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REMA European Day of Early Music - Saturday 21 March 2015

21 March 2015 - European Day of Early Music

The National Centre for Early music was one of many partners, across the UK and Europe, involved in REMA's European day on 21 March 2015.

The European Day of Early Music is an annual initiative of the European Early Music Network (REMA) and is a celebration of more than a millennium of music, through concerts, events and workshops taking place simultaneously across the continent. The day is a focal point for the promotion of the historical musical heritage in Europe, aiming to increase awareness of music from the medieval, renaissance and baroque periods and bring it to the attention of a wider audience.

As part of this festival, NCEM hosted a youth early music workshop, involving three ensembles: York Girls' Chamber Choir, Warwickshire Music Hub's youth viol consort Gutted , and NCEM's Minster Minstrels . The ensembles all prepared over several weeks to take part in the workshop led by Dr Paul Gameson, which took place throughout the morning focusing on 16th Century choral music. The morning was designed to give young musicians the opportunity to perform early music within a larger ensemble comprising of both singers and instrumentalists - something that many of them had never experienced before. The repertoire studied was Vautor's Sweet Suffolk Owl, Byrd's Mass for Five Voices (Kyrie and Agnus Dei), Lassus' O Che Bon Echo, and Lassus' O Doulx Parler.

The challenging repertoire was mastered magnificently by the young people, especially as each was written in a different language, both Lassus pieces were in eight parts, and all were musically complex. Both the workshop and the performance were streamed live on the REMA website.

Early music celebrations continued into the afternoon with Minster Minstrels and Gutted playing in Treasurer's House. The National Trust property's Great Hall was a beautiful setting for informal playing, whilst members of the public walked around the house. This proved to be a wonderful success, with the two ensembles playing seamlessly together the works of Holborne, Playford, Gervaise, Ortiz, and others.