New Year Revels

In the depth of winter, on January 17th, why not head to a warm village hall in Dorridge for our annual Revels! The excellent David Hatcher will tutor an afternoon workshop for singers and Renaissance instruments- to include a 12 part Magnificat by the Polish Nicolai Zielenski – and lead us later in dancing. At 7.15 we will enjoy traditional hot punch and a ‘bring and share’ supper and the evening will continue after the dancing with informal performances from MEMF ensembles.

Henry Purcell with Steven Devine

We look forward to singing parts of Dido and Aeneas and the Fairy Queen at our next workshop with Steven Devine who has a busy career as a keyboard player, both solo and continuo, and Music director, working with many prestigious Ensembles such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and London Baroque.He is known to be an excellent and humorous Tutor so do come and join us at Selly Oak Methodist Church in Birmingham on 15th November.
Workshop-15th-Nov-2014-leaflet-and-booking-form

William Hunt Workshop on Pre-Restoration Verse Anthems 27 September 2014

The leaflet and booking form are now available for downloading for this exciting workshop with William (Bill) Hunt. Well-known for his work in London Baroque, Fretwork and the Dunedin Consort, he has also taught at various conservatoires and run workshops and residential courses across Europe. He founded Fretwork Publishing and now devotes much of his time to this enterprise, and to researching the Verse Anthem.

This musical form arose from the principles of the Reformation, which demanded clarity of the text in sacred music. Many of the greatest names in English music before the Civil War composed in this form and the workshop will be concentrating on Tomkins but also touching on Gibbons and/or Byrd.

Put 27th September in your diary now and don’t forget to book, all you singers, violists and recorder players!

“O Sacrum Convivium” Workshop for Singers 5 July 2014

At the heart of Christian worship is the Sacrament of the Eucharist. C16 composers wrote music of superlative quality to honour this sacrament. We will sing a selection of this music- including Motets by Tallis, Guerrero, Willaert, Byrd, Gabrieli and Josquin.
Where else would you have the opportunity to sing such a wonderful selection of music in one day!
Our Tutor, David Allinson, is well known to many of us, and alwaysavery popular tutor…. we have been waiting eagerly for his return to lead another workshop.
David has directed numerous workshops and summer schools in UK and abroad.
He has conducted the Renaissance Singers and has his own ensemble, Cantores.
He is currently Director of Music at Canterbury Christchurch University, and prior to that was a Teaching Fellow at Bristol University.
David studied music at St Peter’s College, Oxford and University College, Durham and completed his PhD at Exeter University. The history and performance of Renaissance Choral Music has always been his specialism, so he is a perfect tutor for this workshop which is being held in Harborne.

Click for the downloadable Leaflet and booking form 5th July 2014

Florentine Spectacular

In May we have another spectacular weekend workshop with Philip Thorby, who just gets better and better. This time the music will be from the Florentine Intermedii, originally written for the grand wedding of Ferdinando de Medici and Christine of Lorraine in 1598, The music is based on Mythological stories and culminates in a wonderful toe-tapping dance tune, a big hit in its day! Many fine composers contributed including Cavalieri, Malvezzi, Marenzio, Peri, Bardi and Caccini. As well as voices there are parts for many renaissance instruments including lutes, sackbuts, curtal, harpsichord, guitar, 2 violins, bass viols and even 4 recorders. Instrumentalists in particular need to book early so we can get the right balance.

King’s Coronation Anthems

On the 16th November the Internationally renowned Robert King, of the King’s Consort, will conduct a day workshop for singers, instrumentalists and continuo (A415)  on Handel’s Coronation Anthems; ‘My Heart is Inditing’ and ‘The King Shall Rejoice’. The venue is Selly Oak Methodist Church, Langleys Road which is well served by buses and trains from the City Centre and has plenty of parking nearby. this should be an exciting day.

Come and sing large-scale Tallis/Mundy

Next workshop to look forward to is on 2nd March.  Here’s an opportunity to work on some less familiar pieces by two great masters of English renaissance music, Thomas Tallis (1505-85) and William Mundy (1529-1591). Tallis is much the better-known of these two, having composed some of the best-loved and most-performed music of its period; his music has in the last decade been recorded in its entirety and his celebrated forty-part motet Spem in Alium has become almost a pop classic. Mundy, a generation or so later than Tallis, is a more obscure figure, less of whose music has been performed and recorded, undeservedly so, since he was a fine composer. A final selection of pieces has not yet been made, but we hope to look at one or two large-scale works by these composers, or at any rate by Tallis. Possibilities include the motets Suscipe Quaeso, Videte Miraculum, Forgive me Lord my Sin, Gaude Gloriosa (we could easily spend a whole workshop on this piece alone), and Magnificat (Anglican Latin setting) all by Tallis, and Mundy’s Adolescentulus Sum Ego, In te Domine Speravi, and Nunc Dimittis to Mr Parsons. Some of these are pieces which, perhaps because of their difficulty and sheer length (Suscipe and Videte last about ten minutes, Gaude fifteen or more, and the middle sections of Gaude are reduced voices) get less of an airing than they should.

 

Our tutor for this event is Alistair Dixon, founder and director of the vocal ensemble Chapelle du Roi and an experienced conductor and workshop director. Alistair and Chapelle have together recorded all of Tallis’s music on ten CDs, a monumental achievement, so his expertise and authority in this repertoire is unquestionable. Alistair has directed a number of successful workshops for MEMF over the years but none recently, so it is good to welcome him back now.

 

Singers will be required in all voice parts. Scores will be provided.  Booking form is available to print off from the Events Diary.

Start Advent with a Song (or several…)!

Hopefully you have already booked your place on the December 1st Vocal Workshop with Steven Rice in Harborne. Steven will be taking us through works by Clemens (non Papa) and Mouton and if it lives up to previous vocal workshops he has tutored for us, we will enjoy some lovely music spiced up with interesting background information. 2012 is believed to be Clemens’ 500th anniversary (though this is disputed) so he’s an appropriate choice.

Note for your diaries for something to provide a soothing antidote to the rigours of January sales; on 26th January, John Hancorn is our tutor for a workshop covering Scarlatti’s Stabat Mater at Selly Oak Methodist Church. This event is for singers and continuo, booking forms available soon. As ever, we urge you to book early and in this case it will be particularly important as the particular score to be used is not too easily available and arrangements will have to be made.

Please do remember that we’d love to hear your feedback on workshops.  You can either leave comments here on the News page, or if you use Facebook, why not “Like” the MEMF page and leave comments on our wall. Yes, MEMF goes wildly techy!

The Different Faces of William Byrd – September Workshop

William Byrd Workshop leaflet cover imageThe booking form and leaflet are now available for the next MEMF workshop “The Different Faces of William Byrd” – tutor Will Dawes – on 29th September 2012. We haven’t had a Byrd workshop for quite a while now, so if you’ve been pining, it’s time to book up.  This versatile and long-lived composer created works for both small, private performances and large-scale, public events. The eventual selection of music for this workshop will depend on the balance of singers who book up.

For this reason, and for the reasons outlined in the recent Newsletter article by our Workshop coordinator, Gillian Grason-Smith, it is essential that you book early.  Last-minute bookings are causing all sorts of logistical problems and have led to near and actual cancellations of workshops.

At present, if you book but are unable to attend on the day for some reason, you will get a full refund if you let us know.  So there is no risk in booking up early!

NB this is at a new venue for us (St Paul’s Church in Warwick) so we are awaiting more details on the best places to park for this event.

Diary details