University of Wisconsin–Madison
Faculty and participants playing a harp and other early music instruments at a workshop at MEMF 2015

Class Descriptions

Check back in spring 2018 for the MEMF 2018 class descriptions.

MEMF 2017 Quick Reference List

Complete class descriptions are available below, or click on the class time segment (Early morning, Mid morning, etc.) to be directed there.
*Classes marked with asterisk are part of the Advanced Loud Band Intensive and the Early Opera Workshop and are by audition only.

Early morning

Sunday-Thursday 9:00 – 10:00 am
Friday 9:00 – 9:30 am

  • *Advanced Loud Band Intensive (Wiemken)
  • Bagpipes: Wake-Up Bagpipes! (Kimball)
  • Dance: Early Spanish & Spanish-style Dances (Murray)
  • *Early Opera & Continuo Workshop (Patton & Snaidas)
  • Harpsichord Techniques (Kennerley)
  • Lute, Vihuela & Voice: Sacred Songs (Weaver)
  • Recorder Intermediate: El Cancionero (P. Herreid)
  • Viols: Ortiz Ornaments (Domingues)
  • Violin and Viola: Technique with Ease (Ziliak)
  • Voices: Warm-up Cantigas (Hui)
  • Winds: Sacred Music (Schmalz)


Sunday-Thursday 10:15 – 11:15 am
Friday 9:45 – 10:15 am

  • *Early Opera & Continuo Workshop
  • Percussion (Advanced): Tambourine (Velez)
  • Recorder (Advanced): Diego Ortiz Divisions (Mor)
  • Recorder (Intermediate): Rep & Technique (Kimball)
  • Sackbut Technique (Ingles & Schmalz)
  • *Shawm and Dulcian Advanced Technique (Wiemken)
  • Strings: The Instrumental Spanish Song (Berry)
  • Viols: Milán and Cabezón for Viol Consort (Elhard)
  • Voices (Advanced): Pilgrimage to Santiago! (Hudson)
  • Voices (Intermediate): Music from Seville (Hui)

Late morning

Sunday-Thursday 11:30 am – 12:15 pm

  • Beginning Harp (Sayre)
  • Beginning Recorder (Wines)
  • Beginning Viol (Elhard)
  • Beginning Voice (Boardman)
  • Dance for All (Murray)
  • *Early Opera & Continuo Workshop (Patton, Weaver)
  • Individual Practice Time
  • Lecture Series
  • Percussion & Voice (All Levels): Tambourine (Velez)

Early afternoon

Sunday-Thursday 1:30 – 3:00 pm
Friday 10:30 – 11:30 am

  • *Advanced Loud Band Intensive (Wiemken & Ingles)
  • All Instruments: Avre este abajour (Mor)
  • Cancionero Musical de la Colombina (Hudson)
  • Harp: Harp Music and Methods (Sayre)
  • Intermediate Loud Ban (P. Herreid)
  • Making of Zarzuela (Berry & P. Rowe)
  • Quixote in Hamburg (Ziliak & Stowe)
  • Sacred Music from El Siglo Oro (Kennerley)
  • Spanish Farbondes (Kimball)
  • Survey of Spanish Song (G. Herreid & Snaidas)
  • Tapas e Petiscos (Schmalz)
  • Viols: Cancionero de Palacio (Domingues)


All-Festival Rehearsals & Concert
Iberian Tapestry: Music and Conquest from the Spanish Golden Age
Saturday-Friday 3:15 – 5:00 pm

Saturday 7/15 10:00 am – 12:00 pm | Dress Rehearsal
Saturday 7/15 7:30 pm | Performance

Mid-Morning Classes

Sunday-Thursday 10:15 – 11:15 am
Friday 9:45 – 10:15 am

*Early Opera & Continuo Workshop:  (Christa Patton & Nell Snaidas, Charles Weaver, Peggy Murray)
Scenes from La púrpura de la rosa, Lima (1701) by Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco.
Advanced singers and continuo players should contact the Early Opera Workshop Director for permission to enroll. All voices are welcome. Continuo instruments include lute, theorbo, harpsichord, bass gamba, baroque cello, harps and guitars. Click here for more information.

Percussion: Advanced Tambourine Playing for Percussionists (Glen Velez)
An in-depth exploration of the tambourine techniques usable in early music. Survey of typical dance rhythms, common time signatures, constructing energizing rhythmic formats and discussion of the role of the drummer in an early music setting. We focus on the dynamic nuances that the instrument is capable of, achieved by the various ways of holding the instrument.

