Sat 14 Apr 2018

NEEMF Northern performing day out

at the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

This is a day when groups of musicians and singers play for the public in the wonderful setting of the Bowes Museum in galleries near to the famous Silver Swan.

10.30 am Magnolia Consort of Singers

11 am Benedict Biscop Gregorian choir

11.30 am Chansonniers voice, recorders, baroque flute and viols

12 noon Merry Melancholy lute + voice

12.30 pm Morpeth Waites medieval / Renaissance instruments

2.15 pm Peckitt Street Singers

2.45 pm Trouvere Medieval minstrels

3.15 pm Tenovus singers

3.45 pm Geoff Walker solo singer ballads

Sun 29 Apr 2018

NEEMF annual 'day out' at Temple Newsam, Leeds

A day for all of us to enjoy a variety of performances by NEEMF members and friends throughout the day in this magnificent house:

10.45-11.10 Rombalds Recorders

11.20-11.45 Geoff Walker

11.50-12.15 Amelis Musique

12.20-12.45 Shadwell Lutes

12.50-1.15 The Leeds Waits


1.45-2.10 Huddersfield University Early Music Ensemble

2.20-2,45 Les Chansonniers

2.55-3.20 Gina le Faux

3.30-3.55 Merry Melancholy

4.05-4.30 St Austin's Choir

Sat 5 May 2018

Les Grands Motets

Large-scale sacred works by Lully and Rameau

led by Aljosa ‘Josh’ Skorja

Guiseley Methodist Church, near Leeds

for singers and players of strings (vln, vla, vlc, db, lower viols), flutes, recorders, oboes, bassoons, cornetts, sackbuts, continuo, theorbo. (A=440)

Originally called a 'motet a deux choeurs’ Le Grand Motet is not dissimilar to a verse anthem or cantata. However, its scale is truly Versaillian. Although the Grand Motet is distinct from the early 13th century motet, it too combines elements of secular and sacred nature. By incorporating elements of French theatrical spectacle and Italian concerto, the French Grand Motet became the archetypal genre of the Versailles style. As a grandiose genre it took on the aspects of a sacred concert right from its inception, lacking the liturgical significance of the first motets, and serving rather to signify the grandeur associated with the monarchy.

Our leader, Aljosa 'Josh' Skorja, is an accomplished Slovenian orchestral conductor, choir trainer and vocal coach. Josh studied musicology and choral conducting at Ljubliana University, developing a particular interest in ancient music and music palaeography. After graduating (summa cum lauda) he continued his conducting studies at the RNCM. Josh is enthusiastic about historically-informed performance, and very skilled in working with large groups of singers and players. He is the founder of The Péti Consort and the resident conductor of Halifax Chamber Choir, York Cantores, Pontefract Choral Society and Director of Music at St Matthew's Church, Leeds. Winner of the 2015 London Classical Soloists Conducting Competition, Josh has worked with the Manchester Camerata, RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra and the Slovene Philharmonic. Recently he has worked with Ad Hoc Baroque on the Grands Motets, from his own editions. He has recently established his own St.Matthew’s Orchestra.

This is a rare opportunity to explore works that are seldom heard. We will be working from editions prepared by Josh, who says that, for singers, ‘the repertoire is not difficult to read and offers the opportunity to immerse yourselves in the weird and wonderful world of French Latin pronunciation.’ There are several solo opportunities. For instrumentalists, the music presents ‘a good challenge to play, with the opportunity to explore phrasing and ornaments.’ Download application form.

Sat 9 Jun 2018

A workshop for small unaccompanied vocal groups

led by Deborah Catterall

Clements Hall, York

Do you sing with a small (1 or 2 to a part) unaccompanied group, or would you like to? If so, read on.

Some of you may recall that NEEMF has run a couple of Lute Song workshops in the past. In the morning, volunteers had an open lesson on a lute song that they had prepared beforehand and then in the afternoon we had more collaborative music making including those people who had preferred the role of audience in the morning.

The workshop on 9th June will follow a similar pattern. This will be a rare opportunity to watch, listen and learn in an open lesson format in which one group is coached while others observe and make notes. The day is not intended to be a sight-reading challenge; the emphasis is on interpreting the music and improving ensemble skills, skills in which our tutor, Deborah Catterall, excels.

Groups of unaccompanied singers, 1 or 2 to a part, are invited to volunteer for an open lesson in the morning, performing to the rest of us. Each group will choose their own piece of 16th-17th century music of 3 or more parts, lasting no more than 3 minutes. The afternoon session will give everybody the opportunity to sing in a small group, with those less confident being doubled by someone more experienced. Afternoon repertoire will be geared to the balance of voices and participants’ comfort zones.

Worried that you might not be good enough? We want this to be as inclusive as possible. No-one will be called upon to sing one-to-a-part unless they put themselves forward for an open lesson in the morning (or volunteer in the afternoon).

For those who feel more confident: do please sign up for an open lesson in the morning. NEEMF members who don’t have a pre-formed group, can use NEEMF’s resources to create one. Simplest is probably to use the Google Groups discussion list as a lonely hearts column: e.g. ‘Alto and Tenor in Newcastle seek Soprano and Bass within travelling distance to form a group for Deborah Catterall’s singing workshop.’ Groups do not, of course, need to include NEEMF members. We do recommend that your group does get together in advance of the workshop so that you will at least all be reasonably familiar with the notes and each other’s style and be able to think about interpretation and ensemble. Download application form.

Sun 8 Jul 2018

Gabrieli and friends led by Alison Kinder

A polychoral workshop for singers and instruments, including viols, the violin family, brass and woodwind including recorders

Bishop Middleham Village Hall, County Durham

The July workshop will be led by Alison Kinder and should attract players of a wide range of instruments as well as singers. Alison read music at Oxford and studied viol with Alison Crum. She plays the viol, Renaissance viol as well as the baroque violin. Alison has a great love of working with singers, and the affinity between the sound of the viol and the voice. Alison is a tutor on a number of Early Music courses including the Easter Early Music Course and Norvis. She directs the Warwickshire Youth Waits, a Renaissance band for young players which includes everything from recorders and viols to crumhorns, shawms, sackbuts and more!​ Alison is a founder member of Chelys consort of viols. She has worked with leading ensembles including the Rose Consort of viols and I Fagiolini, and has played for live broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, filmed for television, and recorded for BBC Radio 4. This very popular leader conducted the hugely successful NEEMF Christmas workshop in December 2015; members will undoubtedly look forward to working with her again. Details later.

Sat 29 Sep 2018

NEEMF Untutored workshop for voices and viols,

Clements Hall, York.

Details later.

Sat 27 Oct 2018

NEEMF AGM and workshop

works by Peter Philips

conducted by John Bryan

Details later.