Medieval & Renaissance Faculty

Adam Gilbert, Workshop Director, recorder and double reeds
Bianca Hall, Workshop Assistant Director, voice and Renaissance song

Malachai Komanoff Bandy, viol and beginning viol
Adam Bregman, sackbut, winds and reeds
Karen Clark, voice
Rotem Gilbert, recorders and reeds
Shira Kammen, vielle and fiddle
David Morris, viol
Mary Springfels, viol and vielle

Malachai Komanoff Bandy, viol and beginning viol

A native of Los Angeles, Malachai Komanoff Bandy has amassed a professional performance record on some twenty instruments spanning over 800 years of music history. He graduated cum laude with Distinction in Research and Creative Work from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music with double bass and music history degrees. In recent years, Malachai has performed as a violist da gamba and violonist with various ensembles in the U.S. and Europe, including The Orpheon Consort, Ars Lyrica Houston, and Ciaramella. He is also a featured soloist in Bear McCreary’s scores to the films 10 Cloverfield Lane (yaylı tanbur, 2016), Welcome Home (viol, 2018), and Emmy-winning title theme for the STARZ television series DaVinci’s Demons (viol, 2013), and the videogame God of War (nyckelharpa, 2018).

After completing a Wagoner Fellowship-funded individual course of viola da gamba and organological study with José Vázquez in Austria, Spain, and Switzerland, Malachai began graduate studies in Historical Musicology as a Provost Fellow at the USC Thornton School of Music in 2015. He is currently in the final stages of creating the first comprehensive aural catalog of the Orpheon Foundation’s fifty historical violas da gamba (Duino, Italy) with the support of a Presser Graduate Award (2016). His present scholarly interests include topics pertaining to number

symbolism in the North-German baroque, as well as viola da gamba technique, repertoire, instrument design, and iconography.

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Adam Bregman, sackbut and winds

Adam Bregman (sackbut) plays historical trombones from every era, with special interest in medieval, Renaissance and early baroque music. He is a member of Ciaramella (Los Angeles), an ensemble devoted to music of the fifteenth century, and the early brass ensemble Oltremontano (Belgium). He performs regularly in Europe and the United States with ensembles including Piffaro, the Renaissance Band (USA), the Huelgas Ensemble (Belgium), and Capella Cracoviensis (Poland).

He has led the Indiana Sackbut Workshop (ISW) since 2013, and has taught early brass at the SFEMS Med/Ren Workshop since 2017.

In August 2016, Adam began a PhD in historical musicology at the University of Southern California.

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Karen Clark, voice and medieval song

From Berkeley to Hong Kong, contralto Karen R. Clark’s performances of medieval to modern music have received high praise. In 2016, American Record Guide wrote: “Karen R. Clark has a beautiful voice that shows flexibility and nuance. Her performance is gorgeous.” Karen is founder and director of the women’s vocal group Vajra Voices, whose new CD, O Eterne Deus: Music of Hildegard von Bingen (Music & Arts) is receiving international acclaim. Rebecca Tavener of Choir & Organ Magazine calls it: “the most convincing Hildegard disc I’ve yet heard from the USA.” Karen’s career highlights include numerous concert and festival performances and recordings with eminent ensembles, such as, Sequentia, Project Ars Nova, Boston Camerata, New York Early Music, Waverly Consort, and Joshua Rifkin’s Bach Ensemble.

Karen enjoys introducing early music to new audiences. In 2015-16, her performances of medieval music provided inspiration for new dance premieres with the Oakland Ballet (A Capella: Our Bodies Sing); and, in the Garrett-Moulton Dancers, Speak, Angels, which drew sell-out crowds in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Theater. In new music, Karen has premiered works by Joseph Schwantner, Ben Johnston, Fred Frith, and Roy Whelden. Her recording with the Galax Quartet, On Cold Mountain: Songs on Poems of Gary Snyder (Innova) prompted music critic, Joshua Kosman, to write: “It’s mesmerizing in it’s unplaceable timelessness. Clark’s majestic, throaty singing hints of modernist extravagance and medieval troubadours.” (the San Francisco Chronicle)

A devoted teacher for more than thirty years, Karen has had the pleasure to work with hundreds of singers in workshops and music departments, including, Princeton University, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, and in the Thornton School of Music at University of Southern California,. Karen holds degrees from the Indiana University School of Music where she studied opera, song literature, and historically informed performance with the legendary artists Virginia Zeani, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, and Thomas Binkley.

Adam Gilbert, Workshop Director, recorder and double reeds

Adam photoAdam Knight Gilbert has performed and recorded on historical woodwind instruments as a member of Ensemble for Early Music, Waverly Consort, Piffaro, and is co-director of the ensemble Ciaramella, whose recent CD Dances on Movable Ground earned 5 stars by the British magazine Early Music Today and was picked the Editor’s Choice, lauded for its “expressive fluidity and rhythmic vitality”.

