Sing the Music of Hildegard von Bingen

A Workshop with Karen R. Clark

For St. Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179), music was essential to the human being’s health and connection with the Divine. In a letter to the Prelates at Mainz Hildegard wrote, “Remember that singing is our best hope to hear divine harmony again.”

hildegard squareOn Saturday, December 13, contralto Karen Clark will lead a workshop on Hildegard’s music. In this class Karen outlines a process for learning to sing the medieval mystic’s “surpassingly sweet melodies.” Using the original neumatic notation and the early practice of rote learning, participants will sing seasonal selections from Hildegard’s Symphoniae in praise of the Virgin Mary. Vocal exercises, breathing lessons, and discussion will be offered to help deepen our understanding and experience of singing Hildegard von Bingen’s sublime devotional songs.

Karen has performed medieval to new music in festivals and concert halls around the world. In the 1990’s, she toured Europe with Sequentia and had the honor of singing Hildegard’s music in the ruins at Disibodenberg and for the Benedictine Abby at Bingen. A devoted voice teacher and practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method®, Karen enjoys researching the mind/body connection inherent in healthy vocal technique and in singing in a wide variety of styles. She has presented workshops to hundreds of singers and choral conductors, including the Chanticleer in Sonoma, Seattle Medieval Women’s Choir, Pacific Mozart Ensemble, UC Berkeley Chamber Choir, and at Stanford University. Karen has taught in association with the music departments at Princeton University, Swarthmore College, Sonoma State University, and at USC. She holds degrees from the Indiana University School of Music and maintains private studios in Oakland, and Petaluma.

The Hildegard workshop takes place Saturday, December 13, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the Arlington Community Church, 52 Arlington Avenue in Kensington. The class fee is $75 general admission, $60 for Students, Seniors, SFEMS and ACC members. To Register. email:, telephone 510-812-4518, or visit; under the “Teaching” menu at her website, you can download a flyer and registration form. Please register by December 10.