The 8th International Festival of Town Pipers
19th & 20th May 2018 in King’s Lynn

Organised by the International Guild of Town Pipers in partnership with King’s Lynn’s Hanse Festival:

Information for visitors

Welcome to the 8th International Festival of Town Pipers! This is a biennial event which is organised by musicians who re-create the civic bands of Medieval & Renaissance Europe. Know in in England as “Waits” these bands were employed by European towns to provide music for public and civic events, celebrations and processions. Often they would be found performing out of doors and their instruments were chosen to be loud enough to carry in the streets and town squares in the days before amplification.

This weekend’s festival sees 12 visiting bands from the UK, Holland and the USA giving free public performances around the centre of King’s Lynn. All the performers are giving their services for free – they come to this event every two years for the unique opportunity to meet and play together with like-minded specialists.

For further background information about the history of the Waits, as well as information on modern performers of this music and support material for those wanting to give it a go, please have a look around the rest of The Waits Website, a resource provided by The International Guild of Town Pipers

Saturday 19th May 2018 between 10:00am and 4:00pm

Participating bands will be performing for 20-30 minutes at locations around the town centre:

1: St Nicholas Chapel
10:00 The York Waits
10:30 Blondel
11:00 The King’s Lynn Waites
11:30 The Doncaster Waits
12:00 Stadspijpers van s’-Hertogenbosch
12:30 The Worcester Waits

2: Tuesday Market Place
10:00 Stadspijpers van s’-Hertogenbosch
11:00 The Leeds Waits
12:00 Speelluden van Campen
13:00 The King’s Lynn Waites
14:00 The Waites of Gloucester
15:00 The Worcester Waits

4: High Street near Boots
12:00 The Waites of Gloucester
13:00 The Leeds Waits
14:30 The York Waits
15:30 The Ely Piper

5: King’s Staithe Square
10:30 The Worcester Waits
11:30 The Ely Piper
12:30 Waits and Strays
14:30 The Colchester Waits
15:00 The King’s Lynn Waites
15:30 City of Lincoln Waites

6: High Street near Debenhams
10:30 Waits and Strays
12:30 The Colchester Waits
13:30 City of Lincoln Waites
14:00 Blondel
15:30 The Doncaster Waits

8: Saturday Market Place
10:00 The Waites of Gloucester
11:00 Speelluden van Campen
12:00 The York Waits
13:30 Stadspijpers van s’-Hertogenbosch
15:00 The Leeds Waits

9: Hansa House
10:30 The Colchester Waits
11:30 City of Lincoln Waits
12:30 Blondel
13:30 The Doncaster Waits
14:00 The Ely Piper
14:30 Waits & Strays
15:30 Speelluden van Campen

Sunday 20th May at 10:45am

The massed bands will congregate at Tuesday Market Place before leading the Hanseatic flag procession along the High Street to Saturday Market and then back along riverside to King’s Staithe Square. This will be the first time that we have performed with all the bands together whilst in procession and it should be a great spectacle.

Sunday 20th May at 12.30pm at St Nicholas’ Chapel –

The Great Noyse!

FREE concert of Medieval & Renaissance music, including performances by 12 individual bands and the massed bands.

Great Noyse Programme:

Individual Bands:Processional entries:Showpieces:
The King’s Lynn WaitesBelle qui tiens ma vieCanaries
City of Lincoln WaitesTrist Espana Sin VenturaDindirin/Una Sañosa Porfía
The Worcester WaitsLa VenessienneVecchie letrose/Fairie Round
Speelluden van CampenA medieval fanfareEen scamel mercenier
The Colchester WaitsTentaloraThe Spagnolettas
The Waites of GloucesterGruss GottDu court let don
The Leeds WaitsPhilouBranle de Poitou
BlondelLa bionda treccaSalterello
Staspijpers van s’-HertogenboschAllemande TriplaSlaet op den trommele
The Doncaster WaitsThe Earl of Oxford’s MeasureL’ultimo di de Maggio
Ely Piper/Waits & StraysThe Ely Piper: BlowzabellaWaits & Strays: La Morsique
The York WaitsSauff ausL’homme arme

