Project Zefiro: Gaudeamus

Dan Stillman
Dan Stillman

Once again, SFEMS Affiliate Alta Sonora is sponsoring a limited, pre-auditioned workshop of wind band players this August. Dan Stillman and Greg Ingles will be coaching 13 Renaissance brass and reed players from all over the country—3 cornetts, 5 sackbuts, and 5 reeds—in week-long rehearsals at St. Alban’s for a grand concert on the night of Saturday, August 16. Entitled “Project Zefiro: Gaudeamus,” the program’s centerpiece will be the triple-choir Missa de Batalla by Joan Cererols, which will be performed along with other celebratory pieces (not always about battles) by Victoria, Gabrieli, Carissimi and Pevernage, among others.

Project Zefiro was inaugurated in 2013 following the European model of music festivals, in which participants rehearse a specific concert program during the week and then present it to the public at the end. Musicians are pre-auditioned and selected for Project Zefiro so that their instruments will match what’s needed for the music in the concert program. This year they are coming from New England, the Midwest, Seattle, Japan, Italy, the Bay Area and other parts of California.

Greg Ingles
Greg Ingles

Greg Ingles is one of the project’s directors, an experienced musician and teacher who has performed in Europe, North and South America, including a run on Broadway with the visiting Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in 2013–14. He says the Project Zefiro festival is, “in my opinion, one of the highest level festivals for Renaissance repertoire in North America.” Dan Stillman, the other director, has also performed widely at home and abroad and is a popular and effective teacher at several New England colleges and at workshops across the country. Both he and Greg have performed on the SFEMS concert series and taught at SFEMS summer workshops.

Last year’s program featured music from Renaissance wind band manuscripts (Regensburg, Copenhagen, Lerma). Audience members were surprised and pleased with the variety of sonorities possible with different combinations of shawm, cornett, sackbut and dulcian, and the program was carefully crafted to show them off.

This year’s program is titled “Gaudeamus!” (let us rejoice!) and features music of celebration, not only for military victories and peace treaties but also for the installation of important nobles of that time and for spiritual victory over the temptation of earthly things. There will be several 12-part pieces for triple choir, a glorious sound on these wind instruments.

The concert will take place at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 1501 Washington St. in Albany, starting at 8:00 p.m. A donation of $15–$20 is requested, to benefit the church.

Come, listen, and celebrate!

Leave a reply
Written by Jonathan Harris