Mountain Collegium 2022
Class Offerings and Descriptions

As always, Mountain Collegium's faculty have come up with an extraordinary selection of classes.  This year's ONLINE workshop will be conducted through Zoom, allowing musicians from practically anywhere to participate from the comfort of their own home.  Look through the classes below and them visit our REGISTRATION PAGE to make your selections.

All classes subject to availability. Classes may be changed or substituted based on enrollment.

Tips for choosing your classes:

  1. Choices are limited within each block, but we tried to offer enough of a variety so that there is something for everyone at all times of the day!
  2. Read the description carefully. Some topics will be more lecture-style and some will be mostly playing.
  3. Levels are always variable. In the virtual workshop setting, you can more easily take a class below or above your declared ability level. Since participants can’t hear one another, no one has to feel guilty for “holding the others back.”
  4. Instrumentation is almost always variable in a virtual workshop. Do you want to play recorder during a viols-only class? Most of the time, you can participate in any class you want knowing the instructor may not be able to offer any instrument-specific information. As long as you are sensitive to the intent of the class, you will be fine.
  5. All classes are at a=440, including viol classes.

E denotes classes aimed at emerging recorder players, but they are open to all.

All times are Eastern Time, USA.

Day 1—Thursday, June 16

Thursday Full Afternoon Block (3:15–4:30 PM, ET)

Copycat Dances (Jody Miller, instructor)

What must listeners have thought as they heard familiar tunes showing up in new forms? Existing tunes showed up in dance music of Renaissance Europe, just as they appeared in parody masses, quodlibets, and other compositions. We’ll keep our ears open as we play a few pieces that must have brought everyone to the dance floor!

All instruments, intermediate to advanced.

Psalm to Table: A Tasty Selection of Artisanal Psalm Settings for the Home Market (Sarah Mead, instructor)

When the Reformation swept through much of 16th century Europe, it brought with it a demand for sacred music that set the local language in familiar musical styles. Church congregations could now join in singing psalms, but musical gourmets ate up the opportunity to make this music at home, too. The printing press brought tuneful new wares to market for discerning locavores to consume around their own tables. Enjoy a tasting menu of English, French, Dutch and German music in four and more parts, from simple and nourishing settings to more subtly spiced confections, created for the discerning palate of the amateur music-maker.

All instruments and voices, intermediate to advanced.

Thursday Evening Block (6:00–7:15 PM, ET)

Sephardic Diaspora (Daphna Mor, instructor)
Following the 1492 expulsion of the Jews from Spain, followed by the expulsion from Portugal in 1497, The Sephardi Jewish community resettled in many regions including the Ottoman Empire territories of the Balkans and Turkey as well as North Africa, Italy, and more. In this class we will learn some sacred and secular repertoire from the rich heritage of these various communities.

All instruments and voices (bring your percussion, too!).

Day 2—Friday, June 17

Friday Shorty Block 1 (10:00–10:45 AM, ET)

Alternate Fingerings for Recorder: How and Why? (Gwyn Roberts, instructor)

Recorder players have two ways to derive alternate fingerings when they are needed. Learn why you need alternate fingerings and how to implement them in your playing. By understanding just a few basic concepts, you’ll be able to make better technical decisions as you prepare new pieces.

Recorders, upper intermediate and advanced.

Getting in the Mode (Sarah Mead, instructor)

Warm up your instrument or voice with a tour through the Renaissance modes, using unison exercises to get to know the intervals that give each mode its character. Feel the resonance of each note as you tune it to the modal root, and experience the tension and release as you move through dissonance to consonance.

All instruments and voices.

Friday Full Morning Block (11:15 AM–12:30 PM, ET)

Theory into Practice: Using the right fingering at the right time (Gwyn Roberts, instructor)

Put your fingers and brain to the test by implementing alternate fingerings in recorder repertoire. The “how” and the “why” are taken to task as we apply some of the helpful fingerings we learned in the prior Shorty 1 block.

Recorders, upper intermediate and advanced.

The Modes in Motion (Sarah Mead, instructor)

Hear how Renaissance composers employed the modes to convey structure and meaning in polyphonic music, with examples drawn from madrigals and motets suitable for mixed instruments and voices.

All instruments and voices.

Friday Shorty Block 2 (2:00–2:45 PM, ET)

Giuseppe Giamberti Duos, 1657 (Daphna Mor, instructor) 

Exploring the wonderful two-part compositions by Giamberti: Duo Tessuti con Diverse Solfeggiamenti Scherzi Perfidie et Oblighi (for the profit and enjoyment of the study of music). Though published in 1657, this collection is composed in the tradition of Renaissance bicinia.  Varied style of pieces including hexachord treatments, dances and popular songs are included in this collection.

Recorders, intermediate to advanced.

Sound Bodies—Feldenkrais for viols (Elisabeth Reed, instructor)

In this introduction to the Feldenkrais Method as applied to playing the viol, we will refine our ability to clarify the connection between the physical gestures we make with our body and the musical gestures we envision. We will look at how we sit in a chair to allow for comfortable and efficient movement and will experiment with the support of our shoulder girdle and arms in order to better generate a deep, powerful sound with less effort.

