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Sherborne Folk Band

Discover the fun of playing folk music with other people in monthly workshops- usually on the third Sunday of each month, and 8 times per year.  See exact dates on Workshops page.

Learn tunes and chords, experiment with arrangements and enjoy an informal performance.  Our workshop leader will help you build confidence to learn and play new tunes by ear.

Suitable for all levels and all instruments. Notation and audio supplied. Everyone is welcome!  If you want recording devices, these are allowed.

Workshop Dates for 2024

Sunday 22nd September

Sunday 20th October with guest tutor - Colin Thompson

Sunday 17th November

Workshop Dates for 2025

Sunday 19th January

Sunday 16th February

Sunday 16th March

Sunday 27th April

Sunday 18th May

1:30 - 4:30 pm The Digby Memorial Hall, Digby Road, Sherborne, DT9 3NL. On-street parking available.

Discounts available for advance online ticket purchases, with more money off the longer the series of workshops you book. Entry price includes tea, coffee, squash and homemade cake!

Book online for the workshops.

Performances 2024

Sunday 20th October, 10.00-10.50am

Sherborne Market in the Bandstand, Pageant Gardens

We hope to see you there.

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Sherborne Folk Band Tutors

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SFB organiser and workshop Leader

Julia Catovsky

Julia is a local musician who plays in the band of a local morris side, Treacle Eater Clog, and has enjoyed playing in folk music sessions and with informal groups for about 25 years. Julia founded the Sherborne Folk Band workshops in 2017 for fun and the enjoyment of learning and playing tunes with others.

Each session, Julia or one of the guest tutors will teach at least one new tune with a harmony and chords and experiment with arranging the tune. More than anything, the aim of the workshops is to have fun and have a great time playing music together.  

All levels of players welcome but you do need to know how to play the notes on your instrument. The workshop is open to acoustic instruments and the tunes are taught by ear, but notation and audio is supplied for those who would like it. Please note that loud acoustic instruments will need to be muted for the workshops in order to balance the volume of all the instruments.

See resources section for media.

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Colin Thompson

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Ben Moss

Sherborne Folk Band Workshop Tutor

Sunday 21st January 2024

Ben is a well-established musician on the English ceilidh scene, playing regularly with The Diatonics, Ceilidh Tree, Ceilidh Factor and CeiliMax.

An accomplished player on both the fiddle and the melodeon, he brings his deep appreciation of the rhythm and flow of English dance (Morris and social) to all of his playing.

Since 2018 he has also performed regularly with the left-wing firebrand and singer/songwriter Grace Petrie, bringing his energy and passion to her timely, timeless music.

As a teacher Ben has led courses for the violin and melodeon including adult and youth courses at the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) in Camden and further afield.

Ben is also a performer and a teacher of traditional English dance.

Ben Moss is a folk singer rooted firmly in the 21st century. He accompanies himself on the violin, the melodeon and the guitar, and intersperses his songs with tune sets, traditional and original, influenced by his long association with English dance forms and their corresponding music.

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Alastair Simpson
(Photo: Dorset Morri’arty)

Sherborne Folk Band Workshop Tutor

Sunday 24th March 2024

A multi talented instrumentalist and singer, Alastair is is involved with and organises many Folk events in Dorset. His Twitter profile has described him as ‘librarian, organ, trombone, hurdy-gurdy, guitar, tin whistle, conductor, composer, folk & choral singer, actor, bellringer, knitter, dog-walker’.

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Thomas Gold

Sherborne Folk Band Workshop Tutor

Sunday 21st April 2024

Piano, Fiddle & Arrangements

After studying at the Royal Academy of Music and The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he was awarded a PhD in composition from Kings College London. His large scale compositions have been performed by groups such as Lontano, BBC singers and the London Sinfonietta at prestigious venues including the Wigmore Hall and the Aldeburgh Festival. His award-winning work 'Terrains' was broadcast on the BBC Young Musician of the Year and is published by the Guildhall School of Music.

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Barry Goodman

Sherborne Folk Band Workshop Tutor

Sunday 19th May 2024

Barry Goodman is a singer, musician, songwriter, caller and folk arts educator. Based in Hertfordshire, Barry has worked at most of the major folk festivals in the country and has performed at folk clubs, concerts, arts festivals, village halls, churches, and even on a boat, both solo and with the duo "Life and Times".

Once described as a "Folk Polymath", Barry's wide range of talents and skills can be explored in his website

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Jon Dyer

Jon is an experienced musician and performer. Jon is a multi-instrumentalist involved with a range of bands and projects. He is the flautist in the folk band Gadarene and plays in a duo with Hannah Cumming. Jon also calls and plays for ceilidhs.

Jon graduated from Falmouth University in 2013 with a BA Hons in Music Performance and now works with WREN music, leading workshops and teaching.


Matt Tarling

Matt began learning the violin at the age of 10. He was classically taught and was accepted into The Purcell School of Music, Middlesex. Thanks to a varying taste in music and being a fan of great improvisers like Stephane Grappelli and Jimi Hendrix, Matt decided to take a detour from his classical education! After falling in love with Irish Traditional fiddle, Matt decided to go and live in Co. Clare, Ireland to better understand about how playing the fiddle worked. Following this Matt then moved to Paris, in 1995 where he started working as a professional musician. He toured throughout Europe with a variety of bands for the next 7 years.

Matt works as a recording artist from home via the internet, teaches the violin by learning by ear and performs regularly with several different acts and also organises and plays in events including Ceilidh dances.

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On the right is a clip from Sherborne Festive Shopping Day 2021 and this is our set of tunes 'The Cure of all Grief' and 'Oats & Beans'

We have also uploaded some videos to our Facebook group which you are welcome to join.

You can listen to all our tunes on our Soundcloud page and the sheet music for all of them is here.

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