FOCEM workshop: Sisters of Ferrara (September 2019)

A Weekend for thirty women singers to immerse themselves in the polyphonic choral music of convents in Italy in the 16th century, from the little-known music of Suor Leonora d’Este, Princess of Ferrara, to Josquin des Prez, Cipriano de Rore and GP Palestrina amongst others.

Learn with the co-directors of Musica Secreta, Deborah Roberts and Professor Laurie Stras, about the importance of convent music in Renaissance culture, and experience how nuns made their music the true sound of the Renaissance city. Workshops with Deborah and Laurie are always brimming with exciting new research, and will challenge and delight singers with repertoire and performance practices they will not have encountered before.

In the context of the Sisters of Ferrara workshop, there are two performances which we hope you might like to attend and both are free:

Saturday Sep 14th at 6pm: A Service of Compline
Sunday Sep 15th at 3.30pm: Vespers preceded by a talk by Professor Stras at 2.30pm setting the scene.

Getting a Handle on Handel (March 2017)

Cambridge Early Music was involved in an exciting education project alongside Cambridgeshire Music Hub and The Brook Street Band. The project – ‘Getting a Handle on Handel’ –  aimed to bring together young musicians aged 11-18 from schools in Cambridgeshire to broaden their knowledge and appreciation of early music. In two workshops held on 19th February and 16th March, led by the award-winning The Brook Street Band, the students immersed themselves in the music of Handel, Bach and Telemann and explored Historically Informed Performance techniques including ornamentation, bowing and figured bass. The project culminated in a short performance given by the young musicians during the The Brook Street Band concert at Downing College, Cambridge on 21st March 2017. 

“I like the fact I could play and be tutored by such amazing Baroque players. Since I loved the baroque period, an opportunity such as this was wonderful!” ​(Feedback from a participant)

Understanding the Conductus (May 2016)

Three Medieval Tenors: John Potter, Christopher O’Gorman and Rogers Covey-Crump

As a preliminary to their afternoon concert as part of our 2016 Cambridge Festival of the Voice, the Three Medieval Tenors join us to direct a workshop for singers (all voices, tenors and basses particularly welcome) to develop a fuller understanding of medieval music in general and the conductus in particular.  The workshop will be led by Mark Everist from the University of Southampton and is designed to give students an insight into how these Latin songs were created and how they can be performed in the light of the very latest research.  

The workshop will begin with an orientation session describing the repertoires, their functions and styles and their historical context (tailored to the interests and abilities of the attendees).  The core practical activities will include the creation of a solo conductus from poetry supplied at the workshop, the reading and writing of medieval notation and modern transcriptions, and coaching in key aspects of performance practice.  The latter will include sessions on tuning and ensemble singing (with particular focus on how to sing in up to three parts without conventional metrical rhythm).

It is designed to appeal to enthusiastic amateur musicians as well as aspiring professionals.  All workshop materials will be provided on the day, preparation is not required.

In collaboration with the Eastern Early Music Forum.

BaRocks! Messiah (December 2015)

Come and hear selections of Handel’s great choral work, Messiah performed by young musicians from across Cambridgeshire. In this exciting workshop and performance with baroque ensemble, Eboracum Baroque hear highlights of this masterpiece performed in a massed choir of secondary school children and instrumentalists joining the young professional players and singers of Eboracum Baroque directed by Chris Parsons. This workshop and concert gives a snapshot of the work in a morning workshop culminating in a short 30 minute performance which concludes with the famous Hallelujah Chorus. Also included in the concert will be other selected choruses from the work and some of the solo highlights including ‘Why do the nations’. The short concert performance is suitable for all the family.

In collaboration with Eboracum Baroque and Cambridgeshire Music.

Commemorative workshop on anthems by Handel (September 2015)

This workshop is being held to commemorate Selene Mills (Selene Webb) and Christopher Hogwood. Selene is of course known to us as an early enthusiast for the Eastern Early Music Forum and as the driving force behind Cambridge Early Music. Christopher Hogwood was a renowned harpsichordist, musicologist, conductor and musical director: in 1967 he co-founded, with David Munrow, the Early Music Consort, and in 1973 he founded the Academy of Ancient Music. Christopher was also a Fellow of Jesus College.

The workshop will be led by Peter Holman, one of our Trustees and President of the Friends of Cambridge Early Music, and will focus on two anthems by Handel, “The Ways of Zion do Mourn” (which was The Funeral Anthem for Queen Caroline 1737), and the Coronation Anthems 1727, “Let Thy Hand be Strengthened”. The first anthem is rarely performed. The workshop is open to all singers with reasonable sight-reading, and to the following instrumentalists: four-part strings (two violins, viola, cello / gamba, double bass in Baroque set-up, or modern instruments, preferably gut-strung, with Baroque bows), oboes, bassoon and continuo. Pitch A = 415.