The Five College
Early Music Program
This spring most ensembles will not meet in person. However, the Collegium will be offered online as a way to study scores, hear recordings, discuss performance style and maybe sing along!
Other, smaller ensembles may meet virtually using one of the emerging platforms for making music together over the internet. Possibilities include Renaissance Dance class, a virtual Renaissance dance ensemble (with lots of emphasis on Renaissance improvisation, Voces Feminae and others depending upon interest. Participants will need wired headphones or earbuds and preferably a wired ethernet connection. Consult with instructors for more information.
Remote private lessons in recorder, lute, viola da gamba and various Renaissance winds will also be available at the usual Five College rates for private lessons. Please refer to the Mount Holyoke and University of Massachusetts course catalogs for descriptions of our usual ensembles- we hope we can return to normal sooner than later!
If you think you might be interested in participating in any of these offerings, plan to request an individual Zoom audition/information session.
Online auditions for all early music activities will be by appointment this spring. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to talk, play, or sing! An audition or simply a quick chat should only take a few minutes of your time.
Feel free to write with any questions: email@example.com
Have a look at the list below for descriptions of the usual possibilites: if there is interest in anything not mentioned above and it is possible, we'll try!
The Five College Early Music Program welcomes students, faculty, and community members interested in auditioning to SING or PLAY in one or more ensembles, including the COLLEGIUM choir, BAROQUE ORCHESTRA (modern string players and adventurous pianists are encouraged to try this!) and chamber music, Renaissance Dance, Renaissance Dance Ensemble, MEDIEVAL and RENAISSANCE ensembles and VOCES FEMINAE. The auditions are "painless" experiences, held at all the campuses. Performances sponsored by the program feature baroque and Renaissance music played on modern and period instruments and sung in historically-informed style. Consider beginning RECORDER, VIOLA DA GAMBA, LUTE or RENAISSANCE TROMBONE! We also offer instruction on period instruments (recorders, sackbut, viol, lute, etc.) for modern players, in beginning ensembles and lessons. Credit is available for ensembles and lessons for MHC, UMass and HC.
The Five College Early Music Collegium: for singers interested in large-scale Renaissance choral works, one-on-a-part ensembles, and/or occassional solos; historical instrumentalists of all sorts. The Collegium singers and wind players rehearse on Tuesday evenings in sonically splendid Abbey Chapel, Mount Holyoke College this semester; string players TBA. Collegium is directed by Robert Eisenstein and will be exploring music of Renaissance Florence this semester.
Euridice Ensembles: our umbrella organization for faculty/student chamber groups specializing in 17th and 18th century music. Modern and early string, wind, and keyboard players from all five campuses are invited to participate in these historical performance-oriented bands. Be coached and play or sing alongside recognized professionals. Violinists, violists and cellists and keyboard players especially welcome this semester. We will be playing varied French, Italian and German repertoire.
Voces Feminae: Our women's vocal ensemble. Limited to sixteen or fewer voices, we delve into all types and aspects of early music performable by women's voices. From the familiar to the unusual, the music is beautiful, challenging and satisfying.
Loud Band: trombonists and double reed players who would like to make the pretty easy transition to Renaissance versions are more than welcome.
Medieval Ensemble: exciting and popular- a chance to experience harps, citoles, organetto, fiddles and/or sing the powerful music of the middle ages. Meeting time TBA depending on participants schedules. Gregorian Chant Choir: informal Friday morning gathering to sing chant at UMass if there is enough interest.
17th Century Song Seminar: for singers and keyboard, viol and recorder consorts, Also: group lessons in Lute, Renaissance Winds, and Viol.
Improvisation ensemble: Learn how to make up the Renaissance on the fly!
For more information, contact Robert Eisenstein: