The Beta Delta chapter at St. Olaf College was the receipient of the Pi Kappa Lambda Matching Grant 2013. The project was completed in the Fall 2013. Below is a summary of the project.
The Rose Ensemble, a professional early music vocal ensemble of 11 singers from St. Paul, Minnesota, and its director, Jordan Sramek, were brought to campus for a mini-residency and a public concert.
The director of the St. Olaf Early Music Singers, Dr. Gerald Hoekstra, had arranged for his own student ensemble of 13 singers to prepare and perform two pieces with The Rose Ensemble on its Friday evening concert. Jordan Sramek came to campus for a rehearsal the week before the concert to rehearse EMS and explain how TRE prepares a piece of medieval music from the manuscript materials. And again on the day before the concert he came down with two of his singers to rehearse with EMS and prepare them for the Friday evening performance.
Sramek, along with two of his singers and a vielle player, also made presentations in Hoekstra’s two sections of Music 241, Music History and Literature I, on Friday afternoon. The class is taken by sophomore music majors, and each section has 32 students. The focus of the class was the Florentine lauda and the practice of lay devotional singing in 15th-century Italy. At this point in the semester the class is studying medieval song, so the lecture/demonstration fit well into the students’ learning. The presentation involved looking at manuscript pages, reading early notation, and singing the laude together as a class.
The crowning event of the mini-residency was the Friday night concert in Boe Memorial Chapel. Titled “Il Povorello: The Life and Legacy of St. Francis of Assisi,” the concert presented music from the time of Francis and music written for the Feast of St. Francis from the 13th to 16th centuries. The St. Olaf Early Music Singers joined The Rose Ensemble for two of the songs.