Click on the names for more information about all our musicians and dancers! And keep checking out this page for news as more participants are announced...
Janice Burns & Jon Doran are an Anglo-Scottish duo who came together after discovering a shared love of traditional music. They find their songs in archives that span the depths of our history – songs that tell vivid stories about the nature of life and our place in the world. Janice & Jon’s compelling storytelling comes alive through tight vocal harmonies and sensitive interplay between mandolin, bouzouki and guitar. Their arrangements have a spellbinding presence and an understated energy that transports their songs from the pages of books and manuscripts into the imagination of the listener. The duo met whilst studying folk and traditional music at Newcastle University, including a year spent at the University of South-East Norway together. Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength, with recent performances at the likes of Sage Gateshead, Manchester Folk Festival and Edinburgh Tradfest. Their self-titled EP was released in 2020 to overwhelmingly positive feedback, including airplay on BBC Radio 2. Folk songs have always travelled, put down new roots, borrowed and evolved. Janice & Jon’s upcoming album, set for release in Autumn 2022, brings together songs that have survived through the ages, shapeshifting and adapting to changing environments as they’ve been passed from singer to singer. Exploring man’s relationship with nature, love and loss, these are songs with an enduring resonance for audiences everywhere.
“They play lovely strings, they have gorgeous harmony arrangements. Really well crafted, intimate, beautifully understated.” Karine Polwart.
Janice and Jon are performing at St Agatha's in Easby on Saturday April 29th, 5pm, with support from Nick Brooker.
Sid Bowfin is a truly virtuoso violinist who combines madcap comedy with superb musicianship. Watch Sid and his audience compete, argue, ridicule and seduce their way through the most popular works from across centuries, turning classical performance on its head with Sid's hilarious spontaneous comedic antics. Crowds will revel in his renditions of Mozart’s one-legged Rondo, Vivaldi’s secret agent Winter, Brahms's Hungarian dancers and Rossini’s choir of barbers. There’s even Sid’s legendary ‘requests section’. Classical comedy for everyone!
You'll find Sid in the Market Place on the Saturday of MayFest.
Richmondshire Orchestra is a thriving community orchestra which performs to a high standard, giving three concerts a year. We draw players from the Dales, North Yorkshire and surrounding areas, and meet weekly on Thursday evenings during term time, in Richmond. Visit our website or our Facebook page for details of our concerts on 20th March and 26th June.
We are looking for new players, particularly string players. If you are interested in joining the Orchestra, please email the secretary or phone 07814118468.
At Richmond MayFest, come along to the Town Hall on Saturday afternoon to listen and relax to music performed by groups drawn from members of Richmondshire Orchestra.
Maypole Dancing has a long and varied history in Great Britain and across the world. Traditionally it is a celebration of the arrival of summer and today it is a year- round enjoyable activity which appeals to all ages and can use both traditional and contemporary dance and music styles to create colourful and interesting patterns. Fabulous fun to create and fascinating to watch!
Maypole Movers is the creation of Claire Butler, and she set the company up to share the enjoyment and tradition of Maypole Dancing with others.
At MayFest, Claire is at The Castle on Saturday and Sunday to lead dancing sessions with her very own Maypole!
For beginners through to pros! Our Tea Dances are for everyone to come and have a go and enjoy yourselves – we have many people at our dances who have never danced before, as well as more experienced dancers – you are all welcome!!
Enjoy Ballroom and Latin with our live Tea Dance Orchestra - we are a seven - piece mini-orchestra, with singer – Complete beginner? - Learn some moves with the help of our fabulous dancers who will take you through some basic steps for each dance!
Join us for an afternoon of Ballroom and Latin music and dancing from the golden age of Swing (such as Cheek to Cheek, The Continental, Puttin' On The Ritz) through to modern classics (such as Sway, Anniversary Waltz, The Shadow Of Your Smile).
And as it's a Tea Dance, refreshments will be available!
Tea Dances are for all, come on your own or bring a partner, or a whole group of friends - we look forward to seeing you for a spin around the dance floor!
In the Town Hall, Sunday, 2pm.
£10 full / £5 local resident.
Medieval minstrels Trouvre are Gill Page and Paul Leigh, and are based in Richmond. Gill and Paul have been playing music together for nearly twenty years, and they particularly like the music of the high middle ages - the time of the crusades and courtly love.
Gill and Paul enjoy researching and recreating the magnificent music of these times, and have an amazing array of medieval instruments. They are also the directors of Medieval Music in the Dales - the UK's only festival of medieval music - and Gill is in addition one of the team behind Richmond MayFest.
At MayFest, Trouvere will be performing in the Market Place, in the Castle, and at The Station. You can catch their musical performances on Saturday - and on Monday they are presenting their musical tales of English 'Legends' at the Castle. Come and find out more about Aethelflaed of Mercia, William Marshal and Robin Hood in Trouvere's hilarious (but very informative!) re-tellings, complete with music of the time.
