Soundpost Sing2020 Online


10 Oct 2020

Soundpost SING2020 – ONLINE!!

Having had to postpone our physical weekend this year we are running an online SING2020 on Saturday 10th so that nobody will miss out on the loveliness of a Soundpost Weekend. We will have artists talking about their relationship with singing, how they create harmonies and how they arrange their songs for performance and we will have a specialist tutor taking us all through our singing paces. There will be ‘coffee breaks’ after each workshop, where we can come together, like we do in Dungworth Village Hall, to talk through what we have learned and experienced and there will be a Q&A session with all the tutors at the end of the day. In the evening, in place of the ‘Tutors Concert’, we will have a singaround with short sets from each tutor and then over to the day’s participants to raise their voices.

We really hope you will be able to join us for something quite new, different and exciting. We look forward to seeing you there!


Kate Thompson and Harriet Johnson

10 – 11 am plus coffee break chat from 11.15 to 11.45 am. Price £10

A Practical Exploration of Your Voice

You will learn exercises and tricks that will help you get the very best out of your voice and overcome any niggles and frustrations you might have been facing with your voice. We will address issues such as increasing your range, projection, voice quality and breathing as well as any others you would like to bring up on the day.

Nancy Kerr

12 – 1 pm plus coffee break chat from 1.15 to 1.45. Price £10

Ornamentation for everyone

Whether you’re an experienced singer or new to it all, Nancy will take you through those subtle embellishments that can make a performance extra special, with demonstrations, examples from some of the best technicians in the business, and plenty of chances to try the techniques yourself.

Jess Arrowsmith

3 – 4 pm plus coffee break chat from 4.15 to 4.45. Price £10

Sheffield Carols

We will work through 2 Sheffield Carols in parts to explore beautiful harmony.

At the end of this workshop there will be the (entirely optional) chance to use the available audio tracks to record (audio only or video) yourself to add to our very own SING2020 Online Community Choir.

Fay Hield, Kate Thompson, Nancy Kerr and Jess Arrowsmith

5 – 6 pm. Price £10

Q & A Session

Our tutors will discuss how to make a song your own from finding material to adjusting tunes to suit your voice, from ways of giving meaning to a story to performance technique. There will then be a chance to put your question to them.

Fay Hield, Nancy Kerr, Jess Arrowsmith and YOU!

8 – 10 pm. Price £10

Tutors Concert and Singaround

The finale to our day. Each of the tutors will give us a short set and then it’s your turn (if you want to!) to entertain us with a song you’d like to sing.

Nancy Kerr

English violinist, singer and songwriter Nancy Kerr is one of the most celebrated folk musicians of her generation, and has to date won 6 Folk Awards from BBC Radio 2: 2015 FOLK SINGER OF THE YEAR • HORIZON AWARD 2000 • BEST DUO 2003 and again in 2011 with partner James Fagan • BEST GROUP 2014 with The Full English • BEST ALBUM 2014 with The Full English. Nominated Best Traditional Song 2003 for Dance to Your Daddy and Best Original Song 2011 for Queen of Waters and 2017 for Fragile Water. Winner Best Album (Spiral earth 2011) for Twice Reflected Sun. She was the recipient of the 2015 Alistair Hullett Award for Songs of Social Justice.

Nancy’s 2016 album Instar extended themes from 2014’s BBC-nominated Sweet Visitor, to examine the relationship between folk song and the environment, and led to collaborations with contemporary nature writers Rob Cowen (Common Ground) and Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk) as part of her curation at Kings Place, London. A member of the EFDSS-originated band The Full English, Nancy has also composed and performed as part of commissions The Radio Ballads (BBC Radio 2), The Elizabethan Session, Sweet Liberties (which had its debut performance in the Houses of Parliament) and Shake the Chains. Well-known for her mastery of “fiddlesinging”, she performs solo and in her mulit-award-winning duo with James Fagan as well as with Melrose Quartet and Martin Simpson and Andy Cutting among many other ensembles. She played the part of The Mother in the tremendously popular 2018 staging of Peter Bellamy’s folk opera The Transports. In 2019 she was commissioned to create ten new compositions for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust which were performed at Stratford Upon Avon Poetry Festival with actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company. Nancy is a principal lecturer at Leeds College of Music and also teaches on the BMus in folk and traditional music at Newcastle University, at Sheffield University and at workshops nationally and internationally.

“Nancy Kerr has to be one of the finest songwriters in English folk.” Songlines

“Nancy Kerr soars both as a singer and a songwriter.” FRoots

“Folk’s Poet Laureate.” FRUK

“Instar' is quite simply a masterpiece.” Fatea

Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson is a sought after voice specialist who delivers voice, singing and music education workshops in an exciting variety of contexts. She has recently completed postgraduate research under the tutelage of voice specialists Jenevora Williams and Declan Costello, focussing on folk singers and their approaches to singing. She is also the artistic director of The University of Sheffield Singers’ Society’s small ensembles.

Alongside teaching, Kate has taken on a number of roles within music education including three fantastic years as General Manager of Soundpost. She is currently Learning and Participation Producer at Music in the Round, overseeing their work across the country which reaches over 17,000 people a year.

Harriet Johnson

Harriet Johnson, is a voice specialist and music educator who works extensively with singers, choral societies and educators as a prime advocate of vocal health and safe singing. Since graduating from The University of Sheffield, she has held many teaching and lecturing posts in schools and colleges. She is a regular speaker at conferences and workshops, delivering insightful talks on many aspects of music education, singing and vocal health. Harriet conducts a number of choirs and is a much sought after director for music projects up and down the country. As a choral director she has worked on a number of exciting projects for TV and Radio. Harriet is an eternal student, her most recent post-graduate research focused on voice science in the choral setting. She is now studying Speech and Language Therapy in order to further her clinical knowledge of voice.

Jess Arrowsmith

Jess Arrowsmith has a passion for social singing and a wealth of experience in both teaching and performance. She specialises in helping singers or would be singers build confidence, improve their technique and unblock barriers. Her current musical CV includes Melrose Quartet, Arrowsmith:Robb Trio and duo and solo work.

Fay Hield

Fay Hield is a folk singer and an academic at the University of Sheffield, teaching ethnomusicology and music management. Her research includes looking at the English folk scene to discover how it builds a sense of community, how artists play with traditional materials and how audiences receive them. This work inspired the formation of Soundpost – a safe space to introduce people to the weird and wonderful folk scene and a place for singers and musicians to explore and develop how we do what we do. Alongside the research, Fay tours and records with various projects, including The Full English and her own band, The Hurricane Party.

For more information, contact jenna@soundpost.org.uk.