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Wheelhouse Folk Choir are a 45 strong mixed voice a cappella choir directed by Julu Irvine and Heg Brignall of folk duo Suthering.


This Tavistock-based choir sing vibrant and textured arrangements of folk songs; from traditional to contemporary in up to eight part harmony. What makes the choir impressive is their polished, professional sound, despite being a mixed ability group of un-auditioned singers. Their sense of community, which is at the heart of what they do, shines through in their singing. Their unique selection of songs - from moving songs about loss and longing to exciting, dramatic interpretations of ancient melodies - brilliantly demonstrates their skills as a choir.


The choir formed in 2019 when Julu and Heg moved to Devon and managed one concert just before the pandemic hit in early 2020. Despite this huge obstacle which forced the choir to rehearse online, the choir thrived, spending the time on zoom learning new material and refining singing techniques. During this time the choir produced two lockdown videos enabling them to have a purpose for all their efforts until in-person rehearsals could continue. 

Since then, the choir has gone from strength to the strength, gaining experience in performing at local events throughout 2021 and they performed a stellar set at The Wharf (pictured ) in February 2022 which Geoff Lakeman called "note perfect." The choir also performed alongside their sister choir The Great Sea Choir as part of Tavistock's first ever pride event in June and finished their season with a sell-out show at an extraordinary warehouse venue which raised over £1000 for Devon & Cornwall Sending Love To Ukraine; a local charity taking aid directly to Ukraine and assisting refugees to safety. The choir selects a different charity each year to raise money for. 


The choir regularly promotes their own concerts and events including their sell-out winter concerts held in December each year as well as more bespoke gigs in unusual spaces.


Check out their upcoming shows here

"The Wheelhouse Folk Choir in Tavistock create an inspiring and joyous sound, bringing together a diverse group of people who obviously enjoy each other’s company and take delight in the shared beauty of song. Under the talented vision and leadership of Heg Brignall and Julu Irvine the choir sing a wonderful variety of material designed to lift the spirits and soothe the soul."

- Kathryn Roberts


"I didn't think I was up for a choir show, I didn't think I'd like it but I LOVED IT!"
- Audience member on facebook

"I enjoy coming to hear you each time you perform and I'm blown away by the professionalism"
- Audience member   

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We took inspiration for our name from the rich mining history on Dartmoor. Wheal Betsy, the impressive ruins of an old engine house of a once prosperous tin mine, can be seen on the drive into Tavistock from Okehampton. Although spelt differently than the wheal houses of Devon, our name is a nod to the traditions, music and storytelling of beautiful Dartmoor. 

Folk choir dartmoor

Photo by Chris Allen

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GSC at Cothele photo credit Hanna Collins.jpeg

Photo by Hanna Collins 


Heg and Julu are touring musicians and songwriters. They play together in their folk duo Suthering and alongside Wheelhouse Folk Choir, they also direct The Great Sea Choir in Plymouth. They also run Folk Singing Retreats; a company offering weekend singing holidays in Devon and Cornwall. They have toured the UK and Europe in various different bands and projects and also teach singing and flute privately.

The pair are passionate about working with voices, celebrating every person's capability and bringing exciting music and opportunities to their community singers. 

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