The States Visited
A Brief History
Cecil Sharp Biography
Maud Karpeles Biography
NC Folklife Institute Country Dance and Song Society
English Folk Dance and Song Society
Resource Materials
About this Project
Our Facebook Page

Learn about the 1917 Travels

Cecil Sharp Photographs
Now Open
 in Marshall, NC
at the
Madison County Arts Council
Downtown Marshall
Through May 31
check this link:
Listen to Public Radio podcast WUNC FM North Carolina Public Radio January 26, 2017
Interview and Singing

Watch a News segment from
WRAL TV Raleigh
February 1, 2017

Cecil Sharp's Appalachian Photographs

From 1916 to 1918, English Ballad Collector Cecil Sharp traveled the Appalachian region to document variants of these songs and photographed some of the singers who shared their songs. These 24 rare photographs offer a stunning window into the life of Appalachian people in the period and will be on display for the first time in the United States. The exhibition will be traveling to additional locations in the coming months.

Mrs. Hannah Mitchell, Mrs. Effie Mitchell, Mrs. Becky Mitchell

“The Mitchells are a wonderful clan, living in a small narrow creek about a mile from the hotel.  They are considered a very low-down lot by the richer people here who wonder why we like them and go there so often.”
Sharp diary, Burnsville, NC, September 27, 1918

Cecil Sharp
Twenty Years of Song and
Dance Collecting

Maud Karpeles
A Career of Service
 to Folk Insitutions

Read the definitive article on the history of Cecil and Maud's travels in America by Michael Yates
Look here

Singing their way into history; remarkable journey captures and preserves centuries old folk songs

One hundred years ago, two intrepid British “song catchers” began a three-year pilgrimage to Appalachia, starting in western North Carolina, to collect variants and versions of English and Scottish folk songs as sung by descendants of immigrants from the British Isles. Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles braved challenging terrain to visit singers and record the notes and words of the songs. Out of their work has come the English Folk Dance and Song Society based in Cecil Sharp House in London, the US-based Country Dance and Song Society, and a remarkable collection of centuries-old songs still sung today.

A three-year celebration of the people and the songs has begun both in the US and England.  Join us as we trace, share, and highlight this journey.

News from 100 Years Ago!
Cecil  and Maud return

Look for Maud Karpeles book on the Life and Work of
Cecil Sharp

Here is a website dedicated to Sharp and Karpeles travels in Virginia

Read about the 2016 Centennial of Jane Gentry's time of singing for Cecil Sharp held in Hot Springs, North Carolina

See How the Tradition Continues

Watch a play about Jane Gentry

I'll Sing On
Grace Ellis

Performed at the Ruby Slippers Festival,
Winston Salem, NC February, 2016
youtube link

Also being performed live October 1, 2016 in Mars Hill, NC
See our events page

Letter from Cecil Sharp

Our Facebook Page linked here

"Why did Cecil Sharp go to the Appalachians"
See this article by the
English Folk Dance and Song Society

This is the map of the counties traveled by Sharp and Karpeles

This is a map of the travels: English Folk Songs form the Southen Appalachians

Contact this project

See the Story of the French Broad River Floods
July 16, 1916

Dancing in St. Louis, outdoor Shakespeare Festival, taught by Cecil Sharp, June 1916

Dancers in "As You Like It," taught by Sharp

Partial Funding provided by:

The North Carolina Folklife Institute

The Outreach Fund of  the
Country Dance and Song Society

The North Carolina Humanities Council

We wish to acknowledge the gracious assistance of the
London, England
in putting together this project.
EFDSS was founded by Cecil Sharp
The Vaughn Williams Library holds the Sharp photographs and
has granted us permission to use them for this purpose.

English Folk Dance and Song Society