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 has been a faculty member at the Tulane School of Architecture for the last 55 years. As Adjunct Professor of Architecture, he presently teaches courses that he designed himself; Architecture & Music and Architecture & Mysticism. Both courses involve his passions for music and magic. In 2011 Milton was a recipient of a prestigious Arts Council of New Orleans Community Arts Award as architect and educator.

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

On this program Continuum presents recordings 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.

Continuum presents delightful catches and ballads of Merry Old England— 300 years ago. Featured will be Songs from the Tavern, Dancing in the Grass, Tobacco and Other Stimulants, and Men and Maids.

This week Continuum presents A Flemish Feast, featuring music of the Netherlands — including songs and dances that were very popular during the Renaissance.

Continuum presents excerpts from the 12th century manuscript, Carmina Burana (The Songs from Beuern). This medieval manuscript was discovered in 1803 in the library of the Bavarian Benedictine monastery of Benedictbeuern in southern Germany.

Music performed by one of Americas leading early music ensembles, The Waverly Consort, is presented on this Continuum.

Three of their CDs are featured, presenting music from the Cantigas de Santa Maria of Alfonso X, some of the songs of 14th century French composer Guillaume de Machaut, and the complete Llibre Vermell (The Red Book), a collection of ten pilgrim songs of the late 14th Century.

Continuum presents a program by the outstanding early music ensemble Sequentia, now in its thirty-eighth year of performing medieval music, some of which has been hitherto unknown.

This program focuses of two major works from around the year 1200, The Story of Samson & Delilah and The Labors of Hercules. These two pieces are in the form of narrative lais, a medieval type of story telling in a vocal style prevalent in medieval times.

The Baroque composer Antonio Caldara (1670-1736) is best known as a creator or operas, cantatas and oratories. This program presents one of his most interesting compositions, music composed for a social gathering in the form of a comic chamber opera.

The composition is called The Card Game. The performance is by The Queen's Chamber Band, conducted by Stephen Alltop and featuring soprano Julianne Baird and contralto Patrice Djerejian. The recording is The Card Game - Albany Troy 705.

The early music English vocal ensemble Gothic Voices was founded in 1981 and has since recorded 25 CDs.

This Continuum program presents excerpts from four of their recordings, featuring early music from Germany, France, Spain and England.

The name Anonymous Four is quite important to early music. It represents two identities: the first, Anonymous IV, an unknown writer of an important treatise of medieval music theory, particularly about the music of Notre Dame in Paris in the 13th Century.

The second is Anonymous 4, a contemporary female vocal quartet specializing in medieval music. They began their career in 1992 and are still performing quite regularly.

Musical instruments produce their sound in many ways. This program is devoted to two instruments: one that's plucked (the harpsichord), and one that's bowed (the cello).

Harpsichord music by Francois Couperin (1668-1733) is performed by New Orleans-born Skip Sempe, and solo suites for cello by Bach are performed by Tess Remy-Schumacher.