The massed bands:

Tanz: All ye who love good fellows – Praetorius
Pavan & Galliard d’Angleterre – Gervaise
Tant qui Vivrai – Sermisy/Hessen
Bruder Conrad’s tanzmass & nachtanz – Hessen

There will be a retiring collection, with proceeds going to the Churches Conservation Trust who look after and maintain this wonderful building, and to the International Guild of Town Pipers, helping to cover the costs of this and future festivals of Town Pipers. We thank you for your donations.

Participating Bands

The King’s Lynn Waites boast one of the most complete sets of historical records in the UK, with entries dating back to the mid 14th century including reference to William Wylde, a minstrel, a Wait and a vigilator, or watchman. The late 16th century records include reference to “Instrumente belonginge to the Town followinge viz a Doble Curtall a single Curtall Twoo Lizardines & a Tenor hoboye”. It is upon this low band of shawm, curtals and lizard(s) that the revived band’s recent core repertoire is based. Our revival has been going strong since 1999 when the the Mayor, local historian Dr Paul Richards, encouraged the formation of the modern Lynn Waites by buying us their livery coats from his privy purse and using us for civic occasions. Recent performances include regular appearances at the town Hansa Festival & Heritage Open Days as well as private functions and banquets.

Blondel Medieval & Renaissance wind band specialises in high quality wind music, with a core sound being the 15th century alta capella band. Past performances include concerts in the Cheltenham Festival (broadcast live by the BBC) Cambridge Early Music, King’s Lynn Festival, Beaminster Festival, Leeds International Medieval Congress, the Wimbledon International Music Festival and Colchester Early Music as well as at Hampton Court Palace. The Agincourt600 Committee commissioned us to record a CD based around the life of Henry V which is available as a free download from Our new album “Of arms and a woman” is due out this autumn.

The Colchester Waits are the the world’s only open entry Waits band*, welcoming members from a wide range of musical backgrounds (or none). Our unusual approach involves allowing each member to perform as much or as little as they feel able and inclined – whether we’re talking about dates in the diary or bars in a particular piece. Current membership stands at roughly 18 people, and when they do all decide to play at the same time they make quite a powerful noise! The band regularly appears at local venues and events such as Ingatestone Hall, Witham Medieval Fayre, Colchester Medieval Festival and Hedingham Castle’s Jousts as well as performing indoor concerts and dance events.
*As far as we know…

The Speelluden van Campen is an ‘Alta Capella’ from Kampen, one of the oldest Hanseatic cities in the Netherlands. They play songs and dances from the 14th and 15th century on medieval slide trumpet and authentic hand drum. They have performed in several Hanseatic towns in the Netherlands and Germany. In Kampen they often play at the famous medieval ship ‘the Kogge’ and on its wharf. The Speelluden van Campen are looking forward to meeting the public in King’s Lynn and hope they will join them in making music together.

The Doncaster Waites take their name from the bands of musicians who used to be employed by local corporations as town musicians, “The Waites” were first recorded in Doncaster in 1457, and they were discontinued by Doncaster Corporation in 1832 after nearly 400 years of music making. The present band are all musicians from Doncaster with an interest in early music. They aim to recreate the Waites as they were around the first quarter of the 17th century, the time when the first detailed accounts of the original Doncaster Waites appear in the archives. Their clothes are also based on these accounts and the men accurately represent how the original Waites would have looked at that time. Women, of course, would never have been Waites, but we like to think that the Waites would have been joined by their friends and family in private music making in the houses and inns of Doncaster. Recently the Waites have performed at Haddon Hall, Sheffield Manor, Sheffield Cathedral and Doncaster Mansion House; as well as at many other less well known venues. This year will see their return to the York Mystery plays in September and a performance in Derbyshire with the Bakewell Choral Society.

