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

History tells us that traveling in medieval times was very interesting for the various countries that could be visited. Naturally traveling in those days took more time then today. This Continuum presents music depicting some of those interesting journeys. Recordings uses are: Traveler (The Waverly Consort) - Angel CDC 7243 5 55559 2 2, and Schiarazula Marazula (Musica Antiqua) - Cantas C 9605.

Very early music was written for the human voices and later including instruments performing the same line of music. The music term, polyphony, refers to two or more different melodic lines that are sung or played instrumentally at the same time. This Continuum presents musical selections of the earliest forms of polyphony for voices and instruments. Recording uses are: The Birth of Polyphony (Various Artists) - Harmonia Mundi - Century 5 and, Die Blasinstrumente aus der St. Wenzelskirche in Naumburg (Krickeberg & Lerch) - Klingendes Museum KM2017-2.

Three important subjects on this Continuum: Love, Song & Carnival. All three are definitely related for the Mardi Gras celebration. They really fit the saying, “You can’t have one without the others!” The music is from five excellent CDs. The CDs used are: A Florentine Carnival (London Pro Musica) - IMP PCD 825, The Second Circle (Anonymous 4) - Harmonia Mundi HMU 907269, Alfonso V el Magnanim (Capella Reial de Catalunya) - Aliavox AV 9816, D’Amor Cantando (Micrologus) - Opus 111 OPS 2033, and Canti Carnascialeschi (Josquin Ensemble - Wien) - Christophorus CD 74538

Continuum presents a program dealing with two very early music subjects. The first is Music of the Ancient World, the oldest music available for reconstruction from written and manuscript sources. And, the second is The Rise of Instrumental Music including recordings of music on reconstructions of some of the earliest instruments known to mankind. Recordings used are: Music of the Ancient World (Various performers) - Century Vol. 1 and, The Rise of Instrumental Music (Various performers) - Century Vol. 10.

Carnival time is one of the most interesting times of the year in New Orleans. But, carnival is also celebrated in other countries. This Continuum presents Renaissance music of Italian carnivals and particularly the Florentine Carnival. Songs and dances with a particular Italian sound abound in this program. Recordings used are: A Florentine Carnival (London Pro Musica) - IMP PCD 825, and Italian Renaissance Carnival Songs (Josquin Ensemble Wien) - Christophorus CD 74538.

This Continuum presents early music from three diverse sources. They are Birds, Wind, and Masque. You must listen to find out the relationship of these three interesting subjects. Performances are by three ensembles of great note. You’ll be surprised to find out the reason for the titles of these selections. The CDs used are: Birds on Fire (Fretwork) Vanguard Classics - Harmonia Mundi - HMU 97478, Western Wind (Alfred Deller et al) Vanguard Classics - OVC 8111, and The Masque of Oberon (Musicians of the Globe) - Philips PH 446 217-2.

Any young medieval man would have been entranced to get a Sideways Seductive Smile from a young lady. This is even true of modern times. On this Continuum you’ll hear medieval music written about this. Performing will be three of early music’s noted ensembles.

The Multitude of Ladies on this Continuum have songs written about them, for them and by them. As might be expected the subject matter is always love in one form or another. This music is representative of the major compositions of the medieval period. And, it is performed by four outstanding early music ensembles.

What did Mozart’s music sound like to him when it was performed during his life time? This Continuum program attempts to answer the question. A few contemporary performers have researched what Mozart may have heard. This program presents performances by some of these contemporaries.

This special up-beat and foot-stomping program is devoted to Italian dances of the 14th century and includes a wide selection of estampies, saltarellos and a number of other dances of this period. Performing are members of the ensemble Chominiciamento di Gioia. The name means The Dawn of Joy. And, joyful are all of these dances. Recordings used are: Istampitte - Italian Medieval Dances (Chominiciamento di Gioia) - Tactus TC 300001, and Terpsichore (Ulsamer-Collegium) - Archiv DG 415294.

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