IGTP Workshop 2017
Our IGTP biennial workshop has been arranged for Colchester on Saturday, 18 November. It will be tutored by members of Blondel, and is open to members and non-members, anyone who plays waits-type renaissance instruments. Click the link for details on our Workshops page.

The Peerson Project
Our IGTP Patron, Professor Richard Rastall, has had a momentous 2016 with the fruits of his research on the music of the early Stuart composer Martin Peerson revealed to the public after four centuries of obscurity. We have had performance and recording of the music by I Fagoilini and Fretwork, a day of music and dance based on Peerson and his contemporaries performed by The Leeds Waits and Greensleeves, and workshops on the Peerson repertoire by MEMF and NEEMF. Finally the CD "A Treatie of Humane Love" performed by I Fagiolini and Fretwork was released in January 2017.

Minstrels' Guild Charter of Beverley, 1555
The Guild of Minstrels of Beverley governed all waits and other qualified musicians living and working between the Trent and the Tweed, so covering the north of England east of the Pennines and a major part of the Midlands. Its members met annually to elect guild officers and transact other business. It regulated apprenticeships, and looked after members unable through age to continue earning a living. We are delighted to now have a transcription of the 1555 re-issued charter of the much older guild. Would the Charity Commission accept it if we were to propose it as our own constitution?

Performance listings and news items
The Events page is available for listing public events by member bands for upto six months ahead. If the details of performances by your member band are not up to date, email details to waits.events@btinternet.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.

IGTP Festival 2016
The 7th Biennial Festival of the International Guild of Town Pipers took place in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands from the 3rd to the 5th of June. Our hosts the Stadspijpers van 's-Hertogenbosch were joined by the Waits of Colchester, Doncaster, Gloucester, King's Lynn, Leeds, Worcester and York and the shawm band Blondel. Our festival was held in conjunction with commemorations marking the five hundredth anniversary of the death of the host city's famous painter Heiromymus Bosch, whose house looks out over the market square and whose statue stands proudly in the middle of it. We were overwhelmed by the festivities, performing among medieval people, craftsmen, re-creations of the monsters in the paintings, morality play performances, penitents, plague victims etc. Having sampled the hospitality of our Dutch friends on two previous visits, we were more than happy to return for another weekend of music, good companionship and perhaps a little over-indulgence. We welcomed to their first festival the new bands Blondel and the Waytes of Worcester, and also some new members of bands which had attended previous festivals.

Shakespeare at 400
2016 was the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. Of our member bands, The City Musick, Leeds Waits, Colchester Waites and Domcaster Waites all featured concert programmes of music associated with the great poet and playwright - songs written by him and set by his musical contemporaries like Robert Johnson and Thomas Morley, and dances performed or referred to in his plays. On the actual anniversary weekend Leeds Waits and Colchester Waits both collaborated with local historical dance groups to perform some of the dances mentioned by the Bard.

The earliest waits?
The quote "Assint etiam excubie vigiles cornibus suis strepitum et clangorem et sonitum facientes" from Alexander Neckam (1157-1217) has in the past been cited as the first reference to members of our profession of town waits. There was some confusion as to its source, wrongly cited as Neckam's "De naturis rerum" instead of his lesser-known "De nominibus utensilium". Our Patron, Professor Richard Rastall, has now not only correctly identified the source of the quote but also refined its meaning. Follow the link to this on the "Discussion Essays" page