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New NCEM Patron Scheme Launched

There is a new opportunity for music lovers to support the high quality work of the National Centre for Early Music by becoming an NCEM Patron.

The Patron's scheme encourages individuals to engage with a wide range of music activities as part of the York Early Music Festivals and also the year-round music and education programme. There are three levels of involvement and more details can be found at or by ringing 01904 632220 and requesting an information pack.

Delma Tomlin, Director of the National Centre for Early Music commented: "We programme to the highest standards a diverse range of music for people with eclectic music tastes. The Arts Council of England supports our activities through their new National Portfolio Programme but in order to maintain these high standards and develop our activities, we need additional support. Our new Patron's scheme gives our supporters the opportunity to engage with the NCEM on a more personal level and to meet some of the incredible musicians that connect with our organisation."

This season the NCEM is delighted to announce its new Winter Jazz Warmer series, bringing an array of fantastic jazz duos to York for a series of Sunday afternoon concerts. Book all three concerts in the series and get one free plus a complementary glass of wine/beer at each concert. This limited offer applies on full price tickets purchased before Friday 14 October.

The first series features Andrew McCormack piano and Jason Yarde saxophone (Sun 23 Oct, 4.00pm); John Parricelli guitar and Huw Warren piano (Sun 6 Nov, 4.00pm); John Etheridge guitar and Chris Garrick violin (Sun 20 Nov, 4.00pm).

Also internationally renowned saxophonists returning to the NCEM this season include Soweto Kinch (Fri 30 Sept, 7.30pm) with his The New Emancipation programme drawing its inspiration from 19th century work songs and early blues and a new solo set by Andy Sheppard (Fri 16 Dec, 7.30pm) featuring his own compositions, on-the-fly improvisations, classic jazz standards, hymns and ancient folk songs, even a tribute to the Beatles! 

Rob Lavers joins us to lead the Late Learners' Jazz Workshop (Sat 12 Nov, 9.30am - 12.30pm) for people who have returned to or started playing music later in life. The workshop is followed by a concert by The Rob Lavers Quartet (Sat 12 Nov, 4.00pm) celebrating 80 years of jazz and there is £5 off full price tickets if you book for the workshop at the same time. 

The NCEM continues its collaboration with The Black Swan Folk Club and welcomes some fantastic folk musicians this season including Patrick Street (Fri 23 Sept, 7.30pm) the world's leading exponents of Irish music; the French-based band, The Churchfitters (Mon 3 Oct, 7.30pm) performing with a vast array of instruments - everything from fiddle to saxophone, ukulele to musical saw; The Urban Folk Quartet (Mon 28 Nov, 7.30pm) showing true folk fusion and Emily Smith (Mon 12 Dec, 7.30pm) one of the leading folk singers in Scotland, whose powerful, beautifully clear vocals have gained her award-winning recognition.

The Making Tracks partnership promoting the most exciting musicians from around the globe to key UK venues, brings Aurelio Martinez (Tues 8 Nov, 7.30pm) a remarkable Garifuna artist whose poignant voice and songwriting talent makes music that spans tragic history and soulful ceremonies. The world music programme continues with the world famous a cappella group from Zimbabwe The Black Umfolosi 5 (Tues 11 Oct, 7.30pm) who perform music inspired by the traditional song and dance of their native southern Africa; street musician Sain Zahoor (Sun 9 Oct, 7.30pm) from Pakistan whose distinctive voice was featured in the soundtrack to the BBC Film's 'West is West' and the national Indian Classical Music Ensemble Tarang (Sat 15 Oct, 7.30pm) promoted in association with kalasangam.

Early Music lovers should book early for the BBC Radio 3 Gala Concert - Viols, Voices and Virginals... A Celebration of English Music across Two Centuries (Mon 10 Oct, 7.00pm) featuring three of the foremost names in the Early Music world - the viol consort Phantasm, countertenor Iestyn Davies and keyboard player Mahan Esfahani who come together for a celebration of outstanding English music including works by Orlando Gibbons, William Byrd and Henry Purcell. This concert will be broadcast live by BBC Radio 3. Plus there is the finalists concert of the NCEM Instrumental Composers Award 2011 (Tues 25 Oct, 7.30pm) at All Saints' Church, North Street, York, featuring the acclaimed viol consort Fretwork.

This year's York Early Music Christmas Festival runs from 30 November to 10 December celebrating some of the glorious music of Christmas - from the Renaissance through to the present day. Guest artists include The Cardinall's Musick, Brecon Baroque directed by Rachel Podger, The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments, Sirinu, The Carnival Band, Jogaresa and The Ebor Singers. Full details are on the NCEM website at
This season has been funded by the Arts Council England, Yorkshire with support from the City of York Council. To book tickets visit and use the secure on-line booking system or contact the Box Office on 01904 658338 


Press Contact:         Melanie Paris

Tel:                           01904 632220

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