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Baylor Ensembles visit Renaissance with music

Nov. 18, 2010

By Chris Day

The Baylor Early Music Ensembles will play various Renaissance pieces from different regions of Europe in a program titled "A Renaissance Passport: Musical Expressions of National Identity" today at 5:30 p.m. in the Armstrong Browning Library.

Under the direction of Dr. Jann Cosart, associate professor of musicology and director of music ensembles, the ensembles will play music from the 15th and 16th centuries.

"We'll be going to Italy, Germanic-speaking lands, Franco-Flemish regions and England," Cosart said. "Both a secular and a sacred piece will be played from each region."

The ensembles each have a maximum of six people, and they will play on replicas of the instruments of the period.

"Baylor has a collection that I've been working on for a while," Cosart said. "I think it's important for us to learn about history and make it come alive."

Cosart views the performance as a chance for students to dive into an older musical mindset.

"I think it's important to understand the cultural and sociological mindset of the time," Cosart said. "If we try and go back and use the mindset they actually used in music, like how it was printed and the manuscripts, it kind of gets you to appreciate and understand more about the history."

Copperas Cove junior Katie Kelley, a music education major, will play flute in this week's ensemble.

"My mother was a piano player, so music was always around," Kelley said. "I studied recorder starting in the fourth grade and flute in the sixth."

Kelley said the Renaissance music for this week will be more specifically from the Baroque period.

"The youngest composer died in 1704. The oldest was born in 1450," she said.

Collaborative pianist Guilherme Almeida will play harpsichord. He said he has worked with both the School of Music and the theatre arts department accompanying their performances.

"Harpsichord has been one of my secondary focuses as well as early music, so I did a lot of work with Dr. Cosart," Almeida said. "This week's program considers different aspects of music in the Renaissance in Europe. Things were blossoming in different parts of Europe."

The concert will include sets of dance music indicative of the king's court as well as sets of vocal music.

"We will have vocal music that is played on the instruments as well as pieces that will be sung with Emily Chapman," Almeida said. "We have an exciting program with different kinds and styles of music being played. Each semester we've picked a style. This semester you're going to hear several different styles of music."

The concert is free to all who wish to attend.