Maria Morning Star

Australia's longest-lived early music ensemble, the Renaissance Players were first assembled in 1967 by multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger Winsome Evans. With a revolving lineup typically employing nine to ten musicians in tandem with a poetry reader and miming clowns, the group amassed a vast repertoire of over 2,500 songs spanning from the ninth century to the present; in addition to their regular concert performances, in 1973 the Renaissance Players also founded the annual Runnymede Pop Festival. (Another yearly tradition, their Christmas Pudding Concert, was conceived three years later.) Their recordings include the multi-chapter Sephardic Experience series, released on the Celestial Harmonies label during the late '90s and as a box in 1999.