August 12-19, 2023 // Plymouth, MA

Renaissance and Baroque music for advanced musicians and singers

During Early Music Week at Pinewoods.

The Advanced Ensemble Intensive program offers a week-long focus on small ensembles led by Frances Fitch, Michael Barrett, Emily O’Brien, with Jonathan Oddie and Lisa Terry.

Program Description

Open to singers and instrumentalists (string, wind and keyboard players) with advanced reading skills and solid technique, the Advanced Ensemble Intensive offers a week-long focus on small ensembles, which may include matched or mixed consorts, vocal groups, or ensembles with continuo. Participants should be ready to work semi-independently as well as with a coach, and ensembles will have the opportunity to play for and give feedback to each other.

Course Details and Participation Requirements

The Advanced Ensemble Intensive is intended for players interested in working on their ensemble skills.  Participants must be fluent with voice or on all instruments in a family, and able to:

  • sight read all but the most virtuosic music
  • play most of the ensemble repertory at an appropriate tempo without getting lost
  • apply stylistic elements (articulations, bowings, ornaments, etc.) appropriately

Participants must have some familiarity with historical notation, or the willingness to learn more about it.

Registration and Fees

The fee for the program is $1,040.

To apply for this course, after you register for camp, you will be directed to fill out a survey.  Survey responses are requested as soon as possible, but by March 13 at the latest.

Survey questions:

  1. What instrument(s) do you play and at what level?
  2. What is your comfort and familiarity with holding a part in complex polyphonic textures, and being able to read it at sight, even if it has non-intuitive entrances?
  3. From the given score, pick a part that’s comfortable for you to play or sing in an octave that is comfortable.
    • Were you able to play along with one of the parts and not get lost while paying some attention to the other parts?
  4. What are two or three ways to ornament a common cadential pattern?
  5. What is your experience in playing or singing a polyphonic piece with four or more parts, one on a part?
  6. If you are a keyboard player, are you comfortable playing from a figured bass? How are you with adapting a realised keyboard part by altering it to suit the circumstances as you go along?

If the course is over-subscribed on March 13, preference will be given to more experienced musicians. There is also some preference given to applicants supported by their local community. Strong indicators of that support are our Group Priority and Matching Scholarship processes, where a CDSS Affiliate vouches for a participant and may offer some scholarship, asking CDSS to match that amount. This is a statement by people who know the individual, that the person is deserving of assistance and would benefit the local community by attending the course.

To learn more about available scholarships, visit our scholarships page.

To register, please log into the CDSS Commons, or visit our registration page for more information.

Course Leaders

Michael Barrett

Advanced Ensemble Intensive, Early Music Week
Michael Barrett

Jonathan Oddie

Advanced Ensemble Intensive, Early Music Week
Jonathan Oddie

Lisa Terry

Advanced Ensemble Intensive, Early Music Week, Program Directors
Lisa Terry

Emily O’Brien

Advanced Ensemble Intensive, Early Music Week
Emily O’Brien

Frances Fitch

Advanced Ensemble Intensive, Early Music Week
Frances Fitch