Faculty and directors
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.
Grammy award winner Cheryl Bensman-Rowe, (soprano; MEMF artistic director) is known to both early and new music audiences in this country and abroad. A former member of the Waverly Consort and Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, she has also performed with King’s Noyse, the Folger Consort, The Smithsonian Chamber Ensemble and Pomerium Musices. Orchestral engagements include the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Israel Phiharmonic, and the St. Louis Symphony. She has toured extensively in North and South America, Europe and Japan. Appearances include concerts at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Aspen Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Ravinia, Casals, Mostly Mozart, Wiener Festwochen, and Holland Festival. She has recorded for Nonesuch, ECM, and CBS Masterworks.
Kristina Boerger (soprano) received her formative musical training from pianist Annie Sherter and holds the doctorate in Choral Conducting and Literature from the University of Illinois. She is currently the Visiting Associate Professor and Interim Director of Choral Activities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A New Yorker during most of the last decade, Dr. Boerger served 9 seasons as Artistic Director of the Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble, 3 seasons as Music Director of AMUSE, and 2 seasons as Associate Conductor of the Collegiate Chorale. As a guest director she has served the Syracuse Schola Cantorum, the Kalamazoo Bach Festival, the Five Colleges Consortium, and Chanticleer. Boerger's credits as an ensemble singer include many years with Western Wind, Vox Vocal Ensemble, and Pomerium. Other credits include projects with Early Music New York, the choir at Trinity Church Wall Street, Bobby McFerrin, and the Rose Ensemble.
William Hudson (tenor; LIBER) is a highly sought after as a specialist in historical performance, and has been described as "positively hypnotic" (Gramophone). He is the director and founding member of LIBER: Ensemble for Early Music, which has become the foremost interpreter of late medieval music in the United States. LIBER maintains an active schedule, performing at international music festivals on four continents. He also enjoys an active solo career, including the Evangelist in J.S. Bach's St. John Passion, Apollo in Monteverdi's Orfeo, Lucano in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea. Mr. Hudson was the winner of the 2009 Noah Greenberg award and presented at the 2011 International Congress of Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo. He has recorded with Naxos, Passacaille, Titanic, Albany, and Dorian and can be heard on the Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music. Mr. Hudson holds a M.M. from Longy School of Music and a D.Mus. in Historical Performance from Indiana University.
Drew Minter (countertenor; Trefoil) is among the world's foremost countertenors. He has appeared in leading roles in the opera houses of Brussels, Toulouse, Boston, Washington, Santa Fe, BAM, Wolf Trap, Glimmerglass, Nice, Marseilles, as well as the Halle, Karlsruhe, and Goettingen Handel Festivals. He is a founding member of the Newberry Consort and TREFOIL, sings regularly with the Folger Consort and ARTEK, has sung with many of the world's leading early music ensembles, and has been a guest at festivals, including BAM Next Wave, Tanglewood, Marlboro, Boston Early Music, Edinburgh, and Spoleto. Also a lauded opera director, Drew Minter directed the operas at the Goettingen Handel Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival, Lake George Opera, Caramoor, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Opera Aperta, among others. In addition to numerous masterclasses and workshops in the singing and acting of baroque music, he teaches full time at Vassar College. He is represented by more than 50 recordings.
Chelsie Propst (beginning voice) is an active performer and teaches voice in the Madison area. She has performed with Madison-based ensembles Clocks in Motion, Isthmus Chamber Ensemble, Eliza’s Toyes, and Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble, and has performed several opera roles, including Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Belinda in Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas. She is a regular participant in the Madison Early Music Festival, and has taught beginning voice at MEMF for the three years. She was a finalist in Wisconsin Public Radio’s 2012 Neale-Silva Young Artists’ Competition and UW-Madison’s 2013 Concerto Competition. Her primary performance interests are early music and 20th-century American art song, and she attended SongFest in 2012. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Musicology at UW-Madison, and earned a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from UW-Madison and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Sacred Music and Voice Performance from Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina.
Paul Rowe (baritone; MEMF Artistic Director) is Professor of Voice at the University of Wisconsin Madison. He has performed with many of the leading American musical organizations including the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall in Boston and Carnegie Hall in New York, American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera and Kennedy Center, and Musica Sacra at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall. He has appeared with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Smithsonian Chamber Players, the Alabama and Arkansas symphony orchestras, the Folger Consort, and the Ensemble for Early Music, among many other groups. As a member of the Waverly Consort, Mr. Rowe toured the United States, the Far East and South America and participated in the Consort's regular series at Alice Tully Hall and the Cloisters in New York. In addition, he performed for 2 years as a member of the New York Vocal Arts Ensemble, touring the U.S. and Yugoslavia.
