Since 2002, Fergus O’Byrne and the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society have been working to encourage a love of traditional music in young people through the Young Folk at the Hall. Young Folk is a workshop-based program offering guidance and education, as well as a performance opportunity for youth between the ages of seven and 18.
Each year we register about 50 young artists. Musicians are grouped into bands, and each band is mentored by an adult musician. Our young bands get about six hours of mentoring over two days to establish a common repertoire, arrange tunes, decide on a band name and have photos taken. After all that, we gather for the big show and the new bands perform the material for a near-full-house audience at the LSPU Hall!
Many of the performers you now know as touring and recording artists got started in this program and many now take the time each year to mentor the younger musicians and pass on the traditions and the fun of learning to play music together.
The Young Folk at the Hall program takes place each January in St. John’s and at various times and locations around the Province. In addition, the NLFAS partners with various organizations to provide performance opportunities for young folk artists year round.