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At the heart of English folk
National Youth Folk Ensemble

Join the National Youth Folk Ensemble

Applications for 2017-18 are now closed

The National Youth Folk Ensemble is for talented instrumentalists aged 14-18 who are dedicated to developing as folk musicians and excited about collaborating with others who share their passion!

Ensemble members will:

  • participate in four weeks of intensive residential courses in different parts of England
  • receive high quality tuition and guidance from leading folk musicians
  • develop skills in performance, arrangement and leadership 
  • give public performances


Membership is an annual commitment from October to August. The residential courses take place in the school holidays: October, February, Easter and summer.  


Application process  

Applications for the 2017-18 National Youth Folk Ensemble are now closed. 

Sampler Days are the first stage of the audition process and they are free to attend. They are a chance to take part in creative group workshops with inspiring tutors, learn about English folk music, and play with young musicians from your region! 

Young musicians who meet the criteria but don’t wish to audition for the Ensemble are welcome to take part in the Sampler Days to find out about the project. 

Sampler Days have taken place in Basingstoke, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Didcot, Exeter, Gateshead, Leeds, London, Manchester and Sheffield. More will take place in 2018 - sign up to the EFDSS Education News to find out when applications open. 

“I absolutely loved this experience and it was very empowering playing with others, playing traditional English tunes but making them our own” Sampler Day participant



If you have any questions please contact Sarah Jones, Programme Manager for the National Youth Folk Ensemble, on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Arts Council England