By Alec Matuszak
Arts & Entertainment Editor
The Merriweather Consort, a group “devoted to the performance of Renaissance music,” will perform in the Great Hall on Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. This is an orchestral performance combined with some band instruments, and the performers, dressed in Renaissance costumes, are “music majors who play string and brass instruments,” orchestra director, Maureen Hynes, said. “The members of the group learn to play reproductions of Renaissance instruments,” she added. The viol family (strings), the recorders and crumhorns (woodwinds), and the cornetto (brass) are included. Members of the group also play percussion instruments.
The Merriweather Consort will be performing Italian and French dances from the 16th century. “These include Pavanes, Gailliardes, Bransles and Basse dances. If you have seen a movie about King Henry VIII and his time period, these are the dances you see them doing at court,” Hynes said. The consort will “probably be teaching some of [the dances] to the audience.
The consort consists of 15 Post students who rehearse weekly from 5 to 7 p.m. on Mondays. “The semester is spent learning the repertoire that will be performed at the end of the semester, perfecting skills on the instrument and learning about the time period and the performance practices of that time,” Hynes said. The Consort group gathers input from students that allows them to carefully craft a piece in the way that the group sees t. “The music we play does not have certain instruments assigned to the parts. This allows for creativity in making each arrangement and prepares them for the future when as educators, they may be required to make arrangements of pieces for their students,” Hynes said. The performances speak for themselves, but costumes help immerse the audience in what they are watching and listening to. The Renaissance costumes add “a colorful note to the performances,” Hynes said.
The performance is open to the public, and admission is free.