Festival Workshops

David Griffiths & Mike Pryor- Choro

An  Introduction  to  Brazilian  Choro  Music This  workshop  will  introduce  participants  to  the  wonderful  rhythms  and  music  of  Brazil called  Choro.  A  basic  principle  of  choro  is  to  share  and  enjoy  the  experience  of  playing together.  We  will  explore  a  little  bit  of  its  history,  rhythm,  form  and  melody,  playing  through one  of  its  most  well  known  tunes.  It  will  include  practical  exercises,  clapping  and  playing for  the  accompanying  rhythms,  practicing  each  part  of  the  melody  before  putting  it  all together  to  play  the  complete  tune  at  the  end  of  the  workshop.  Chord  charts  and  parts  will be  supplied  in  advance. The  workshop  is  led  by  Dave  Griffiths  and  Mike  Pryor  who  have  been  playing  choro  for over  ten  years  with  their  band  “Brejeiro”.  In  2018  they  wrote  and  performed  a  musical based  on  the  history  and  development  of  choro  music  called  “The  Joy  of  Choro”.

Matt Norman- Grand BMG Orchestra

This is an opportunity for all the BMG instruments to play together. Matt will take you through two contrasting pieces which will lift the spirits of all plucked string players, recreating the feeling of playing with other instruments in a large ensemble. Music will be available in advance. Matt is an experienced conductor, mandolinist and workshop leader who in 2020 ran online orchestra sessions for the BMG Federation.

Although Matt is a multi-instrumentalist he would describe the Mandolin as his first love. He fell in to playing this unusual instrument purely by chance but after having lessons with Alison Stephens it became something of an obsession. Almost twenty years later he regularly performs both classical and English folk music having developed his own virtuosic style of interpreting traditional tunes. Matt is also a conductor and arranger. He leads various choirs and instrumental ensembles and was director of the Mandolin Orchestra of Devon for eight years. His relaxed and friendly teaching style puts participants quickly at ease, creating a great environment for honing technique and enjoying playing together.

Laura-Beth Salter- Bluegrass

Laura-Beth will teach a tune from the standard Bluegrass repertoire tune called Clinch Mountain Backstep along with traditional Bluegrass accompaniment. Music and tab are available for those who do not feel comfortable learning by ear, but there is no need to learn this in advance of the workshop. Laura-Beth will take you through the tune phrase by phrase, adding in some ornamentation along the way. All instruments welcome.