List of upcoming NEEMF events

Sat, 14 Mar 2020

Saturday 14 March 2020

Machaut and the Magic of the Medieval

A workshop for all voices and instruments, ancient & modern at A=440.

Led by Lizzie Gutteridge

Burley in Wharfedale Methodist Church, LS29 7DT

Machaut lived for over 70 years in the 14th century, which in its self is impressive when you consider the famines, plagues and wars that beset Europe during this period. The length of his career helps to explain the breadth of his musical (and poetical) achievements, which include the development of secular song forms which would become the standards for decades to come, such as the rondeau, virelais and ballade, and the composition of the first complete setting of the mass ordinary by a single composer.

This workshop will offer an introduction to some Machaut's most famous works, alongside a few less familiar numbers and a brief foray into the earlier Montpelier Manuscript where music from the previous generation provides us with some context. We'll cover the poetic song forms of virelais & rondeau, including the well known douce dame joilie, and ma fin est mon commencement. Where these are monophonic we'll look approaches to building an arrangement with drones and countermelodies. We'll also take some time to get used to navigating the forms and relishing the harmonies in the polyphonic works, which can be startling at first to the modern ear but have a logic and richness that's worth pursuing. We'll also tackle the hoquetus David, composed in one of Machaut's more backward looking moments and will compare with an earlier hocket from the Montpellier manuscript, and while we're there we'll take a look at one or two motets on the same tenor.

Lizzie took up playing shawm as a part of the historical re-enactment movement to re-form Waits bands throughout the country, then decided to pursue it further and make it her main occupation. She plays a wide range of historical instruments, including bagpipes, recorders, curtals and fiddles.

Lizzie now performs up and down the country, in and out of historical costume, as a member of Blondel and The York Waits. Freelance engagements have included the Globe's “Nell Gwynn”, both on tour and in the West End, “The Knight of the Burning Pestle” at the Wanamaker Theatre, performances in Morocco and London with Passamezzo, and large scale events at Hampton Court and the Tower of London.

Lizzie's latest project “Consort of 1” combines early music on historical instruments with the use of live looping equipment which allows layering of parts to show Medieval and Renaissance melodies from a new perspective. She also makes and sells historical double reeds for shawms & curtals.

Burley in Wharfedale lies off the A65 (Kendal – Skipton - Leeds road) between Ilkley and Otley. Main Street was the original A65, and is now accessed by a roundabout at either end of the town. The Methodist Church is on the left as you travel westwards, opposite the Co-op. There is a small car park at the back, on Back Lane, but also plenty of on-street parking. The railway station, which is on the Leeds – Ilkley line, is 15 minutes’ walk away to the SW of the church.

Lizzie will be performing a 'looping' concert at Ilkley Manor House the evening before, the 13th. Keep an eye on the Ilkley Manor House website for details when these are released.


Download the application form

Sun, 26 Apr 2020

NEEMF performing day at Temple Newsam

an opportunity to hear music performed by NEEMF members and their friends throughout the day in this historic setting.

Details later.

Sat, 23 May 2020

Baroque Workshop with
Rachel Brown (flute and recorder) Adrian Butterfield (violin)
Monkseaton Middle School, Whitley Bay

It is anticipated that we gather together 6 groups (A415 or 440), preformed (or not) and play and study trio sonatas, quadros etc. especially baroque flutes, recorders, oboe, violin and BC. 

Adrian Butterfield has gained an international reputation as a violinist, director and conductor who specialises in period performance of music from about 1600-1900. He is Musical Director of the Tilford Bach Society, Associate Music Director of the London Handel Festival, Professor of Baroque Violin at the Royal College of Music in London and teaches on the Pro Corda Conservatoire Baroque Summer Course. He leads and directs The Revolutionary Drawing Room and The London Handel Players and directs and conducts The London Handel Orchestra as well as being invited to work as a guest with many other ensembles in Europe and North America.
A leading exponent of historical flutes, Rachel Brown is in great demand world-wide, as a soloist, orchestral player and teacher. As principal flute and recorder player with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Hanover Band, the Brandenburg Consort, Collegium Musicum 90, Ex Cathedra and, more recently, Arcangelo, she has recorded extensively and performed throughout Europe, North and South America, Japan, China and Australia. Her acclaimed solo recordings include the Telemann Fantasias, sonatas and concertos by JS, CPE and JC Bach, Handel, Quantz and Leclair. With her ‘dream-team’ London Handel Players, Rachel has immersed herself in the rich repertoire of baroque chamber music.


