Sat 27 Oct 2018

NEEMF AGM and workshop

A Briton in Brussels:

motets and madrigals for voices and instruments together, with a dance or two for instruments alone,

by Peter Philips (c.1560-1628)

conducted by John Bryan

Peter Philips is a composer whose varied output deserves to be better known. Trained as a choirboy at St Paul’s in London, and probably a pupil of William Byrd, Philips left England in his early twenties to follow his faith as a Catholic, working for three years as organist at the English College in Rome. He then travelled widely with his English patron Lord Thomas Paget before settling in the Spanish Netherlands as organist to the Archduke in Brussels. His published vocal music ranges from intimate motets for two voices and continuo to large- scale pieces in the Venetian cori spezzati style, as well as some deeply expressive five-part examples that combine his understanding of strong contrapuntal textures with more up-to-date Italianate word-painting. Philips also published Italian madrigals in six and eight parts, and a number of beautifully crafted pavans and galliards also survive in manuscript.

This workshop will explore pieces from all these genres: we will concentrate on some of the larger motets and madrigals, using voices and appropriate instruments (viols, violins, recorders, cornetts, sackbuts, well-behaved dulcians) and there will be scope for lute or harp to supply continuo if players are happy to work from bass parts and/or scores. The instrumentalists will also have the opportunity to give the singers a breather by working on one or two dance pieces.

John Bryan is a performer, teacher and researcher into early music. He is Professor of Music at the University of Huddersfield, where he directs the University Chamber Choir and Early Music Ensemble. In 2015 the University awarded him the higher doctorate (DMus) for his performance-based research into viol consort music, and he has recently co-authored (with Michael Fleming) a book resulting from a five-year AHRC-funded project: Early English Viols: Instruments, Makers and Music (Routledge, 2017). As a member of the Rose Consort of Viols he has given concerts throughout Europe and in the USA and Canada, and made more than 30 recordings for Naxos, Signum, cpo, Deux-Elles and Delphian. The most recent is Exiled: motets, dances and fantasias by Richard Dering and Peter Philips (Vox Regis VOXR004, 2017). Founder of NEEMF back in the 1970s, John is an artistic adviser to York Early Music Festival, and has also contributed to BBC Radio 3’s early music programmes.

Download application form.

Sat 10 Nov 2018


Lassus, Tallis, Sheppard, Wert, Pipelare, Sutton, Pevernage

A day for singers and instrumentalists directed by Peter Syrus

St Bartholomew's Church Hall, Station Road, Benton, Newcastle NE12 8YY (not NE12 9NQ)

10.00 for 10:30 until 5.00 pm (please note later finish time)

Peter Syrus is well known to NEEMF members and is once again coming north with an interesting programme. We will be studying up to seven composers, all represented by 7-part music in Peter's own editions. Each item has a fascinating story to tell, generally relating to some aspect of number symbolism. The chosen repertoire spans one hundred years, from the late fifteenth to late sixteenth centuries, some of it relatively familiar (Lassus Lagrime extracts and Tallis Suscipe quaeso) to motets rarely performed or heard. Whilst sacred items predominate there are madrigals too, by Lassus (albeit spiritual) and Wert (definitely secular…).

Voices are welcomed in all ranges, and players of the following: cornetts, sackbuts, curtals, recorders (alto downwards), and strings (viol or violin family). Pitch for the day will be A=440.

Download application form.

Sat 8 Dec 2018

Before Hymns Ancient and Modern

West Gallery Music for voices and instruments

St Andrew's Church Hall, Newmarket Street, Skipton

This workshop is an opportunity to explore West Gallery Music. It is for singers (a basic level of reading music is useful) and instrumentalists (bowed strings and winds, no beginners, please bring a music stand). There will be pieces from Yorkshire, Christmas carols, a funeral hymn, metrical psalms and possibly a West Gallery protest song. Our tutor is Paul Guppy, musical instrument repairer and player of the double bass and tuba, who has been involved in West Gallery Music for 27 years and formed the Lancaster choir “The Gladly Solemn Sound” in 1992.

To maintain a balance between singers and instrumentalists, players of wind instruments may be asked to take turns at singing and sopranos may be asked to sing the tenor part (often the melody) at the octave. Pitch will be A=440 Hz .

Download application form.

Sat 12 Jan 2019

Purcell at A=415. A day led by George Kennaway

St Benedict’s RC Church, Garforth. LS25 1PX, 10am-4pm

Harm’s our delight and mischief all our skill.

This workshop will explore the astonishing inventiveness of Purcell's secular writing for choir and instruments, found in his Birthday Odes, Welcome Odes, and theatre music. Some of this music is, for Purcell, relatively simple, and some is more complex. The music will almost certainly include the 'Chorus of Cold People' from The Fairy Queen, the witches' (as above) and sailors’ choruses from Dido, 'Soul of the world' from the ode Hail, bright Cecilia, among much else that will give everyone something to do. All singers, SATB, will be most welcome.

Instrumentation can be flexible - this workshop is open to all strings (viol or violin family), wind, trumpets, and plucked instruments. Drums too, if anyone wants to bring some. Please note that, following on the success of our recent Bach workshop, and in response to frequent requests, this workshop will use pitch A=415.

Details later.

Sun 14 Apr 2019

The NEEMF annual playing 'day out' at Temple Newsam House, Leeds. A day when NEEMF members and their friends perform for the public in this splendid setting. Details later.

Sun 28 Apr 2019

NEEMF annual Northern Playing Day at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle. An opportunity for the public to hear NEEMF members and their friends perform in this most magnificent of museums. Details later.

Sun 16 Jun 2019

A NEEMF playing day in the East Riding. NEEMF members and their friends will play for the public at Burton Constable Hall, Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire, HU11 4LN, a truly gorgeous Elizabethan mansion which incorporates parts of much earlier buildings. Details later