Schola News

June 2021

At the end of a busy Spring season of rehearsals and recording, Schola Cantorum and its members have three performances in June.

Schedule and Access

Covid Precautions

the Boston Early Music Festival
Schola's BEMF program
Jeff Snedeker's BEMF program
the June 26 Pebble Hill program

* On Monday, June 14, at 7:00 p.m., Schola’s newest video presentation, English in English: Comfort and Joy, will have its “premiere” as part of the Fringe Concert week of the 2021 Boston Early Music Festival, on BEMF’s YouTube channel. No charge.

* On Friday June 18, at 6 p.m., another premier presentation in the BEMF Fringe Concert week will be The Fitzwilliam “Organ” Book, a new video by Schola organist Jeff Snedeker, on BEMF’s YouTube channel. No charge.

Click here to the BEMF site for Schola's June 14th concert.


Click here for Jeff’s June 18th concert.


[If you visit either site prior to concert time, you can opt for BEMF
to send you a reminder e-mail just prior to concert time.

To navigate from the BEMF site back to Schola's site,
click the "Back" arrow on the BEMF site.]

* On Saturday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m., in a LIVE CONCERT at Pebble Hill Church, “the Schola 6” – a sextet drawn from the Schola ensemble - will present Music for 6, featuring vocal music in six parts by Lasso, Byrd, Monteverdi and others. Tickets, at the door, will be $20 (seniors $15, under-30 $10, students $5, children free).

Covid Precautions

Schola is pleased to be “going live” again on June 26th at Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church. 


As it stands now, vaccinated adults, and children, need not wear masks (although for them a mask remains a personal option); unvaccinated adults must wear masks.

Pebble Hill's sanctuary can again accommodate its full capacity; the Covid-related occupancy limit has been lifted.

The Boston Early Music Festival

The BEMF is an early music extravaganza presented every second year. Ticketed headliner concerts and free-admission Fringe Concerts normally are interspersed over eight days, at various Boston live concert venues. This year the BEMF is entirely on video, with the headliner events (at very reasonable ticket prices) the week of June 6 to 13, and the Fringe Concerts during a second week, June 14 to 20.

Click here to see the headliner week schedule. [Then click the "Back" arrow on that page to return to this page.]


Click here for previews of this year’s featured opera-ballet (recorded at the 2017 BEMF), André Campra’s Le Carnival de Venice. (Schola’s faithful web-keeper attended this opera at one of its 2017 live performances in Boston, and recommends it highly. It is very well-performed, and great fun.)


The Schola BEMF performances

Barry Torres considers Schola (and organist Jeff Snedeker) to be in very good company during Fringe Concerts week. Click here to see the Fringe Concerts schedule.

Schola’s June 14 BEMF concert, English in English: Comfort and Joy, presents Elizabethan and Jacobean settings of English anthems, hymns, and madrigals chosen to uplift, edify, and entertain weary hearts and minds at this most trying time. Music of Thomas Tallis, Orlando Gibbons, Thomas Weelkes, John Wilbye, and John Bennet.


Jeff Snedeker’s June 18 concert, The Fitzwilliam “Organ” Book, features music found in one of the most important late 16th- early 17th-century keyboard collections, music usually performed on the harpsichord. However, many of the compositions sit equally well on the organ, which may be the instrument for which some of these works were originally conceived. This program will present works of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, William Byrd and Peter Philips, performed on a chamber organ (Klop, 1996) tuned in quarter-comma mean-tone temperament.


Music for 6 on June 26


About the June 26th Pebble Hill concert, music director Barry Torres writes

“The sextet texture provides the perfect balance of clarity and richness, of simplicity and complexity. When all parts sound in unison the result is sensuously sonorous. But the several pleasing combinations within the six voices inspires composers who are up to the task with a rich palette of colors, contrapuntal possibilities and dramatic contrast – three duos of high, middle and low voices; various pairings of low and high; duos against a quartet, solos contrasted with 2-5 voices; and various combinations of trios for antiphonal effects.  


“The Schola 6 will present a cornucopia of vocal music in six parts by some of the greatest composers in 16th-Century Europe – Orlando di Lasso, William Byrd, Adrian Willeart, Claudio Monteverdi, Heinrich Schütz.

“The mood will range from the downright farcical (Lasso’s sexual romp Chi chi li chi) to the philosophically sublime (Willaert’s setting of the famous Savonarolan text Infelix ego) and everything in between.

“William Byrd is represented by his exuberant song of praise Venite exultemus Domino which is paired with Monteverdi’s classic setting of Cantate Domino.

“Two songs in praise of music, Music Divine by Byrd’s younger countryman Thomas Tomkins and Orlando di Lasso’s evocative Musica, Dei donum optimi (Music, gift of God most high) will be sung, as well as Lasso’s mysteriously reverent setting of Ave Maria, gratia plena.

“Adding to the frivolity of Chi chi li chi will be Ludwig Senfl’s bell-ringing song Das Geläut zu Speyer.

“Jacob Arcadelt’s ethereal Agnus Dei from Missa Ave Regina Caelorum and two motets from Heinrich Schütz, Das ist je gewisslich wahr (This is a faithful saying) and Selig sind die Toten (Blessed are the dead) round out the program.”

[Shown below is the March 27 recording session at St. Luke Church in Ithaca.]

St. Luke small-5.jpg