Buckingham early music band wins big at Buxton Fringe

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A Buckingham band has been described as one the highlights of the Buxton Fringe, after winning an award for their performance of ‘Cupid and the King.’

Hailing from Buckingham and Adstock, Mr Simpson’s Little Consort were awarded the ‘Other Event’ award at a ceremony on July 23

The four piece, comprised of Cate McKee, Sue and Piers Snell, and Lucy Bignall, deliver readings from the 17th century alongside period music and expressed their delight at being honoured with the prize.

Violist, recorder player and Harpsichordist Sue Snell said: “We’ve worked towards this for a really long time, so we’re truly chuffed to bits.”

“The four of us are local music teachers, who’ve found early music is such a niche. “You can’t sit there poe-faced while performing, you need to educate the audience. people don’t know what to expect.”

The band’s unique style of performance, which combines music written by historical figures, including Henry VIII, with explanations of the history behind the piece, proved a hit with the audience.

Unaware that winning an award for their performance was even an option, the group, who have performed together for six years, described the announcement as “a complete surprise.”

Katie Barrett, who reviewed the act on behalf of the festival, said: “It was a spine tingling and evocative moment, to hear a number of beautiful pieces thought to have been written by Henry Viii himself on the instruments his own musicians would have used.

“Mr Simpson was apparently a 17th Century virtuoso Viol player, and I think he would have been proud of this group of professional musicians who have adopted both his name, his love of this remarkable instrument alongside skill and mastery of the exquisite and sonorous music of the period.”

Mr Simpson’s Little Consort play Westbury Arts Centre on September 9 and 10 at 3pm, for a set of free shows to celebrate Heritage Weekend, and can be found on stage again in Edlesborough, on October 14. More information at www.mrsimpsonslittleconsort.wordpress.com