Sussex Waits was founded in 2013 to explore the repertoire of the shawm bands that flourished in the UK and across Europe from the renaissance period.
The shawms were the staple instrument for all the town waits from the mid 16th to the late 17th century and played for civic and ceremonial occasions.
Sussex Waits is:
- Martin Eastwood – alto shawm
- Hilary Ougham – tenor shawm (and dulcian)
- Mike Clemens – tenor shawm (and dulcian)
- Michael Withers – soprano shawm
But the town waits were also expected to play ‘softer’ instruments as well, so Sussex Waits will put the shawms to one side from time to time and play a variety of different instruments including recorders, rebecs and bagpipes.