Recorder Advanced: Diego Ortiz Divisions-Technique for Recorders (Daphna Mor)
In 1553 Diego Ortiz, from Toledo Spain, published in his Trattado de Glosas. Through this Treatise we have inherited the gift of beautiful melodies and a superb example of the art of divisions of the Mid 16th century. We will use this beautiful material to work on phrasing, articulation, finger work and other recorder technique elements.

Recorder: Intermediate repertoire and technique class (Joan Kimball)
Intermediate – limited to 8 recorder players
We will explore the endless variety of Spanish music, from spicy villancicos and lively dances to mellifluous differencias. The jazzy rhythms of the songs, and some fast ornamental passages of the differencias will provide plenty of interesting challenges.

Sackbut Techniques (Greg Ingles & Erik Schmalz)
All Levels sackbuts
This technique class is suitable for sackbut players of all levels. Topics of discussion will include articulation, tone production and quality, breathing techniques and exercises, phrasing and warm-up routines specifically for the sackbut. Daily group reading sessions will be included as well as an option for some assigned work to be developed individually throughout the course. We may split into smaller groups for individual attention if appropriate.

*Shawm and Dulcian Advanced Technique and Repertoire (Bob Wiemken)
Open to maximum of 8 advanced players by audition/permission of the instructor. 
Click here for more information.

Strings: Diego Ortiz: The Instrumental Spanish song (Brandi Berry)
Intermediate – Advanced – strings – 10 players
This class will explore various canciones from Diego Ortiz’s Trattado de Glossas and the art of arranging and improvising over their forms and harmonies. Open to all instruments, each participant will walk away with a packet of the facsimiles, tips on stylistic improvisation particular to Ortiz, and a greater understanding of Ortiz’s style.

Viols: Milán and Cabezón for Viol Consort (Julie Elhard)
Intermediate viols – 6 players
Luys de Milán wrote beautiful Pavans and Fantasias for the vihuela de mano and in 1536 was the first to publish a book of music for vihuela. Antonio de Cabezón, an organist who was blind from childhood, composed primarily for keyboard and whose differencias based on dance forms are beautiful and instructive. Both of these composers adapt beautifully to the viol consort.

Voices Advanced: Pilgrimage to Santiago! (William Hudson)
Advanced – 12 Singers
This class will embark on a musical journey through the complex polyphony contained in the Codex Calixtinus. This 12th-century manuscript not only contains the earliest examples of notated polyphony, but also serves as a travel guide to pilgrims making their way to Santiago de Compostela. We’ll sing from the original notation.

Voices Intermediate: Music from Seville Cathedral (Jerry Hui)
Intermediate – 16 voices
Sing and learn the polyphonic choral music from the Seville Cathedral! Composers include Alba, Moráles, and Guerrero.

Back to top

Early Morning Classes

Sunday-Thursday 9:00 – 10:00 am
Friday 9:00 – 9:30 am

*Advanced Loud Band Intensive (Bob Wiemken)
All levels; unaccompanied singing experience
Participation by audition/permission only. 8 – 10 players. A select group of eight advanced players of cornetto, shawm, sackbut, and dulcian will focus their entire MEMF week on forming and polishing a historically-based reed and brass ensemble such as existed in the main courts, towns and cathedrals of Renaissance Spain and Portugal during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Click here for more information.

Bagpipes: Wake Up Bagpipes (Joan Kimball)
All levels – limited to 7 players, unless you have your own bagpipes
Energize the start of your day by learning the rudiments of, or honing previously learned skills, on Renaissance bagpipes! Music will include Spanish tunes and dances, as well as some old 16th century favorites. Pipes are available for loan for the week.

Dance: Early Spanish and Spanish-style Dances (Peggy Murray)
Get moving in this class that explores danzas and bailes through early Spanish sources! The steps, deportment and choreographies described in these, allow us to reconstruct dances of the time. We will also explore other European dances in the “Spanish” style. A gentle physical warm-up is included daily. Exercise clothing and flat dance shoes are suggested.

*Early Opera & Continuo Workshop:  (Christa Patton & Nell Snaidas, Charles Weaver, Peggy Murray)
Scenes from La púrpura de la rosa, Lima (1701) by Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco.
Advanced singers and continuo players should contact the Early Opera Workshop Director for permission to enroll. All voices are welcome. Continuo instruments include lute, theorbo, harpsichord, bass gamba, baroque cello, harps and guitars. Click here for more information.

Harpsichord Keyboard Touch and Technique (James Kennerley)
Strengthen your technique and skills as a keyboard and continuo player using solo pieces and excerpts from La púrpura de la rosa. Pianists new to the harpsichord are welcome!

