Early-music concert at Shepherd

January 26, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Music lovers have the opportunity tonight to hear Spanish music from Christopher Columbus' era as the Baltimore Consort performs at Shepherd University's Frank Arts Center.

The Spanish program includes countertenor Jos Lemos, from Brazil and Uruguay, singing in Spanish and Ladino, the language of Sephardic Jews.

The concert is part of the Shepherd University Friends of Music Guest Artist Series.

"We bring in professional classical musicians to play for our music students, and it's a way to inspire them ... so they can hear the highest caliber of playing and so they can learn from it," says Barbara Spicher, operations manager for Shepherd's Music Department.


Consort members will chat with the audience tonight, explaining their instruments as well as the program.

Instruments to be played tonight include the lute, viola da gamba or viol, rebec, renaissance guitar, recorder, wooden flutes and crumhorn, says consort member Mary Anne Ballard.

Ballard plays violas da gamba - from a family of instruments that look like large and small cellos. They are held between the knees and have six strings rather than four as on modern cellos.

The rebec is a tiny pear-shaped fiddle. A crumhorn is similar to the part of a bagpipe a musician fingers. The musician blows into a chamber that activates the reed, producing a buzzing sound, Ballard says.

She says tonight's program is set around 1492.

That's when the Christian king and queen, Ferdinand and Isabella, drove from Spain the Islamic Moors, who had occupied Spain for nearly 800 years, and Sephardic Jews, who had lived in Spain for more than 1,000 years.

The program will reflect the music of those three cultures, Ballard says.

If you go ...

WHAT: Baltimore Consort

WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26

WHERE: Shepherd University's Frank Arts Center.

COST: $15, general admission; $10, seniors, faculty and staff; $5, students 18 and younger; free to Shepherd University students. For tickets and more information, call 1-304-876-5555, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today or buy tickets at the door tonight.

DIRECTIONS: From Hagerstown, take Md. 65 (Sharpsburg Pike) south to Sharpsburg. Turn right on Md. 34 (Main Street) and cross the Potomac River into Shepherdstown, W.Va. Past the bridge, take the third right and turn into the West Campus. The Frank Arts Center is straight ahead, on the right-hand side at the top of the hill.

The Herald-Mail Articles