Class descriptions and times

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our 15th year celebration. We are already looking forward to next year.

MEMF 2015 will run July 11 through July 18. Our theme is Slavic Discoveries: Early Music from Eastern Europe.

New information will become available in the spring of 2015. In the meantime we leave all 2014 information here for your reference.

Viewable/downloadable PDF: Classes at-a-glance, class descriptions, and schedule»

*Classes marked with asterisk are enrollment by audition only


Complete class descriptions available below, or click on the class time segment (Early morning, Mid morning, etc.) to be directed there.

Early morning

Technique classes
Sunday-Thursday 8:30 – 9:30am
Friday 8:30 – 9:15am

*Advanced Loud Band: Rep. and Technique (WIEMKEN)
Beginning Harp (YOUNG)
Care and Feeding of the Voice (BOERGER)
Dances from Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (MANSBRIDGE)
Duly Noted: Early Notation (INGLES)
Improv. in 16th Century Keyboard Music (PRITCHARD)
Recorder (Int-Adv): Music of Heinrich Isaac (P. HERREID)
Renaissance Lute Class (G.HERREID)
Renaissance Percussion (SHIPPER)
Violin Class: Ganassi and Ortiz Diminutions (BERRY)
Wake-Up Bagpipes, Redux! (KIMBALL)
Music of Boccaccio's World (MINTER)


Technique classes
Sunday-Thursday 9:45 – 10:45am
Friday 9:30 – 10:15am

Bowed Strings: Vielle, Violin & Rebec (DOUGLASS)
Continuo Workshop: 17th Century Italy (PRITCHARD)
*The Early Monodists: L’Orfeo (PATTON & P. ROWE)
Italian Lauda (HUDSON)
Recorder (Advanced): Montecassino Manuscript (ZAJAC)
Recorder (Int.): Music from the Medici Court (KIMBALL)
Renaissance and Baroque Guitar (SHIPPER)
Renaissance Divisions for Viols (ROZENDAAL)
Sackbut Techniques (INGLES)
Sacred Polyphony (P. HERREID)
*Shawm and Dulcian Advanced Technique (WIEMKEN)

Late morning

Sunday-Thursday 11:00am – Noon
Beginning Recorder (WINES)
Beginning Viol (SHULDINER)
Beginning Voice (PROPST)
Lecture Series
*Vocal Master Class/Continuo (PATTON, ROWE, MINTER)
Individual Practice Time

Early afternoon

Small Ensembles
Sunday-Thursday 1:30 – 3:00pm
Friday 10:30 – 11:30am

Alta Capella, Int.-Adv. Loud Band (WIEMKEN & KIMBALL)
Epic Song/Italian Renaissance (G. HERREID & SNAIDAS)
The Golden Age of the Cappella Sistina (HUDSON)
*L’Orfeo: Staging (MINTER)
L’Orfeo: Continuo Ensemble (PATTON)
L’Orfeo: Dances and Ritornelli (DOUGLASS & BERRY)
Marenzio: Madrigals and Part Songs (BOERGER)
Music from the Odhecaton (YOUNG)
Musica Transalpina (ROZENDAAL)
Polyphonic Lauda (ZAJAC)

Mid afternoon

All- Festival Rehearsal (GRANT HERREID)
Saturday-Friday 3:15 – 5:00pm [Saturday 7/19 9:00am – Noon
Dress Rehearsal]

Late afternoon

Sunday-Thursday 5:15 – 6:00pm



Sunday-Thursday 8:30 – 9:30am
Friday 8:30 – 9:15am

*Classes marked with asterisk are enrollment by audition only

*Advanced Loud Band: Repertoire and Technique (BOB WIEMKEN)
Advanced cornetto, dulcian, shawm, sackbut; maximum of 8 participants by audition/permission of the instructor only
See Advanced Renaissance Loud Band Intensive for more information.

Beginning Harp (MARCIA YOUNG)
Open to all
Learn to play small single row harps. Some harps will be available for rental.

Care and Feeding of the Voice (KRISTINA BOERGER)
Open to all
Vocal concepts, techniques, and exercises for a lifetime of healthy, happy singing. This morning class will prepare your instrument for the day's challenges and keep you in optimal readiness for the heavy festival week of singing. The experiences and observations shared will serve you for continued vocal health and hygiene throughout the year(s). Class members will receive individual attention to their vocal techniques. Group exercises will include chantings and improvisations. Bring a hand-held mirror.

