Waits at Christmas
There are two periods during the year when waits become very active - the summer and the run-up to Christmas. Check out our "Concerts and Events" page to see details of the many performances by our member groups during the Christmas season. If you would like to hear the Christmas music of times past, come along to our performances. Because our member bands research their history, some are 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 will revive 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 from 10.30 to 4.00. On Sunday the 14th we held the "Great Noyse" of massed bands in the cathedral close at 12.00 noon. Then individual bands performed again at the same venues as Saturday between 2.00-4.00. 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. Watch the website for photographs appearing shortly in the report of the weekend 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.
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.
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.
Summer Schools reportsLast year we sought feedback on early music summer schools to guide our members on their selection for this year. We'll try again this year and see if more are forthcoming. Ones which come to mind are:
Lincoln Waites is recruiting
Lincoln Waites would like to hear from players of recorders, crumhorns, shawms, sackbut, bagpipe or any other renaissance or medieval musical instruments. City of Lincoln Waites already play a core repertoire of both "Loud" (shawm) and "Quiet" (recorder) music and we are very interested in collaborating with other musicians. If this works well, the invitiation to perform with us may be repeated. We may be able to accommodate people who can only perform occasionally, as well as those who would like to perform with us more regularly. We usually perform in period costume, but this is not essential for musicians who perform with us occasionally. Contact Al Garrod - 07986 005598
Performance listings and news items
The Events page is now available for listing public events by member bands up to the end of March 2015. 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.