King's and Queen's Bardic Champions Tourney

TRM will be in attendance TRH will be in attendance

Hosted by Shire of Owlsherst - York, PA

Event date: March 5th, 2016

Event Last Modified: January 7th, 2016

Event details

Hail all bards, performers, and gentlefolk of the East Kingdom!  Welcome to a day of performance, competition, and fine food, as the Shire of Owlsherst hosts the King's and Queen's Bardic Champions Tourney for King Brennan mac Fearghus and Queen Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain.  All bards and performers are encouraged to compete to become a Royal Bard!  In an effort to encourage the bardic arts we suggest that attendees bring small gifts to be given to any performer you find pleasing. 

There will be a hearty and varied day board, A Tour of the Empire, prepared by the talented Owlsherst Cooksguild.  Though no feast will be served, there are many local restaurants close to the site, and a guide to those will be available for the convenience of attendees.

Merchants are welcome; please contact Lord Marcus, listed below, to reserve your space.

Children's activities:  there will be two hours of structured children's activities in the afternoon.  Parents are still responsible for their children and must remain present.

The site is DRY, no alcohol allowed.  It is fully handicap accessible.  Only service animals are permitted.

The site will open at 9 AM and close at 7 PM.

To assist in your travel plans here is a list of hotels close to the site including their address, phone number and distance from the site:
* Quality Inn and Suites, 2600 E.  Market St., York, PA 17402, (717) 755-1966 (.7 miles)
* Courtyard York, 2799 Concord Rd., York, PA 17402, (717) 840-7840 (1.9 miles)
* Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 18 Cinema Drive, York, PA 17402, (717) 718-4447 (1.8 miles)
* Hampton Inn York, 1550 Mt.  Zion Rd., York, PA 17402, (717) 840-1500 (2.3 miles)

The rules of the competition are as follows:

The King's Bard and the Queen's Bard are positions held in high esteem within the Kingdom of the East.  The tradition of a Royal Bard dates back at least to A.S.  12.  The talents of the East are many and varied, and to best showcase that in this competition.  Their Majesties request that you bring your best performance pieces. 

The competition will take place over three rounds.  All performance pieces should be period, period-style*, or otherwise SCA-appropriate**.  All performers must perform at least one period or "period style" piece with documentation in either the first or second round.  Entrants who perform in persona will receive extra consideration.

Rounds 1&2 –
Performers have a total of 12 minutes performance time which may be divided as they see fit between the two rounds.  (For example 10 minutes in the first round leaves 2 minutes for the second round.) Performance times must be designated during sign up.

In addition, performers who are selected to perform in Round 2 are encouraged to perform something that differs from the first piece they performed (e.g., lively/slow, spoken/sung, poetry/prose, etc.). 

Performers must perform a period piece in one of the two rounds. 

Round 3 -
The assignment for the final round will be determined by Their Majesties:  guided by the performer's earlier works as well as the information obtained from the performer via their resume.  Performers will have a few moments to prepare between the assignment from TRM and the start of performances.

*A period performance is defined as a song, story, or other performance that can be documented prior to 1601.  Original compositions based on period rules of composition, original stories based on period styles, contrafacta to a period tune, and other such performances can be considered a period-style performance, with the required documentation***.  For example, a performer could sing a period song with lyrics that have been re-written modernly, tell a story from the Decameron in English, play an original tune in a period style on recorder, or recite a modern English translation of an Old English poem.  Note that original works need not be written by the performer, so long as the style is documentable prior to 1601. 

**An SCA-appropriate performance is any non-period performance of an appropriate nature for an SCA Bardic event, which cannot be documented prior to 1601 This would include things like SCA folk songs, or traditional pieces or stories that do not break the illusion of the Medieval & Renaissance periods.

*** Documentation is required for at least one of your performances in the first two rounds, and can be supplied on an index card.  Your documentation will be scored as detailed on the scoring rubric (forthcoming).  For all questions concerning documentation, or assistance, please contact one of the current Champions. 

Additionally, each performer shall submit a brief "resume" (such as would fit on an index card) listing the performance types and styles (e.g.  songs, stories, jests, musical instruments, poetry, extemporanea (improvisation of diverse kinds), etc.) that the performer is willing to perform upon request, should the performer reach the finals.  Competitors are encouraged to be specific.  This gives the performers a chance to display versatility as well as skill, and gives Their Majesties additional information as they "audition" their next bardic champions. 

Here are some examples:
1.Aife ingen Chonchobair in Derthaige -
* Storyteller (mostly Irish tales)
- Comedic (a little)
- Serious (most of my work)
* Poetry
- Performs SCA praise poetry & poetry in translation
- Composition on at least a week's notice
* Singing & Musical Composition
- Late period songs in English, Traditional songs in English & Irish.
- Writes and sings some SCA folk songs/contrafacta
* Very basic harp accompaniment.
- Does NOT do improvisational performance.  Can come up with a piece to fit most general topics without too much trouble out of overall repertoire.