Paul Shipper (bass; Renaissance guitar; percussion; Ex Umbris) See Strings
Nell Snaidas (soprano; Ex Umbris) has been praised by the New York Times for her “beautiful soprano voice," “melting passion,” and “vocally ravishing” performances. Of Uruguayan-American descent, she began her career singing leading roles in zarzuelas at New York City's Repertorio Español. Specialization in Italian and Spanish Baroque music has taken her all over Europe, plus North and Latin America. She has recorded for Sony Classical, Koch, Naxos, and Dorian, for whom she has recorded 3 Spanish/New World Baroque CDs. Nell has coached the Rose Ensemble, NYC’s Trinity Wall Street Choir, and the New York Continuo Collective, and was featured on CBC radio as one of the leading interpreters of Spanish Renaissance/Sephardic song. Her most recent CD, The Kingdoms of Castille, was nominated for a Grammy in 2012. This season Nell was named co-artistic director of GEMAS, a new series in NYC devoted to the Early Music of the Americas, sponsored by GEMS and the Americas Society.
Marcia Young (harp; soprano; Trefoil) See Strings
Brandi Berry (violin) has appeared with numerous ensembles, including Kings Noyse, Apollo's Fire, Newberry Consort, Toronto's Classical Music Consort, Ars Lyrica, Indianapolis and Atlanta Baroque Orchestras; and as soloist/concertmaster of Ars Antigua, Bloomington Early Music Festival Opera Orchestra, and St. Louis's Kingsbury Ensemble. Ms. Berry has also performed on concert series throughout North America, including the Library of Congress, the Dame Myra Hess series, the CMC Handel Festival in Toronto, the Boston, Berkeley, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Madison Early Music Festivals, Kansas City's Friends of Chamber Music, Early Music Now, Chicago's Classical Music Mondays, and the Academy of Early Music in Ann Arbor. On the air, Ms. Berry has been heard on the Live and Impromptu series of Chicago's WFMT classical radio station, WNUR, and Wisconsin Public Radio. She serves on the faculty of DePaul University as co-director of the Baroque Ensembles program, and is artistic director of the Bach & Beethoven Ensemble.
David Douglass (Renaissance violin; vielle) is a founding member of The Newberry Consort, and took the position of Musician-in-Residence at the Newberry Library and director of The Newberry Consort in 2007. A performer on Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque bowed-string instruments, his playing has been praised by The New York Times for its "eloquence" and "expressive virtuosity." Through his groundbreaking work in the field of the early violin he was the first to develop a historical technique which produces "a distinctively 'Renaissance' sound and style for the violin" (Fanfare). This particular exploration culminated in his founding of the ensemble, The King's Noyse, a Renaissance violin band. As director of The King's Noyse, and through his recreation of the improvisational repertory of the early violin band, he has received praise for his "enterprise and imagination" (Stereophile). He is also in demand as a freelance performer, record producer, writer, and lecturer on historical performance practice.
Grant Herreid (lute; All-Festival conductor; Ex Umbris) See Conducting
Christa Patton (continuo) specializes in early wind instruments as well as historical harps and has toured the Americas, Europe, and Japan with Early Music New York, Ex Umbris, and Piffaro. As a Baroque harpist Christa has appeared with many of North America's premier early music groups, including Apollo's Fire, The King's Noyse, The Toronto Consort, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, La Nef, Parthenia, and ARTEK, as well as in productions of Monteverdi operas with New York City Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Tafelmusik, and Opera Atelier. She is co-director of the Baroque Opera Workshop at Queens College and has participated in the Yale Baroque Opera Project as coach and performer. In addition, she has led workshops at the Madison Early Music Festival, Pinewoods Early Music Camp, and the Medieval Summer Institute at the Longy School of Music. A former Fulbright scholar, Christa studied the Italian Baroque harp at the Civica Scuola di Musica in Milan, Italy, with historical harp specialist Mara Galassi. She is currently pursuing a doctorate at SUNY Stony Brook with early keyboard specialist Arthur Haas.
