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

A program of Renaissance sacred music is featured this week on Continuum. A few of the composers that you will hear from are Josquin des Prez, Clement Janequin, Thomas Tallis, Gesualdo, and Cipriano de Rore. The music is from the Century CD collection, History of Early Music. Various performers are on this Volume 8 of the complete Century CD ten volume set.

This week on Continuum you'll hear a program of the music of Bach. Two of the six Suites for Solo Cello will be performed by the outstanding cellist, Tess Remy-Schumacker. And excerpts from the motet repertoire of the composer will round out the program. The music is from the two CDs: Suites for Cello Solo: Nos. 1, 2 & 3 (Tess Remy-Schumacker) Xolo1011, and Johann Sebastian Bach Motetten (The Hilliard Ensemble) ECM 1875.

Two of the most famous Renaissance composers of dance music were Michael Praetorius (1571-1521) and Tielman Susato (c.1510-1570). On this Continuum you'll hear a wide selection of this highly spirited music. Performing will be the famous New York Pro Musica and the New London Consort. The music by the New York Pro Musica is from a 1950s sound track of an early video of this most famous early music ensemble. CDs used are: Praetorius/Susato (New York Pro Musica) L’Oiseau-Lyre 436 132-2, and Tielman Susato: Dansereye (New London Consort) Universal UMD 80565.

Continuum this week will present a special New Year's program of early music, both sacred and secular and also festive. The sacred music is primarily from the Manuscrit du Puy which brings together a varied group of Aquitanian monodic and polyphonic chants for the New Year from the 12th to the 16th centuries. The secular music will be spirited French estampie dances of the 14th century. Performing will be Ensemble Gilles Binchois, Theatre of Voices and Ensemble Tre Fontane.

This week on 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 Christmas music performed by the New Orleans Musica da Camera. This is music from their CD, Natus Est, directed by Continuum hosts Milton Scheuermann and Thais St. Julien.

This week, Continuum presents a program of medieval Christmas music, most of which is unknown to modern day listeners. Beginning with Aquitanian selections of the 12th century, the program progresses through the Italian, Spanish and German repertoire, ending with a selection of 15th century English carols.

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.

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