National Centre for Early Music

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Minster Minstrels - Jo Wherry


Minster Minstrels is York's youth early music ensemble for school age musicians of any instrument. Directed by Heather Moger, the Minster Minstrels learn how to interpret early music with authentic character and style. They perform regularly, including appearances at York Early Music Festival and York Early Music Christmas Festival. There are also opportunities to work with professional musicians in workshops and master-classes and to attend early music concerts to hear and see them in action. Minster Minstrels is run as a partnership between the NCEM and the City of York Council's York Arts Academy with support from The Mayfield Valley Arts Trust.

"I joined the Minster Minstrels at its foundation and continued playing with the ensemble until I was 18. During these years the group helped me grow in confidence with my playing as well as giving me invaluable chamber music skills. The way in which the tutors explained the pieces made a huge impact on the sessions. We were given the context behind the music - something which, as a student studying and practising historically informed performance, I value as being of huge importance.

I am currently studying at the University of Huddersfield. I am a member of the Early Music Ensemble, in which I sing, and play the baroque violin, treble viol and the medieval vielle. The opportunities at University have been fantastic and my time with the Minster Minstrels definitely played an integral role in my decision to pursue a career in music."