It often comes as a shock to the English to learn that they do have a national musical heritage that rivals those of the Celtic countries, and what shocks them even more is the ability of this troupe, made up of youngsters aged between ten and eighteen years. The team was formed in 1990 to maintain the participation of youngsters through the critical teenage years. Its value has already been proven by the many 'retired' members who continue to have a strong involvement in the folk scene around the country.
From the original concept by and operation by Peter Mayes, through leadership for many years by Dave and Heather Leverton to the current leadership and under the tutlage of leading dancers and musicians, the team has developed performances in a wide variety of English folk traditions.
NYFTE performances are a mixture of traditional material complemented by modern items in keeping with the tradition. Social Dance, Clog and Stepping, Cotswold, Border and North-West Morris, Garland, Rapper and Longsword all feature. All the dance items are performed to excellent musical accompaniments; whilst musical items in their own right and songs are also vital aspects of our programme.
We are often asked how the team manages to practice since team members are drawn from all corners of the country. The secret is that each year NYFTE holds an intense week-long course at Easter, culminating in a complete display of our repertoire. The group then visits a number of folk festivals throughout the Spring and Summer, by invitation. You will often find the team practising in the morning around festival campsites as they brush up routines learned at Easter.
We welcome general enquiries about membership at any time during the year (see the section on joining). Potential members are invited to a special session, normally held in February, where they can demonstrate their skills and see whether they fit in with the team. There are practical limits to the size of the team, so in some years are are not able to accept all those who are interested.
Performer Members meet general expenses through a team subscription and there are also costs associated with each event for access, food, travel and keep. The team is determined that no one should be excluded due to costs and requests that families talk to a member of the pastoral team if difficulties do arise.
We would like to acknowledge the generous donations received from many clubs and individuals, and thank them for their continuing help. To contribute general support or donations please use the 'contact us' button on the left.
This is the current leaflet that the team distributes at performances.
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