Stuart Alexander

How and when were you first introduced to Folk Camps?

I was introduced to Folk camp by my parents Phyllis & Ralph Alexander and attended my first Camp at Charmouth in 1967 at the tender age of 4!

What do you enjoy most about volunteering as Folk Camps staff?

This will be my first time volunteering as Folk Camps' staff

What is your favourite part of Folk Camps?

I love most parts of Folk Camps but if I had to pick one it would obviously be playing for the dancing.

What is your best Folk Camps memory or experience?

My best memory/experience at Folk Camps would be a busking tour where the entire camp would go out for the day and invite the public to join in.

What do you bring to this volunteer role?

I will bring over 30 years of leading dance bands and providing a vast range of musical styles. I can provide copies of music sets for people to join in for the evening dances.

Why do you volunteer as a musician?

I like being part of a team and working together to make the camper's experience even better. Even when not being on the staff, it's the taking part in the running of the week by involving yourself with some of the many duties that makes the whole experience for me.

Please tell us about your background. eg Music or Folk experience? What do you do when you are not at Folk Camps? Please give info about any band you play in, workshops you do, etc.

I grew up with parents deeply involved in folk music & dance with regular visits to Sidmouth Folk Festival. I started folk dance at the age of 4 and started dancing Morris at about 8 years of age at Folk Camps. I played my first piano accordion when I was 10 and played alongside my dad in his band "The Dansonairs" from the age of 14.

I have been a dancer and musician for West Hill Morris, Rampant Rooster Morris, Penshurst Morris & more recently a regular dancer & musician for Mad Jacks Morris for the last 12 years and Sussex Junction Morris for the last 4 years. I have attended and danced/played at various festivals including Oxford, Chippenham, Evesham, Shrewsbury, Sidmouth, Wimbourne to name but a few including Germany, Italy and Prague.

Over the years I have played with various bands including Gerry & The Hattricks, The Tritons & Feed the Pony. I am currently regularly involved in 3 bands. The Catsfield Steamers, a barn dance band. Jiggery Pokery, who perform a huge range of folk, classic covers including Beatles & Eagles. Also a Blues & Americana band called 'The Other Band'. Having played for a staggering 50 years now I am continuing to learn new techniques.

Believe or not I did have a day job and worked in the Electrical Industry for 42 years. My last role before retiring in January 2022 was with UK Power Networks maintaining the high voltage network from 11,000 to 132,000 volts.

I feel proud to follow in my dad's footsteps who was Folk Camps musician for many years from 1966 to 1990. For one reason or another I didn't attend Folk Camps for many years. I think life just got in the way? Having returned to it last year, I remembered why I used to go and what I'd missed. It was like returning home again to a family I hadn't seen in a very long time. It was a very special and emotional experience for me.

What can people expect at your camps?

At my camps, people can expect a varied range of music to listen or dance to and the encouragement to join in during the evening dances.

What instrument(s) do you play?

I play the piano accordion.

What workshops do you offer or take part in?

I can offer a Morris dance workshop and I love to join in with both music and singing workshops.

Stuart‘s Folk Camps

Here is where Stuart will be a member of staff this season. Follow the link to find out more.
Joint Musician : Marquee week 1 Rolvenden

All Folk Camps Staff

Find out about all the Folk Camps staff this season.