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Minster Minstrels - York's youth early music ensemble

Lizzie Cantrell, Winner of the John Marvin Achievement Award 2014

Minster Minstrels' 10th birthday celebrations

Minster Minstrels in York Minster Library May 2014

Happy 10th Birthday to the Minster Minstrels and congratulations to Lizzie Cantrell who was given the John Marvin Achievement Award in recognition of the highest level of commitment, promise and achievement over the year!

Minster Minstrels is the collective name for a group of music ensembles - First Minstrels, Chamber Minstrels and Recorder Minstrels - which are designed to introduce young people to early music (Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque) and to how it would have sounded at the time it was written.  Minster Minstrels rehearse on Saturday mornings in term time at Canon Lee School, as part of York Arts Academy.  For information on the ensembles and how to join, click here .
From September 2015 Minster Minstrels will be directed by Ian Hoggart. They 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 the Minster Minstrels have enjoyed a very busy year, including attending a workshop and concert with the York Waits as part of the Saltaire Festival in September 2013 (click  here ), performing Richard III, Rumour and Reality in York Minster Chapter House as part of York City Festival and performing in York Early Music Christmas Festival (click here ).  They were also invited to perform at the Old Palace Library, York Minster in May to entertain delegates attending the Northern Renaissance Seminar.  The Minster Minstrels are now looking forward to giving performances at York Early Music Festival on 13 July and in the York Mystery Plays on 13 and 20 July.  

In previous years, the Minster Minstrels have taken part in a massed concert in London with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (click here for details), and performed at the York Mystery Wagon Plays, at the Merchant Adventurers' 650th anniversary celebrations, 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.  
Minster Minstrels are run by the NCEM in partnership with the City of York Council's York Arts Academy, 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.'