John Mark Rozendaal (viola da gamba) specializes in stringed instrument music from the Baroque and Renaissance eras. A founding Artistic Director of Chicago Baroque Ensemble, Rozendaal served as principal 'cellist of The City Musick, Basically Bach, the Newberry Consort, Orpheus Band, and the King's Noyse, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, and Soli Deo Gloria's Chicago Bach Project. Rozendaal performs as a member of Trio Settecento with violinist Rachel Barton Pine and harpsichordist David Schrader. He has taught at the Viola da Gamba Society of America Conclave, Viols West’s annual workshop, Amherst Early Music, Madison Early Music Festival, and the Music Institute of Chicago’s annual Baroque Festival. Rozendaal teaches private lessons and Viola da Gamba Dojo classes at his studio in Manhattan.
Paul Shipper (bass; Renaissance guitar; percussion; Ex Umbris) is a singer, instrumentalist, actor, and director. A founding member of Ex Umbris, over the years he has performed with early music groups such as Pomerium, The Baltimore Consort, Hesperus, Concert Royale, Early Music New York, The Folger Consort, Piffaro, and Artek. He now performs regularly with El Mundo and Apollo’s Fire, and has recently toured with Tragicomedia and The Harp Consort. An experienced dance and theater accompanist, he has toured extensively with The Mark Morris Dance Group and The New York Baroque Dance Company, created videos for Tampa Dance Project, and played live for dozens of Shakespeare and other Elizabethan and Jacobean plays and masques. In the opera world he has sung feature roles from Monteverdi to Berlioz, and devised gestures and stage direction for The New York Continuo Collective, as well as regional opera, most notably Juneau Lyric Opera and Bronx Opera.
Katherine Shuldiner (beginning viol) graduated from Oberlin Conservatory in viola da gamba performance under the tutelage of Catharina Meints. In the past 6 years, she has performed with Chicago based ensembles such as The Newberry Consort, BBE: Bach and Beethoven Ensemble, Vox 3 Collective, Northwestern University’s Early Music Ensemble, and The OC (The Opera Company). She has also performed with Washington Bach Consort and La Follia Austin Baroque. Katherine recently finished her 2 year term on the board of the Viola da Gamba Society of America and was chosen to perform in the first Early Music America's Young Performers Festival during Boston Early Music Festival.
Marcia Young (harp; soprano; Trefoil) is a founding member of Trefoil, My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort, Duo Marchand, and the duo Morrongiello & Young. In recent seasons she has appeared with Parthenia, Piffaro, and the Folger, Bacheler, and Newberry Consorts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters, the Yale Center for British Art, the CityMusic Series in Columbus, the Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments, and the Connecticut, Amherst, and Washington Early Music Festivals. She has also appeared at the Ars Antiqua series in Chappaqua, Moravian College in Bethlehem PA, the Huguenot Historical Society in New Paltz, HotShops Gallery space in Omaha, and the Lute Society of America Conference and Seminar in Cleveland. Also a music journalist, Young has written features for Chamber Music America, Opera News, and Playbill, and has hosted classical programs for Sirius XM, WQXR, and WNYC-New York. She serves as director of performance studies for the Department of Music, Stern College, Yeshiva University, New York.
Winds & brass
Priscilla Herreid (recorder) has been heard throughout the United States, Europe, and in South America performing music from the 11th century to today. She is a member of Piffaro, and can also be heard playing all manner of early wind instruments with Hesperus, the Waverly Consort, and Ex Umbris. She has played early oboes and recorder with many of the nation's leading baroque orchestras, including Trinity Baroque Orchestra (NYC), The Handel & Haydn Society, Philharmonia Baroque, Portland Baroque, and Tempesta di Mare. Priscilla has performed twice as principal oboist for Les Recontre Musicales en Vendee, under the direction of William Christie. This past season, she was part of the onstage band for the Globe Theatre's productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III on Broadway. She is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where she was a baroque oboe student of Gonzalo Ruiz, and Temple University, where she was a modern oboe student of Louis Rosenblatt.