Viols, all levels.

Friday Full Afternoon Block (3:15–4:30 PM, ET)

The Lives and Music of Women Wind Players (Liza Malamut, instructor)

Part lecture, part hands-on playing, join this class to learn about women who played winds and brass in the Renaissance and early Baroque periods. We’ll talk about the lives of specific women throughout early modern Europe and the New World, explore music they played, and take turns playing it together. While this class is geared toward intermediate and higher wind and brass players, anyone is welcome. 

All instruments, intermediate to advanced.

Thomas Morley, Father of the English Madrigal (Gail Ann Schroeder, instructor)

Thomas Morley was an accomplished choirmaster, organist and composer who became one of the most famous and revered figures in English music. He transformed the music of his time by embracing and assimilating Italian influences, especially the highly popular madrigal form. In publishing both Italian examples and his own versions of the genre, Morley established an ‘English Madrigal,’ paving the way for a whole generation of English madrigalists. In this play-along survey class we will address Morley’s insights on playing the music of his time, while sampling his beautiful canzonettas and madrigals.

Viols, intermediate to advanced; also open to singers and winds.

Friday Evening Block (6:00–7:15 PM, ET)

Songs of Jubilation! Sacrae Symphoniae of Giovanni Gabrieli (Larry Lipnik, instructor)

Transcendent motets and a majestic Canzona as may have resounded through the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice, dedicated to the saint who was believed to have miraculously healed victims of the plague.

All instruments and voices, intermediate to advanced.

Day 3—Saturday, June 18

Saturday Shorty Block 1 (10:00–10:45 AM, ET)

Introduction to Improvisation (John Tyson, instructor; with Miyuki Tsurutani, harpsichord and recorder)

Everyone can improvise! A fun and liberating class that will let you explore new ways of making music and discover more music within you. Improvisation is a fundamental part of many musical repertoires and practiced by musicians of all levels of experience. Even if you’ve never felt that you could improvise, this quick and easy method will show you how natural it can be to play melodies in different ways and quickly begin playing by ear. Acclaimed improvisors John and Miyuki will demonstrate and lead us through ensemble pieces in which everyone can improvise as they wish. Repertoires will include Renaissance, Baroque, folk, popular, and free Improvisation. Come indulge your creativity! 

All instruments and voices, intermediate to advanced.

Connections: The Art of Bowing (Gail Ann Schroeder, instructor)

Artistry emerges when we learn how to listen to and control the entirety of one bow stroke. Too often we are only concerned with ‘getting’ the notes. We may pay attention to the beginning of a note, but then our focus quickly moves on to the next note or challenge on the page. When we pay attention to the beginning, middle, and the end of a note, we are able to make beautifully subtle and smooth connections between them. This is how we can raise our playing to the next level.

All sizes of viols, intermediate and up.

E  EMERGING—The Chorale Melodies Before Bach (Jody Miller, instructor)

Start your day peacefully, learning some of the Lutheran chorale tunes that Bach and others chose to use for their elaborate harmonized settings. There will be versions for both F and C recorders, as well as examples of the same tunes as they appeared decades (or even centuries) latter.

Emerging recorders, but all instruments and voices welcomed.

Saturday Full Morning Block (11:15 AM–12:30 PM, ET)

Tunes from the North (Kelly Brzozowski, instructor)

Northumbria is the uppermost county in England, right at the Scottish border, and has its own distinctive and strong musical tradition. In this class, we will take a look at the deep-rooted fiddle and piping traditions and learn a little of their history and, of course, a few tunes!

All instruments and abilities.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Clearing Away the Underbrush (Sarah Mead, instructor)

Sometimes there's so much going on in an English fantasy that it's hard to find your way. Learn how to prune back the overgrowth and find your way through, until you're ready to restore it to its original lushness.

All sizes of viols, intermediate and up.

E  EMERGING RECORDERS—Chorale Settings (Gwyn Roberts, instructor)

Composers had their own way of harmonizing the chorale tunes that became abundant after the Reformation. You can use your preferred size of recorder and choose to play the melody line or a harmony line. While we’re at it, we’ll demystify those cranky cross-fingered notes on the recorder.

Emerging recorders, but all instruments and voices welcomed.

Saturday Shorty Block 2 (2:00 PM–2:45 PM, ET)

The Stories Within: Exploring the Cancionero de Palacio (Jody Miller, instructor)

The Cancionero de Palacio is a large collection of tunes compiled between 1465 and 1505. Some of the tunes are sacred and some are secular; some are from well-known composers such as Juan Encina and Josquin, while some of the composers are anonymous. The stories are full of everything from the mundane to love’s despair—a snapshot of life in 15th century Spain.

All instruments and voices, intermediate to advanced.