The Waites of Gloucester – Since the last IGTP event we have been joined by Rachel Tedd, who grew up playing recorders and oboe, and has enjoyed extending her range to encompass crumhorns and shawms. Our most recent performance was in April, in Tewkesbury’s Old Baptist Chapel. We had a very successful time at Harvington Hall just before Christmas, playing to packed houses both afternoon and evening, and being invited back on the spot! Sadly one of our other Christmas excursions fell victim to the snow that descended in early December, so we were unable to meet up again with the Tanhouse Singers, with whom we had performed in Spring 2017. However, Gotherington Local History Society invited us to entertain them at their Christmas event, and that has led to a Christmas 2018 booking in Gloucester. As usual, we took our places in September very near the head of the Gloucester Day Parade, and also played for a Heritage Open Day event. We will be visiting Berkeley Castle later this year, for the first – but not, we hope, the last – time. And there are some stirrings of plans afoot for an early music event in Bristol, so we hope to be there in Spring 2019.

Records of the Town Pipers of ‘s-Hertogenbosch can be found from the late 14th century. It’s certain they disappeared from public life around 1629 when the catholic city was taken over from the Spanish King by the troops of the protestant House of Orange. ‘s-Hertogenbosch is the only city in the Netherlands, and one of the few cities on the European mainland, where, in 1984, a group of Town Pipers (Stadspijpers) was re-established. In 2002 this group has undergone a real metamorphosis because of new historical insight. The original uniforms, instruments and badges have been accurately copied according to the tradition of 1530. The Stadspijpers initiated the first International Festival of Town Pipers and hosted it for the third time in ‘s-Hertogenbosch during the Jheronimus Bosch Year 2016. They have performed in many countries like Poland, France, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom and Spain.

The Leeds Waits re-creates the old borough musicians, for whom we have records from 1530 until their 1835 abolition. Appearing in our renaissance persona for the Hanse Festival, on other occasions we can cover the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries. The group varies in number, as indeed did the original waits, but on this occasion appear as a duo, both members since the waits’ revival in 1983. We perform regularly in and around Leeds at historic venues including Temple Newsam, Oakwell Hall and York Minster, and also further afield at places including the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and Edinburgh Castle. Later this year we will be performing with our eighth cycle of the York Mystery Plays.

Waites returned again to the city of Lincoln 11 years ago, when Al Garrod re-formed the Mayor of Lincoln’s Band of Musick after a recess of 150 years. During that time City of Lincoln Waites have enjoyed a close connection with successive Mayors of our home city and a special relationship with the Retinue of Thomas Lord Burgh KG, at the Burgh’s Manor House, Gainsborough. In 2015 we were awarded the great honour of leading the medieval funeral procession of His Grace, King Richard III, across Bosworth battlefield, prior to his reburial in Leicester.

Last year saw The York Waits celebrate the 40th year of their revival of York’s ancient city band. The current line-up varies depending on the setting with up to 6 players in the loud band of 3 shawms, 2 sackbuts and percussion for out-door events and processions. There’s also a concert line-up of 6, including recorders, bagpipes, strings and the vocals of Deborah Catterall. This year sees the band heading to Norway next month for a Medieval Festival in Hamar, then there are concerts in the Halifax Minster Summer Festival and Medieval Music in the Dales, followed by a trip to Warwick in October for a lunchtime lecture/demo on the fifteenth century stained glass angelic orchestra in the Beauchamp chapel. After that we’ll be straight into preparations for this year’s Christmas concert season which will include our regular concerts in Halifax, York and Wentworth.

Over the last couple of years, The Worcester Waits have appeared recently in various sized groups in the local Worcestershire area, including at the relaunch of The Commanderys’ exhibitions in August 2017. All players are busy with their own individual careers too.

The Scratch Band (“Waits & Strays”) is a new development at this year’s festival, allowing individual attendees to play as part of a band at the Festival for the first time. This year’s group comprises two Americans, one Bristol-based musician and The Ely Piper playing together for this weekend only.