Jennifer Williams Brown, director
The Collegium Musicum is an ensemble dedicated to the historical performance of Early Music (the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, & Classical periods of Western European music history). The goals of the ensemble are 1) to provide a hands-on way of learning about the history of Western Music; 2) to learn to perform well, using techniques appropriate to the instrument and the historical period; 3) to learn about historical “performance practice” as it applies to various different repertories; 4) to explore the beautiful but less often heard music of earlier periods; 5) to share the results of study with the Grinnell community through formal and informal concerts; and 6) to share the experience of performing music with each other. The ensemble is comprised of both singers and instrumentalists, divided into several groups according to repertoire and experience level. Each group meets for approximately one hour per week. Section placements are held at the beginning of each semester. Rehearsals are held in the spacious Egan Early Music Room (BCA 102). Instrumentalists in the Collegium perform on Grinnell’s first-class collection of replica period instruments. Since many of these are ancestors of modern instruments, students can often transfer their knowledge of modern technique to early instruments fairly easily. Both group and individual instruction is provided. Available instruments in the Grinnell collection include bowed strings (Baroque violins, violas, cello, violone, a set of viols (viole da gamba), vielle, rebec, hurdy-gurdy), plucked strings (Renaissance and Baroque guitars, lutes, theorbo, medieval harp, psaltery, dulcimer), woodwinds (Renaissance and Baroque recorders and flutes), reeds (Baroque oboe, shawm, dulcian, sordun, crumhorns), brasses (Baroque trumpets, Baroque and Classical horns, sackbuts, cornetti), keyboards (harpsichords, chamber organ, fortepiano), and a variety of small percussion instruments.