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 2017 Curriculum Guide with course descriptions of all of the classes. You will be asked to choose among the many offerings.

Class Highlights

Spotlight on Van Eyck
For recorder players - Alison Melville
The goal of this class is to broaden and deepen your perspective and playing of the music from Jakob van Eyck's Fluyten Lusthof (The Flute's Pleasure-Garden). Through solo and ensemble playing, we'll explore and polish our skills with van Eyck's variations on When Daphne from fair Phoebus did fly, Come again and other tunes; and we'll also play their contemporary consort and vocal versions, explore their texts for hints on phrasing, and polish our ornamentation techniques. Participants' favourite van Eyck pieces can be included in the class repertoire (but let us know ahead of time).

Music of William Brade
For Recorder players - Paul Leenhouts
This class will focus on the wonderful Pavanes, Almaines and Galliardes from the 1609 Hamburg collection

William White and Lawes
for viol players - Joanna Blendulf
We will play the gorgeous 6-part Anthems and challenging Fantasies of William White will be coupled with the fantastical Fantasia-Suites of William Lawes.

Music of the Trecento
Open to all soft instruments (recorder, flute, viol, lute etc.) - Nina Stern
This class will explore 14th century Italian instrumental music. Repertory will include music of Francesco Landini, from the Faenza codex, and monophonic untexted dances known as"Istampitta". Players will learn various ways of arranging the monophonic music for multiple instruments – by varying instrumentation, adding improvisations, harmony and percussion, as well as inventing accompanying “skeleton” melodies.

Beginning Viol
Everyone welcome - Ellen Seibert
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.   With frets on the fingerboard the expertise of being in tune comes much more quickly 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 hold a viol, pluck, bow, finger notes with your fret helpers and play tunes by the end of the week, guaranteed.   Viols will be provided. Class size linited to 8 players

Byrd Song
For viol players - Joanna Blendulf
Sing sweetly with your bows through William Byrd's viol consort music and Songs from 1611.

Recorders and Viols - Adam Gilbert
For the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we will explore music leading up to and influenced by the watershed year 1517, one that also marked the death of Henricus Isaac and the final compositions of his ill-fated student Adam Rener. In addition to music by Isaac and Rener, we will play music from the great German manuscripts of the day and settings of chorale tunes from before and after the Reformation. Music will range from three-six voices, with most being set for four or more voices.

Isaac: Musician to Maximilian and the Medici
Recorders and viols - Jack Ashworth
This class will focus on motets, songs and instrumental music of Heinrich Isaac (c.1450-1517), a Flemish master considered second only to Josquin in his day.

You're ON – Reading from Original Notation
For recorders and viols (Viol players on lower parts only) - Miyo Aoki 
Playing music from its original notation can be a delightful way to not only challenge your brain, but also to experience the music in a different way.  We will focus mostly on music from the 16th century and cover the basics of reading from this notation. Renaissance recorders preferred. If you would like to play, but do not own a renaissance instrument, please let us know.

Early Winds Ensemble Technique - Adam Gilbert
We will play songs and dances associated with the Renaissance wind bands of the alta capella from about 1450-1600. We will learn technical tricks for making our instruments work more easily, and try some hands-on techniques of faburden, falsobordone, parallel tenths, and imitation. This class is for early winds and can be geared to either loud or soft reeds.

Buzz Away: Capped and Soft Double Reeds - Rotem Gilbert
This class will be devoted to soft capped and uncapped double reeds including crumhorns, cornemuses, rackets, douçaines, etc. (Sackbuts are welcome; shawms are too loud!). If you would like to play, but do not own an instrument, please let us know and we will make sure to put an instrument in your hands. This class will focus on German repertoire, and if we have enough buzzies, we will play some eight-voice music.

Consort Music from the Underdogs/If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
For recorders and viols - Alison Melville
Much of the wonderful Renaissance music we know and love comes from the 'big four' countries - Italy, France, Germany and England. But what about the other, smaller places? This class explores dance music, fantasias and and other forms from Scotland, Sweden, Spain, Poland, and other places off the beaten track, and is designed to expand your consort-playing skills as well as your repertoire horizons.

Symbolism in Renaissance Music
All instruments - Adam Gilbert
In this class we will explore symbolism in Renaissance music. We will see how composer Henricus Isaac portrayed the Medici Coat of Arms, Silver and Gold, and Marble and Brick. We will discover how composers used musical scales to symbolize the Lamb of God, the Assumption of the Virgin, Fortune’s Wheel, and even the Name of the Lord. Yes,Virginia, the Truth is stranger than Dan Brown. Music will range from three-six voices.

