In 2009 the International Pipe and Tabor Festival was held in the city of Lichfield from 10th to 12th July, coinciding with Lichfield’s Georgian market. This gave us the impetus to explore music of the mid-eighteenth century and thereby increase our repertoire.
We were happy to welcome back Rafel and Teresa from Catalunya, who got things off to a good start by giving a talk at the Symposium on the Friday afternoon. Frances Tucker, Gwilym Davis and Charles Wells also contributed interesting talks. We adjourned to a local hostelry for a meal, followed by an evening’s session in the upstairs room of the pub, where numbers swelled as more members arrived.
Saturday saw us gather for a practice session of the Big Dub, the Lichfield Morris Bower processional, before we went to the Guildhall to become part of the Georgian procession up to the Cathedral close. We made a joyful noise in the dampness of the day and after listening to the opening of the Georgian festival, watching the dancing and giving a short interview to the local radio who were covering the event, we made our way back to the hall to rehearse.
In the afternoon a local dance group arrived, who specialise in Georgian dances. We had an interesting and enjoyable rehearsal together, with taborers playing for a number of dances.
After this the AGM was held before we all went to a Chinese restaurant for an ample feast, after which it was back to the Guildhall for the evening concert. Terry Carter was organising this and it was most successful. SYRRE, resplendent in their renaissance costumes, played; the Georgian dancers, resplendent in their Georgian outfits, danced; and the taborers, resplendent in a motley approximation of Georgian wear, played for the dancing and performed a Big Dub. There was a large and appreciative audience.
Unusually there was no playing in the pub afterwards, but this was because there was already a (very loud!) band performing there. It was an enjoyable evening with a lot of talking.
After the rushing about of Saturday, Sunday was a more relaxed day. We had two workshops – Rafel and Teresa gave one on taboring techniques, and Pete Taylor gave the second on the Lichfield Morris. We then had more playing and talking and a substantial leisurely lunch of leftover Chinese feast before people had to leave to go home.