Greg Ingles (sackbut) attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy and went on to graduate from the Oberlin Conservatory. Two days after graduation Greg won the position of Solo Trombone in the Hofer Symphoniker in Hof, Germany. He returned to the United States and completed both a Master’s and Doctoral degree in trombone performance at SUNY Stony Brook. Soon after beginning his early music studies Greg became a member of Piffaro, the Renaissance Band. He has since played with such ensembles as the American Bach Soloists, Chatham Baroque, Concerto Palatino, Quicksilver, and Tafelmusik. He is Music Director of the Dark Horse Consort, an ensemble devoted to rarely performed brass music of the 17th century. Greg is also a member of Ciaramella and has recorded with this group on the Yarlung and Naxos record labels. Greg was the adjunct trombone professor at Hofstra University for over a decade and is currently the Lecturer in Sackbut at Boston University.
Joan Kimball (bagpipe; historical winds), artistic co-director and a founding member of Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, gave full time to early music performance in 1980 after a number of years as an educator. She teaches recorder and early winds to children and adults and is on the music faculty of The Philadelphia School (elementary and middle school) where she has a full roster of private recorder students and ensembles. Joan organizes Piffaro's educational programs, including the biennial recorder competition for high school students. In addition, she collaborates with instrument maker Joel Robinson of New York City on the construction of Medieval and Renaissance bagpipes and is a maker of double reeds for Renaissance shawms, dulcians, and capped winds. Joan teaches bagpipe, recorder and double reed classes at summer music workshops and festivals. In addition to her recordings with Piffaro she can also be heard on Vanguard Classical, Eudora, and Vox Amadeus.
Bob Wiemken (historical winds) began his musical life as a French hornist but began playing early reeds while a graduate student in Classics at the University of Pennsylvania. His love of early double-reed instruments has only increased as he has studied and explored shawms, dulcians, bassoons, krumhorns and more. As Artistic Co-Director of Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, he has performed worldwide, recorded extensively, built over 100 programs of Renaissance and early Baroque music and commissioned new works for early winds and chorus. He has performed with numerous of the world’s leading early music ensembles, in festivals in North and South America and throughout Europe, and in performance spaces contemporary with the music. He teaches and lectures in college and university settings and at festivals and workshops throughout the country, bringing the world of early reeds to modern players and amateurs alike. In addition to these responsibilities, he continues to attempt to plumb the depths of early reed technique in an effort to understand the mysteries of these glorious instruments.
Woodwind specialist Charles Wines (beginning recorder) is a native of the Kansas City area and has performed extensively with the Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City, the Kansas City Baroque Consortium, St. Michaels Baroque Ensemble, and at multiple theaters in the Kansas City area. He has a passion for early music and has organized multiple concerts featuring historically informed performances of baroque works. He has performed as recorder soloist with the Kansas City Baroque Consortium and St. Michaels Baroque Ensemble. He studied bassoon at the Conservatory of University of Missouri Kansas City and oboe at University of Central Missouri. He is currently a masters student at the Early Music Institute at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
Tom Zajac (recorder, historical winds; Ex Umbris) is a multi-instrumentalist member of Piffaro and Ex Umbris, and appears frequently as a guest with the Folger Consort, Newberry Consort, Boston Camerata, Cançonièr, and the Texas Early Music Project. He has toured in Hong Kong, Guam, Australia, Israel, Turkey, Colombia, Bolivia, Mexico, and throughout Europe and the United States. He performed 14th-century music at the 5th Millennium Council event in the East Room of the Clinton White House and 18th-century music for the score of the Ric Burn's New York documentary. He's played hurdy gurdy for the American Ballet Theater, bagpipe for a Gatorade commercial, and serpent on Prairie Home Companion. He performs on santur, miskal, and zurna with the Boston-based Turkish ensemble, Dünya. Tom teaches at workshops throughout the U.S., is on the faculty of the Madison and Amherst Early Music Festivals, and directs the early music ensembles at Wellesley College. He can be heard on over 40 recordings.
Ian Pritchard (harpsichord; organ; lecturer – musicology) earned his BMus at the Oberlin Conservatory, where he studied with Lisa Crawford, and the DipRAM at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying with John Toll, and continued studies with James Johnstone. Ian has performed with many ensembles, including the Academy of Ancient Music, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Irish Baroque Orchestra, and Florilegium, with which he has toured in Cyprus, South America, and throughout Europe. As a chamber musician he has performed with Monica Huggett and Rachel Podger, among others. Ian won 1st Prize in the 2001 Broadwood Harpsichord Competition and was a prizewinner in the 2003 International Harpsichord Competition in Bologna. In the same year, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Italy to research early Italian keyboard music and to study with Andrea Marcon and Liuwe Tamminga. He is currently a candidate for the PhD in musicology at USC.
