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Minster Minstrels - York's youth early music ensemble

Tim Bayley donates a soprano rauschpfeife to the Minster Minstrels

Workshop with Tim Bayley of the York Waits

Minster Minstrels at the York Mystery Plays July 2014

Lizzie Cantrell, Winner of the John Marvin Achievement Award 2014

Minster Minstrels' 10th birthday celebrations

Minster Minstrels is York's youth early music ensemble   The group welcomes all instrumentalists and aims to explore, and to learn how to interpret, the wide variety of music from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque.  The group are also given the opportunity to play authentic instruments, which adds to the engaging element of weekly sessions.  Minster Minstrels rehearse on Saturday mornings in term time, 9.30am - 12.15pm at Canon Lee School, as part of York Music Centre.  

Led by Director Ian Hoggart and Assistant Director Sammi Tooze, the Minster Minstrels perform at least once each term, appearing regularly at York Early Music Festival and York Early Music Christmas Festival as well as taking part in performances and events throughout the year. 2014 marks their 10th anniversary and this very busy year has included performances at the York Early Music Festival; in York Minster Chapter House as part of York City Festival; in the Old Palace Library, York Minster for the Northern Renaissance Seminar and at the York Mystery Wagon Plays. In the current term the Minster Minstrels have already enjoyed a workshop with Tim Bayley of the York Waits and are looking forward to performing with York Music Centre at the NCEM on Saturday 6 December - click here for further details.

The highlight of the term will be a performance with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) as part of the OAE Watercycle Community Concert on Saturday 13 December.  A member of the OAE will work with the Minster Minstrels at their rehearsal on 29 November to help them prepare for it. They will perform Telemann Water Music, join in playing the newly composed 'Concert for York' and sing in the 'Watercycle Song'. The concert takes place at Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York at 6.30pm on Saturday 13 December. For tickets and further details, click  here

In previous years, the Minster Minstrels have performed at the Merchant Adventurers' 650th anniversary celebrations in York, at King's Place in London, and as part of the York Massed Choir at the Music for Youth Schools Prom in the Royal Albert Hall in 2009.  Some took the parts of Cupids in the Theatre of the Ayre's production of Venus and Adonis directed by Elizabeth Kenny in the 2010 York Early Music Festival.  

For details about joining Minster Minstrels, please contact the NCEM on 01904 632220 or email .  
Minster Minstrels are run by the NCEM in partnership with the City of York Council's York Music Centre with support from Mayfield Valley Arts Trust. 

Participants say:
'I have learned lots of new things like the history behind the music and about how dances and dance steps affect how we play the music.'

Parents say:
'I appreciate the superb standard of performance. Whatever level they have reached the standard is truly excellent due to parts being allocated depending on each musician's personal strengths and those of their instruments.'