National Youth Folk Ensemble

The National Youth Folk Ensemble celebrates excellence in youth folk music, bringing together talented young folk musicians from across England to create and perform inspiring new arrangements of folk music and work with leading folk artists. 

Free Youth Folk Sampler Days, May–June 2019: book now!

Sampler Days

Explore English folk music, learn from inspiring tutors and play with other young musicians from your region. Take part in a day of creative folk music workshops and, if you want to, audition for the National Youth Folk Ensemble.

Every year we run free Youth Folk Sampler Days across England for 14-18 year old instrumentalists. Book now to avoid disappointment! 

Saturday 25 May – Wolverhampton – BOOK NOW

Sunday 26 May – Cambridge – BOOK NOW

Monday 27 May – Southampton – BOOK NOW

Tuesday 28 May – Liskeard – BOOK NOW

Thursday 30 May – London – BOOK NOW

Friday 31 May – Derby – BOOK NOW

Saturday 1 June – Durham – BOOK NOW

Sunday 2 June – Leeds – BOOK NOW

 Each Sampler Day features:
• music workshops with Sam Partridge, Rob Harbron and Miranda Rutter
• Q&A with Ensemble staff
• optional short audition, if you wish to apply for the National Youth Folk Ensemble

To register for a Sampler Day you will need to:
• be aged 14-18 on 1 September 2019
• live in England
• be able to play confidently on your chosen instrument 

Sampler Days are open to players of any instrument. No experience of folk music necessary. All playing and learning will be done by ear. 

With young musicians at the heart of the programme, the National Youth Folk Ensemble aims to nurture their talents, aspirations and creativity, enabling them to develop into the folk performers, educators and leaders of the future.

These talented musicians receive expert tuition and guidance from Sam Sweeney, Artistic Director 2016-19, and a team of leading folk artist-educators. The Ensemble’s Artistic Director from October 2019 will be Sam Partridge.

Find out more about joining the Ensemble



From time to time groups or organisations hold one-off workshops that are open to everyone - details will be uploaded here as we have them.

Follow the links below for more detailed information on regularly occuring workshops and courses.

Abingdon Morris at Oxford Castle Quarter.jpg

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