John Chappell Stowe (organ; harpsichord) is Professor of Organ and Harpsichord at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music. Before moving to Wisconsin, he was Professor of Organ and Church Music at Houghton College, Houghton, NY and also served as Visiting Associate Professor of Organ at the University of Iowa for the 1993-94 academic year. He graduated from Southern Methodist University and Eastman School of Music, studying organ with Robert Anderson and Russell Saunders. Dr. Stowe holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree and Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School and was the first-place winner in 1978 of the National Open Organ Playing Competition of the American Guild of Organists. Since joining the faculty at UW-Madison, Dr. Stowe has held the posts of Associate Director of the School of Music (1990-93) and Director of Graduate Studies (1996-99, 2005-06). From 1998 to 2004, he served the American Guild of Organists as National Vice President. In addition to organ and harpsichord, his instructional activities currently include improvisation, continuo playing, organ design and literature, and coaching the UW-Madison Early Music Ensemble.
Paul Shipper (bass; Renaissance guitar; percussion; Ex Umbris) See Strings
Musicology, history, culture
John W. Barker (lecturer, historian) is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison where, for almost forty years, he taught areas of Mediterranean Medieval history (Byzantium, Crusades, Venice), plus a multimedia course in relations between music and history. He has published widely on both history and music. A passionate record-collector, he has been a staff reviewer with The American Record Guide for over fifty years, he has been an active radio broadcaster in Madison (for WHA/WERN; now for WORT), and he is classical-music critic for Madison’s Isthmus.
Gail Geiger (lecturer – art history) is Professor of Art History at University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she teaches Italian Renaissance and Baroque art history. Her research focus on Italian Renaissance patronage, and her publications include studies on private patronage for ecclesiastical projects, particularly the mendicants of the Dominican Order during the fifteenth century in Rome and Florence, and issues of racial representation during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries throughout the peninsula.
Christopher Kleinhenz (lecturer – art/literature) is the Carol Mason Kirk Professor Emeritus of Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where, from 1968 to 2007, he taught courses on medieval Italian literature, manuscript studies, and the interrelationship of art and literature in Italy. He also served as Director of the Medieval Studies Program for many years and as Director of the L&S Honors Program. Among his numerous publications are The Early Italian Sonnet (1986) and Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia (2004). He served as President of the American Association of Teachers of Italian, the American Boccaccio Association, and the Medieval Association of the Midwest, and as Editor of Dante Studies. A Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, he has received the Fiorino d’oro from the Società Dantesca Italiana, the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies, the AATI Distinguished Service Award, and the ADFL Award for Distinguished Service in the Profession.
Ian Pritchard (harpsichord; organ; lecturer) See Keyboard
Mark Rimple (lecturer – composition and performance practice; Trefoil) has appeared as countertenor and lutenist with Trefoil, The Newberry Consort, The Folger Consort, Piffaro, the Renaissance Band, Melomanie, and New York's Ensemble for Early Music. He can be heard on recordings of fourteenth century music by Trefoil (Christo e Nato and Monsters, Mazes and Masters, MSR, and Fleur de Valeur, Bridge Records) and the Newberry Consort (Puzzles and Perfect Beauty, Noyse Productions). He is an expert in the notation of the ars subtilior and specializes in the performance practice of the citole and gittern. Mark is an accomplished composer whose original works incorporate aspects of early music and often include early instruments and techniques. Mark is Professor of Music Theory and Composition at West Chester University, where he directs the Collegium Musicum. He has taught ensembles, early notation, lute, and early theory classes at the Amherst Early Music Festival, Pinewoods, and Madison Early Music Festivals.
Jelena Todorović (lecturer – literature) received her B.A. from the University of Belgrade in Serbia, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University in Bloomington. Currently she serves as Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests span topics from medieval Latin, Old Occitan and Italian poetry, material philology, textual criticism, and history of the book. She has authored articles on Dante's Vita Nova and its manuscript and print traditions, on Boccaccio’s Decamerone, on courtly love in medieval Latin, and troubadour poetry. She is currently working on her book manuscript titled Text in Context: Reading Cultures in Dante's Vita Nova. Tradition, Adaptation, and Innovation in the First Book in Italian.
