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Music from the English Renaissance

September 3, 2013

Schola Adventus: soprano Jennifer Ashworth, alto Lauren Carley, music director Paul Ellison, tenor Kevin Baum, bass Jim Monios<br>Photo by Jude MortonAll the way back in the 16th Century, polyphonic practice developed into the fluid style which culminated in the works of great composers such as Palestrina, Lassus, and William Byrd. It is Byrd who will be featured in a Schola Adventus concert called “Sacred & Profane: English Music from the Renaissance.”

Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices and his best-known motet, Ave verum Corpus, will be sung in a madrigal setting, along with several by his contemporaries. The program emphasizes the range and variety of unaccompanied vocal music in Elizabethan England, pitting the daring of Byrd, a Roman Catholic composing a Latin Mass setting in Protestant England, against the skill of his student Thomas Morley, and contemporaries John Bennet, John Farmer, Giles Farnaby, and John Wilbye in the secular field.

The concert is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Sept. 15, in Church of the Advent, 261 Fell Street, located across the street from the SFJAZZ Center. Following the concert, there will be a hosted reception in the adjoining garden hall. Tickets are $12, available at the door. The program will be repeated on Sept. 22, in First Lutheran Church, 600 Homer Ave., Palo Alto.

Paul Ellison, musical director of Schola Adventus for two decades, is a native of Liverpool, England, educated at the Royal Academy of Music in London; Queens’ College, Cambridge; San José State University, where he took an M.A. in musicology; and Cardiff University, where he holds a Ph.D. degree in musicology. He is currently High Holiday Choir Director at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, and a member of the faculties of San Francisco State University and St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School, San Mateo. He is Associate Editor of The Beethoven Journal and editor of The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians.

The concert will feature soprano Jennifer Ashworth, contralto Lauren Carley, tenor Kevin Baum, and bass Jim Monios. Jonathan Hampton is guest tenor.

Janos Gereben appreciates news tips, corrections, and words of encouragement at [email protected].