Wandering Minstrels

Wandering Minstrels

Bringing world-class musicians to schools & care homes

Our Wandering Minstrels programme sends professional musicians into schools and care homes to perform directly for pupils and residents. 

School sessions give as many young people as possible the opportunity to hear and learn about musical styles and instruments which they may not have encountered before, whilst care home visits are aimed at those who are unable to access Festival events. Feedback confirms that exposure to live music has a profound and beneficial effect, particularly on those living with dementia. 

In 2018 thirteen primary and secondary schools and four care homes across the area were treated to outstanding performances from a variety of musicians, including violinist Emma Fisk, guitarists James Birkett, Alexandra Whittingham and James Girling, cellists Kristiana Ignatjeva and Rebecca Hepplewhite, Syrian musician Maya Youssef, viol player Susanna Pell, lutenist Jacob Heringman, flautist Meera Maharaj, and the popular Yorkshire folk duo The Hut People.  Read more about one spellbinding school performance from the award-winning percussionist Delia Stevens and cellist here.

Young People

We engage with hundreds of children of different backgrounds in art and music projects throughout the year, not just during the Festival fortnight.  We send professional musicians, writers and artists into schools and community centres to work with and inspire young people, and we provide a platform for students' work by organising special concerts and exhibitions.

In 2017 Swaledale Festival collaborated with local schools, National Youth Jazz Orchestra, BFBS and NYMAZ to run a major music and visual arts project: JAZZ!  This saw the superb National Youth Jazz Orchestra perform a concert for 500 school children in Catterick Garrison that was broadcast to all North Yorkshire schools and to army bases all over the world.  Primary school children also produced their own jazz-inspired artwork that was displayed at high-profile venues including The Station Gallery in Richmond.

Young People
Young Artists Platform

Young Artists Platform

Our Young Artists Platform was launched in 2008 and consists of an annual series of concerts by young musicians early in their careers.  In the last few years Swaledale Festival has featured concerts by BBC Young Musicians of the Year winners Nicholas Daniel, Emma Johnson, Natalie Clein, Peter Moore and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, as well as concerto finalists Juliet Bausor, Charlotte Barbour-Condini and Jess Gillam. These performers were already well-known as top professional soloists and their presence at the Festival undoubtedly inspired our audiences - particularly youngsters interested in pursuing careers in music.

Our Young Artists Platform has also enabled more than two hundred lesser-known young musicians to gain valuable performance experience, build their reputations and receive publicity.  Young Artists Platform performers who are now forging highly successful careers include viola player Rosalind Ventris, Polish violinist Magdalena Filipczak, Yorkshire-born pianist Richard Uttley, soprano Rowan Pierce and pianist Simon Passmore.

Reduced-Priced Tickets

It is really important to us that Swaledale Festival is accessible to young people. For that reason we offer tickets for young people at extremely affordable prices - typically just £3 for under-25s.