Waits on Radio 3
The BBC3 "Early Music Show" on April 26th was on medieval dance. The "house band" performing the dance music for the occasion included Tim and Lizzie of the York Waits. In addition to a number of French, Burgundian and Italian dances, the programme featured Ann and Paul Kent, long-time collaborators with both Leeds Waits and York Waits, discussing their research on the English late medieval dances of the Gresley Manuscript and their reconstruction of the choreography. A recording of one of the Gresley dances from the recent York Waits CD was also included in the programme.
Waiting for King Richard III,
The Lincoln Waites led the procession for King Richard III at the Bosworth Battlefield Centre on March 22nd on the royal progress around significant locations in the Bosworth campaign. Then our friend and colleague Susan Burns of the Charlotte Waites performed in "Concert for a King" in Holy Cross Priory, Leicester on 24th March to mark his re-burial in Leicester Cathedral. Following the interment on the 26th, the Lincoln Waites wound up the week of commemorations by performing at Leicester Guildhall on the 29th.
International Bagpipe Day
To mark International Bagpipe Day 2015, De Mowbray's Musick hosted a pipers' gathering on March 10th. The hosts were joined by fellow pipers from the Waits of Doncaster, Leeds and York, with a wide range of bagpipes from England, Flanders, France, Spain and Scotland.
"Summer" Schools 2015
A few "summer" schools to consider this year:
1. The annual Chalemie course in Oxford has taken place already, from 28 March to 2 April, under the direction of Tim Bayley of the York Waits, with participation of musicians from the Waits of Baggeshotte, Colchester, Leeds and York. If you'd like to attend, you'll now have to wait until 2016.
2. Bill Lyons and members of The City Musick will again be involved in the early music strand in week 1 at Dartington from August 1-8.
3/ Philip Thorby directs the Cambridge Renaissance Summer School at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge from August 9-15.
Waits at Christmas
There are two periods during the year when waits become very active - the summer and the run-up to Christmas. Member groups gave numerous performances during the Christmas season. Because our member bands research their history, some were able to re-create historical events and revive old traditions in their Christmas performances. For many years the York Waits have processed through the streets on December 21st in their "Yule Riding" to proclaim the traditional Christmas welcome to the city, the Leeds Waits annually re-create their Christmas Eve 1640 entertainment at Temple Newsam, and on December 11th the Linclon Waites revived their traditional "Crying Christmas" proclamation.
International Waits' Festival 2014
The Sixth Festival of the International Guild of Town Pipers took place in Gloucester over the "Heritage Days" weekend, 12-14 September 2014. Nine bands participated - the Waits of Colchester, Doncaster, Gloucester, King's Lynn, Leeds, Lincoln and York, Waytes and Measures, and the Stadspijpers van 's-Hertogenbosch (The Netherlands). Performance venues were Blackfriars, the churches of St Nicholas, St Mary de Lode and St Mary de Crypt, the Cathedral precinct and the Folk Museum. On the Saturday the 13th bands played at these venues. On Sunday the 14th we held the "Great Noyse" of massed bands in the cathedral close at noon. Then individual bands performed in the afternoon at the same venues as Saturday. We were greeted at the opening reception/buffet on the Friday evening in the Parliament Rooms of the cathedral by the Mayor of Gloucester, Cllr. Deb Llewelyn. Photographs etc. are now in the Festivals section of the website.
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. There are a few
On April 19th, the Doncaster Waites, De Mowbray's Musicke and the Leeds Waits are all performing at Temple Newsam in Leeds at the annual day of early music organised by the North-East Early Music Forum. Then on 13-14 June in Ely several of our member bands will join the Ely Piper to take to the streets with shawms, bagpipes et al. to serenade the good citizens.
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 chapter by Gretchen Peters in Fiona Kisby's book (see bibliography page), we now know that although infrequent, we did have our civic equivalents in France. Gretchen Peters' own recent book (ditto) gives evidence of our French colleagues in Aix-en-Provence, Amiens, Bordeaux, Dijon, Lille, Lyons, Marseilles, Nimes, Orleans, Saint-Omer, Tours and Troyes, and these will shortly be added to our historical records section. Isn't it time someone revived some of these?
Performance listings and news items
The Events page is now available for listing public events by member bands up to the end of September 2015. If the details of performances by your member band are not up to date, email details to email@example.com. Event listings are 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.