Adam received Fulbright and Belgian American Education Foundation Grants for study in Belgium, and completed his Ph.D. in Performance Practice at Case Western Reserve University. He has taught musicology on the faculty of Stanford University and the University of Southern California, where he is currently Associate Professor of Musicology and Director of the Early Music Program. A recipient of the 2008 Noah Greenberg Award, he specializes in historical improvisation and compositional techniques, the music of Henricus Isaac, musical symbolism, the bagpipe, and fifteenth-century chansons.

Adam is the joint recipient of Early Music America’s 2014 Thomas Binkley Award for “outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship by the director of a university or college early music ensemble.” He has been a regular faculty member at Amherst Early Music, and is the director of the San Francisco Early Music Society Medieval & Renaissance Workshop. He can be heard on Dorian, Naxos, Deutsche Grammophon’s Archiv, Passacaille, Musica Americana, Lyrichord and Yarlung labels.

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Rotem Gilbert, recorders and reeds

EMA_YP_Jun_6 (164 of 305)Recorder player Rotem Gilbert is a native of Haifa, Israel and a founding member of Ciaramella, an ensemble specializing in music of the 15th and 16th centuries. Ciaramella has performed throughout the United States, in Belgium, Germany, and Israel, and released a CD on the Naxos Label, and two recordings with Yarlung Records. Their recent CD Dances on Movable Ground has earned 5 stars by Britten’s magazine Early Music Today and is picked the Editor’s Choice, lauded for its “expressive fluidity and rhythmic vitality”. She was a member of Piffaro (1996-2007), and has appeared with many early music ensembles in the United States and in Europe. Rotem has been featured as a soloist for the Pittsburgh Opera, the LA Opera, Musica Angelica and the LA Phil. After studies on recorder at Mannes College of Music in New York with Nina Stern, she earned her solo diploma from the Scuola Civica di Musica of Milan where she studied with Pedro Memelsdorff. She earned her doctorate in Early Music performance practice at Case Western Reserve University. She is an assistant professor at the USC Thornton School of Music where she teaches Baroque and Renaissance performance practice courses and is an instructor of early music winds. Rotem received the 2012 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at USC and is the joint recipient of the 2014 Thomas Binkley Award. She has been a regular faculty member of early music workshops and is the co-director of SFEMS Recorder Workshop. Rotem can be heard on the Deutsche Grammophon’s Archiv, Passacaille, Musica Americana, Dorian, Naxos and Yarlung labels.

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Bianca Hall, Workshop Assistant Director, voice

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABianca Hall holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Early Music Performance from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where her secondary fields of emphasis were Theory and Analysis, College Teaching, and Recorder Performance. In addition, she has received both Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in Vocal Performance from CSU Fullerton and a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiological Science and English minor from the University of California, Los Angeles. Bianca is currently on the music faculty at

Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, where she holds the position of Early Music Lecturer, directing the Madrigal Singers and the Collegium Musicum and teaching courses in Music History.

Bianca is an active early music performer, specializing in the performance of seventeenth-century Italian florid singing and seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English balladry. She has performed in various festivals and concert series around the country, including the Boston and Berkeley Early Music Festivals and Pittsburgh’s Renaissance and Baroque Society concert series, and with various ensembles, including Tallis Chapel Society, Bach Collegium San Diego, De Angelis Vocal Ensemble, Tesserae, and Ciaramella.

Bianca’s recordings include “D’ye Hear the News,” music to accompany 1688: The First Modern Revolution (Yale University Press, 2011), “J.S. Bach: The Six Motets BWV 225-230” with Bach Collegium San Diego (RMAP, 2010), and “Ancient Christmas Melodies” (Virlouise Records, 2006).

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David Morris, viol

David Morris has performed across the U.S., Canada and in Europe on baroque cello, viola da gamba, lirone and a variety of other historical stringed instruments.  He is a member of Quicksilver and the Galax Quartet and is a frequent guest performer with the New York State Early Music Association.  He has performed with Musica Pacifica, the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Tafelmusik, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Seattle’s Pacific Musicworks. Mr. Morris received his B.A. and M.A. in Music from U.C. Berkeley, and has been a guest instructor in early music performance-practice at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Mills College, Oberlin College, University of Colorado at Boulder, the Madison Early Music Festival, Cornell University and Amherst College.


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Mary Springfels, viol and vielle

Mary Springfels is a veteran of the American Early Music movement.  She was the founder/director of the Newberry Consort in Chicago and has taught at SFEMS Workshops for at least 25 years, but who’s counting?   In the recent past, she has been a soloist with the Victoria and Arizona Bach Festivals, the Houston Bach Society, and, as a frequent guest with Ars Lyrica Houston, has appeared and the Berkeley and Houston Early Music Festivals.  She maintains long-standing musical friendships with Sonoma Bach, the Texas Early Music Project, and the Folger Consort.  This summer, she will be on the faculties of Pacific Northwest Viols, the VdGSA Conclave, and the Texas Toot, and will direct the Rio Rico Viol Weekend in Arizona.  Mary has begun a well-received concert series in Santa Fe called Severall Friends, which features local and nationally -recognized artists, including Matthew Dirst, Elizabeth Blumenstock, Mark Rimple and Drew Minter.

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