International Waits' Festival 2014 - update
The Sixth Festival of the International Guild of Town Pipers will take place in Gloucester over the "Heritage Days" weekend, 12-14 September 2014. Detailed planning is well advanced, and nine bands to date have indicated attendance. They are the Waits of Colchester, Doncaster, Gloucester, King's Lynn, Leeds, Lincoln and York, Waytes & Measures, and the Stadspijpers van 's-Hertogenbosch (The Netherlands). Scheduled performance venues will include Blackfriars, the churches of St Nicholas, St Mary de Lode and St Mary de Crypt, the Cathedral precinct and the Folk Museum. A special feature on the Sunday will be the "Great Noyse" of massed bands in the cathedral close. The social programme includes a welcoming reception/buffet on the Friday evening in the Parliament Rooms of the cathedral and Saturday dinner at Blackfriars. Music for the "Great Noyse" is now available for download. Look for the link at the bottom of the 2014 Festival page.
Waits at the York Mystery Plays
The wagon-based performance of the York Mystery Plays were performed again on the city streets on July 13th and 20th with Waits from Baggeshotte, Colchester, Doncaster, Gloucester, Leeds, Lincoln and York plus De Mowbray's Musicke processing pageant wagons around the circuit of performance stations. That's it for another four years, when the pageant wagons will roll again.
Other Recent Multi-Waits Gatherings
On April 27th, the Doncaster Waites, De Mowbray's Musicke and the Leeds Waits all performed at Temple Newsam in Leeds at the annual day of early music organised by the North-East Early Music Forum. Then on May 3rd in Ely at the annual "Eel Day" festivities, the Ely Piper, Lincoln Waites, Gloucester Waites, De Mowbray's Musicke and the Ely Waits took to the streets with shawms et al. to serenade the good citizens, followed by a celebratory banquet. The third such occasion was Epworth Music Day on June 21st when Doncaster Waites, Lincoln Waites and de Mowbray's Musicke got together.
There may still be time to sign up for a summer school this year. Here are a few relevant ones:
Chalemie Summer School directed by Tim Bayley, 12-17 August, Oxford.
Cambridge Early Music Summer School led by Philip Thorby, 10-16 August.
Dartington International Summer School Early Music Week with William Lyons, 26 July-1 August, Dartington College, Devon.
DHDS Summer School, Renaissance Music Course with Keith McGowan, 27 July-3 August, Chichester.
Performance listings and news items
The Events page is now available for listing public events by member bands up to the end of December 2014. Make sure your band's Christmas performances are publicised here! Email details to email@example.com. It is after all one of the benefits of membership. The Latest News section is also available if your member band has anything particularly newsworthy, so send such items to the same address.
French civic musicians
The latest update on the Historical Records section of the site is the adition of records of "waits" in the southern French cities of Montpellier, Toulouse and Avignon.Thanks to the research of Fiona Kisby, we now know that although infrequent, we did have our civic equivalents in France. If anyone has additional French data, please let us know.