Dances to Music from Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (ANNA MANSBRIDGE)
Open to all participants
In this class Anna Mansbridge will create dances to music from the first Act of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo. Using Italian sources from the fifteenth and sixteenth century, Anna will choreograph dances inspired by Monteverdi's very danceable tunes. These dances will be incorporated into the staging to be performed at the end of the workshop. It is advisable, although not essential, that the Dance Class for All be taken in conjunction with this class, as material from the Dance Class for All may be incorporated into dances for the MEMF Baroque Opera Workshop L'Orfeo performance on Saturday, July 19th at 2 pm. Please wear clothing that is comfortable to dance in, and shoes that are flexible.

Duly Noted (GREG INGLES)
Intermediate to advanced singers and instrumentalists
If you’ve ever been interested in being able to work from original manuscripts reading early notation, this class is for you. Using primary source part books, you will be introduced to nonstandard clefs (alto, tenor, mezzo soprano, soprano, and baritone), early note values and the process of matching given text with the notes on the page. Though this may sound daunting, you’ll be surprised how quickly you will attain these new skills and how rewarding it is reading from the original sources.

Improvisation in 16th-Century Keyboard Music (IAN PRITCHARD)
Keyboard players, intermediate to advanced
A course designed to develop improvisation skills in a late Renaissance / early Baroque style, this class will focus on four models (or “standards”) common in the Neapolitan school (which flourished from the late sixteenth century, with composers such as Macque, Mayone, and Trabaci) and in the keyboard music of Girolamo Frescobaldi: the madrigals "Io mi son giovenetta" (Ferrabosco) and "Ancidetemi pur" (Arcadelt), and the harmonic schemes of the Romanesca and Ruggiero. We will start by examining historic models and practicing the basic patterns, working our way up to more elaborate realizations as the week progresses.

Recorder: Music of Heinrich Isaac (PRISCILLA HERREID)
Intermediate – advanced recorders
A prime example of a Fleming in Italy, Isaac was a close friend of Lorenzo de Medici, and many of his great works were written while in Florence.

Renaissance Lute Class (GRANT HERREID)
For all levels Concentrated individual or group sessions for high-intermediate and advanced players on lute or guitar.
Focusing on expression, performance practice musicianship, basso continuo, improvisation and ornamentation. Group instruction for beginners and intermediate players, including working from tablature, sources, forms, improvisation, and ensemble playing.

Renaissance Percussion (PAUL SHIPPER)
Open to all Hand drumming on tambourines, frame drums, castanets and using sticks on tabors, field drums, etc.
Starting with historical drum patterns, the class will continue through the techniques of hand alternation, open and close rolls, and efficient use of the fingers in creating rhythms that made everyone get up and dance.

Violin Class: Ganassi and Ortiz Diminutions (BRANDI BERRY)
Intermediate to advanced violins
Study the diminutions from mid-16th century treatises by Ganassi and Ortiz and learn to compose your own ornamentations and diminutions over a ground bass or ricercar. By the end of the week we will use these “licks” to improvise over the bass lines and chord progressions in a passamezzo antico and folia antico.

Wake-up Bagpipes, Redux! (JOAN KIMBALL)
Pipes provided by instructor. Class size limited to 6.
Energize the start of your day with sweet Renaissance pipes. Learn the basics of blowing and squeezing to keep a steady tone, some simple melodies and the trick of playing repeated notes on a wind instrument that cannot deal with tongued articulation.

Music of Boccaccio's World  (DREW MINTER)
Intermediate-advanced singers; lute and vielle players
In his Decameron, Boccaccio describes a party that whiled away their days singing and dancing and telling tales. In ballate, laude and "canzoni" the group of 10 kept themselves entertained with texts baudy and reverential as they waited out the plague outside Florence. We will learn songs of various forms by Trecento composers such as Francesco Landini, Lorenzo da Firenze, and Jacopo da Bologna as well as the instructive tale of the Abbess.  Lute and vielle were played by the group, so players are encouraged to join.  



Sunday-Thursday 9:45 – 10:45am
Friday 9:30 – 10:15am

Bowed Strings: Vielle, Violin, and Rebec (DAVID DOUGLASS)
String players, intermediate to advanced
Play and study the similarities and differences of the bowed string instruments of the 15th century.

Continuo Workshop: 17th Century Italy (IAN PRITCHARD)
Intermediate and advanced keyboard players
This class focuses on keyboard continuo in 17th-century vocal and instrumental music. We examine ways in which the rules of harmonization in the early Baroque can be understood within the context of sixteenth-century counterpoint practices, and trace the development of early continuo playing from the function of the keyboard in late-Renaissance church music and in instrumental consorts. We will also examine issues of style and performance practice, including but not limited to: keyboard textures, doubling practices, chord spreading, touch, voice leading, and rhetorical approaches in accompanying monody.

