Shepherds Hey

Country dance band from Yorkshire

Shepherds Hey

For your barn dance, ceilidh, wedding, anniversary,
birthday celebration and community or corporate event.

Shepherds Hey have a special enthusiasm for the traditional music and dance of Yorkshire and also enjoy a variety of tunes and dances from around the British Isles and abroad. We play in a traditional acoustic style and perform using amplification for ceilidhs and barn dances or acoustically for smaller parties and outdoor events, especially for weddings.

Venues and Events

Since forming Shepherds Hey in 1991 we've played for a great variety of occasions, working for festivals, national parks, local authorities, the national trust, business and private parties, weddings, ceilidhs and barn dances.
The venues range from small village halls to museums, hotels, woods, fields, gardens, castles and world heritage sites. Our traditional music creates a magical and lively atmosphere for indoor and outdoor events.

Barn dances / Ceilidhs

A barn dance or ceilidh (sometimes spelt ceili), is a great way to celebrate your special occasion. Ideal for weddings, birthdays and community, fund raising and social events. Our dances are great fun and suitable for all ages. For our ceilidhs we have our own caller, Rosalind, who encourages the guests to join in and will guide the dancers, step by step, through the dances in a patient and friendly way. Our aim is to make the occasion an enjoyable one and we are keen to discuss your requirements and meet your needs. For more information, to arrange a ceilidh or barn dance, or to contact the band please click here.

Our dances range from the very lively to the slow and graceful which makes it possible to plan a ceilidh to suit the taste and ability of the dancers. Some are centuries old, well known traditional country dances like 'strip the willow' and 'cumberland square eight', still favourites today. We often include the 'barn dance', 'gay gordons' and other popular old time dances. Although most of our tunes and dances are English, we also like to include some from other parts of the British Isles, particularly from Scotland and Shetland. We sometimes include a unique dance or tune we have learnt from local musicians we have met on our travels abroad.

Joshua Jackson's Book

A number of our tunes and dances come from manuscript sources, notably Joshua Jackson's Book, an 18th century manuscript from South Stainley near Ripon in Yorkshire. It is a rich source of traditional music from the region. A copy of the Joshua Jackson book is available here in the publications section.
What is a ceilidh?The word ceilidh is of Gaelic origin, used originally to describe a social gathering with music and dancing, the participants contributing with a variety of turns to entertain the rest of the party. In England now, 'ceilidh' or 'ceili' is often used as an alternative word for barn dance or country dance.