“Teachers are outstanding. Things went very smoothly. Lots of fun!”
The Seattle Recorder Society
Port Townsend Early Music Workshop
The Classes
Last updated on: February 15, 2019
Comments from Previous Workshops:

"I came away with solid learning and delightful memories."

"I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop. The faculty are uniformly excellent and I learned a lot."

“This was my first Port Townsend and it was a wonderfully positive experience. I appreciate how well organized it was and how welcoming and joyful the ambience.”

“This is a remarkable workshop. Certainly the most friendly and inclusive of any I have attended.”

“I am so impressed with the faculty. Their level of expertise is amazing and they are all patient and helpful.”

“This was my 4th Port Townsend workshop and the best, due to friends I have made previously and my continued improvement as a player and the excellent faculty.!”

“This is a wonderful experience. Bonding with like-minded people is some of it, but most impressive was to take classes with world class musicians who despite our frailties were always positive, encouraging and never condescending.”

"Thank you for a really extraordinary week. Unforgettable."
The Seattle Recorder Society’s Port Townsend Early Music Workshop at the University of Puget Sound offers an opportunity for players of recorder, viol, and historical winds to study with stellar faculty while learning music of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Baroque, and the 20th century.

Classes this year will span music of the Middle Ages, Traditional World Music, Symbolism in the Renaissance, Spotlight on Van Eyck, Ornamentation in the Baroque, the Language of Jazz, and Contemporary. In addition to morning classes that focus on improving technical skills, our splendid faculty will be teaching topics in their unique area of expertise. While there is always a place for less experienced players and those who consider their technique rusty, most classes are for players with reliable technique and reading skills.

After we receive your registration form and deposit, you will be sent the 2019 Curriculum Guide with course descriptions of all of the classes. You will be asked to choose among the many offerings.
Morning Instrumental Focus

VIOL CONSORT and TECHNIQUE All levels of viol players
Viol players will be grouped into small consorts of compatible levels (according to their self-evaluations) with one of these faculty members: Alexa Haynes-Pilon, David Morris, Mary Springfels or Sarah Mead. Content and repertoire will be decided by the faculty.

RECORDER STYLE and TECHNIQUE - All levels of recorder players
Recorder players will be grouped into small consorts of compatible levels (according to their self-evaluations) with one of these faculty members:  Miyo Aoki, Cléa Galhano, Charles Coldwell, Sören Sieg or Vicki Boeckman. Content and repertoire will be decided by the faculty.

For all early reed and wind players
Airs and grounds for early winds. This class can be geared to either loud or soft reeds.

RECORDER MASTER CLASS: The World of French Baroque Music
Nina Stern
Advanced recorder players  Limited to 8 “active” players or ensembles,
but anyone may audit.
The recorder masterclass this year will focus on the world of French Baroque music. Together we will examine the beautiful embellishments, phrasing and articulation, inégale, dance forms and tempos – all of the details that characterize this graceful and elegant music. Students are encouraged to bring duets and trios as well as solo suites. (Music by Jacques Hotteterre, Pierre Philidor, Boismortier, etc). Together, we will also study the preludes of Hotteterre and Freillon-Poncien and experiment with creating our own.

I’VE GOT RHYTHM! Peter Maund
Open to all
We'll master metric modulations, cross-rhythms, unusual meters and subdivisions. In addition to vocalizing rhythms, participants can use their instrument(s) or try their hand at percussion (no experience necessary).  By the end of the week you'll be able to walk, chew gum, and tap three against five all at the same time, guaranteed! 

Class Highlights

Viols, singers, singing viol players, and players of low recorders (tenors and basses)
The Illustrious Mr. Lassus
No composer of the 16th century was so widely-recognized or so prolific as Rolande de Lassus. He was fluent in multiple languages and could move easily between the musical styles and tastes of the many countries he visited in his service to the Duke of Bavaria. We will enjoy a sampling of his secular works, from exquisite chansons and madrigals to raucous drinking-songs and pastiches, as well as the brevity of his shortest mass and the grandeur of a polychoral motet.  Singers, please remember to indicate your vocal range.

All recorder players
This class welcomes recorder players of sopranino through contrabass – or lower, if you have one.  The repertory represents a broad spectrum of music history.  Under consideration are works of Purcell, Mozart, and Brahms as well as some modern works for recorder orchestra. The orchestra will perform at the Saturday morning concert.


Recorder players at the intermediate level
Composers were surrounded by animals—whether it be animals owned by their noble patrons, or animals roaming in the wild—many composers were inspired by animal sounds and imitated them in their compositions. Come explore these delightful works by Janequin, Le Jeune, Senfl, and others.

Advanced recorder players
Music in Brazil has been influenced by many different things and people all over the world while influencing other culture’s music along the way. Although numerous cultures have fed into the mainstream music of Brazil, different areas in Brazil seem to have been influenced by certain cultures. A few of these prevalent and influential countries include Africa, Portugal, and some European. In this class we will work different styles of Brazilian music that represents all the influences from Africa, Portugal and France.

