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Dates of existence
The York Waits were founded in 1978 to recreate the original Waits who had been active in York since at least the fifteenth century. In York as in many towns, they were employed by the Lord Mayor as the city’s own band of musicians, paid and liveried by the corporation to play on public occasions. The original group were disbanded under the Municipal Corporation Act of 1835.
The current Waits aim to recreate the original band in its sixteenth century heyday, playing medieval and renaissance wind music on recreations of the original instruments. They generally number between five and six members and give regular concerts and workshops throughout Britain for festivals, music societies, schools and private functions, as well as accompanying dancers and choirs. They have also produced a number of CDs and have appeared on stage and television.