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Sage Gateshead

 →  Make Music  →  Ensembles  →  Folkestra



  • Age 13-19
  • 23/24 Fee: £850 to include a residential
  • Bursaries Available
  • Recommended for intermediate to advanced players
  • Audition required

Folkestra is a vibrant group of young folk musicians, playing original music and new arrangements.  They were founded by North East folk legend Kathryn Tickell, and have been working with renowned piper Andy May since 2022. Folkestra rehearse approximately once every two weeks on Sunday afternoons during term time at Sage Gateshead and the band enjoys performing in various concerts and festivals throughout the year.  In 22/23 we reintroduced a residential which was amazing in helping the group to bond musically and socially.

Younger and less experienced players may be interested in our non auditioned folk ensemble, Reely Folk.

Watch our Ensembles performing the St Cuthbert Suite by Paul Edis on YouTube

Application and Auditions

Our audition process for 23/24 will continue to be managed remotely with auditions via video.  It will involve you sending us a video, and we will send you detailed information if you are required to audition.  If you are not comfortable with this then we can arrange for you to audition in person.

You can see a video on our standard in person audition process by visiting our Ask Us Anything page. 

Candidates will be asked to:

  • prepare two contrasting pieces to perform
  • prepare a short extract on any second instrument / voice if applicable

We’d love to hear from you if you are interested in becoming part of our programmes. You can email

Term Dates 22/23


Our Young Musicians Programme is open to all children and young people, whatever their circumstances. We are keen to encourage applicants from the widest possible range of backgrounds and access a bursary where needed.

Here’s some more information about bursaries.

If you’d like to speak to someone, please email us at