Ensembles give people who share an interest in a type of music or instrument a chance to make music together. Each of our ensembles has a clear purpose. Some meet regularly while others are created for a specific event. If people enjoy them, the latter may evolve into ongoing groups.
Below you can find out about the ensembles that are running at the moment. If you are interested in joining any contact Alison on firstname.lastname@example.org. Get in touch if the ensemble you want isn't there. We may be able to put you in touch with others who share your interests and needs, and get something underway.
All Blown Out
All Blown Out emerged from a one-off morning for instrumentalists in January 2016. At the moment it's a combination of flutes, clarinets and saxophones, but anyone who would like to join in would be welcome.
Picking up an instrument again after years without playing, or starting from scratch is hard work, but also great fun. Some people are happy to play on their own, but others want to make music with others. Several of All Blown Out's members had never played in a group before, while some are experienced players who enjoy playing in a mixed ability group.
The main focus is on developing the skills involved in playing with others – coping with keeping a part that's different from everyone else's, playing together, listening, balancing and blending. Each person's part is written for them, in the hopes that no one is either over-faced or bored. We play in all sorts of different styles.
Occasional performances provide a goal and a chance to share what we've been doing with friends and families. We played at Feltonbury this year, and we're looking forward to our Playawayday on August 21. We're working on pieces with an Italian flavour in the hopes of serenading the customers of the Pizza van one sunny evening in September.
All Blown Out meets on the first and third Wednesday evenings of the month, from 7.30 – 9.30pm at one of the member's houses. There is no charge.
Felton's recorder consort. Such has been the enthusiasm of adults returning to recorder playing that we now sport no fewer than 3 bass recorders. This group is for players of any or all sizes of recorder, happy to read music with one or two to a part and no conductor. Members sort out their own rehearsals from session to session.
Named in celebration of their first public outing at the Regency Ball in 2017, the Georgianas grew out of the Start the Recorder course in Autumn 2016.
Since then they have contributed to several events. Members of the Georgianas are currently involved with the Better Recorder Playing course.
A group of up to about 16 women who meet each summer to prepare for specific events singing madrigals in 2 or 3 parts. It's open to anyone who wants to join, but with only a few voices to a part singers need to have the experience or put in the practising time to feel confident.
We're in our third summer season, with lots of lovely songs charting the progress of love from optimism to acceptance of one's failure, via rejection and despair. All very Elizabethan and Jacobean. Loads of lovely music. We sang at Feltonbury on June 22, and are due to entertain the audience (weather permitting) at the Handlebards performance on August 23. On September 10 we're visiting three local churches to enjoy singing in their buildings – just the thing for our sort of music.
Ensembles for specific events
From time to time one-off opportunities for music-making occur, and Felton Music can facilitate these by advertising them, calling for volunteers and organising rehearsals.
Bow Brummel and the .......
The Regency Ball saw the first and perhaps the only appearance of a stringed instrument ensemble. Violins and a 'cello rubbed shoulders with guitars, mandolin, ukelele and a harp. The sound was glorious. Maybe some of those who played would like to work together on a more regular basis, and there could be others who'd like to join in.
Beyond the End of the Road
In 2016, Felton was fortunate to be selected as one of the communities involved in “Beyond the End of the Road”. This was to be a new musical for Northumberland, drawing on themes and anecdotes from several villages around the county. November Club, an arts company based in Morpeth, led the year long project. The performance came to Felton on June 11, 2017. One of the songs called for people, apparently just in the audience, to stand and sing. Eleven people from Felton and West Thirston spent three mornings learning the song, and then participated in the afternoon and evening shows. A couple of weeks later, seven of us took part in the performance at The Sage Gateshead.
Felton enjoys being included in the Handlebards tours. Handlebards provides bicycle- powered Shakespeare in the open air. In 2017 and 2018 Felton Music provided a group to perform Elizabethan music before and after the show. This provided those who enjoy playing recorders and singing madrigals an opportunity to share the music with others. HospiceCare North Northumberland organises the Felton event and others in the county.
Upcoming Ensemble Events
(click on the title for more information):