Banquo Folk Ensemble will perform at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church on Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. (Contributed/Bill Jamieson)

Banquo Folk Ensemble will perform at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church on Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. (Contributed/Bill Jamieson)

Banquo Folk Ensemble serenades Sidney

20 years into performing, the ancient music ensemble visits the Peninsula

Banquo Folk Ensemble may have been performing their signature sound for over 20 years, but their performance in Sidney this weekend will mark the first time the band has performed in town.

With a program titled, “Pastime With Good Company” Banquo will perform music spanning some 800 years at the newly renovated St. Andrew’s Anglican Church (9691 Fourth Street) on Nov. 17 at 3 p.m.

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“Much of this music comes down to us through the ages with little or no information on how it was originally performed,” says Banquo member Bill Jamieson. “This gives us the freedom to explore the many creative possibilities the music presents, while still honouring its origins.”

Joining Jamieson on stage is lead vocalist Lael Whitehead, Jamieson’s daughter Gwendolyn and siblings Amy and Eric Reiswig.

Drawing from written and oral traditions, Banquo puts their own stamp on ancient tunes, showcasing a large array of over 25 exotic instruments including recorders, cittern, several types of bagpipes, hurdy gurdy, shawm, vielle and percussion.

Many of these are authentic reproductions of instruments that were used hundreds of years ago, Jamieson says, while others are updated versions of the originals, including instruments made by Eric.

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“At the end of the day, we want to provide a concert that our audience will be able to relate to, regardless of their musical tastes and that showcases this wonderful music, so rarely available to modern audiences,” he adds.

Tickets will be available at the door, or in advance at Tanner’s Books and online at If you can’t make it, don’t fret – another performance is slated for Nov. 18 in Oak Bay and on Mayne Island Nov. 24.

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