Download the application form

Sat, 13 Jun 2020

Workshop for singers, with Rory McCleery

Infelix Ego - Recusant masterpieces by Byrd, Tallis & De Monte

Clements Hall York. 


A workshop for singers (tenors and basses particularly welcome), exploring some of the great six-, seven- and eight-part masterpieces of English Renaissance polyphony alongside a companion piece by Philippe de Monte. Music will be available in advance as pdfs.


The course of sacred music in England during the sixteenth century was not a straightforward one, as prevailing musical styles and genres were influenced by the innovations of individual composers, trends imported from the Continent, and most markedly the religious and political upheaval which punctuated the life of England at this time. It is in this milieu that William Byrd, arguably the greatest of English Renaissance composers and ‘the rarest man … in musicks worthye art … thou prince of musicke now and aye’, as one eulogist described him, lived and worked. Byrd was a devout and lifelong Catholic, and his recusancy is strongly reflected in his music, as in the poignant Quomodo cantabimus, written in response to Philippe de Monte's setting of the first four verses of the same psalm, Super flumina babylonis, itself likely composed as a gesture of sympathy with Byrd and his fellow English Catholics.

Arguably the apex of Byrd’s expression of religious and personal feeling is the extraordinary tri-partite motet Infelix Ego from the 1591 Cantiones Sacrae, a six-voice setting of a meditation on Psalm 51 by the Florentine preacher Girolamo Savonarola. In its handling both of large-scale musical form and choice of rhetorically-charged text, Byrd’s motet is musically indebted to the earlier Suscipe quaeso Domine by his colleague in the Chapel Royal Thomas Tallis, who very likely had a hand in Byrd’s formative musical experiences and with whom he issued a joint publication in 1575. Sharing a scoring of seven voices with Suscipe quaeso (a number loaded with religious significance of various kinds) is another work now thought to have been written jointly by the two men, Miserere nostri, an astonishing feat of complex canonic procedure generating music of seraphic beauty.

Repertoire includes:

Byrd Quomodo cantabimus & De Monte Super flumina babylonis – S A T B, S A T B

Byrd Infelix ego – S A TT Bar B (Tenor 1 is high, so could include low altos)

Tallis Suscipe quaeso Domine – SS AA T Bar B

Tallis/Byrd Miserere Nostri – SS AA T T/Bar B, (both alto parts are quite low)

The workshop is led by Rory McCleery, “a countertenor and academic as well as conductor … combining boyish geniality with quite startling erudition” (The Sunday Times). With his ensemble The Marian Consort, he has performed the music of Byrd and Tallis in concerts across the UK, Europe and the USA, and appears frequently on BBC Radio 3. 

Download the application form

Sun, 14 Jun 2020

NEEMF performing day at Burton Constable Hall

Burton Constable, Skirlaugh, Hull HU11 4LN

An opportunity for the public to hear NEEMF performers and their friends in this magnificent setting

Sat, 18 Jul 2020

’T’Arty Tunes’ an instrumental workshop with Mary Tyers. 

St Benedict's RC Church, Garforth, near Leeds

Mary Tyers, known to and greatly valued by many Neemf members as a teacher as well as professional player of recorders, will lead a workshop entitled ’T’Arty Tunes’, which will explore, through our practice, how many common and everyday popular tunes became wrought by the likes of William Byrd into music with very conscious and deliberate structures and forms, in short, into music that has been taken seriously as art. At the time of going to press recorder and flute players will be invited to apply, but it is a possibility that the range of instruments might be extended to include other kinds, those that speak softly and within doors, including strings. Details soon.

Sat, 19 Sep 2020

'Sisters of Ferrara' workshop (female voice polyphony)

led by Prof. Laurie Stras

Clements Hall, York. Details later.

Sat, 24 Oct 2020

NEEMF AGM workshop conducted by Alison Kinder

Clements Hall, York. Details later.

Sat, 9 Jan 2021

NEEMF  workshop for Singers with David Allinson

Music for Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord

Newcastle upon Tyne. Details later.