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Minster Minstrels - York's youth early music ensemble







Minster Minstrels performing in York Minster in the Schools Prom preview concert
 
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 .
 
Minster Minstrels are directed by Heather Moger, supported by Assistant Director Ian Hoggart and Assistant Sophie Simpson. 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 are looking forward to performing Renaissance music at the Old Palace Library at York Minster on Saturday 10 May 2014 for the Northern Renaissance Seminar, and giving performances in the York Arts Academy Summer concert on 21 June, York Early Music Festival on 13 July and 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.'