National Youth Folklore Troupe of England

by National Youth Folklore Troupe of England

NYFTE (pronounced ‘nifty’) has been inspiring young people in our traditions of English music, song and dance since 1990. For team members, we offer the friendship of young people sharing an interest in folk; the opportunity to learn new skills and develop existing ones; the chance to learn from respected tutors and peers; development of teamwork and leadership skills, building confidence in abilities and providing the opportunity to perform at festivals and in concerts.

NYFTE members are aged 10-18 and come from all over the country.



NYFTE performers on this recording Dylan Cairns-Howarth, Chris Campbell, Jenny Cope, David Dailly, Rhianwen & Sioned Davies, Jenny Digby, Flora Dodd, Stuart Duncan, India Foster, Isabel Francis, Harriet & Penny Kempson, Sam Mabbett, Maria Marshall, Aoife McAdam, Summer Morris, Matthew Nikel, Kynan & Troi Parker-Roth, Mark Pinder, Molly Pipe, Richard Portlock, Hannah & Sophia Riley, Helen Rogers, William Sartin, Eliza Schwausch, Eleanor Sharp, Mark Stearn, Elizabeth Wilde & John Cooper - Wilde. Artistic advisors Jess Arrowsmith, Dave Byett, Vicky Cooper, Rob Harbron, Dave & Heather Leverton, Chris Nikel. For further information visit www:nyfte.org.uk or contact: Dave Leverton, Director. Heather Leverton, Secretary Manor Farm Cottage, Chewton Keynsham, Bristol BS31 2SU Telephone 0117 9866316. david.leverton2@btinternet.com

1 SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL 
is from the Thompson collection, 1778. Rob Harbron suggested it for The Buttercross, a dance composed by Colin Hume for the (now defunct) Hampshire dance display team Woodfidley and inspired by the Buttercross in Winchester. 

2 OLD MOTHER OXFORD 
from Headington, followed by LAURA & ENRICO collected from the manuscripts of Thomas Hardy (1840-1928). In addition to being an architect, writing novels and poetry, Hardy was a well known fiddler for dances in Dorset. Enrico is often known as Jacob. 

3 SOUTH AUSTRALIA 
Our shanty crew invite you to join them en route to South Australia(also known as Rolling King). According to Stan Hugill’s Shanties of the Seven Seas this was probably a pump shanty – some heaving on the pump handles whilst others hauled at the bell ropes. 

4 TWO SISTERS 
is the well known tune for Upton on Severn Stick Dance. We recently revisited Dave Jones’ notes for the dance which was originally for eight but apparently they seldom had enough dancers – we do! 

5 BATTERED HAKE 
learnt from the playing of The Gloworms is used for Flowers of Tockington, a North West style dance loosely based on Bow & Bellows, a social dance composed by Jack Brown from Salisbury. 

6 THOUSANDS OR MORE 
is a well known traditional song introduced to the team by Jess Arrowsmith of Hekety, Crucible and Melrose Quartet. 

7 SERPENTINA OCH KONFETTI 
(from Sweden via Swindon!) and STONEY STEPS are used for two dances, Rhianwen’s New Dance and True Friends, created by one of our current team members. They are followed by Dave Jolly’s MODEL T HORNPIPE, which we use for Vinnies Hornpipe, a popular ceilidh dance collected from Dave Hunt in October 2000. We believe the dance was written by Eddie Upton. 

8 WHITE COCKADE / THE RECRUITING OFFICER’S MARCH 
was learnt from the recordings of Garry Blakely a well known musician and singer. 

9 SEA SONGS SET 
produced by Dave Byett and the team after Vaughan Williams’ arrangement, comprises Princess Royal, Admiral Benbow, Portsmouth and Jack’s the Lad. 

10 LASS OF RICHMOND HILL 
is the tune for a dance of the same name from the modern Raglan morris tradition. 

11 BILLY RILEY 
a halyard shanty made to the rhythm of fast pulling and quick breathing. A ‘drogher’ was a ship involved in the West Indies sugar trade. 

