Milton G. Scheuermann Jr.

Host of Continuum

Milton has been the co-host (with Thais St. Julien) of Continuum since 1976. He is a true New Orleanean, born on Mardi Gras day, attending P. A. Capdau Grammar School and Warren Easton High School. After completing the five year program of the Tulane School of Architecture in 1956 he was drafted into the Army. After a two year stint in the combat engineers in Germany he returned to New Orleans to work with the architectural firm of Goldstein, Parham & Labouisse, becoming an associate in the firm of Parham & Labouisse after Mr. Goldstein’s death. He was appointed University Architect for Dillard University in 1972 and retired from that position in 2002.

Milton was a faculty member at the Tulane School of Architecture for 56 years, retiring in 2015 as Adjunct Professor of Architecture. He taught courses in drawing, photography, calligraphy, visual presentations and two courses that he designed himself; Architecture & Music and Architecture & Mysticism. Both courses involved his passions for music and magic.

Milton has taught piano since an 8th grade student at Capdau School. He studied piano for 16 years with Gordon Kirst, pianist at the original Roosevelt Hotel. While in Germany with the combat engineers he frequently performed as a pianist, and he also bought a Renaissance style recorder. After returning to New Orleans he began playing in a recorder ensemble, the Woodvine Recorder Consort, started by the then new South African Council General, Vere Stock. His growing love for early music culminated in the formation of New Orleans Musica da Camera in 1966. The ensemble is now the oldest continually performing early music ensemble in the world.

Many of the instruments used by Musica da Camera were constructed by Milton from original manuscript drawings. The ensemble now has the pleasure of owning well over 100 early instruments, including seven harpsichords, housed in its own building on Laurel St. in uptown New Orleans. In that building is Musica da Camera’s office, library of over 9,000 books and scores of early music, 4,000 CDs, rehearsal space and living quarters of Thaïs St. Julien (with her 3 cats), Milton’s co-director for Musica da Camera.

Equal to his passion for early music (particularly medieval and early Renaissance) is his passion for the music of Richard Wagner. He is an expert on Wagner with a deep knowledge of all of the composer’s operas, both German texts and scores, knowing all of them from memory. While still in high school, he taught himself German so that he could understand Wagner's librettos.

His third great passion is magic, as a performing art. He is a member of the Knights of Slights, and former or current officer of local chapters of the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Mentalism is his specialty; his performances have often made audience members more than a little uneasy about the transparency of their thoughts.

When not doing any of the above, he sleeps very soundly at night.

Ways to Connect

English singer, lutenist, guitarist and composer Martin Best is the subject of this Continuum program. He has been active in early music since the mid 1970s with special emphasis on Renaissance music and minstrel songs of the French troubadours and trouveres.

Hundreds of medieval and Renaissance dances have come down to us over the past centuries. On this program Continuum presents recordings of a wide selection of these dances by two very early "early music ensembles", the New York Pro Musica, under the direction of founder Noah Greenberg, and the New York Renaissance Band, under the direction of founder Sally Logemann. The New York Pro Musica is the prime ensemble which began the world wide early music interest movement in 1952.

This Continuum presents Making Merrye, a highly spirited program of joyful songs and dances featuring cheerful sounds and ringing melodies of the late-medieval period. Bombards, shawms, lutes, harps and gitterns provide a rich program of music, with songs and instrumental music from Spain, Italy, France and Britain. Performances are by a wide variety of very talented instrumentalists with the assistance of The Oxford Girls' Choir. Recording used is: Marking Merrye (Various instrumentalists and The Oxford Girls' Choir) -The Gift of Music CCL CDG 1062.

Continuum presents a program of Renaissance Band Music. The musical band is a group of specialized musicians usually playing various types of wind instruments sometimes with added vocals. You’ll hear three Renaissance bands performing; The New World Renaissance Band, Piffaro - The Renaissance Band, and The New York Renaissance Band. Included on the program is a suite of dances from the composition, Terpsichore, named after the muse of the dance, by composer Michael Praetorius (1571-1621).

This Continuum presents three major early music sopranos with performances of the music they enjoy singing the most. The singers are Julianne Baird, Evelyn Tubb and the inimitable Emma Kirkby. All three of these ladies have produced dozens of CDs over the past three decades ranging from Greensleeves to the music of J.S. Bach. All are heard on this very delightful program. The recordings used are: Greensleeves (Baird, McFarlane) - Dorian DOR 90126, The Mad Lover (Tubb & Kelly) - Musica Obscura 070987, J. S.

Thomas Binkley was an American lutenist and early music scholar. He founded and led the famous "Studio der Frühen Musik" in 1960 in Munich which performed and recorded early music for twenty years. This Continuum presents excerpts from two of the ensembles famous CDs directed by Binkley. The music is from the repertoire of the troubadours and trouveres and from the famous Carmina Burana. Recordings used are; Troubadours, Trouveres & Minstrels (Studio der Frühen Musik) - Teldec 4509-97938-2, and Carmina Burana (Studio der Frühen Musik) -Teldec 4509-95521-2.

Continuum presents music composed for and by some very important kings. You’ll hear music for Henry VIII (1491-1547), King Rene (1409-1480) and Richard the Lion-Hearted King (1157-1199). The most important king with musical interests is Henry VIII. He was an avid musician and also a well known composer. One of the most popular pieces of music during his reign was Greensleeves to a Ground which will be heard on this program.

Early Voices of Early Music will be heard on this Continuum. Three famous singers of the past will perform some early songs. The singers are Alfred Deller, Victoria De Los Angeles and Jan De Gaetani. Selections by Deller will be from the recording ”Alfred Deller: Portrait of a Legend”. Victoria De Los Angeles’ recording “Songs of Spain” will also be heard and the recording “Jan De Gaetani Early Music Recital” will present her performing with friends. This program is a very special collection from CDs in Musica da Camera’s library that are no longer available.

Continuum presents a program of two of the most important French medieval composers who lived a century apart, Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377) and Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474). Included in this program is the famous Mass of Notre Dame by Machaut, the first music composed for a Mass by a known composer. And, included also are secular songs by Dufay. His secular songs are very seldom performed and will be heard from a complete recording of them. Recordings used are: Guillaume de Machaut - Messe de Notre Dame (Hilliard Ensemble) - Hyperion CDA66358, Guillaume de Machaut - Ay Mi!

The European Ensemble Unicorn is heard on this Continuum. The musicians are from Austria, Italy and Germany and specialize in playing historical instruments in fascinating programs, full of variety and played with artistry and great refinement. On this program they present music from three major medieval sources, including a wide variety of virtuoso dance music from the time of  Baccaccio's Decamerone. Recordings used are: Carmina Burana - Naxos 8.554837, Chominciamento di Gioia - Naxos 8.553131, and Alfonso X: Cantigas de Santa Maria - Naxos 8.553133.

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