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.

We shall be performing about twenty choruses selected from; Dido & Aeneas, King Arthur, Fairy Queen, Hail Bright Cecilia, Why are all the Muses, The Tempest, The Indian Queen and Diocletian, from this last a song about drinking. SATB singers will be welcomed to engage with Purcell’s dramatic and rewarding scores. A solo tenor is required to bid us all, ‘Come away, fellow sailors’ from Dido, but there’ll be two other choruses from that too. A bass solo will be required at the start of ‘Hush, no more’ from the Fairy Queen.

For instrumentalists, this workshop is open to all strings (viol or violin family), wind, trumpets, and plucked instruments. Purcell rarely specified which instruments were to be used in this kind of music, so the open and flexible invitation to an eclectic set carries entire authenticity. There is a lovely instrumental symphony in ‘Oh how blest is the Isle’ from the Ode Why are all the Muses mute? and much else besides to please players.

George Kennaway is Chair of Neemf, published music scholar, teacher, orchestral conductor, and player of the cello presently mastering the viola da gamba. He is academically engaged on a range of topics, both here and abroad, and has appeared as concerto soloist on the baroque cello with the Leeds Baroque Orchestra conducted by Peter Holman. He led a Neemf workshop on Handel’s The Ways of Zion Do Mourn in 2017.

In response to frequent requests, this workshop will use pitch A=415. Download application form.

Sat 16 Feb 2019

Saturday 16th February 2019

Majesty and Magnificence:
Andrea Gabrieli and Orlande de Lassus with James Weeks

St Hilda's Church Hall, Thornleigh Road, West Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 3ET

In 1562 the ambitious young Venetian Andrea Gabrieli travelled North to Germany, spending as much as a year in Munich with the already internationally renowned Orlande de Lassus. Andrea's time with Lassus was fruitful for both composers, Lassus absorbing the developing polychoral Venetian style of Gabrieli's possible teacher, Willaert, and Gabrieli learning from Lassus' eclectic cosmopolitanism. This workshop will explore some of the most brilliant of each composer's large-scale motets and other pieces, and is suitable for all singers and players of Renaissance instruments (or modern equivalents) including strings, recorders, sackbuts, cornets, curtals and pluckers. Pitch will be A=440Hz.

James Weeks is well known to NEEMF. As well as his strong interest in music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and early Baroque, he is also a composer and conductor specialising in new music. In 2002 he helped found EXAUDI, now regarded as one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles for new music. In 2006 he co-founded the ensemble Kürbis with the composer Claudia Molitor, dedicated to the performance of contemporary and experimental chamber music. Since October 2017 he has been Associate Professor of Composition at Durham University. Download application form.

Sat 9 Mar 2019

Saturday 9 March 2019

Piper, strike up!

A workshop on playing for dancing at Clements Hall, York

led by de Mowbray's Musicke

You are invited to a workshop on Playing for Dancing. de Mowbray’s Musicke will be taking us through several centuries of dance, from the 14th to the 20th century. They welcome all instruments (at A=440), including percussion, and even hope to persuade some musicians to dance! They will send you the music in advance so that you can familiarise yourself with it, leaving you on the day free to get a feel for the dance you’re playing for; to come up with some variations on the tunes and perhaps some improvisations; and most importantly to watch the dancers. They plan to have some full sessions and some small group sessions. It should be a rewarding and fascinating day. Dancers: you are also welcome but you may have to sit around quite a lot.

The workshop will be led by Kate Billmore, Sammi Tooze, Peter Barnard and Ray Wiseman of de Mowbray’s Musicke, who are well known for their work in teaching dance to new audiences and for playing great music for dancing. They specialise in music, songs and dances from the 15th and 16th centuries, although Peter and Kate also play as folk dance musicians and callers. Download application form.

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

Sat 21 Sep 2019

Four-part Lute Songs, an untutored workshop in Shadwell, Leeds

A day for exploring the four-part songs of Dowland and Campion, untutored; organised by Gill Knowles.

The lute songs are a central part of the lute repertoire, and this is an opportunity to explore the songs in four parts with singers (SATB), viols (treble, tenor, tenor/bass, bass) and lutes. We will primarily play songs from Dowland’s First Book of Songes or Ayres and Campion’s Two Bookes of Ayres, Book 1 (mostly four-part) and Book 2 (three-part).

We will meet as a main group, sometimes singing/playing as one group, much of the time asking for volunteers to form ad hoc groups of: one-(two- or three-) to a part SATB, viols, lutes; one-to-a-part SATB plus lute; singer (S or T), four viols, lute; singer plus lute. In the second room we’ll divide the time into half-hour slots, put a timetable on the wall when we arrive, and groups can self-organise, mostly as singer + lute.

In the afternoon we’ll be glad to hear other songs, from Dowland/ other composers/ countries, which people bring (bring a few spare copies if you have them), hear the second-group songs, and sing through some from the morning session.

Pitch for the day is A=415. More details later.