singers  July 7-14 and 14-21, Connecticut College, New London CT


Amherst Early Music offers a wide variety of options for vocalists interested in exploring the rich world of early music. Whether you are a soloist or an ensemble singer, a professional or an amateur, Amherst Early Music has a diverse range of offerings to suit many levels and areas of interest. This year singers will explore the treasures of English vocal music, from the Medieval to the Baroque, with a focus on the British Isles and a dip into the music of the New World. Amherst Early Music's vocal programs are part of the Amherst Early Music Festival which incorporates instrumentalists, dancers, and some of the world's leading performers and teachers in the field, providing an ideal immersion experience into the world of early music.



July 7-14 and 14-21
Audition: None
Class List available April 1, 2013.
The Central Program is ideally suited to the amateur solo or ensemble singer who has an interest in learning about early music repertoire and style. The program includes daily masterclasses with specialists in the field; small vocal ensemble classes focusing on genres such as Madrigals or Partsongs; the opportunity to sing choral masterworks in the festival's all-workshop Collegium; classes that combine voices and instruments such as lute or viol. The Central Program requires a basic ability to read music and securely hold a single vocal line.
Collegium week one: Larry Lipnik, director; Music of the Tudor Chapel Royal, including works by Tallis and others. Collegium week two: Tom Zajac, director; repertoire TBD.



July 7-14
Director: Peter Sykes
Audition required by April 1
Chamber music concert: Saturday, July 14
This high-level program for advanced solo singers offers the opportunity to gain valuable pre-professional experience in early music repertoire and historical performance practice. The Baroque Academy includes daily masterclasses with Baroque specialist Julianne Baird; chamber music coachings on repertoire for voice and period instruments; specialized repertoire and style classes that delve deep into the English solo repertoire and style of the Baroque era. 2013 faculty members include Arthur Haas, Peter Sykes, Stanley Ritchie, and others.




July 6-14
Director: Drew Minter
Audition required by April 1
Performance: Friday, July 12
A special program within the Baroque Academy that gives soloists the experience of performing in a fully-staged Baroque opera. Purcell's The Fairy Queen was written as an entertainment enlarging Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.  The five masques that comprise The Fairy Queen have taken on a life of their own, and it has now become one of Purcell's best-known works. Twelve to fifteen soloists will make up the cast, singing the songs and arias as well as the choruses. Singers in the project have a morning master class followed by staging and musical rehearsals, and do not participate in the chamber music sessions.



July 14-21
Director: Michael Barrett
Audition required by May 1
Concert: Saturday, July 20
Now in its third year, The Ensemble Singing Intensive is a unique program that offers advanced singers the opportunity to sing one-on-a-part ensemble repertoire and expand their knowledge of early ensemble music. Under director Michael Barrett (Convivium Musicum), the 2013 ESI program is entitled THE ENGLISH MANNER: British Vocal Traditions from Dunstable to Purcell.  Students will work on skills essential to the modern singer of early music by participating in daily ensemble coachings, performing in ensemble masterclasses, and singing in participatory lectures and demonstrations. Faculty members include soprano Julianne Baird (Rutgers), countertenor Geoff Williams (New York Polyphony), tenor and lutenist Grant Herried (Yale, Continuo Collective), and tenor Danny Johnson (Texas Early Music Project).



A Pageant of Temperaments in English Lute Song

July 14-21
Director: Grant Herreid
Audition required by May 1
Performance: Friday, July 19
This half-day program is part of the Central Program. Audition or permission of the director is required. Singers work on fabulous 17th century repertoire with lutes and other instruments. There will be a morning master class and Collegium (see above).
In Shakespeare’s England it was thought that a person’s temperament was governed by the balance of humours in his body: a preponderance of black bile caused a melancholic temperament; too much yellow bile made one choleric, rash or angry; an overabundance of phlegm produced a phlegmatic, slothful, cowardly character; and too much blood made one sanguine, jolly, and lustful. In this staged production conceived by Grant Herreid, various humoral characters speak texts by Shakespeare, Johnson, and others, and come to life in musical works by Dowland, Jones, Campion and others. Accompaniments are arranged for one, two, and multiple lutes, and other instruments. Open to singers (solo roles by audition), lutes, viols and violins, and winds (by permission).


AEMF is affordable, with scholarships and work-study tuition assistance available, as well as budget dorm rooms.
Amherst Early Music