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

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.

On this Continuum you'll hear excerpts from the Feast of Fools, a post-European Christmas event dating from the Middle Ages. Occurring between Christmas and Epiphany, this celebration was marked by much license and buffoonery. The clergy and the laity traded places for a day and interesting things happened, particularly in The Mass of the Ass. You'll hear it from these CDs: The Feast of Fools (The New London Consort) L’Oiseaus-Lyre 433 194-2, and La Fete de L'Ane (Clemencic Consort) Harmonia Mundi HMT 7901036.

On this Continuum you’ll hear a special program of early and relatively new Christmas music performed by New Orleans Musica da Camera. The music is from their CD, Natus Est - A Christmas Celebration, directed by Continuum hosts Milton Scheuermann, Jr. and Thais St. Julien. Recordings used are: Natus Est (New Orleans Musica da Camera) - Centaur CRC 2208 and Forse Che Si, Forse Che No (Ferrara Ensemble) - Fonti Musicali fmd 182.

Continuum presents “The Lost Spindle”, a Renaissance Spanish “folk opera”; the CD notes call it “a romance in song”. It is full of folk tunes from the 15th and 16th centuries, very well presented by Live Oak and Company. The Spanish rhythms are infectious, the performance is spirited and fun. If you enjoy Renaissance music you will like this music.

This Continuum presents music from two important medieval collections. The Glogauer Liederbuch (Glogau Song Book) is a Liederhandschrift (medieval songbook) of sacred and secular songs and instrumental music, written about 1480. The A-LA-MI-RE collection was constructed around the manuscripts written by the famous calligrapher-publisher, Petrus Alamire (fl. 1497-1535).

Continuum presents a program devoted to early music performed by the famous Clemencic Consort. Founded in 1967 by Rene Clemencic, Austrian composer, recorder player, harpsichordist, conductor and clavichord player, they have produced over 100 records and CDs. You’ll hear excerpts from four of these historically outstanding recordings including the Roman de Fauvel and the Cantigas de Santa Maria. Recordings used are: Carmina Burana - OEHMS OC 635, and Troubadours - Cantigas de Santa Maria I&II - Harmonia Mundi France HMX 2901524 & 2901525.

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