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Next SongPath...

SongPath Leeds 2022

hope is the thing with feathers

In collaboration with Leeds Lieder and RSPB St Aidan's.

Monday 18 April 2022

Walk 1: 10.30am – 12.30pm
Walk 2: 2.00pm – 4.00pm

St. Aidan’s RSPB Nature Reserve, Astley Lane, Leeds, LS26 8AL

SongPath is coming to Leeds! In the magnificent spring scenery of RSPB St Aidan’s nature reserve, we’ll explore and celebrate Leeds’ rich and fertile heritage as part of the Leeds Lieder 2022 festival. Expect our usual mix of music, poetry & science, along with amazing views and wonderful wildlife, including bitterns, avocets, black terns, skylarks and meadow pipits.


Featuring Jesse Bannister (saxophone), Giuliano Modarelli (guitar), Lucas Mander (ornithologist) & Rufus Harrington (psychotherapist) alongside SongPath co-founders Jess Dandy & Joanna Harries.

Tickets: £15

£5 from every ticket donated to Leeds Mind

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Book by phone:   07425 233451

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Jess Dandy


Jess is a contralto from Cumbria. Shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Young Artist, she has been praised for her instrument of velvety plangent timbre. She was contralto soloist at the First Night of the BBC Proms in 2021 and recently made her Wigmore Hall debut. A co-founder of SongPath, she is passionate about rewilding the voice.

Joanna Harries


Joanna is a mezzo-soprano praised for “stylish” singing (Opera Magazine) and “emotional force” (The Times). She enjoys a varied career on both the opera stage and recital platform and is currently a Young Artist at the National Opera Studio. In 2019 she co-founded SongPath and was recently awarded a Royal Philharmonic Society Enterprise Award for her new podcast Songs of the River.

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Jesse Bannister


Jesse is a unique musician and among the world’s leading Indian saxophonists. As a performer, composer and educator he has pushed the boundaries of traditional and contemporary forms. A leading light in cross cultural work, he has worked for the Liverpool Philharmonic, the City of London Sinfonia and the Halle Orchestra.

Giuliano Modarelli


Giuliano is an Italian guitarist, composer and producer. Having initially studied Jazz, he went on to develop through the Indian classical tradition, studying under renowned sitarist Dharambir Singh, Indian classical maestro Buddhadev Dasgupta and his senior disciple Prattyush Bannerjee. He is co-founder of the award-winning music collective Kefaya, reinventing folk music with contemporary influences.

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Lucas Mander


Lucas is Principal Ornithologist for RPS consulting in Leeds, working on impact of human-related activities on seabirds and waterbirds. His research focuses on habitat restoration and waterbirds populations in estuaries, and he previously spent sixteen years at the University of Hull studying the near-threatened Curlew population.

Rufus Harrington


Rufus is a Senior Lecturer in cognitive behavioural therapy at the University of Cumbria. He has trained over two hundred CBT therapists and is the Consultant Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist to the Cumbria Police.

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Book by phone:   07425 233451


SongPath Leeds 2022

Do I come to both events - morning and afternoon?

The same event will run twice - once in the morning and once in the afternoon. You only need to come to one!

How long does the event last?

Each event lasts two hours with no interval.


Where do they take place?

The events will take place at RSPB St Aidan’s Nature Reserve, Astley Lane, Leeds LS26 8AL


How can I travel to St Aidan's nature reserve?

The car park is likely to be busy on the Bank Holiday so we encourage you to car share, cycle or use public transport where possible.


Car - parking is available at the reserve and costs £4.


Cycle  - cycle racks available. Routes running through the site include the Trans Pennine Trail, national routes 67 and 697



167 – Leeds City Centre to Allerton Bywater / Castleford - Bus stop: Bowers Row (3 mins walk)

166 or 168 - Leeds City Centre to Castleford - Bus stop: Great Preston village hall (13 mins walk)


Train - There are also local stations a short taxi ride away at Woodlesford (3 miles) or Garforth (4 miles)


More information here:


What should I wear?