The Ran Tanners are the virtuosic duo of Paul Martin (bagpipes, hurdy gurdy, fiddle, accordion) and Ian McKone (fiddle, guitar, drums). Based in Durham, they specialise in the folk tunes of the north east which they play with verve and style.
At Richmond MayFest, they will again be variously roaming the Market Place and streets of the town, bobbing down to The Station, and hanging out at the session in The Castle Tavern. Don't worry - you won't miss them!
The Ran Tanners are generously sponsored at MayFest by The Original Richmond Business and Tourism Association.
Richmondshire Choral Society, has origins going back to 1879 and in its time has sung most of the great choral works. We always welcome new members, and for information that is useful if you are interested in joining us take a look here and get in touch.
At their concert, tthe RCS will be singing the uplifting and dramatic Elijah. This is one of Britain's most popular choral works - Mendelssohn's magnificent story of faith, doubt and miracles. With conductor Peter Stallworthy, accompanist Andrew Christer and soloists. This performance is dedicated to the memory of Janet Hall.
Soprano - Georgie Malcolm
Contralto - Helena Cooke
Tenor- David Horton
Baritone - Terence Ayebare (Elijah)
Tickets available here, also from members and at Castle Hill Books and Neeps and Tatties.
Photo by Rhiannon Dalton.
The Leeds Waits are the official town musicians of Leeds, and were re-established by Alan Radford in 1983, receiving official recognition by Leeds City Council a few years later. The original Leeds Waits existed from at least as early as 1530-31 until they were disbanded in 1835.
The Waits perform for the Lord Mayor and Corporation, also at stately homes and heritage events around the region, and for organisations such as English Heritage and The National Trust. The Waits have performed on radio and television, and also have thirty years experience of playing for historical dance groups, initially Capriol Historical Dance Group of Oldham and more recently White Rose Early Dance of Huddersfield. They play authentic music on authentic instruments, always performing in appropriate historical dress, and are, as in the old days, available for hire for public and private events.
This is amazingly the 40th anniversary year of the revived Leeds Waits, so we are delighted to have them at MayFest with their musical history of 'The Story of Coffee' - 12.30pm Saturday in the Town Hall. Free admission.
Established in 2017, Charlotte Jacqueline School of Dance is an award winning school based in Richmond, North Yorkshire offering classes in Ballet, Tap, Modern Theatre and Jazz to children and adults from aged three. Students have the opportunity to be examined in their work by the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) & the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA).
For MayFest, the Charlotte Jacqueline teachers and students are presenting a live ballet demonstration - 'Ballet Class Live'!
Sunday 11am, at the Town Hall - admission free!
Hautbois are Rick and Nellie Heavisides - a lively and talented duo that use music as a vehicle for historical entertainment. They excel in a unique style of performance which balances a detailed knowledge of the given period in history with the presentation of the music. All the music played is thoroughly researched as appropriate for the historical period; every attention to historical accuracy is observed in their vibrant, informative and entertaining shows.
At MayFest, Rick and Helen wlll again be performng music from the time of the Great War, from their wonderful reproduction hand cart! They were such a hit in 2022, we just had to have them back! Catch them in the Market Place on Saturday and Sunday.
Tritor perform pre-renaissance music and song with much medieval grooviness...
Regular favourites on the tavern stage at Medieval Music in the Dales, Tritor aim to engage with the ageless spirit of this wonderful resonant music, bring great tunes and songs forward in time to a modern audience. As one enthusiastic fan has said “I never knew dead old stuff could sound so good…”
At Richmond MayFest. Tritor will be popping into the folk session at the Castle Tavern on Monday afternoon, adding their sounds to the music-making. You might also spot them at the Castle at some point...
Richmond on Swale Morris Men, Richmond’s only traditional Cotswold style Morris side have been in existence since 1973. As Richmond's very own morris side, they are coordinating morris dancing over the weekend so watch this space for news of more sides...
This year the RoSMM are hosting their annual Day of Dance as part of MayFest, so you can catch them along with a host of guest dance sides on the Sunday. They will be dancing in the Market Place, at the Castle and at The Station.
Bisarr is a folk-duo formed by Nicholas Konradsen and James Noble, who first met at the Medieval Music in the Dales festival. The two of them play contemporary folk and traditional-styled music, primarily inspired by Scandinavian and other European folk traditions, featuring cittern, bagpipes, oud, hurdy gurdy and saz.
Bisarr are a really talented pair - and we are really proud to say that their appearance at MayFest in 2022 was their first gig together! This year, their MayFest performances mark the launch of their new and wonderful CD (though you can pre-order your copy right now if you want!)
Catch Nick and James at Richmond Castle on Saturday at around 12noon and 2pm.