*The Early Monodists: Excerpts from L’Orfeo (CHRISTA PATTON & PAUL ROWE)
Open to 10 singers by audition only
See Baroque Opera Workshop for more information.

Italian Lauda (WILLIAM HUDSON)
Open to all singers
Italy's primary vernacular monophonic tradition began in the mendicant traditions of the Franciscan and Dominican missionary activities in Tuscany and Umbria. It later became institutionalized in the lay confraternities of the laudesi. This course will explore the social and musical aspects of those works which appear in the Cortona and Banco Rari 18 MSS.

Recorder Class: Montecassino Manuscript (TOM ZAJAC)
Advanced recorder players
Music from the late-15th C Montecassino MS. This collection of songs and sacred works was compiled at or near the court of Ferdinand I, bastard son of Alfonso V or Aragon, who ruthlessly ruled Naples in the last half of the century. The manuscript contains a rich mixture of genres and styles, both sacred and secular, polyphonic and homorhythmic, and written by Franco-Flemish, Spanish, N. Italian and local composers. These works rarely get performed or heard simply because there are no good performing editions. But Tom has made nice readable editions of about 20 or so for a class of advanced recorders.

Recorder Class: Music from the Medici Court (JOAN KIMBALL)
Intermediate recorder players
The late 15th century was a Golden Age for the city of Florence, when art and music flourished under the patronage of Lorenzo de Medici. In this class we will explore the music of the northern composers, the “oltremontane”, who worked in Lorenzo’s court, as well as that of Italian composers who were rising in prominence after the return of the Medici family to power in 1512.

Renaissance and Baroque Guitar (PAUL SHIPPER)
Historical guitar, guitar, or ukulele required.
Please inquire about rental instruments. Aimed at lutenists and modern guitar players, we will use Alfabeto and chord names to learn chord progressions and the Italian and Spanish iconic dance patterns of 1560-1660. Major emphasis will be placed on authentic strumming techniques. The final stage will also include learning written variations and the basics of creating your own improvisations.

The Renaissance Division for Viols: Repertoire and Construction (JOHN MARK ROZENDAAL)
Intermediate to advanced viols
What are the rules that define divisions in the 16th century? We'll explore the florid writing of the era -including Dalla Casa's ornamentations on earlier madrigals- compare them with divisions from other nations (especially England) and even make up some of our own. A great class for those who want to improve their own improvisatory technique while getting to know what goes into making great, ornamented polyphony.

Sackbut Techniques (GREG INGLES)
Intermediate and advanced sackbuts
This technique class is suitable for sackbut players of all levels. Topics of discussion will include articulation, tone production and quality, breathing techniques and exercises, phrasing and warm-up routines specifically for the sackbut. Daily group reading sessions will be included as well as an option for some assigned work to be developed individually throughout the course.

Sacred Polyphony in Italy, 1400 - 1600 (PRISCILLA HERREID)
All singers and instrumentalists welcome!
What makes Dufay sound different from Lassus? How did Palestrina achieve his clarity of text? As we play and sing, we will examine distinctive compositional techniques that mark the evolution of Renaissance polyphony. Developing a greater understanding of these compositional practices will lead to greater appreciation and enjoyment!

*Shawm and Dulcian Advanced Technique and Repertoire (BOB WIEMKEN)
Open to maximum of 8 advanced players by audition/permission of the instructor only
See Advanced Renaissance Loud Band Intensive for more information.



Sunday-Thursday 11:00am – Noon

Please inquire about rental instruments.

  • Beginning Recorder (CHARLES WINES)
  • Beginning Viol (KATHERINE SHULDINER)
  • Beginning Voice (CHELSIE PROPST)
  • Beginning Harp (MARCIA YOUNG) Meets at 8:30 – 9:30am class period

(Note: The lectures in the series presented on SUNDAY and TUESDAY will be repeated as shortened pre-concert lectures those same evenings at 6:30 pm. The pre-concert lectures for the SATURDAY [7/12], THURSDAY. and FRIDAY evening concerts can be heard only before the concerts. The pre-concert lecture for the SATURDAY 7/19 concert will be presented for workshop participants on Saturday, July 12, at 2:30 pm following orientation.)

