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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 as part of York Music Centre. The rehearsals will take place at Millthorpe School as from Saturday 28 February 2015.  

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. The Minster Minstrels are currently looking forward to taking part in the European Day of Early Music on 21 March alongside York Music Centre's Girls' Chamber Choir and Warwickshire's Youth Viol Consort 'Gutted' in a morning workshop at the NCEM directed by Paul Gameson. In the afternoon they will play at the Treasurer's House. There are also performances planned for Saturday 4 July at 2pm as part of York Music Hub Festival and on Sunday 5 July at 4pm as part of York Early Music Festival.

2014 marked the Minster Minstrels' 10th anniversary and this very busy year included performances at the York Early Music Festival; at York Minster Chapter House as part of York City Festival; at the Old Palace Library, York Minster for the Northern Renaissance Seminar; at the York Mystery Wagon Plays; and with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) as part of the OAE Watercycle Community Concert. 

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.'