PASS THE RELISHES – Mary Springfels
Charles Coleman’s Graces and Relishes applied to English Ayres and dance music. 
Viol players intermediate and up
Graces, simple and complex commonly decorated the airs and dance music of Christopher Simpson, Matthew Locke, and John Jenkins, yet we rarely apply them to this music today.  You will learn to execute slides, backfills, relishes and bowed graces, in  order to properly adorn your music with these delightful ornaments.

FLECHA’S ENSALADAS: Mateo’s Salad Bar – Miyo Aoki
Recorder players upper intermediate and advanced
For those who want to work in-depth on one or two heftier pieces, we will explore the delightful “salads” of Mateo Flecha. These pieces are essentially quodlibets that have it all – sacred, secular, vocal and instrumental all rolled into one narrative work. This is a great way to explore multiple styles and genres within one piece of music, with some fun rhythmic and time change challenges!

RENAISSANCE REVIVAL: Polyphony in the 18th-20th Centuries –
David Morris
Viol players upper intermediate
What happened to the polyphonic tradition after the end of the Renaissance, when musical styles changed so utterly?  It didn’t die out— it just found a new home, mostly in sacred vocal music.  We will discover all kinds of hidden gems that feel both familiar and new, by composers as various as Correa, Casals, Hugo Distler, Brahms and Nielson.  Experience lots of luscious and lovely works perfectly suited to our forces.
NB: There are no alto-clef parts for this class; Interested tenor viol players need to be able to read treble ottava clef (treble an octave down); all other parts are either in treble clef (at pitch) or bass clef.

Recorder players upper intermediate and advanced
This class will focus on the luscious polyphonic music of 15th century Burgundian composers such as Guillaume Dufay, Gilles Binchois, Antoine Busnois and Hayne van Ghizeghem continuing into the 16th century with Johannes Ockeghem, Jacob Obrecht, Josquin des Prez, Adrian Willaert and Orlandus Lassus.

Adam Gilbert
Recorder and reed players intermediate and upper intermediate.
This class will explore the relationships between songs and dance tunes from Renaissance sources (manuscripts and prints) from about 1450-1650. Who knew that The Washer Woman’s Bransle was also bart of a bawdy song from the mid fifteenth-century about monks and priests? And who knew how much dance patterns, textual patterns, and motivic shapes are intertwined in a historical choreography all their own? Some, but not all, works will have text.

STRUNG WITH HEAVENLY STRINGS: Madrigals, Motets and Anthems of Orlando Gibbons – Jonathan Oddie
Recorder and low viol players at the upper intermediate level
If William Byrd is the Beethoven of Elizabethan and Jacobean England, Orlando Gibbons is its Schubert: the younger, less famous contemporary who composed works of exquisite lyricism, subtlety and refinement during his all-too-short lifetime.  Gibbons's first and only book of Madrigals and Motets (1612) develops Byrd's tradition of polyphonic song, mixing sweetness and melancholy in characteristically English manner. Come experience the expressive harmony and rich textures of the musician Joseph Kerman described as "the greatest English composer of his generation".

Recorder players at the intermediate level
Sören Sieg has been composing African-inspired music for recorder ensembles for over 25 years. Vibrant joy, bittersweet melancholy, and pure pleasure are all to be experienced. Unusual rhythms and various meters will be introduced in a non-threatening manner. We will start with simple arrangements and rhythmical exercises to focus and get into the groove of the music. Then we will work on ensemble pieces for ex: Kinyongo from Vitambo vya moyo, Njagala Nnyimba, Consolation, Sad Song and Siku siyo mbali from Wakati njema

“CON QUANTA GRAZIA": Italian settings of the ecstatic poetry of Vittoria Colonna – Sarah Mead
Players of Renaissance viols and recorders (bring your own or inquire about borrowing) Upper intermediate to advanced
Exploring the expressive qualities of 16th-century instruments with settings of some of the most expressive poetry of the period. Colonna, Italy's first published woman, devoted much of her life to her faith and to the community of revolutionary thinkers (including her closest confidante, Michelangelo) who sought to express their beliefs through art and writing. The passion of her poetry inspired some of Italy's finest composers to write "sacred madrigals" that sought to embody her work in musical settings worthy of their expressivity. The intimate consonance of the Renaissance consort illuminates both the power and the delicacy of these settings.

Recorder, winds and viol players intermediate and up; all levels of percussion.
We’ll play (mostly) instrumental music from places with strong independent streaks. Most of the music is single-line, some pieces are two part; most meters are duple or triple but with odd phrasing; all is percussion-friendly.

Open to all. Viols will be provided. Class is limited to 8 players
Take a chance on becoming the string player you always wanted to be. Maybe you just want to see how others do it and have a trial run at it. Frets on the fingerboard make being in tune much easier than on the violin. A social network of friends playing divine consort music on viols takes a nano second of training compared with our violin friends acquiring the skills for Mozart string quartets. You will learn how to hold a viol, bow the strings, pluck and finger notes with your fret helpers and play tunes by the end of the week. Those who have taken the class before have sometimes had a life changing experience.

