travelling many miles for.
'There was so much to do it was a hard to make choices, but everything we did was excellent.'
To read more about the 2010 artists, click here.
To see photographs from the 2010 event, you can click on the link below which will take you to a Facebook page run by John Halliday, who takes photographs for us at many of our events.
The theme for 2009 was 'mouth music' - music you can make with your mouth - with or without instruments - and included mouth-organs, jew’s harps, penny whistles (invented in Suffolk) and diddling (singing for dancing). Michael Wright gave a talk on the history of the Jew's Harp and brought several members of his family, all virtuosos on this tiny instrument. There was a workshop on using found materials to make instruments you can play with your mouth, which proved hugely popular with all ages, and we also welcomed a number of mouthorgan players including Martin Brinsford (Old Swan Band & Brass Monkey), Baz Parkes (All Blacked Up), Des Miller (Rig-a-Jig-Jig) and Simon Booth (Ran Tan Band). Jigjaw provided some intriguing sung accompaniments for stepdancers while the Wall Star Village band played north-country instrumental music for the ceilidh.
Late additions to the 2009 Traditional Music Day programme included several superb young fiddle-players: duo Matt Quinn and Tom Moore (Norfolk), Liz Giddings (Essex) and Dogan Mehmet from the Deerhunters.
The fabulous, innovative and quirky Museum of British Folklore touring exhibition made its first visit to Suffolk, to add to the attractions. The exhibition was housed in a caravan, and is the brainchild of Simon Costin, who is using it as a way of raising awareness of the need for a permanent national museum of folklore. For an idea of the exhibition, and a fascinating look at the customs and traditions of the UK, visit the website at www.museumofbritishfolklore.com/collect.html We also exhibited the the Romany Roots archival and contemporary photographs of Gypsy life and culture in Suffolk.
The seventh annual Traditional Music Day took place on Saturday 30th August 2008 at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket, Suffolk.The guest line-up included The Orchard Family, Mike Waterson & Lou Killen, Taffy Thomas, Simon Ritchie and ceilidh band The Watch. Special events under the 'Tall Tales' banner feature storytelling and song events, and we were also lucky to have Neil Wayne, an authority on the concertina, giving an illustrated talk on The History of the Concertina.
Somehow the 2008 event managed to take place on one of the best
days in the summer ...again! Despite the gorgeous weather, the inside events
proved a huge attraction and were nearly all full. It was great to see the
singing events so well attended, but with singers like Louis Killen and Mike
Waterson (pictured in Edgar’s Farmhouse) it’s hardly surprising. Taffy Thomas
and Mark Bartholomew brought the Museum’s Story Hut alive with their tales, as
part of the ‘Tall Tales’ theme this year, and Taffy said the space was a joy to
work in. The ceilidh was voted a resounding success, and lots of people took
part in the various activities and took advantage of the chance to try
stepdancing, playing an instrument or using a jig doll.
The event happened, as usual, in the wonderful setting of the Museum of East Anglian Life, which is a 70-acre haven of peace and wildlife right in the town centre of Stowmarket. The daytime events were followed, as usual, by a knock-out evening concert, featuring short spots from all the main guests a well as some surprise ones, plenty of local songs, music and stepdancing, all in the atmospheric medieval Tithe Barn.
Every year, we say ‘the best yet’ and it’s always true! The 2007 event was the busiest we have ever had, with nearly 1,000 people through the gate! The fine weather tempted many people to stay outside near the Barn and enjoy the continuous spectacle of musicians, singers and steppers. Meanwhile, the launch of our concertina hire scheme (part of the ‘Squeezing Together’ programme this year) attracted over 50 people to drop in and try out this instrument for the first time, and concerts and other drop in events around the site were busy and enjoyable occasions.
The guest line-up included John Kirkpatrick, Mary MacNamara, The Devil's Interval, Jim and Lynette Eldon and band Housewives' Choice plus the usual array of musicians, stepdancers and singers. Special events featured concertina players and participatory activities for adults and children. The evening concert was really phenomenal, rounded off by ‘The Devil’s Interval’ - three young singers who really wowed the audience!
Guests in 2006 included Alistair Anderson, The Copper Family, Dan Quinn and Will Duke, Ray Hubbard, The Thaxted Country Dance Band and special events centred around 'A Sweet Country Life' - a tribute to EATMT patron and traditional singer, Tony Harvey.
Below are some comments from a few of those attending the 2006 event: some newcomers, guests and ‘old hands’.
Maggie Moore, melodeon-player
In 2005 guests included a host of stepdancers from near and far, Yorkshire singers and raconteurs Will Noble and John Cocking, the Musical Roots singers and band, the Dartmoor Pixies, Tony Hall, Bayou Seco duo from Arizona and resident band and singers Old Hat Concert Party. Events included music sessions, concert spots, the biggest yet Stepdance Special, a singing session, trading stalls, instrument taster sessions, exhibitions, jig dolls, children's craft, dance and song activities and a separate evening concert. Special event was a Song Trail around the site, for joining in or just listening on a guided walk around the fields, woods and farm buildings.
In 2004, the gorgeous weather encouraged people to sit outside and make their own music, and the indoor events were all full of people and atmosphere! Special events included the Jig Doll exhibition and a chance to have a go yourself, using EATMT's unique collection of jig dolls. The country's largest collection of jig dolls (in private hands) were displayed as part of the Big Jig celebration. The Big Jig family events attracted a larger number of youngsters along, and we were very pleased that so many people brought a jig doll along on the day, so that the exhibition of about sixty jig dolls that we had put on was swelled by another thirty or so during the day.
See 2004 photographs
Paul Roberts (Guest musician - Black Spot Champions)
Shirley Harry (volunteer)
'Stowmarket Traditional Music Day had its usual array of fascinating guests but for me a particular highlight was the step dancing. This year Tom and Jean Orchard and their son Ashley entertained us with music, songs and step dancing. The word had obviously gone round that the Orchards were coming as various friends and relatives from other parts of East Anglia turned up and danced - Pamela Buckley from King's Lynn and Richard Davies of Cromer. John Howson quickly roped them in for the Step Dance Spectacular at which he even did a step himself!'
Sarah Crofts (dancer)
Martyn White (musician)
Back to Traditional Music Day 2017
What are the musical traditions of East Anglia?
Traditional Music Day Melodeons & More Workshops, classes & schools Community Projects
Traditional musicians Jig Dolls Dulcimers Stepdancing Vaughan Williams in the East
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