This is an outdoor event lasting two hours, so please wear suitable clothing and footwear.  The forecast currently looks good for Monday, so please wear sunscreen and bring a sunhat.  British weather can however be unpredictable so we’d encourage layers and waterproof clothing to cover all eventualities. Most of the walking will be on gravel paths, but we will occasionally venture onto grass, so waterproof trainers or wellies are recommended.


What if it rains?

SongPath embraces the natural world around us in all weathers…so bring waterproof clothing! The events will go ahead even in the rain. We ask that you bring waterproof clothing rather than umbrellas where possible.

How much walking and standing is there?

SongPath is not your traditional concert. We’ll be walking and standing outdoors for the duration of the event. If you feel this may pose any issues for you, please let us know in advance and as soon as possible so that we can accommodate you.

Our route is approximately 1.5 miles total, and will mainly take place on gravel paths.


More information about accessing the reserve can be found here:


Are there toilets?

Toilets are available in the car park, open 9:30am-5pm. An accessible toilet is located in the Visitor Centre.

What food is available?

Light refreshments and hot and cold drinks are available to purchase in the visitor centre.


You can also bring food with you and picnic tables are available.

Music & Wellbeing workshops
@ Leeds Mind

Tuesday 5 April
Monday 11 April

Inkwell Arts, 31 Potternewton Lane, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 3LW

Join SongPath’s award-winning musicians for free workshops for Leeds Mind exploring the natural world around us through music-making and more.

Open to all – no experience necessary!


To book your space, email

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Past SongPaths

SongPath Oxford 2021

green thought in a green shade

Autumn was the season for planting a SongPath at Oxford Botanic Garden. We created two SongPaths at the Oxford Botanic Garden as part of Oxford Lieder’s 20th anniversary festival, journeying through the trees, plants, ponds, and orchard of the historic 400-year-old gardens, from the mighty Dawn Redwood to the colourful Autumn border.


We also worked with Oxfordshire Mind, giving six free workshops about music and nature, providing free places for service users at our events, and donating £5 from each ticket sold to support their future work.

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The First SongPath

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SongPath Cumbria 2019

a song sleeps in all things

Our first SongPath event took us on a creative journey in South Cumbria, in partnership with the Ulverston International Music Festival and local branches of Mind. We created a trail bursting with music, song, poetry, meditation and dance from the coastal village of Bardsea on the Furness Peninsula, across Birkrigg Common's stone circle and woods to Swarthmoor Hall, original home of the Quakers.

Joining our one hundred and twenty walkers were twenty professional classical & folk musicians including internationally renowned concert pianist Martin Roscoe, the Furness Music Centre Community Choir, a newly formed Mind Choir, cognitive behavioural therapist Rufus Harrington and local poet Neil Curry.  All gave their time and skills on a voluntary basis.


Everyone, performers and participants, walked together.  Those with reduced mobility were provided with a minibus service and people were free to take part in as much or as little of the day as they liked. 

In the months leading up to our public event we worked with two local branches of Mind (Mind in Furness & Ulverston Mind), giving free workshops and providing free places at the event for service users. We were thrilled to raise a total of £5796.75 including GiftAid to support their furture work.

SongPath is grateful to the Royal Overseas League’s Roderick Lakin Professional Development Award without which our first event would not have been possible. SongPath 2019 was held in memory of Roderick Lakin, MBE, the organisation’s beloved former Director of Arts who died tragically in 2015. The Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) is a not-for-profit private members’ organisation dedicated to championing international friendship and understanding. They help artists and musicians across the Commonwealth connect, collaborate and create.

We are also indebted to the support, advice, time and talents of:

  • The Rotary Club of Furness Peninsula, assisted by FurnessBarrow & Ulverston Rotary Clubs for stewarding

  • Inner Wheel & staff at Swarthmoor Hall for refreshments

  • John McGill of BeWellFest for logistical planning

  • Geoff Parkin at ROSL

  • Hazard Chase Artists Management

  • Ulverston International Music Festival

  • Mind in Furness

  • Hampstead Parish Church

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