Jane Tylus (lecturer – literature) is Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature and Director of the Humanities Initiative at New York University. Her research areas include: late medieval and early modern Italy and Europe, particularly issues related to gender and religion; history of theatre; literature of 19th-century Sicily; and the history and culture of Siena. Professor Tylus is the author and editor of numerous books, essays, and book chapters.
Anna Mansbridge (historical dance), choreographer, dancer, and teacher, is originally from the U.K., and now resides in Seattle, WA. She holds a First Class Honors Degree in Dance and Education from Bedford College, U.K., and an M.F.A in Choreography and Performance from Mills College, CA. She is the founder (in 2000) and Artistic Director of Seattle Early Dance, a company dedicated to recreating dances from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Her directing/choreographing credits include Rappresentatione di Anima et di Corpo by Emilio De’ Cavalieri (1600) The Indian Queen by Henry Purcell (1695), and La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina (1625) and Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (1670). In addition, Anna has directed a DVD titled Baroque Basics: An introduction to the dance and the music of the Baroque Period. Anna is an adjunct instructor at Cornish College of the Arts and the University of Washington, and she also teaches at the Creative Dance Center.
Grant Herreid (lute; All-Festival conductor; Ex Umbris) performs frequently on early reeds, brass, strings, and voice with many US early music ensembles. A noted educator, he is the recipient of Early Music America’s Laurette Goldberg award for excellence in early music outreach and education. A specialist in early opera, he has played theorbo, lute, and baroque guitar with the Chicago Opera Theater, Aspen Music Festival, Portland Opera, and New York City Opera. He is on the faculty at Yale University, where he directs their Collegium Musicum, and is artistic and music director of the Yale Baroque Opera Project. Grant directs the New York Continuo Collective, and is a stage director and music coach for the Accademia d’Amore baroque opera workshop in Seattle. He has created and directed several theatrical early music shows, and he devotes much of his time to exploring the esoteric unwritten traditions of early music with the ensemble Ex Umbris and the plucked-string group Ensemble Viscera.
Jerry (Chiwei) Hui (assistant conductor) is the founder, director, and conductor of many ensembles throughout the years. Recent affiliations in Madison include early music ensemble Eliza's Toyes, contemporary performance arts ensemble New Music Everywhere (New Muse), and the Compline services at Luther Memorial Church. He is currently the director of choral activities at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Besides being an active vocalist and conductor, Dr. Hui is also an award-winning composer of chamber music, choral works, and opera, whose music has been performed in the United States, Germany, France, Scotland, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Grammy award winner Cheryl Bensman-Rowe, (MEMF artistic director) is known to both early and new music audiences in this country and abroad. A former member of the Waverly Consort and Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, she has also performed with King’s Noyse, the Folger Consort, The Smithsonian Chamber Ensemble and Pomerium Musices. Orchestral engagements include the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Israel Phiharmonic, and the St. Louis Symphony. She has toured extensively in North and South America, Europe and Japan. Appearances include concerts at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Aspen Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Ravinia, Casals, Mostly Mozart, Wiener Festwochen, and Holland Festival. She has recorded for Nonesuch, ECM, and CBS Masterworks. Ms. Bensman-Rowe is also a member of the MEMF voice faculty.
Chelcy Bowles (MEMF program director) is Professor of Music and Director of Continuing Education in Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she directs professional development programs for music teachers and performers, the community adult music education program, and the Madison Early Music Festival. She holds a Ph.D. in Music Education, has taught music and music education at the elementary, secondary, college and continuing adult levels, and has presented and published research in major forums and journals. She has taught and performed as a professional harpist, including historical harp and traditional Irish music.
Paul Rowe (MEMF Artistic Director) is Professor of Voice at UW-Madison. He has performed with many of the leading American musical organizations including the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall in Boston and Carnegie Hall in New York, American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera and Kennedy Center, and Musica Sacra at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall. He has appeared with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Smithsonian Chamber Players, the Alabama and Arkansas symphony orchestras, the Folger Consort, and the Ensemble for Early Music, among many other groups. As a member of the Waverly Consort, Mr. Rowe toured the United States, the Far East and South America and participated in the Consort’s regular series at Alice Tully Hall and the Cloisters in New York. In addition, he performed for two years as a member of the New York Vocal Arts Ensemble, touring the U.S. and Yugoslavia. Mr. Rowe is also a member of the MEMF voice faculty.