Oberon, Dido, and King Arthur
Players and Singers - Jack Ashworth
Play music for English masque and opera, arranged for instruments! Revisit old favorites and make some new ones from the masque and opera of 17th century England. This class will include dances and overtures, but also songs and choruses , so singers, come one, come all!

Viols and Voices “Music of Orlando Gibbons”
For all singers, viol players, singing viol players and recorder players of the tenor size and lower - Wendy Gillespie
This class will be devoted to madrigals and verse anthems by the great Orlando Gibbons. Please  remember to indicate your vocal range.

Recorder Master Class
For Advanced recorder players - Paul Leenhouts
Participants may choose their repertoire ranging in styles from Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque to Contemporary.  Class is limited to 8 “active” recorder players or ensembles, but any number may audit this class.  Duos, trios or ensembles may also be active players.  Please indicate if you want to audit or perform in this class.

Recycling – it's good for you and the environment
For recorders and viols (Viol players on lower parts only) - Miyo Aoki
This class will explore different settings of the same melodies, focusing particularly on tunes with sacred and secular settings. Pieces by composers such as Isaac, Hassler, and Bach. 

The Language of Jazz
For recorder players - Peter Seibert
Get the feel of the numerous rhythms used in playing jazz.  Practice the articulations that set jazz phrases in motion.  An in-house band - in the form of a (recorded) piano-bass-drums combo – will be in class daily for help in learning to feel swing-style jazz. A basic study of harmony will help understanding how chords are constructed in both baroque and jazz idioms. In addition, the blues scale and related harmonic progressions will be presented as a basis for improvisation.  Some jazz arrangements will be played as ensemble music. As an aid to developing style, recordings of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Oscar Peterson will be played in class.

Multicultural Melodies
For recorders and viols - Clea Galhano
We will play repertoire for instrumental ensemble emphasizing world popular melodies used in Renaissance, Baroque and Contemporary music. Countries represented will be France, Ireland, Poland, Japan and of course Brazil.

Ave Maria Through Time
Recorder players - Clea Galhano
Experience different settings of Ave Maria from the Renaissance to Contemporary. We will play works by Josquin, Mouton, Aliseda, Anton Bruckner and Gustav Holst.

A Time for Peace
For viols and recorders - Wendy Gillespie
This class will focus on music using the antiphon Da pacem domine set by Lassus, Cipriano da Rore, Ferrabosco and others for mixed instruments.

Recorder Orchestra
All recorder players welcome - Peter Seibert
This class welcomes recorder players of sopranino through  contrabass – or lower, if you have one.  A broad repertory will be sampled, and some of the works will be performed on the student concert.  Repertory under consideration will span nine centuries, from a setting of a medieval saltarello to 21st century works for recorder orchestra.  Along the way we may play a 17th c. suite, a large 18th c. baroque suite or concerto, some French baroque ballet music, a romantic work, and a jazz ballad. The editions used will be drawn from the extensive Seattle Recorder Society library. Parts will be on loan to players at the workshop.

The ABCs,  PDQs and WT_? of recorder technique! - Vicki Boeckman

An Introduction to Armenian Music – from Medieval chants to Traditional Dances, to the Songs of the 18th century bard Sayat Nova
All players of all instruments welcome - Nina Stern
This unusual and beautiful repertory is unknown to many early music lovers. The alluring melodies and unfamiliar scales and rhythms are brand new territory for most players. Please note: students will be encouraged to experiment with improvisation and percussion playing which is “off” the page!

Panciatichi 27
For recorder players - Rotem Gilbert
Discover Italian devotional sacred songs found in the Northern 15th-century manuscript Panciatichi 27, copied around 1500. Including well-known Northern composers such as Josquin Desprez and Antoine Brumel, as well as many anonymous local settings that reveal a rich Italian tradition of simple and florid counterpoint. With over 300 compositions in this manuscript, I promise to keep you plenty busy.

“Teachers are outstanding. Things went very smoothly. Lots of fun!”
The Seattle Recorder Society
Port Townsend Early Music Workshop
The Classes
Last updated on: November 14, 2017
Comments from Previous Workshops:

“I can easily say that PT is the best Early Music workshop in the country. It can't get better than this. Thoroughly enjoyable.”

"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.