2019 in Review
The 2019 Musicking Conference started with a stunning performance of Giacomo Antonio Perti’s Bolognese oratorio, La Beata Imelde (1686), an oratorio likely not heard since the eighteenth century. University of Oregon students performed the piece under the direction of Marc Vanscheeuwijck, using scans of the original parts and score taken directly from the San Petronio archives in Bologna. The performance was made extra special by the fact that it was presented on May 13th, Beata Imelde Lambertini’s feast day.
Education took priority at this year’s Musicking conference, with an entire day dedicated to teaching students and community members about early music. Workshops were hosted by University of Oregon graduates Chris McGinley (University of Minnesota) and Evan Harger (Michigan State University), and University of Oregon conductor Nicholas Sharma. On Wednesday, guest artists Susanne Scholz and Dario Luisi gave students one-on-one instruction during a double masterclass. Later in the week, students from Salem’s Stephens Middle School Choir made a surprise visit to Berwick Hall to test Tykeson’s legendary acoustics.
Every afternoon featured an hour-long “Intermezzo Lecture-Concert” where music and scholarship were brought together in ways that highlighted the importance of cultural contexts. Concerts included luteninst Anson Brown and community group Música Eugenia, medieval music performer Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek (Anonymous4, ModernMedieval, Princeton), Dr. Juan Eduardo Wolf and local ensemble Taller de Son Jarocho de Eugene-Springfield, viola da gambist Loren Ludwig (LeStrange Viols and ACRONYM), and Addi Liu, Derek Tam, and David Wong on baroque violin, harpsichord, and a traditional Chinese guqin.
On Wednesday evening, guest artists Susanne Scholz and Dario Luisi joined University of Oregon faculty Marc Vanscheeuwijck and Margret Gries to dazzle the audience with a concert of early trio sonatas. Scholz and Luisi demonstrated different playing positions, while Professor Vanscheeuwijck performed on both a church bass and a violoncello.
After two full days of scholarly presentations, University of Oregon students returned to the stage to perform Quirino Colombani’s oratorio Il martirio di Santa Cecilia (1701). The piece has likely not been performed since the eighteenth century, and was prepared using manuscript scores located in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Earlier in the day, community members gathered in the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art to learn about Perti’s and Colombani’s oratorios, and, thanks to curator Caroline Phillips, to see our own seventeenth-century Bolognese painting of Saint Cecilia.
Looking Back to 2018
The 2018 Musicking Conference started with a show-stopping performance of Medieval music by specialists Anne Azéma & Shira Kammen. Anne’s captivating story-telling and mesmerizing melodies were beautifully accompanied by Shira’s brilliant improvisations on vielle & harp.
Their program took us on an imaginary pilgrimage through texts and songs from the Middle Ages, and created an air of excitement that lasted throughout the conference.
Distinguished guest artist Peter Van Heyghen, professor of historical performance practice at the Royal Conservatories of Brussels, The Hague, and Amsterdam, and UO’s historical performance practice specialist, professor Marc Vanscheeuwijck, began working with the university camerata orchestra and chamber choir on April 2nd to prepare students for their upcoming performance of Mozart’s Requiem.
Both groups learned how to make informed musical choices regarding text pronunciation, phrasing, and ornamentation, using the modern instruments that they have access to every day. Throughout the conference, students participated in master classes and workshops where they continued to learn about how early musics were connected to the cultures from which they came, and how understanding and engaging with concepts like Renaissance solmization and Baroque ornamentation practices leads to more convincing performances.
On Thursday, April 12th, Peter Van Heyghen, Marc Vanscheeuwijck, Margret Gries, Holly Roberts, and Emma Lynn performed their concert, “Paradiso Armonico” to the largest audience Tykeson Rehearsal Hall has seen yet! UO productions manager Thor Mikesell did a great job of moving audience members in to sit behind the performers and along the wall so everyone was able to participate in the Musicking!
On Saturday morning, April 14th, we switched gears and welcomed younger “musickers” into Berwick Hall for our Musicking Family Day! OrgelKids USA, a Corvallis-based nonprofit organization, taught us how to build pipe organs, and we worked together to build an organ that could be played while Tamara Caulkins taught us the basics of baroque dance!
Saturday evening brought us to the end of our 2018 conference, where we heard the UO chamber choir and UO camerata orchestra perform their culturally informed rendition of Mozart’s Requiem in 1790s stage set up. This performance was a once in a lifetime experience for performers and audience members alike, and we watched in awe as this iconic piece was performed with the choir in front of the orchestra and with two conductors. Those who witnessed this concert should consider themselves fortunate, as it turned out to be one of the best-attended concerts in Beall Hall’s history! Every seat in the hall was filled, with more than 300 audience members watching from overflow seating and via livestream around the world!
* The Musicking conference is free and open to the public. Click HERE to donate to the conference and keep Musicking free for our community.