If you're interested in Early Music, Historical Instruments, or just in trying something new, this might be a good ensemble for you to consider. Please contact the Director for information on the 2001 schedule.
What's "early" music? Everybody has a slightly different definition, but the music we study and perform is from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Baroque periods, with occasional exploration of the later 18th century. We use reproductions of period instruments when possible, but we also use modern instruments when we must, and don't worry about it. We try to capture the sound and the style of each time period in what is called today "Historically Informed" performance. And, oh yeah, we also have fun!
We're always looking for singers (not necessarily opera soloists, but good ensemble singers including male altos); for keyboard players interested in learning harpsichord; woodwind and brass players interested in learning historical wind instruments; string players interested in learning Renaissance and Baroque phrasing and style; and lute, harp, or classical guitar players. For some concerts we need percussionists, and for others we might need dancers with training or with experience in historical dances.
Yes, the ability to sightread music (or to learn it by the next rehearsal) is important, and you may meet some clefs, fingerings, and transpositions you never knew existed, but that's part of the fun of it!
Rehearsals are scheduled from 3:35-4:30 and 4:40-5:30 MWF in 240 or 243 Squires. Specific people meet in specific time slots to work on specific music, so even if you have conflicts with some of those times we might be able to work around them. If you have a busy semester, you can participate with as little as one hour a week. If you're versatile and willing, you can participate even more. This is a regular ensemble in the Department of Music and carries one semester hour of credit, which might satisfy a Core Curriculum requirement for some students.
Contact the ensemble director, John Howell, by E-mail (John.Howell@vt.edu), by phone (540-231-8411), or in person (160 Squires) for more detailed information. And explore our Homepage to see what we're currently doing. Heck, you're already here, so take a good look around!
--John Howell, Director