  • Sunday, July 13
    John W. Barker: "Renaissance Italy as a ‘Geographical Expression’”
  • Monday, July 14
    Christopher Kleinhenz: "Text and Image in Medieval Italy: St. Francis, Giotto, Dante"
  • Tuesday, July 15
    Jane Tylus: “Poetry in Motion: Italian Renaissance Epics and the Crisis of New Worlds”
  • Wednesday, July 16
    Ian Pritchard: "L’Arpicordo of Renaissance Venice"
  • Thursday, July 17
    Mark Rimple: “Chasing the Compositional Process in the 14th Century Italian Istanpitta”

*Vocal Master Class and Continuo Rehearsals (PATTON, ROWE, MINTER)
Open to 10 singers by audition only
See Baroque Opera Workshop for more information.



Sunday-Thursday 1:30-3:00pm
Friday 10:30-11:30am

For high intermediate through advanced players of shawms, cornetti, dulcians and sackbuts. (Depending on the numbers and abilities of the class participants, we will divide the class into appropriately graded ensembles, but also do some larger works for all involved. Pitch will be A-440. D & G shawms preferred, but not required.)
Johannes Tinctoris (1435 – 1511), Flemish theorist/composer who spent the latter half of his life in Naples, denominated that Italian professional instrumental ensemble consisting of shawms and sackbuts, later joined by cornetto and dulcian, the Alta Capella, or “Loud Band”. This class will replicate that ensemble pursuing various repertoire from the Italian courts throughout the late 15th through the 16th centuries.

Epic Song in the Italian Renaissance (GRANT HERREID and NELL SNAIDAS)
Solo voices, viols, and continuo instruments
Explore the performance of singing epic poetry, from the recitation of the 15th century cantastorie (singers of tales) to the improvised singing of ottava rima and other verse forms in the early operas and art songs of the early 17th century. Settings of Ariosto, Tasso, and Guarini by Sigismondo d'India, Antonio Cifra, and others.

The Golden Age of the Cappella Sistina (BILL HUDSON)
Advanced singers
Following Pope Sixtus IV's restoration of the Cappella Magna and its subsequent renaming, the Sistine Chapel became the most well known and important source of sacred music. This class will study the works of composers who worked at the Chapel such as Josquin, Festa, and Palestrina.

*L’Orfeo: Staging (DREW MINTER)
Open to 10 singers by audition only
See Baroque Opera Workshop for more information.

L’Orfeo: Continuo Ensemble (CHRISTA PATTON)
All continuo instruments welcome

L’Orfeo: Dances and Ritornelli (DAVID DOUGLASS and BRANDI BERRY)
Intermediate to advanced string players
Learn the dances and ritornelli from Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, and be a part of the Baroque Opera Workshop performance with dancers and singers on Sat., July 19th at 2 pm!!

Marenzio: Bringing Italian Poetry to Life through Madrigals and Part-Song (KRISTINA BOERGER)
Advanced singers
Marenzio: Bringing Italian Poetry to Life through Madrigals and Other Part-Songs Participants in this class will be subdivided into one-on-a-part ensembles and coached in the performance of secular repertoire by Marenzio.

Music from the Odhecaton (MARCIA YOUNG)
Singers and instruments. Intermediate – advanced.
The Harmonice Musices Odhecaton (also known simply as the Odhecaton) was an anthology of polyphonic secular songs published by Ottaviano Petrucci in 1501 in Venice. It was the first book of music ever to be printed using movable type, and was hugely influential both in publishing in general, and in dissemination of the Franco-Flemish musical style. The first anthology had 96 secular songs, mostly polyphonic French chansons, for three or four voice parts and included music by some of the most famous composers of the time, including Johannes Ockeghem, Josquin des Prez, Antoine Brumel, Antoine Busnois, Alexander Agricola, Jacob Obrecht.

Musica Transalpina: Italian Madrigals “Englished” (JOHN MARK ROZENDAAL)
All instruments and voices welcome!
In 1588, English publisher Nicholas Young released a compilation of some of Italy's finest mid-century madrigals, set to scanning, rhyming texts in English, making Italian music accessible to non-Italian speakers and solidifyng the madrigal's place of honor in England. We'll be using a new, barless edition of these five-and six-part pieces that will improve your counting skills and give you a sense of what Renaissance musicians dealt with.