2.  Martyn de Halliwell - Musician (organ, trumpet, keyboard instruments, recorder), Singer, and occasional spontaneous storyteller, Martyn specializes in the performance of period music, the modification of period music (such as turning "Ah, Robin" a 1535 tune by Cornysh into "Avelina, Sweet Avelina" or "Edi Beo Thu" into "Bold Lord Robert"), as well as the conducting of ensemble music.  In addition to the aforementioned music, Martyn is willing to learn SCA-appropriate songs and stories as requested, and highly prizes audience inclusion, especially through sing-alongs. 

3.  Romanus Gaius Cantus (SC, OTC, Troubadour) - Roman-style boasts, filk on any topic to the tune of the Maltese Bransle or Greensleeves, good at extemporaneous speaking, can chant war-style marching songs in Latin.  Excellent at theatre-style reading text I have not seen before.

4.  Skihald the Viking (King's Bard to John VIII, Troubadour, Order of the Maunche, Order of the Laurel) - Perform and write Norse-styled poetry in English, tell skaldic tales from 4 to 10 minutes in length from hilarious to morose, excellent teller of jokes, intermediate juggler, have several magic tricks I have worked into period settings.

5.  Ysibeau du Provance - Period pieces in French for solo voice or recorder, Latin sacred music of the 12th century, improvisational harp.  Can write small praise poems in French and English with some notice.  Familiar with some music from most SCA periods, and SCA-appropriate songs.  I am good at selecting music for different occasions.

6.  Haven Fortnight (Bard to Baron of the Place) - I know a handful of period pieces, but my strengths are really SCA-appropriate non-period songs composed by others (traditional, folk tradition, SCA-composers) or by myself.  I also play guitar.  I can write pieces on commission with some notice.  I can play and stroll at the same time.  I can write in rhyming verse on short notice on nearly any topic and present it.

Duties of the Champions:
The King's Bard & Queen's Bard are expected to commemorate the history of the Crowns of the East Kingdom in song and story, according to EK Law V.C.4.d.  Additionally, Champions may be tasked with the following responsibilities by the Crown:
1.  Perform at the whim of Their Majesties at various Kingdom Events, including but not limited to, the Pennsic War.
2.  All Champions of Their Majesties are expected to make efforts to attend what Royal Progress events they may.
3.  Plan for / organize music for various Courts, Feasts, and other functions at the whim of Their Majesties.
4.  Write, compose, or perform for someone as a gift from Their Majesties.
5.  The Royal Bards also typically write the words for the scrolls for their successors.
6.  Advise and assist Their Majesties in the organization of the competition to choose your successors.
7.  Coordinate a Bardic Expo/Showcase at Pennsic with the Champions from the Mid Realm and Aethelmearc.
Responsibilities vary from Crown to Crown, and Champions serve at the whim of Their Majesties.
Time allowing, those not wishing to be considered as champions may perform, for the recognition of Their Majesties.

Questions regarding the competition, documentation, and any question related to the requirements of a Royal Bard should be send to the King's Bard, Mistress Ysemay Sterlyng via email at and/or the Queen's Bard, Master William the Alchemist via email at at least one week prior to the competition.

Site Opens: 9 AM
Site Closes: 7 PM

Event Location

First Church of the Brethern
2710 Kingston Road
York, PA  17402
Google Map


From I-83 take US 30 east.  Travel 3.2 miles and take Mt.  Zion Rd.  exit on to Route 24 South.  Continue South on Route 24 for 1.1 miles. 
Turn right at the light onto Kingston Rd.  Travel about 0.8 mile to First Church of the Brethren (on left).

From the east or west.  Travel on US 30 toward York and take Mt.  Zion Rd.  exit on to Route 24 South.  Continue South on Route 24 for 1.1 miles.  Turn right at the light onto Kingston Rd.  Travel about 0.8 mile to First Church of the Brethren (on left).

Google map location:,+York,+PA+17402

Registration Fees

Site fees include dayboard. 
0-3:  Free
4-12:  $11.00
13 -17:  $12.00
Adult:  $13.00
Family max $45.00
Preregistration ends 2-20-16.  Any registrations after that or at the door will have a $2.00 surcharge applied to each registration.

Please add $5 Non-member surcharge if you are not a member

Make Checks Payable to: SCA PA Inc-Shire of Owlsherst

Contact Information

Event Steward:

Mark Bair
Lord Marcus D'Orleans
3005 Forrest Lane
York PA.  17402
717-757-3832 home
717-891-2626 (No phone calls after 9:00 p.m.  please.)

Co Autocrat
Elizabeth Wood
Linette de Gallardon
346 Dowart Circle
Etters, PA.  17319
(No phone calls after 9:00 p.m.  please.)

Send Reservations to:

Lord Brandulfr Saefinnson
Patrick Shockey
124 Lafayette St.
York, Pa 17401
(No phone calls after 9:00 p.m.  please.)