Thais St. Julien

Co-Host, Continuum

Thaïs St. Julien has performed everything from Gregorian chant to Gershwin, appearing in recitals, concerts and opera across the U.S.  The New Orleans native is co-director (with founder Milton Scheuermann)of New Orleans Musica da Camera, performing music of the 11th through 19th centuries.  She created and directs the group’s  women’s vocal ensemble, Vox Feminae, sometimes writing and arranging music for them. She and Scheuermann co-host the ensemble’s weekly program of early music, Continuum, aired on  WWNO 89.9FM, streamed on wwno.org. Twelve Musica da Camera productions featuring the soprano as soloist have been broadcast on National Public Radio, American Public Radio and Public Radio International.

Her passion for 18th and 19th century New Orleans music has led to lectures and performances across the country. She was featured on the internationally acclaimed series “Creole Cameos” produced by WWNO, and “Arc Light”, a video series produced by Amistad Research Center. The soprano has recorded for the Newport Classics, Centaur, Belle Alliance and Clark Constructions record labels. Her closest brush with the movies was as historic music advisor for “Interview with the Vampire”.

Recipient of the 2007 Louisiana Artist Fellowship in Music, St. Julien is also a SouthernArtistry.org artist, and has received a Gambit “Tribute to the Classical Arts” Life Time Achievement Award and the Historic District Landmarks Commission’s Pioneer in Preservation Honor Award. She’s also profiled in several Marquis “Who’s Who” publications.

When not reading a mystery novel or doing historical research, she’s a magician, (it’s a performance art, after all, not that much different from music). She also belongs to some nifty organizations - the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Society of American Magicians, the Knights of Slights and Mensa.

Ways to Connect

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.

This Continuum presents a program featuring the female vocal ensemble known as “Tapestry”. The Boston-based vocal and instrumental group was founded by member Laurie Monahan in the 1980s and combines a repertoire of music from the medieval to the contemporary periods. This program features the recordings “Sapphire Night”, “The Fourth River’, and “Song of Songs Come into my Garden”. The so-named Tapestry recordings used are: Musikproduction MDG 344 1193-2, Telarc CD-80534, and Telarc CD.

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