Aurora's Carnival Entertainment Agency

Doncaster Waites


The Doncaster Waites are an early music group based in the town of Doncaster. They take their name from the bands of musicians who used to be employed by local corporations as town musicians.
The present band are all local musicians with an interest in early music, and have regular jobs in a variety of professions. They have been together now for a considerable number of years! The music they play is generally centered around the first half of the 17th century, the time when the first detailed accounts of the original Doncaster Waites appear in the archives. Their costume is also based on these accounts and the three 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. 

The Doncaster Waites


The Doncaster Waites

The Doncaster Waites

The Doncaster Waites


The band performs on a variety of reproduction period instruments. The shawm is used to give the original sound of the waites, a loud double reed instrument ideal for outdoors or large rooms. The pipe and tabor (drum) is a popular combination and is used for dance music in particular. Recorders and flutes produce a more familiar, quieter sound and are ideal for small rooms and consort playing. The noise of the crumhorn often seems to be associated with Henry VIII, and its curved shape never fails to provoke curiosity. Other colourful sounds are produced by the hurdy gurdy, tambourin de Bearn, rackett, cornamuse and curtal. The group also sings and likes to specialise in the popular part songs and rounds of the period as heard in the streets, homes and ale houses of Renaissance England. 


The Doncaster Waites

Playing the Hurdy Gurdy


The music they perform is all taken or adapted from original sources. Normally these cover a wide period up to the mid 17th century, but a more precise programme can be prepared if required. 
They offer a variety of performances....viz:

A. A formal full evening’s performance with musical items interspersed with readings which may include explanations of the various instruments and information about the history of the original Doncaster Waites.  Audience participation can be included in the form of singing or simple dances. 

B. A shorter version of the above as part of an evening’s entertainment or following a meal where the Doncaster Waites have provided “background” music. 

C. Music for period fairs or fetes either indoors or outdoors, usually consisting of half hour spots every hour or so depending on circumstances. These can be staged at a particular spot or they can move around the site. 

D. The Waites can also perform in parades or processions. 

Any combination of the above is available with prior discussion. 

The Waites have some requirements of their own! They do not use amplification and therefore to locate them near to those who do can be counter productive. A base location can be useful where cases and clothes can be left secure. 

For formal events, a large table to put instruments on and a few chairs would be appreciated. A stage is not required and generally a performance area of approximately 14 feet by 10 feet is adequate, though they are prepared to be flexible. 


For a complimentary copy of my PDF file "A guideline to the various types of entertainment available to book for your event" Click this link.

To book The Doncaster Waites,
 or for further information, contact:

Chris Ehrenzeller
Aurora's Carnival
166 Dale Road
Matlock Bath

Mobile: 07710 788671

e mail:

Medieval musicians are available around the country:- England....Bath, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton & Hove, Bristol,
Carlisle, Cambridge, Canterbury, Chester, Chichester, Coventry, Derby, Durham, Ely, Exeter, Gloucester,
Hereford, Kingston-upon-Hull, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Lichfield, Lincoln,, Liverpool, London, Manchester,
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Ripon, Salford, Salisbury, Sheffield, Southampton, St Albans, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Truro, Wakefield, Wells, Westminster, Winchester
Wolverhampton, Worcester, York. 
Wales...Bangor, Cardiff, Newport, St David's, Swansea. 
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Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Durham,
East Riding, East Sussex, East Yorkshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Greater London, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire,
Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Merseyside, Middlesex, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire,
Oxfordshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Somerset,  South Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Tyne and Wear, Warwickshire,
Westmorland, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, West Sussex, West Yorkshire

Anglesey, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Cerdigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire
Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taff
Swansea, The Vale of Glamorgan, Torfaen, Wrexham