Frances Blaker and Letitia Berlin named as Co-Executive Directors of AEM

The Board of Amherst Early Music is delighted to announce that Frances Blaker and Letitia (Tish) Berlin have accepted the positions of Co-Executive Directors of Amherst Early Music effective April 1, 2024. Marilyn Boenau, has decided to retire after 24 years of outstanding service to the organization. Frances and Tish are well-known and sought-after performers and teachers of the recorder as well as experienced directors of early music workshops, both together and separately.

Frances also serves as conductor and music director of the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra. As a composer, she has been awarded month-long residencies at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology in Otis, Oregon and has received commissions to compose works for the Hidden Valley Music Seminars and the Oregon Coast Recorder Society. She performs with Ensemble Vermillian, Calextone and the Farallon Recorder Quartet as well as the Tibia Recorder Duo with Tish Berlin.

Tish started as a student at Amherst in the 80’s and 90’s and joined the faculty at Amherst in the early 2000’s. She became a member of class sorting team and now heads that important function at the Festival. She performs with the Farallon Recorder Quartet, Calextone, and the Bertamo Trio, as well as the Tibia Recorder Duo.

Together, Frances and Tish are the co-directors of Tibia Adventures in Music which organizes workshops in the US and Europe. Frances currently serves as Amherst Festival Director and Tish is currently directing the Washington D C spring workshop of the organization. At least initially, they will retain these roles.

In 2022, Frances Blaker and Letitia Berlin jointly received the American Recorder Society’s Distinguished Achievement Award.

The Board of Directors wants to express its profound appreciation to Marilyn for all that she has accomplished during her tenure. It looks forward to the next stage of development under the leadership of Tish and Frances.
Frances Blaker and Letitia Berlin