Lute, Vihuela & Voice: Sacred Songs (Charles Weaver)
All Levels – Open to all singers, lute and vihuela players.
Music of Josquin, Morales, and Victoria.
This class explores the large repertoire of sacred music in the vihuela books and motets by Spanish composers in lute sources. These pieces also served a didactic purpose, because the tablature format shows the musical structure in a more explicit way than other contemporary formats.

Recorders (Intermediate): El Cancionero de Palacio (Priscilla Herreid)
The Cancionero de Palacio is a large and diverse anthology of Spanish part song from the turn of the 16th century. Come and explore music by Juan del Encina, Pedro de Escobar, and other Spanish masters of early renaissance composition.

Viols: Ortiz Ornaments as Technique Warmups (Amy Domingues)
Intermediate – 8 players, all sizes of viols
We will use Ortiz’s treatise Trattado de Glosas (1553) as a warm up manual, executing his ornament examples at different intervals and increments of speed, and honing our dexterity while expanding our ornamental palette.

Violin and viola with ease and accuracy (Jude Ziliak)
All levels – violin and viola
A technique class aimed at violinists and violists of any level. Topics will be determined by the needs of the class, but will likely include: left hand security and ergonomics without the chin; building flexibility in the bow hand; sound production with gut strings; fearless chord playing; a survey of useful didactic literature. Students are encouraged to come prepared to perform an unaccompanied work for the class, as fodder for discussion.

Voices: Warm Up with Cantigas, or Holy Mary in the Morning! (Jerry Hui)
Warm up your voice and get ready for a day of singing with music from Cantigas de Santa Maria. Along with vocal warm ups we will also explore healthy vocal techniques as well as different performance possibilities of the Cantigas.

Winds: Sacred music of the Spanish Renaissance (Erik Schmalz)
All levels: wind players (softs and louds)
This class will focus on the sacred music of Guerrero, Morales, and Victoria, among others. We will explore the interesting variety of Masses and other sacred music, including the parody mass and the music on which it is based.

Back to top

Late Morning Classes

Sunday-Thursday 11:30 am – 12:15 pm

Beginning Harp (Jennifer Sayre)
Skills students will acquire include identification of the harp strings, proper way to pluck the strings for best sound and physical health. Spanish Golden Age dances/ground basses will be the basic repertoire. Open to all festival participants.

Beginning Recorder (Charles Wines)

Beginning Viola da gamba (Julie Elhard)
Experience this beautiful instrument and learn to play simple Renaissance pieces in only one week! A relative of the guitar, the viola da gamba comes in different sizes and is suitable for everyone!

Beginning Voice (Katie Boardman)

Dance for All: ¡Danza! (Peggy Murray)
Explore danzas and bailes through the step vocabularies, technique and choreographies suggested in early Spanish sources. We will also work with dances from other countries in the “Spanish” style. A gentle physical warm-up is included daily. Comfortable exercise clothing and flat dance shoes (e.g., ballet shoes or jazz oxfords) are recommended.

*Early Opera & Continuo Workshop:  (Christa Patton & Nell Snaidas, Charles Weaver, Peggy Murray)
Scenes from La púrpura de la rosa, Lima (1701) by Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco.
Click Here for more information.

Individual Practice Time

Lecture Series

Percussion and Voice: Tambourine Techniques for all Musicians (Glen Velez)
Discover the sound and rhythmic potential of tambourine playing. Basic techniques, styles and typical adaptations for use in various size ensembles. Drawing on source material from South Italy, the Arabic world and Spain, we will learn by experiencing the way tambourine rhythms connect with dance and chamber music.

Back to top

Early Afternoon Classes


Sunday-Thursday 1:30 – 3:00 pm
Friday 10:30 – 11:30 am

*Advanced Loud Band Intensive (Bob Wiemken & Greg Ingles)
Participation by audition/permission only. 8 – 10 players. Click here for more information.

All Instruments: Avre este abajour* (Daphna Mor)
All levels
Opening the Window to Music from Medieval Spain, North Africa, the Ottoman Empire and the Sephardic Diaspora. We will draw from the similarities of those sources through scales, rhythms and melodic treatment. We will also explore ornamentation, arrangements and improvisations in the style. No previous experience needed.
*“Open this window” – A sephardic Turkish Song

Cancionero Musical de la Colombina (William Hudson)
Intermediate – 20 – Voices and Instruments
This class will delve into the (mostly) anonymous repertoire of this Seville cancionero.
Copied in the late 15th century, it contains canciones, villancicos, romances, and ensaladas.