12 THE FRENCH DETECTIVE 
composed by Richard Payne of the ceilidh band ‘This Way Up’ is used for Jane’s Dance (also known as No Spotty Dogs since the hand movements must be opposite to the feet unlike the puppet in Watch with Mother). It was created by the team in 2003 under the guidance of Jane Altman, who was a team mum at the time, and is danced in the style of Martha Rhoden’s Tuppenny Dish. 

13 TOM HARK and GLOUCESTERSHIRE HORNPIPE 
accompany our traditional final dance Crown & Sausage - a Border Morris style dance created by Carlisle Morris and taught to us in November 2000 by Martyn Harvey at the team’s 10th Anniversary Celebrations. 
SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
is from the Thompson collection
OLD MOTHER OXFORD
from Headington
Sample not available
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Our shanty crew invite you to join them en route to South Australia(also known as Rolling King). According to Stan Hugill’s Shanties of the Seven Seas this was probably a pump shanty – some heaving on the pump handles whilst others hauled at the bell ropes.
Sample not available
TWO SISTERS
is the well known tune for Upton on Severn Stick Dance. We recently revisited Dave Jones’ notes for the dance which was originally for eight but apparently they seldom had enough dancers – we do!
Sample not available
BATTERED HAKE
learnt from the playing of The Gloworms is used for Flowers of Tockington
THOUSANDS OR MORE
is a well known traditional song introduced to the team by Jess Arrowsmith of Hekety
Sample not available
SERPENTINA OCH KONFETTI
(from Sweden via Swindon!) and STONEY STEPS are used for two dances
Sample not available
WHITE COCKADE / THE RECRUITING OFFICER’S MARCH
was learnt from the recordings of Garry Blakely a well known musician and singer.
Sample not available
SEA SONGS SET
produced by Dave Byett and the team after Vaughan Williams’ arrangement
Sample not available
LASS OF RICHMOND HILL
is the tune for a dance of the same name from the modern Raglan morris tradition.
Sample not available
BILLY RILEY
a halyard shanty made to the rhythm of fast pulling and quick breathing. A ‘drogher’ was a ship involved in the West Indies sugar trade.
THE FRENCH DETECTIVE
composed by Richard Payne of the ceilidh band ‘This Way Up’ is used for Jane’s Dance (also known as No Spotty Dogs since the hand movements must be opposite to the feet unlike the puppet in Watch with Mother). It was created by the team in 2003 under the guidance of Jane Altman
Sample not available
TOM HARK and GLOUCESTERSHIRE HORNPIPE
accompany our traditional final dance Crown & Sausage - a Border Morris style dance created by Carlisle Morris and taught to us in November 2000 by Martyn Harvey at the team’s 10th Anniversary Celebrations.
Sample not available

Folk Northwest

Derek Gifford

The National Youth Folklore Troupe of England (or 'Nifty' - which is easier to say and remember!) is a group of young people aged between ten and eighteen who share an interest in traditional music, song and dance. The organisation was originally formed in 1990 to (and I quote) 'foster and maintain the participation of youngsters through the critical teenage years and to promote the traditions of English music, song and dance to them.'

This year, 2014, there are twenty of them in the troupe and Doug Bailey has very kindly freely given his time and technical know-how to record them. This, their first CD, was released at this year's Chippenham Folk Festival to wide acclaim.

The troupe begin with a lively tune called School For Scandal from the Thompson collection and this sets the high standard of musicianship throughout this recording. I particularly enjoyed the performance of the Sea Songs Set based on Vaughan Williams' arrangement and the end track Tom Hark and Gloucestershire Hornpipe which has some intricate instrumental arrangements in it.

There are also a number of songs on this album the first of which is the well known pumping shanty South Australia. This is led by one of the older lads by the sound of it and on hearing this performance I think he'll develop into a very competent shanty singer. Later on in the album they also tackle Billy Riley, a difficult shanty to get right in terms of timing, but they do a very good job of it.

A version of Bright Phoebus is titled as Thousands or More on this CD and is another well performed song.

The whole production fairly rattles along with some excellent playing and singing and full marks to Doug Bailey for getting such a good balance considering the number of participants. It's a shame that the dancing couldn't be portrayed on an audio disc too! May I suggest that they do a video recording at some point in the future?

