Ted Boxall, Gloucester Waite, RIP
The Gloucester Waites are very sorry to report that Ted Boxall died on 14 November 2015. He had been ill for some time, recently diagnosed as Motor Neurone Disease. Despite the fact that, over the last few months, it was clearly hard for him to keep going as he would have wanted, he had shown a resolute determination not to give up on his music-making. After a busy week with members of his family, he died unexpectedly swiftly and peacefully. He was a founder member and treasurer of the Gloucester Waites. An engineer by profession he was a very proficient oboist in his day, as well as playing recorder and piano. His oboe-playing drew him into the world of baroque music, and then he became just as interested in the Renaissance world of shawms and curtals, specialising in the alto instruments. We are going to miss him as a lynch-pin of our band, and our sympathy at this time is with his wife, Ann, and their children and grandchildren.
IGTP Biennial Workshop
The IGTP in conjunction with The Early Music Shop held a workshop in Saltaire, West Yorkshire on October 10-11 for waits and players of waits-type instruments – shawm, curtal, cornett, sackbut, early bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, percussion, and even well-behaved rauschpfeiffes, with specialist tutors Tim Bayley (York Waits) for reeds and Adrian Woodward (regular performer at The Globe) for brass, with sessions also for players of bagpipes and hurdy-gurdies. Lizzie Gutteridge ran a clinic for reed adjustments etc.. Musicians gathered from all over the country, the most distant all the way from Cornwall. The course included a concert on the Saturday evening by The York Waits. After Saturday's sessions in the church across the road from Salt's Mill, the Sunday sessions were held in the Early Music Shop itself. Eighteen early instrumentalists in the Early Music Shop showroom - more like kids in a sweet shop! Instruments and music were flying off the shelves and the till was in danger of overheating.
For those of us attending the Town Pipers' Festival in Den Bosch in 2016, we should remember the significance of the occasion - the 500th anniversary of the death of Hieronymus Bosch, the famous artist whose statue stands in and whose actual house still overlooks the market square. Closer to home, 2016 will be the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. Every band of English waits should surely prepare a concert programme of music associated with the great poet and playwright - songs written by him and set by his musical contemporaries like Robert Johnson, and dances referred to and performed in many of his plays.
7th International Festival of Town Pipers
We are delighted to announce that our colleagues the Stadspijpers van 's-Hertogenbosch are planning our next waits' festival in 's-Hertogenbosch on the first weekend of June 2016. This will be the third time our Dutch friends have hosted our biennial gathering. This festival is special as 2016 is the 500th anniversary of the death of the painter Hieronymus Bosch, who was born in a house overlooking the market square and lived his entire life in the city, so our festival will be a part of much wider anniversary events.
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.
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 Lincoln Waites revive their traditional "Crying Christmas" proclamation.
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 into the new year. 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.