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Minster Minstrel Wins Award

Alex Wherry, aged16, has won this year's John Marvin Achievement Award in recognition of the highest level of commitment, promise and achievement over the year with the Minster Minstrels, York's Early Music Ensemble for young people.

The award was presented by Delma Tomlin, Director of the National Centre for Early Music, following the sell-out Minster Minstrels concert at the Unitarian Chapel, St Saviourgate, as part of this year's York Early Music Festival.

Alex, who attends All Saints RC School in York, has been a member of the Minster Minstrels since she was nine, following in the footsteps of her older sister, Jo, and brother, Phil, who was a founder member.  

She is a highly committed member of the group, attending rehearsals throughout her GCSE examinations and performing a very challenging recorder solo as part of this year's concert.

Heather Moger, Director of the Minster Minstrels commented: "Alex's contribution to the group is outstanding.  With her positive approach and infectious enthusiasm for early music, she sets a fine example for younger players to follow."

The Minster Minstrels welcomes young instrumentalists aged between 10 and 18 years. The ensemble play a wide variety of historical repertoire that was written between the Middle Ages and the eighteenth century and explore how it might have sounded when it was first performed.

The ensemble meets on Saturday mornings during term time at Canon Lee School as part of the York Arts Academy, run by the City of York Council. There are two groups, one for young people who haven't been learning their instrument for very long (approximately grades 2-3) and one for more experienced players (approximately grades 4-8 and above). The instrumental ensemble is ideal for young players who like to play in small groups, often with only one or two people on each part. They learn a wide variety of music from renaissance dance music to baroque trio sonatas.

The next major venture for the Minster Minstrels involves the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment's Olympic tour project 'Anthem for a Child' in 2012 which includes a concert in London next Spring. More information about this initiative will follow in the autumn. 

For information about how to join the Minster Minstrels, contact the National Centre for Early Music on 01904 632220 or email


Press Contact:    Melanie Paris
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