Bristol Folk Singers 10th birthday concert

Celebrate a decade of singing English folk song in joyful vocal harmony

On the 11th of July, the Bristol Folk Singers will be celebrating their tenth birthday, performing a concert of English Folk Songs sung in joyful, four part harmony.  The repertoire will cover a wide spectrum from tales of love to sea shanties, working songs to songs of rebellion.

Free with retiring collection. Cafe-bar open from 6.30pm. Concert at 7.30pm.

John Wesley’s New Room has welcomed Bristol Folk Singers on multiple occasions as part of our December Folk at the New Room concert. It is a pleasure to welcome them back for their birthday celebrations, and we hope that you can join us too.

Bristol Folk Singers ensemble in black and white facing camera, with conductor in foreground facing choir.

Matt Norman, the choir’s director said “When I started the group I couldn’t have imagined that it would have grown in to such a wonderful community of singers.  We’re really looking forward to sharing some of our favourite songs from the last ten years.”

When Matt moved to Bristol in 2014 he was keen to start a community choir having run several in his native Devon.  The challenge he met was that there were already a huge number of groups in the city.  He decided to start a choir that specialised specifically in singing English folk songs; combining his loves of his native traditions and harmony singing.  He started with a six week project to teach English folk carols which proved popular and the participants were keen to continue singing together and that was how the choir was born. The Christmas concert is still a highlight of the year with many people in Horfield, where the choir meets, considering it the start of the festive season.  Traditional carols are sung to a seated audience in a local hall before the singers go on to perform in various pubs to the delight and surprise of the customers.  At other times of year the choir has sung at Priddy, Chippenham and Bristol Folk festivals as well as many other events.

The Folk Singers’ performances are always peppered by tales from their director about the intriguing history of the songs.  He said “The characters who originally sang these folk songs and the people who collected them fascinate me.  I often tell audiences ‘I could talk about this all evening’ and it’s genuinely true.  I resist the temptation but always give a little information about each song and the audience and singers alike find it brings the songs alive and gives them a greater context.  I am always particularly careful to mention the name of the singer from whom the song was collected, it gives a connection to the past which I think people find very powerful.”

Find out more about Bristol Folk Singers:

John Wesley's New Room

John Wesley’s New Room is a heritage site in the heart of Bristol. It houses a museum, library, café, events and hire space. It is home to the original 18th century chapel that started the Methodist movement.

It also houses an award-winning Café and a vast reference Library. John Wesley’s New Room hosts a range of art, music and family events and is also available to hire.

Explore the Museum of John & Charles Wesley’s life and work in Bristol.

John Wesley’s New Room is the oldest Methodist building in the world, located right in the heart of Bristol city centre. Founded in 1739 by John Wesley, the New Room became the cradle of the worldwide Methodist movement.

This is the place that completes the story of Bristol. This is the Room that changed the World.

It is a place where everyone is welcome to explore, step back, take time, reconnect and recharge.

Learn more