THERE is a great chance to enjoy two top quality music events, with professional performers, for free at Crediton Library for the next two Friday evenings, as part of the ongoing programme of Warm Winter events hosted by the Folklore Library and Archive. 

On Friday, January 26 at 7pm, you can spend a relaxed and informal evening in the company of singer and musician Paul Wilson.

Paul says that he will bring a lively set of folk songs and tunes, many with fascinating local connections.

Paul Wilson.
Paul Wilson. (Paul Wilson.)

He will be playing piano accordion, guitar and a few interesting folk instruments and chatting about the background to many of the local songs and tunes, including his own collecting work. 

Paul is a performer, songwriter, educator and folk song collector.

With Marilyn Tucker he is co-founder of Wren Music, who co-ordinated the digitisation of the Baring Gould folk song manuscripts and he regularly gives talks and writes articles on folk songs for a wide variety of audiences and publications. Marilyn and Paul have written a chapter on Folk Choirs for the academic reference book “English Folk Performance”, published by RKP.

Paul is an experienced choir conductor and singing leader both in school and with community music groups of all ages and stages. He holds an honorary MA from Plymouth University for his work in music education.

On Friday, February 2, at 7pm, there will be a rare opportunity to enjoy a harp recital from renowned harpist and composer Elizabeth-Jane Baldry.

Elizabeth-Jane is a harpist and composer who has been in love with the sound of the harp for as long as she can remember. She studied music at Exeter University and (pre-Covid) presented around 50 performances a year from recitals in historic houses or on specialist arts cruises to weddings and funerals. 

David Watkins, Professor of Harp at the Guildhall School of Music says of Elizabeth-Jane: “She is a great artist and consummate performer. She can draw more tone colours out of the instrument than any other harpist living in the world today.” 

Elizabeth-Jane is the only silent movie harpist in the world, performing live accompaniment to cinema screenings of early film. Her compositions have been used by ITV, the BBC and by Irish, Japanese, Danish and Canadian film, radio and television. She has performed to sold-out audiences in the US, in Italy, in Germany and in France.

Her unique research into Victorian Fairy Harp Music has led to a CD with worldwide distribution; radio and TV broadcasts; a West End stage show with actor Simon Callow for which she also wrote the songs; appearances at the Royal Academy of Art exhibition of Victorian Fairy Paintings and at King Charles's unveiling of the restored Elfin Oak Tree in Kensington Gardens; involvement in the major French exhibition Dragons, Elfes et Fées; and an appearance in the award-winning Canadian television documentary “The Fairy Faith”.

Elizabeth-Jane’s uniquely rich tone on the harp has graced several film/TV soundtracks screened in more than 30 countries including America, Canada, Iceland, Kenya, Iran, South Africa, Poland and Cyprus.

Being funded with a grant from the National Grid to help combat fuel poverty in the cold winter months by providing warm spaces, both of these events are completely free - hot drinks and refreshments will be available and the library will be a warm space to relax for the evening.

Please book at the library, by telephone on 01363 772578 or by email to: [email protected] for any events that you would like to attend. 

The varied programme runs until the end of March and printed brochures can be picked up from the library with all the event details.