Cries of 'brilliant' from the audience at York Waites show
From the Halifax Courier. Published Date: 16 December 2008

Early music maestros The York Waits assured a capacity audience of a merry Christmas by promising an early return to Halifax in the New Year. It was the 18th successive year that they had delivered a pre-Christmas potion of atmospheric medieval sounds at the Square Chapel.

To celebrate the 500th anniversary of the accession of Henry VIII to the English throne, The Waits announced a return concert in March.

Without the need for microphones or amplifiers the musicians including Courier columnist William Marshall used the excellent acoustics of the building to best effect.

Soprano Deborah Catterall provided the perfect accompaniment to the blend of medieval instruments. The clarity of Deborah's voice coupled with her engaging smile and warm personality accentuated the simple beauty of the 14th and 15th century songs she delivered with gentle grace.

Muttered adjectives in the audience including "beautiful", "brilliant" and "wonderful" followed the rendition of festive songs, some well-known, others a pleasant and atmospheric surprise.

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night heralded the interval, when audience members were invited to ask questions and inspect the instruments.

The Seven Joys of Mary had incredible emotion but The Waits balanced the afternoon's songs with toe-tapping ditties like The Little Barleycorns.

Pauline Hawkins

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