On listening to this CD I have to say that we 'oldies' should have no qualms about the future of English traditional music. Looking back at the quote in the first paragraph of this review I'm convinced that the aims have been achieved very successfully by the artistic directors led by Dave Leverton. This is a super tribute to the efforts of our future folk enthusiasts. Well done!

Folk Monthly

Keith Deighton

NYFTE (pronounced "Nifty") is the less formal sounding name of the above, a group of young people between the ages of 10 18 who are interested in developing skills in traditional English music, song and dance. It has been in operation since 1990 and very successful it has been in giving many youngsters the opportunities to make friends, learn skills and develop confidence to perform in front of audiences at festivals and concerts. The group has benefited from the experience of many respected tutors who have given their time with the aim of ensuring a safe future for English traditional music.

I feel confident that the folk music I love is safe on the evidence of this CD. It is the group's first album and it was launched at the 2014 Chippenham Festival. Profits from sales will be ploughed back into the organisation to further its invaluable work, so not only is it a good financial investment, the album is enjoyable too!

The material consists of dance tunes interspersed with songs, all well known and generally happy sounding. There is a fine

rendition of Thousands or More, introduced to the group by Jess Arrowsmith. The harmonies are well thought out, as is the case with two shanties, South Australia and Billy Riley, which give great opportunity for joining in. I particularly like White Cockade, which is twinned with The Recruiting Officer's March". Sung as a male/female dialogue it really seems to capture the sentiments.

The dance tunes vary in age considerably, so there is a truly eclectic mix. They begin with School for Scandal, from the Thompson collection of 1778, moving on to Old Mother Oxford and Laura & Enrico from the manuscripts of Thomas Hardy; a sea songs set; and The French Detective, composed by Richard Payne of the ceilidh band "This Way Up".

This CD has been thoughtfully made, with informative yet concise sleeve notes. I hope it does well.

Folk News Kernow

CWR

This is a wide selection of tunes, dances, and songs performed by 32 members aged 10 to 18.No need to feel superior, these 13 tracks are proudly and excellently presented; most are tunes with some strong singing as well. Everything is at 100% effort, and clearly recorded by the famous Doug Bailey (who is giving his services). Buy with confidence, especially if you

are just getting into our wonderful world of folk.

The Living Tradition

Paul Burgess

Usually an album containing performances from a large group of 10 to 18 year olds can be summed up with friendly words as providing a worthwhile memento for those people buying it at one of their concerts. Not this one. It's far better than that   in fact it's the other way round: hopefully people buying this excellent CD will be motivated to go and search out one of their impressive live performances.

This is a vital, exuberant and entertaining programme performed with a skill and instrumental dexterity which outshines many of their famous elders. There is a wide variety of material, from social dances, ritual dances, accompanied songs and choral singing, neatly arranged and nicely varied. Presumably the vocal/massed choral items were recorded elsewhere, but I have a marvellous mental image of all 32 of them cramming into the WildGoose studio!

Congratulations to EFDSS gold badge recipient Dave Leverson who has been guiding them for over 20 years   the reasons for his reward are amply shown here. Make sure you don't miss this one.

www.nyfte.org.uk

Mardles

David Dolby

It is heartwarming to realise that the younger generation is taking an active interest in our "folk" traditions, and here is an album to prove it.

The National Youth Folklore Troupe of England (NFYTE) has recorded a nifty and highly accomplished collection of songs and dance tunes produced by Doug Bailey of Wildgoose Records. He gave freely of both his and studio time, and it's obvious the group have been helped skilfully by very knowledgeable people. What these youngsters (none over 18) have done is to play a wide variety of tunes, old and new, that are used for their dances Cotswold, Border, Northwest, social, and so on   using mainly traditional instruments in differing combinations. The quality of musicianship is very high.

There are a couple of niggles. There is sometimes the danger a tune may be swamped as the harmonies kick in, as in the first track, which is a driving version of School for Scandal found in the Thompson collection of 1778, and what sounds like a Melstock Band style of Old Mother Oxford / Laura / Enrico; and the vocal tracks may come as a bit of a surprise with young voices singing shanties and other mature songs. But push these aside and we have an entertaining disc really worth repeated listening.

