Fay is a singer who's choice of material and the delivery of it reflect a rare sensitivity and appreciation of the tradition whilst remaining naturalistic and highly distinctive. Fay’s albums are released by prestigious folk label Topic Records, winning many accolades as well as a nomination for the Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
In 2011, Fay brought together The Full English, seven of England’s top interpreters of traditional song, to transfer archival material from the newly launched digital archive of the English Folk Dance & Song Society to the stage. This ground breaking project won two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for best Group and Best Album, as well as the heart of audiences.
Equally happy solo with her banjo or with a thirteen strong multi art-form theatrical cast, Fay reaches out to the audience and communicates. The strength of Fay’s material lies in the structure of the song and her storytelling – in whatever format she performs the heart of the song is delivered.
Bringing new arrangements to old songs, Fay continues in her exploration of the incredible repertoire that is the English tradition pushing at the boundaries of our engagement with music.
Fay is Professor of Music at the University of Sheffield. Her research is around increasing and diversifying participation in folk singing and she is currently delivering a large UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship project called 'Access Folk'. She completed her PhD ‘English Folk Singing and the Construction of Community’ in 2010 and started teaching modules in ethnomusicology and music management in 2011.
Fay has authored several journal articles, chapters, reviews, etc. over the years and you can find a list of her publications below:
Fay is involved in a number of projects, from community music organisations to academic research projects. You can click through to their individual websites or read more here...