Sandra has had a long and distinguished career in folk music since her days with Ewan MacColl’s Critics Group, and
". . besides being a versatile musician with a beautifully expressive voice, she is an exceptionally good song-writer."(FRoots)
With Ewan and Peggy and the Critics, she performed all over the world, and recorded numerous albums including:
Well known as the co- writer, with John Faulkner, of the music for "Bagpuss", (voted 'best-loved BBC TV children’s programme’ in 1999), she directs folk choirs (including the popular and award-winning Northumbrian Choir Werca’s Folk) and is greatly respected as a tutor of folk arts:
"Sandra is a great voice teacher" Folkworks
She is a multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, dulcimer, autoharp and the English concertina. She is popular as a tutor on the latter instrument and has taught regularly at concertina gatherings including the ‘Swaledale Squeeze’ and ‘Concertinas At Whitney’, and twice at the National Folk Festival Easter School in Canberra.
These include the iconic ‘My Song Is My Own’ (Pluto Press, with Kathy Henderson and Frankie Armstrong) and ‘The Song Sampler’ (Folkworks) which is widely used by teachers as the basis for KS2 music.
Her album with her daughter Nancy ( award-winning fiddler, singer and writer)"Neat And Complete" received rave reviews:
". . a delight from start to start to finish” Rock'n'Reel.
“Performed with love. Youth and maturity produce a happy blend" Folk Roots
as did "Scalene" with Kerr/Fagan:
" Excellent stuff" Mike Harding.
"A class act. Brilliant” Ros Rigby.
Her solo album of self-penned songs, ‘Yellow, Red and Gold’ was hailed as:
" . . a triumph of song-writing" - English Dance and Song.
and her album of children’s songs - ‘Hi, Said the Elephant’ was similarly well-received. (All albums mentioned above can be found on the Fellside Recordings)
She also recorded ( with Leon Rosselson) the CD for the perennially popular and silver award-winning ‘Playsongs’ ( edited by Sheena Roberts) Her song- writing reflects her feminist and radical politics, and her songs are well-known on the Left and amongst women activists, ‘We Were There’, ‘No Going Back’ and ‘Emily Davison’ to mention just a few.
For the last 10 years Sandra has been a lecturer at Newcastle University, on the Degree Course in Folk & Traditional Music and has had the pleasure of seeing many young musicians and singers she has worked with making a great contribution as respected performers on the Folk scene (Emily Portman, Jonnie Kearney & Lucy Farrell, The Shee et. al.)
She continues to perform, with Sisters Unlimited, with the Bagpuss Show (featuring Nancy Kerr, James Fagan and John Faulnker), with Taffy Thomas, master story-teller presenting a range of themed shows , and with the Anti-Capitalist Road Show ( with Leon Rosselson, Roy Bailey, Frankie Armstrong, Peggy Seeger and others), and her solo work in recent years has taken her to Australia, the USA, Burkina Faso, Catalonia, France, Italy and the Philippines.