A Tour of the Polyphonic Lauda (TOM ZAJAC)
All voices and instruments. Intermediate– advanced.
A Tour of the Polyphonic Lauda. This specifically Italian genre originated in and around Florence in the 13th century as monophonic songs in praise of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and numerous saints to be performed by lai brotherhoods. By the late 14th century, polyphonic settings appear, mostly simple and folk like in character but some increasingly sophisticated. Sources also expand outward from Florence to other parts of Northern Italy and down to Rome and the genre was still alive and well in the 17th century. We will sample laude from most of the major sources, both manuscripts and prints.



Saturday-Friday 3:15 – 5:00pm

Note: Rehearsal for the final All-Festival Concert is on Saturday, July 19

Our All-Festival Concert will feature musical settings of Petrarch’s Trionfi, a long series of poems in which the poet searches for meaning in life while passing from one stage to the next, represented by Cupid, Chastity, Death, Fame, Time, and Eternity.



Sunday–Thursday 5:15 – 6:00pm

No previous dance experience is necessary for this class
Dancing was an essential skill for members of the elite classes in Renaissance Italy. Thankfully some of these dances were recorded in treatises written by illustrious dancing masters from the Italian courts in the mid fifteenth century, and again in the latter sixteenth century. In this class we will experience some of the exquisite ballo and bassadanza from the mid-fifteenth century, and the balletto from the sixteenth century. The style of these dances highlighted male prowess and feminine charms, and very much embodied the European ideals of a noble courtier.

Please wear clothing that is comfortable to dance in, and shoes that are flexible.

**Announcing 2 new initiatives for MEMF 2014!**

We are pleased to introduce Advanced Renaissance Loud Band Intensive and Baroque Opera Workshop. Participation in either one is by audition or permission by the instructors.

NEW — Advanced Renaissance Loud Band Intensive, with Bob Wiemken

Participation is by audition or by permission of the instructor. Maximum of 8 participants. For further information, contact Bob Wiemken at Do not fill in the “regular” Class Preference Form. If you are accepted into the Intensive, Bob will send a form to you to accompany your Registration Form.

This program will allow a select group of advanced players of cornetto, shawm, sackbut, and dulcian the opportunity to focus their entire week at the Madison Festival on forming and polishing a historically-based reed and brass ensemble such as existed in the major towns and courts of Italy from the late 15th through the 16th centuries, especially Ferrara, Florence, and Mantua. The program will consist of 3 sessions a day, dress rehearsal, and performance on Saturday afternoon, July 19.


3:15 – 5pm All-Festival Rehearsal
8:30 – 9:30am Technique and Repertoire
9:45 – 10:45am

A – Shawm and Dulcian Technique & Repertoire (BOB WIEMKEN)

B – Sackbut Technique (GREG INGLES)

1:30 – 3pm

The Italian Alta Cappella

(an Intermediate Loud Band Class will also meet at this time)

3:15 – 5pm All-Festival Rehearsal
Friday, July 18
10am – noon Dress rehearsal
3:30 – 5:15pm All-Festival Rehearsal
Saturday, July 19
9am – noon All-Festival Rehearsal
2pm Performance
7:30pm All-Festival Concert

Some of the music in the Intensive will be read from original notation, requiring a comfortable facility in various clefs. The exclusive use of D & G shawms will also necessitate reading up a step for tenor and bass players. The week’s work will culminate in a 1-hour concert at a time and location to be determined. Pitch will be A=440.

NEW — Baroque Opera Workshop, with Christa Patton, Paul Rowe, and Drew Minter

The Early Monodists: Excerpts from L’Orfeo by Claudio Monteverdi

Participation is by audition or by permission by the instructors. Music will be sent out before the festival begins. Limited to 10 singers. For further information contact Paul Rowe at Do not fill in the “regular” Class Preference Form. If you are accepted into the Workshop, Paul will send a form to you to accompany your Registration Form.

This program will allow a select group of 10 singers the opportunity participate in the study and performance of scenes from Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo. The program will consist of four sessions a day, and culminate in a performance on Saturday, July 19.


Saturday, July 12
3:15 – 5pm All-Festival Rehearsal
4 – 5pm Introduction to project / read through of scenes
Sunday – Thursday
8:30 – 9:30am Dances from Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (MANSBRIDGE)
9:45 – 10:45am Voice coachings
11am – noon Vocal master class and continuo rehearsals
1:30 – 3pm Staging rehearsals with continuo
3:15 – 5pm All-Festival Rehearsal
Friday, July 18
10am – noon Dress rehearsal
3:30 – 5:15pm All-Festival Rehearsal
Saturday, July 19
9am – noon All-Festival Rehearsal
2pm Performance
7:30pm All-Festival Concert