the Big Experiment/yr Arbrawf Mawr: 16-18 September 2016
The Big Experiment moves south this year, to the new conference centre at Trinity St David’s university campus.
Wales’ own ‘folk school’ is a wonderful way to spend an autumn weekend in a beautiful location, cram-packed with music, dance and song. Over the weekend there’ll be nearly 30 hours of tuition and activities including mixed-instrument groups, songs, clogging, taster workshops, masterclasses, concerts, performances and sessions. It’s a fantastic environment to learn a wealth of new repertoire, improve your technique, experiment with unfamiliar (and unusual) instruments, songs and dance styles, and make new friends at the same time. The evening events and afternoon workshops are open to the public.
Our team of tutors for 2016 is led by our old friend Stephen Rees, with Stacey Blythe and Robert Evans back by popular request and Sioned Webb coaxing great things from the Foundation group. We are thrilled to welcome a much-loved singer and new face to BEAM – Linda Griffiths (Plethyn) in the song strand. Huw Williams will be teaching clogging at intermediate to advanced level, with a separate clog class for beginners and refreshers led by Tudur Phillips.
More information on the tutors and their groups coming soon.
The morning groups are for adults and children from age 11 upwards. There is no special group for primary-age children this year, but there’s a new course just for them in December – Gwerin Iau. More details on that coming soon too.
These workshops are free to participants on The Big Experiment, and are open to the public too. The programme for this is still being finalised – there’ll be more news as soon as it’s ready. Confirmed so far:
• Meet the Crwth, with Robert Evans
• Singing with Arfon Gwilym
• ClogFit! with Tudur Phillips
• Ornamentation & expression with Stephen Rees
• Folk Dances of Lady Llanover
• Clogging for all – have a go!
• Accompanying folk songs
• Canu o’r Galon (Singing from the heart) with Linda Griffiths
• Renew familiar tunes with phrasing
• Storytelling workshops
• Flute and whistle workshop
Venue & prices
Again this year we’re aiming to keep prices low. There are single or (a few) twin study bedrooms at £130 per person, EARLY BIRD PRICE £110. If you’re in full-time education, the cost is only £60.
The accommodation is arranged in flats of 9 bedrooms plus a kitchen. Families or groups of friends are welcome to book their own flat together.
The Centre’s accommodation is basic and if you’d like a little more luxury, there are plenty of B&Bs, guest houses and hotels nearby. If you’re local, staying off-site or bringing your own caravan or campervan, it costs just £90 (EARLY BIRD £80) for a non-resident place. Campervans are welcome.
Prices include your tuition, accommodation and all meals.
“The sheer quality of the music and the chance to meet so many wonderful fellow musicians”
“Superb weekend, full on. Wonderful tutors, great planning, friendliness, welcome to non-Welsh-speakers”
“The evening sessions were fantastic. I learnt so much in classes but the big highlight was the lovely friendly atmosphere and the helpfulness of everyone”