Biography

Charlie Heys is a violin and folk fiddle player currently based in Birmingham, UK. Growing up surrounded by music in Hampshire, her passion for fiddle playing began while studying with Joyce Ingledew (Bursledon Village Band) at school. She went on to study at South Downs College under Devorina Gamalova and continued with Devorina throughout her BMus Honours, taken at Birmingham Conservatoire where she graduated with a 2:1 in 2009. During her time at the Birmingham Conservatoire she was very involved with extra curricular activities, particularly the Conservatoire Folk Ensemble led by Joe Broughton. She continued her studies at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow (now called the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) where she gained a postgraduate diploma with distinction in traditional scottish fiddle playing, studying with Alistair McCulloch and Pete Clark. 

She has performed extensively all over the country and beyond at award winning folk festivals, clubs, arts venues and radio programmes, mainly with guitarist and songwriter Jack McNeill. As a duo the pair were finalists in the BBC Radio 2 young folk awards and have released three successful albums of entirely self penned material on Fellside Records. Their music takes inspiration from all folk traditions and has received excellent reviews in respected magazines and newspapers including The Sunday Times and The Telegraph. They have just this century released a forth album 'Any Other Morning' recorded up in Scotland with producer Calum Malcolm. Visit mcneillandheys.com for more information.

Aside from playing in the duo, in 2015 Charlie joined The Old Dance School (now The Fair Rain) who she is very excited about touring and recording with :) She is also involved in other projects such as a classical duo with violist from Hampshire, Catherine Ward and is currently working on both a solo album due for release in 2015 and a string quartet with Helen Lancaster from The Old Dance School. This century she also enjoyed a one off tour with friends The Urban Folk Quartet. As a session musician she has also worked with Nick Drake’s producer Joe Boyd and arranger Robert Kirby for a performance in Birmingham Town Hall alongside stars such as Beth Orton, Graham Coxon and Martha Wainwright. She has also worked with George Martin, for an evening of Beatles music performed at the Guildhall School of Music. Whilst living in Scotland she enjoyed working with Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain, Seth Lakeman, Mike McGoldrick and played for the BBC and Scottish National Theatre. She is in demand as a session musician and has recorded with many different artists. She also performs regularly with various string quartets and ensembles to provide music for weddings and other functions.