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.
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.
The Ensemble’s Artistic Director from October 2019 will be Sam Partridge, working with a team of leading folk artist-educators. The inaugural Artistic Director (2016–2019) was Sam Sweeney.
The National Youth Folk Ensemble:
a set that was startling in its virtuosity, its variety and the confidence with which these teenage performers handled themselves on stage
Folk Radio UK, September 2019
Longer-term development plans (requiring additional funding) include:
With the Ensemble we aim to increase opportunities for young people and audiences to discover folk music and raise the profile of folk music in England through high quality performance and learning experiences.
Longer term, we aim to enable progression from earliest grassroots activity in schools and community settings to professional careers and lifelong engagement with folk music.
The National Youth Folk Ensemble is an English Folk Dance and Song Society programme, funded by Arts Council England. Additional funding from the Garfield Weston Foundation.