Ellen Mitchell

From Folkopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ellen Mitchell: was born in Glasgow, but left as a very small baby, to live in Kirn, Dunoon and Innellan, along the Clyde Coast.  She returned at the age of seven and has been living there ever since.  As a child she was interested in music - the influences generally were family, school, the community.  She was taught a variety of songs in Primary school and teachers would sometimes encourage her to sing out, which she found a bit embarrassing but also quite enjoyable.

Various family members had connections with music.  Ellen’s father had a passion for classical music and jazz.  Her great aunt used to rattle out tunes on her granny’s piano with great exuberance and freedom of spirit, while her uncle was a guitarist and singer in a skiffle group, when skiffle was in its heyday.

As a teenager she went Youth Hostelling and camping; this broadened her repertoire because she took part in sing-songs in common rooms and round camp fires.  Then there was the Jack Elliot, Derrol Adams, Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie phase.  The discovery of folk clubs and festivals took her further into the music, and she was excited to hear more traditional song.

When Ellen had young children and a demanding full time job it was very difficult to maintain her involvement to a satisfactory level, but she managed to take part in competitions run by the TMSA and won three of these.  In the past ten years or so, she has had more time to devote to performance and repertoire, and says her enjoyment of singing has greatly increased.

--RodStradling 18:11, 26 March 2007 (BST)