The Minster Minstrels is NCEM’s youth early music ensemble for school-age musicians – playing any instrument - run in partnership with York Music Centre.

Directed by Nina Kumin, the ensemble learns how to interpret the wide variety of music from the Baroque with authentic character and style in a safe space and members have, across the years, built some extraordinarily supportive friendships which have lasted long after they have finished their schooling. The group enjoy opportunities to work with professional groups spending time in York, to explore instruments and repertory from earlier periods, and performance opportunities throughout the year – at the York Early Music Festival and within the York Music Centre's annual programme.

What do our parents and young people say about the Minster Minstrels?

In terms of musicianship, it has helped them enormously. They've both improved their sight-reading ability too - Minster Minstrel parent

I like the staff, the people, the friendliness and the music' 'I've made some really good friends in Minstrels and it's made me more confident to speak to a group and contribute my own ideas - Minster Minstrel participant

I like going to different cities and performing in different places, at first it's nerve-wracking [playing in YEMF] but after a few years it gets better and I don't feel nerve-wracked anymore - Minster Minstrel participant

We've been amazed by the opportunities they've been given - Minster Minstrel parent

In October, the Minster Minstrels visited the Early Music Shop at Saltaire in the company of The York Waits’ Tim Bayley – they had a great time and managed to work their way through a whole variety of different instruments. Look out for future activities with the Minstrels!

If your child would like to join the Minster Minstrels and you’d like to talk to us about the ensemble, then please get in contact with us on education@ncem.co.uk or alternatively to sign up, please have a look at the ensemble enrolment page for York Music Centre here.

With many thanks to the Mayfield Valley Arts Trust for their continued support.

With many thanks to the Mayfield Valley Arts Trust for their continued support.


Keep the music alive in these difficult times