Period players ready for historic music

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MUSICIANS will turn back the clock hundreds of years this weekend during a concert at historic Temple Newsam House in Leeds.

The Leeds Waits group will be playing a selection of seasonal songs and carols from the 17th century at the Tudor-Jacobean mansion from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday.

And, to add an extra touch of realism to the occasion, their performance will be conducted in period costume.

Instruments from the past such as the shawm, sackbut, curtal, English and Flemish bagpipes and even the hurdy-gurdy will also be used.

Leeds Waits member Dr Alan Radford said: “We are looking forward to Saturday enormously. Hopefully we will have a full audience in suitably good voice. It should be quite an occasion.”

Established around 1530, the original Leeds Waits were a band of official town musicians. They performed at civic occasions, such as the leading of the mayor to the parish church or at the opening of the assizes. The group was disbanded in 1835 by the Municipal Reform Act for money-saving reasons.

Dr Radford, a retired University of Leeds geneticist from Horsforth, revived the idea of the Leeds Waits in 1983. They have performed at Temple Newsam most festive periods since 1990.

Their seasonal concerts aim to give modern-day music lovers a taste of the atmosphere during a visit to the house by the original Leeds Waits on Christmas Eve in 1640.

The group was summoned to Temple Newsam by Sir Arthur Ingram to provide entertainment for his family and servants.

People dressed up as members of the Ingram household will be present at this Saturday’s concert.

Tickets for the event cost £8.For more details, ring Temple Newsam on 0113 336 7460.