FROM RENAISSANCE PORTUGAL TO COLONIAL BRAZIL – Cléa GalhanoRecorder players intermediate
This class will focus on vocal and instrumental music from the Renaissance repertory from Portugal to colonial Brazil. Works by Pedro Escobar, Bartolomeo Trosylho, Gregorio de Matos, Padre Jose Maurico Nunes Garcia and others.

Viol, recorder and reed players at the intermediate level and above
In 1592, a Venetian nobleman commissioned a collection of celebratory pastoral madrigals, I trionfi di Dori ("the Triumphs of [the nymph] Doris”) to commemorate his wedding.  The collection quickly became known in England and in 1601 inspired Thomas Morley to assemble a similar set of laudatory madrigals, styled The Triumphs of Oriana and dedicated to Elizabeth I.  We’ll get to know some of the very finest of both sets of madrigals, Italian and English, written by composers such as Giovanni Gabrieli, Luca Marenzio, Palestrina, Alessandro Striggio, Michael East, Thomas Tomkins, Weelkes and Morley himself.

the Inventions and Sinfonias
Advanced recorder players
Bach composed the Inventions and Sinfonias to educate his son Wilhelm Friedemann both in keyboard playing and in composition.  The artful counterpoint of these pieces provides a unique window into Bach's compositional workshop, and their intricate lines sound just as good transcribed for recorder ensemble as they do on the keyboard.  Join us as we explore a selection of these miniature masterpieces, and marvel at the unparalleled skill with which Bach elaborates and transforms his musical ideas.

SHAKESPEARE’S MUSIC – Charles Coldwell
Recorder and viol players intermediate and upper-intermediate
Shakespeare’s plays are riddled with songs and popular musical references. We will focus mostly on songs and music likely performed in the plays, or surviving versions that are contemporary with Shakespeare’s productions, and explore the roles they filled within the plays.  These include It was a Lover and His Lasse, When Griping Grief, Where the Bee Sucks, Heart’s Ease, and Full Fathom Five.  We will play part-song or instrumental versions from that time, or versions reconstructed from the original lute tablatures, as well as a few pieces from later eras inspired by Shakespeare’s works and words.

Advanced viol players and singers*
Come explore works for viol consort, and let’s add in a voice, or two, or five! Some of the most beautiful compositions include viol consort and voices. We will explore these works and dive into blending techniques, bow articulation/vocal diction, and more. There will be a strong exploration of the text and how to imitate the text with the bow. Composers will include Byrd, Dowland, Parsons, Greeves, and others.  *All voice types welcome.

HOUSEHOLD HITS OF THE (15)80’S AND 90’S – Miyo Aoki

Recorder players at the intermediate level
Step into an Elizabethan household, where a group of friends sit around a table singing and playing music together. With the rise of the Elizabethan middle class, more people were able to purchase printed music to play and sing in their homes. We will sample chart-toppers from John Dowland's popular First Book of Songs or Ayres, along with equally beloved pieces by Byrd and Morley. Their contagious melodies and danceable rhythms will keep you humming all week!

Recorder and viol players upper intermediate and advanced
This class would introduce students to the most recent discovery in fifteenth-century music, and the smallest French songbook of the fifteenth-century. In addition to the known hits in the manuscript, we will play the twelve anonymous unica (songs unique to the manuscript) and consider how they might relate to some other songs by known composers. The top voice is texted, so singers could join.

SONGS AND DANCES OF THE MEDITERRANEAN: Melody through Rhythm, Rhythm through Melody Nina Stern and Peter Maund

All levels of recorder, viol and percussion players
This class will explore the connections between melodies and rhythms in music from the Middle East, the Sephardic repertoire as well as medieval and renaissance Italian music. Participants will learn how you can add percussion to their own solo and consort playing, how rhythm informs melody and melody informs rhythm.


Advanced recorder players
Sören Sieg has been composing African-inspired music for recorder ensembles for over 25 years and his music is played all over the world. Sieg will dive into what he calls the “sound universe” of his works, starting with rhythms to get into the groove of the music and then will work on 5, 6 and 9 part ensemble pieces. Participants will experience the vibrant joy of major tonalities and derive pleasure from unusual rhythms and various meters. Pieces to be played will include: Vitambo vya moyo, Ingxunguphalo, Celebration and Hivyo ndivyo (third movement of Wakati njema).

Canonic music from 14th  and 15th Century France
Viol players upper intermediate and advanced
Canons and puzzles of all kinds delighted late medieval composers and performers. We will study Machaut's "Lay of the Fountain", a cycle of canons dedicated to Our Lady.  We’ll also look at a Fifteenth Century canonic mass, and some tricky Italian caccia.