Shan and Martin Graebe

Martin and Shan GraebeShan and Martin will be leading the following sessions at the Kodály Spring Course 2016: The Voices of the People: An Expedition in Search of English Folk Song; Pleasant and Delightful: English Folk Songs to learn and sing; Concert of English Folk Song.

Shan began to sing folk songs as a schoolgirl and, in her professional life as a speech and language therapist, developed ways of using song to involve children with special needs in group activities. Her particular interest in children’s songs has led, in 2014, to her compiling (and illustrating) a collection of traditional songs from Britain and America – ‘Rosy Apples’ – for adults to sing with children.

Martin also started to sing folk songs as a teenager and continued to sing with groups and as a solo artist. He became particularly interested in traditional English song and has written a number of songs based on traditional ideas and forms. While living in Devon, he began to study the life and work of Sabine Baring-Gould, the leading collector of song in Devon and Cornwall, and other collectors who he met and influenced. His studies have led to him being regarded as the leading authority on Baring-Gould’s collection. He has delivered a number of public lectures on Baring-Gould’s work as a song collector and has had several articles published. He has also been involved in a number of projects designed to make Baring-Gould’s work better known and more widely available. He has also studied and written about the use of folk music in the composition of English composers such as Holst and Vaughan Williams.

Shan and Martin sing together in unaccompanied harmony. The blend of their voices and their approach to the material has won them international recognition and they now perform regularly at festivals and venues in England and around the world. Their repertoire is based mainly on the traditional songs of Southern England with a strong emphasis on the Baring-Gould collection, but they also sing a number of more modern songs, including some of those that Martin has written. Shan is also well known for the workshops that she leads on aspects of voice use and care.