“Garden of Pleasure” Source: The British Library MS Harley 4425 f. 12v

Playing and Singing Early Polyphony:
14th – 15th century Spanish Treasures

A workshop with Alkemie

Saturday, October 21, 2017   |  9:30 a.m. –4:00 p.m.

St. George’s Episcopal Church   |   915 N. Oakland St., Arlington VA

Spend a day with the Medieval Ensemble Alkemie exploring the rich repertoire of Spanish Marian music. Alkemie’s concerts are well grounded in historical performance practice and spiced with its dedication to experimentation within the medieval tradition. In workshop settings, the ensemble members are particularly effective in conveying both their knowledge of the period and their approach to preparing this music for performance.

This workshop welcomes singers and instrumentalists! With three vocalists (Tracy CowartElena Mullins and Sian Ricketts) and four instrumentalists (David McCormick, vielle, Niccolo Seligmann, vielle, lute and viol; Sian Ricketts, recorder; and Tracy Cowart, harp), Alkemie is well suited to teaching all who are interested in this music.

Participants on recorders, other woodwinds, bowed and plucked strings should play at an upper intermediate or advanced level. Pitch: A = 440. Recorderists should play SATB and alto up an octave.

Description of Classes

The day will be divided into four periods with lunch and mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks. Each class period will focus on the performance challenges of one piece, such as a villancico or one of the Cantigas de Santa Maria.

Topics include:

  • Performing texted music – the significance of text regardless of whether a piece is performed vocally, instrumentally, or both
  • Uniformity and variety: strategies for maintaining interest throughout multi-versed pieces
  • Performing instrumental monophony; singing and accompanying vocal monophony
  • Recognizing the structure of a piece – e.g., its form, the use of homophony and imitation, placement of cadences – and how to bring these out in performance

Fee:      $95 

Cancellation Policy: all but $15 refundable until October 16; no refunds thereafter.



Space in this workshop is limited to provide a conducive learning experience.
Register now to insure your place!

Don’t miss Capitol Early Music’s other workshops this Season!

  • Saturday February 3, 2018, members of Parthenia lead a workshop featuring voices and viols.  For singers, gambists, and other diverse instrumentalists
  • Saturday April 21, 2018, members of the Art of the Fugue ensemble lead a recorder workshop on Preludes and Fugues.  For recorder players

Capitol Early Music Workshops find an enthusiastic audience!

Comments from participants at Les Bostonades’ ‘Consorts and Ensembles’ workshop:

“Great student teacher ratio. Great instructor.”

“Delighted to be given so much useful material to work on.”

“I was looking for some strategies to improve my technical fluency and some ideas for ensemble playing. This met both needs.”

And from Renaissonics’ ‘Playing with Style’ workshop:

“Liked working on ensemble skills. It was a very welcoming environment.”

“John Tyson [has a] unique and persuasive approach to Renaissance Music.”

“It was great listening to the professionals ahead of the [instruction] sessions”