Harp and Soul (Kelly Brzozowski, instructor)

Slow airs are the heart and soul of any traditional musician’s repertoire – this harp class for all levels will take you through learning, arranging, and ornamenting a slow air from the Scottish tradition.

Harps of all levels.

E  EMERGING RECORDER—Practicing Effectively and Efficiently (Phil Hollar, instructor)

As adults, we rarely have the luxury of putting in several hours of practice time per day. Our practice time is rare and valuable, yet we often waste it on unproductive practice techniques. This class will teach you how to get the most out of your practice time, whether you measure that time in hours or minutes.

Emerging recorder players, but all welcomed.

Saturday Full Afternoon Block (3:15–4:30 PM, ET)

Music of the Burgundian Court (Phil Hollar, instructor)

The Dukes of Burgundy, during the 14th and 15th centuries, enjoyed power and prestige that rivaled the Kings of France to whom they owed their allegiance. This prestige allowed them to hire some of the best musicians available in all of Europe. This cosmopolitan atmosphere encouraged the melding of regional styles into what we now know as the Burgundian style. This class will examine works of some of the best-known Burgundian masters.

Recorders, intermediate and up, but all instruments and voices are welcomed.

Tunes from The Isles, or Celtic Melodies for Whistle and Recorder (Rosalind Buda, instructor)

Whistle and recorder players alike will enjoy delving into the music of the Celtic Isles with Rosalind Buda. Melodies will be taught phrase by phrase to encourage learning by ear and to more easily gain insight into idiomatic ornamentation and phrasing. Variation of melody, articulation, and breath will also be emphasized and will bring these seemingly simple melodies to life. Come enjoy this wonderful music with us in an encouraging, lighthearted class! Music will focus on tunes from Scotland and Ireland with possible additions of Breton melodies. 

Recorder and Pennywhistle, intermediate to advanced. Other instruments welcomed.

E  EMERGING RECORDER—Arabic Folk Songs and Dances (Daphna Mor, instructor)

Join for a class of gorgeous simple songs and dances from the Middle East, and learn some basic middle eastern scales (maqamat) and rhythm patterns, while focusing on proper technique, fingering, articulation and breath.

Emerging recorder players, but all welcomed!

Saturday Evening Block (6:00–7:15 PM, ET)

Cipriano da Rore: Influential madrigalist (Jody Miller, instructor)

Many consider Rore to be right up there with Monteverdi when it comes to his influential compositions. Unlike the frivolous stories we often associate with madrigals, the subject matter within Rore’s works could be surprisingly serious. We’ll look at some of his secular compositions, largely for five voices.

All instruments and voices, intermediate to advanced.

Day 4—Sunday, June 19

Sunday Full Morning Block (11:15 AM–12:30 PM, ET)

And We Like Sheep (Anne Timberlake, instructor)

According to BBC Earth, sheep are “surprisingly intelligent, with impressive memory and recognition skills.”  They are also a musical force to be reckoned with.  We’ll sample the rather startlingly large body of music about sheep while improving our ensemble’s ability to flock together and follow one another.

All instruments and voices, intermediate to advanced.

Folk Ballads: Solo to Bluegrass (Lee Knight, instructor)

As the Scot-Irish began to settle into the Southern Appalachians, they brought with them the old ballads from home. At first, they were sung unaccompanied, frequently while working. They began to add instrumentation, fiddle, banjo, dulcimer. Then they began to form string bands with family and neighbors, even moving into Bluegrass as that style of string band music emerged in the 1940s. This session will involve live performance as well as recordings.

Open to all.

Sunday Full Early Afternoon Block

(1:30 PM–2:45 PM, ET)

Renaissance Ensemble: Beautiful Barless Music (John Tyson, instructor; with Miyuki Tsurutani, harpsichord and recorder)

Beautiful madrigals, chansons, and dances, with all pieces in clear, modern notation without barlines. Play along with performers John Tyson and Miyuki Tsurutani for this class of live interaction and no recordings. This means that you will hear Miyuki and John playing all combinations of two voices of every piece - the repertoire will be trios and pieces with harpsichord. We will play each piece several times so that you have the opportunity of changing instruments and/or voices, discovering all the voices and hearing the complete piece while playing your own part.

All instruments, intermediate to advanced.

Rocking the Cradle: The mountain music of daily life (Lorraine Hammond, instructor)

Join Lorraine to learn, and learn about, some traditional Appalachian music drawn from both the Northern and Southern mountains.  These songs and tunes have sustained people through hard times and enriched their daily lives.  This session is part presentation and part participatory. 

All singers and instrumentalists welcomed.

Sunday Full Late Afternoon Block

(3:15 PM–4:30 PM, ET)

Music in Shakespeare’s Plays (Shira Kammen, instructor)

Shakespeare's plays are full of musical references, some very specific and literal, and some symbolic, or couched in puns or asides. We'll look at a little of everything: rounds and catches, drinking and cavorting songs, madrigals, ballad tunes, English Country Dance songs, among other musical forms.

All instruments and voices, all levels.