And the winner is…

booty Yesterday the winners of the Engage Competition (run by the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement) were announced at an awards ceremony at the Natural History Museum.  Laurie won the Individually-led Project category with Celestial Sirens!  We are so very proud of, and grateful to, every one of the Sirens, past and present. The award is a wonderful recognition of the investment that the choir has made in working together with us. There is still a great deal of work to do, and music to be sung, and we are all eager to get started on new recording projects this summer.

The judges said, “Deeply embedded in on-going cycles of research, the project brought the research alive for all the participants – whether other researchers, festival goers, performers, authors, readers, or music lovers.”

How lovely!

 

A week for good news

This week have been full of good news for Deborah and Laurie. We first learned that Brighton Early Music Festival had received its Arts Council grant for 2014, which is a huge achievement for Deborah and the rest of the BREMF team. Then, Laurie was notified that Celestial Sirens has helped her to the final of the Engage Competition 2014, which recognises national excellence in public engagement with research. Saying we’re excited about this is an understatement! We are so proud of all our colleagues, and the hard work is paying off now.

A Christmas wonder and a sad goodbye

Celestial Sirens brought another first to St Michael’s Southampton last night with a performance of Cipriano de Rore’s Christmas Vespers – a work that has not been heard in modern times.  But, given the news of the death of Nelson Mandela, the choir wished to mark his passing with an appropriate tribute – so we began the concert with the hymn N’kosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.   There was a lovely stillness in the church, as if the bustle and busyness of Christmas was put on hold for those few moments – we were all grateful!

Welcome to Musica Secreta

We have a new web page!  And with it, a new blog.  We’re hoping this will make it much easier to update our friends with news of concerts, workshops, talks, and projects.

July has already been a busy month for our directors: Deborah has been teaching at the Tallis Scholar Summer School at Uppingham, and will soon be off to Seattle for the Summer School there.  Laurie has been in Certaldo, near Florence, giving a paper on Cipriano de Rore’s madrigals for the theatre, at the Conference for Medieval and Renaissance Music, and will soon be back at the convent of the Poor Clares at Crossbush for some peace and quiet in which to write.

Lots of activity for the singers, too: Before Deborah disappears to Seattle, Musica Secreta will have an exploration day, singing through some of the anonymous convent motets from Musica quinque vocum motteta materna lingua vocata (1543) – hopefully as the first step to recording these astonishing pieces. Celestial Sirens gave a short concert at St Michael’s, Bugle Street, Southampton, on 9 July as the opening event for the Knowledge Exchange and Arts and Humanities Research Conference.  It was unbearably hot, but the Sirens took it in their stride.

 

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