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Conservatory Baroque Ensemble
The Baroque Ensemble is open by audition to all vocal and instrumental students in the school. The ensemble performs music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries using period instruments from the Baroque Ensemble's collection. Auditions are held at the beginning of every school year. Numerous performances of baroque orchestral, chamber and vocal music are given each year. Major works performed in recent years have included fully staged productions of Handel's Alcina, Rinaldo, Giulio Cesare, Serse and Semele as well as J.S. Bach's St. John Passion and Magnificat. The ensemble offers the opportunity to explore baroque performance practice through the use of period instruments, weekly classes, private coachings and early music master classes. No experience in historically informed performance is required to participate. When accepted, all members commit to a two-semester sequence for the school year.
String players may also learn to Play the Viola da Gamba as part of the Baroque Ensemble. The Viola da Gamba or Viol is a six-stringed bowed instrument with frets which was immensely popular in the Renaissance and Baroque, both as solo and ensemble instrument. It comes in treble, tenor and bass sizes, all of which are available here at the school for your use.
Some of the most beautiful music ever written was composed for viola da gamba and for viol consort. This year we will learn to play the instrument (in a group setting), play instrumental ensemble music, and also participate in a concert of stunning music for mixed consorts of singers and viols.
This is a very special opportunity for string players to easily learn a new instrument and to experience a whole new repertoire. All questions regarding gamba class should be directed to Elisabeth Reed.
For audition information, please click here.