In particular I liked Two Sisters, the tune commonly used for the current version of the Upton on Severn stick dance. Being played by melodeon and fiddle it stood out in its unashamed simplicity. Battered Hake used a gradual build up of instruments to good effect, and the Serpentiner Och Konfetti / Stoney Steps / Model T Hornpipe medley utilised change of key and tempo extremely well.

This is a well researched, well produced, well performed and informative package that deserves success. It is available from Proper Music Distribution and Wildgoose. Profits are to be ploughed back into NFYTE. Support the young.

September, 2014.

EDS

Gareth Kiddier

NYFTE is a bunch of young people, aged 10 to 18, with an interest in folk music and dance, who get together at the major festivals and beyond. Driven by a very competent management team, and some very committed parents, NYFTE far exceeds expectations musically and from a performance viewpoint.

This recording of tunes and songs is so far above the average for similar 'school' type recordings. The arrangements and general musicality are excellent, with very few issues with tuning or intonation. It makes you wonder how many of these performers will be professional musicians in ten years' time. Or possibly accountants with a life - long love of folk music. Both are a valid result of the immersion that NYFTE offers.  There are some interesting tunes and some good songs, well described in the notes, and well played. Many of the tunes are used by the troupe for their take on ritual dance, performed so well at festivals.

You can hear elements of contemporary players such as Spiers and Boden in much of the playing, which is great. I can't pick out particular tracks or musicians: that's not the point of this recording. This is a celebration of nearly twenty-five years of NYFTE � hard work by musicians, dancers, singers, parents and the NYFTE guiding spirits. This CD will support the work of the troupe, which is why you should buy one for your collection. With the chance of saying, in ten years' time, 'I heard this musician first on here.'

R2

Dai Jeffries

The National Youth Folklore Troupe Of England is about to celebrate twenty five years of helping ten to eighteenyear olds participate in traditional music, dance and song. Nyfte is actually their first record, launched at Chippenham Festival earlier this year.

There are thirty two members of the troupe on this album and there are one or two familiar surnames among the cast but this is very much an ensemble work. The majority of the tracks are dance sets and there are some nice touches: 'Sea Song Set' borrows from Vaughan Williams and is a good showcase for a big band, and as the members come from all over the country so do their musical borrowings.

I'm pretty sure that the best way to enjoy NYFTE is in a live setting they can put out as many dancers as they need covering the whole range of traditions. The songs are of lesser importance. Initially I wasn't keen on the choral style of 'Thousands Or More' but the high harmonies are awesome and the unidentified female singer on 'White Cockade' has a great future ahead of her. The album makes a good souvenir and the recording is a model of clarity but a vital dimension is missing a DVD next time?

Folk London

Ivan North

NYFTE is the National Youth Folklore Troupe of England, a group of young people from all over the country who share an interest in traditional music, song and dance. The age range is between ten and eighteen years and was it formed in 1990.

NYFTE performances are a mixture of all kinds of folk dance from morris to stepping and country dancing. Each year NYFTE holds a variety of training events and then they visit a number of folk festivals by invitation. One of their favourites' is Chippenham and this; their first CD was launched at this year's festival. They of course provide their own music and the musicians and singers are featured here. There are thirty or so perfomers on this album, too numerous to mention. The dominating instruments are whistle (or recorder),

fiddle and melodeon. (None are individually credited). On several tracks the troupe become singers and give vent to chorus songs and shanties. Being dance oriented most of the instrumentals stem from the morris or ceilidh dances. Examples are Old Mother Oxford, Two Sisters (the tune used for Upton on Severn Stick Dance) and The Lass of Richmond Hill (for the Raglan tradition). The Sea Song Set starts with The Princess Royal, before it ends with the mandatory Sailor's Hornpipe. Serpentina Och Konfetti and Stoney Steps are used for folk dances. All these tracks build up nicely and are well presented.

The songs seem to have less arrangement. Thousands or More has a full on chorale and sounds as if it was recorded in a large hall. In the shanties South Australia and Billy Riley the massed ranks almost overwhelm the solo singer!

The CD is well recorded and is a credit to the performers and artistic advisers. All profits go to the NYFTE funds.