Harp Music and Methods of the Spanish Golden Age (Jennifer Sayre)
Music books of the 16th and 17th centuries in Spain were often published for “tecla, arpa, y vihuela” (keyboard, harp and vihuela). This class will explore the cifra, a “music by the numbers” notation system and trace the development of the style of notation necessitated by the changes on the repertiore over the 100 years of the Siglo de Oro. In this course, students will learn Spanish Renaissance and Baroque popular tunes, dances, religious pieces, and original tientos (fantasias).

Intermediate Loud Band: Guerrero, Morales, Rimonte (Priscilla Herreid)
Limited to 6 players.
Through music of the masters of Spanish polyphony, we will focus on full and healthy playing, strive for beautiful ensemble blend, and enjoy the fun and exuberance of the loud band!
For intermediate to advanced shawms, cornetti, dulcians, and sackbuts. If you’re a newcomer to the Festival, please contact the instructor ( about what instrument(s) you’ll be bringing.

Making of Zarzuela (Brandi Berry and Paul Rowe)
All levels – all instruments and voices
This class will explore the tradition of Zarzuela and its earliest influences, along with the instrumentalists’ roles and approach to the music. Participants will learn the songs and stories behind this unique tradition from composers such as Juan del Encina and Juan Hidalgo de Polanco.
Collaborative classes – singers and instrumentalists meet separately and together during the week.

Quixote in Hamburg (Jude Ziliak & John Chappell Stowe)
Advanced strings, harpsichord, singers (Advanced soprano and bass)
This class will examine Telemann’s two musical responses to Cervantes, the “Burlesque de Quichotte” for strings and the serenata “Don Quichotte auf der Hochzeit des Comacho.” Students will be sorted into small groups according to level, to learn selections from both works. Advanced singers interested in studying the serenata are most welcome. Subject covered may include: 18th-century comic tropes; “French overture” style; Telemann’s stylistic evolution; Muffat bowings.

Sacred Vocal Music from El Siglo de Oro (James Kennerley)
High Intermediate – Advanced vocal ensemble
Sacred vocal music by Francisco Guerrero, Cristóbal Morales, Alonso Lobo and others.

Spanish Fabordones, Recercardas and Differencias (Joan Kimball)
Intermediate – Advanced – Recorders and Strings – 8 players
Instrumental pieces by Cabezon, Ortiz, and Rogier will provide some fascinating examples of how these composers created variations over bass patterns. We will look at how they can be arranged for combinations of instruments.

Survey of Spanish Song (Grant Herreid, Nell Snaidas)
All Levels – Singers and accompanying instruments. Class limit 15
An in-depth look at Spanish solo song, from 13th century cantigas to 17th century tonos humanos. Students will prepare suggested pieces to work on in class. We will explore poetry and form, expressive style, pronunciation, ornamentation, and other performance practice issues. For singers and accompanying instruments such as lute, guitar, harp, harpsichord, and viol.

Tapas e Petiscos (Erik Schmalz)
Beginner-Intermediate winds and percussion
Tapas e Petiscos: A Taste of Renaissance Music of Spain and Portugal: Tired of bland pizza and pasta? Is sausage too filling? Why not try a Spanish ensalata… or a villancico or two? Drop in for small portions of Spanish and Portuguese Renaissance music and enjoy the more exotic rhythm and text of the south.

Viols: Cancionero de Palacio: Songs of Juan del Encina (Amy Domingues)
Intermediate – 8 players, all sizes of viols
This class is a survey of the 3 and 4-part songs of Juan del Encina (1468-c.1530).
Encina was a master of the villancico form popular in Renaissance Spain, writing spectacular examples of this secular polyphony. This repertoire is particularly suited for viols in nuance and timbre, and we will explore his contributions to the 16th century collection of Spanish song, the Cancionero de Palacio.

Back to top

Mid-Afternoon Classes

All-Festival Rehearsal (GRANT HERREID)

Saturday-Friday 3:15 – 5:00 pm

Note: Dress rehearsal for the All-Festival Concert is on Saturday, July 15 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. The performance takes place that evening at 7:30 pm.

All-Festival Choir and Orchestra Rehearsal (Grant Herreid, Bob Wiemken, Jerry Hui)
Iberian Tapestry: Music and Conquest from the Spanish Golden Age

MEMF’s final performance featuring participants, faculty, and guest artists in a program that includes sacred and secular compositions by Victoria, Guerrero, Flecha, Vasquez, music from the Moors of the Reconquista, Sephardic music for the heritage of the Jews, and from the New World.

Back to top