Weekly Newsletter 

 November 9, 2020 — The Bay Area Early Music Digest 
This week in Early Music: 

A Note From Us

Get an inside look at SFEMS each week!

Even in this year for the history books, this week has been one for the ages. Never have I been more grateful for the gift of music, to which Orlando di Lasso pays homage in his soothing late motet, "Musica Dei donum optimi."
"Music, the gift of the supreme God,
draws men, draws gods;
music makes savage souls gentle
and uplifts sad minds;
music moves the trees themselves
and wild beasts,
affording solace to all."
May the precious gift of music sustain us in the days to come, from the depths of despair to the heights of joy.

Derek Tam, Executive Director

Dance With Us on Nov. 21 with Tabea Debus & Alon Sariel 

Here's Tabea and lutenist Alex McCartney performing the sinfonias from J.S. Bach's Cantatas 156 and 35, arranged for recorder and theorbo
Some melodies just jump off the page, staying in the mind for days on end. Rising early music stars Tabea Debus and Alon Sariel join together for a scintillating program of Ohrwürmer (or as we say in the United States, earworms)!
Alon Sariel - Telemandolin - Sonata in D Major, TWV 44:1: I. Sinfonia. Spirituoso
Here's Alon playing the opening sinfonia (marked "spirituoso") from Telemann's Sonata in D Major, TWV 44:1

This toe-tapping program features favorite tunes and dances from the Renaissance and Baroque. Enjoy works by J.S. Bach, Bertali, Carroubel, Dowland, Merula, Monteverdi, Moorcraft, Ortiz, Schop, Telemann, and of course, the ever-popular Anonymous.

Tabea Debus, recorder; Alon Sariel, lute

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 1:00PM Pacific Time
Online livestream access provided with purchase. Concert will be available on demand after livestream through December 12.

$15 general admission per household
With your ticket purchase, you will receive a unique link to our high-definition livestream. Each presentation will feature pre-recorded and live material, as well as a special opportunity to interact with our artists through our live chat.

Second Round of Fall Classes Are in Session!

Although our second round of classes started this past weekend, there's still four more weeks to catch some amazing classes.
Fridays at 5PM (November 6–December 11)
Rotem Gilbert – Polyphonic Settings in Italian Sources 1400-1600

Sundays at 1PM (November 8–December 13)
Daphna Mor – Ottoman-Turkish and Arabic Music from the 18th–20th century

Sundays at 3PM (November 8–December 13)
Adam Bregman – Musica practica: Seeing Renaissance Music through the Eyes of Renaissance Musicians

–––We are also offering two one-off classes–––

Saturday, November 14 at 3PM
Miyo Aoki – Mirth and Melancholy in Elizabethan England

Saturday, December 5 at 1PM
Nigel North – La Rhètorique des Dieux (lecture/performance)
Come enjoy SFEMS's patented mix of
playing, scholarship, and community! 

We're taking a deeper dive into the world of early music with our world-class faculty as we build upon our summer virtual sessions by presenting several mini-series, each consisting of of five classes, as well as some one-offs that follow up on the summer's topics.

Individual mini-series classes are $25 each. If you purchase all five classes for ONE mini-series, you will receive a $15 discount for that mini-series.
We will also offer time for casual gathering and community with our popular (and free) sherry hours from 4:15 to 4:45PM on Sundays.
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Watch Severall Friends On-Demand: Only Six More Days

Enjoy this deliguthful teaser!
A high-definition Vimeo stream of our Oct. 24 concert presentation, Le Roman de Fauvel, is available with $15 purchase.
It will be available on-demand just for six days more, so don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity!

How does a horse become the ruler of his master’s house? Delve into the strange and satirical world of Le Roman de Fauvel, a biting criticism of the intrigues of church and state in 14th-century France that resounds still today.

Join early music legend Mary Springfels and Severall Friends on a musical excursion into a poem that illuminates all-too-human foibles and vices.

Tracy Cowart, harp and voice; Shira Kammen, Medieval fiddle; Drew Minter, voice and harp; Mark Rimple, citole and gittern; Mary Springfels, citole and vielle; Spiff Wiegand, hurdy-gurdy and percussion
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Help the Musical Offering!

The Musical Offering is a quintessentially Berkeley institution in search of “a miracle,” said the cafe’s general manager Jean Spencer. The nearly 40-year-old business—which was making money “hand over foot” serving up espressos long before there was a Starbucks on every corner—is now “hanging on by a thread,” according to Spencer.

For many years, this Berkeley institution has served as a nexus for early music gatherings through the late Joseph Spencer, who served as SFEMS president from 1995–1997 and was a co-founder of the Berkeley Early Music Festival. Now run by his wife Jean, The Musical Offering needs all the help it can get.

Read More about How You Can Make a Difference

PBO: Bruce Lamott to Retire After 23 Years

Bruce Lamott SFEMS Newsletter
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale (PBO) announced last week that Bruce Lamott, director of the Chorale, will be retiring after 23 years. Lamott first performed with PBO in 1989 as continuo harpsichordist for Handel’s Giustino and became Chorale director in 1997; he has led the Chorale for nearly its entire lifespan, honing its 24 voices into an instrument in and of itself, matching the caliber of the Orchestra.

Read more about Bruce's stellar career

Board of Directors Meeting on Nov. 16

SFEMS will hold its next board meeting online on Monday, November 16. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.  We welcome current members’ attendance at board meetings. Anyone interested in coming to the open portion of this meeting should contact President Joyce Johnson Hamilton at by November 15.

Early Music Freelancers' Relief Fund—Seventh Round Now Open

Relief fund grant recipients may apply for a seventh grant one month after the date they turned in their sixth grant applications. If you have continuing need, please resubmit your application with documentation demonstrating your continuing need.

First-, second-, third-, fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-time grant applicants will receive priority. (You may file for a continuing grants one month after the day you turned in your previous application).

As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks an unprecedented financial toll on the world economy, our local early music freelancers have been particularly hit hard. Months of work have dried up in days, leaving many musicians on the brink of financial ruin.

In an effort to help our musicians, the SFEMS board has taken the lead in setting up a short-term relief fund for local early music freelancers. Since then, we have received over $50,000 in donations. This fund will provide one-time, first-come, first-served $250 grants to musicians in need, and will do so until funds run out.

If You're Looking to Renew Your Membership, Watch This Video

If your membership renewal is due in the next several months but you are encountering financial difficulties, please contact administrator Stacey Helley at No membership will lapse during the current crisis if we are informed that you would like to continue being a SFEMS member.

To find out your membership status online, log in on our membership page. (N.B. If you use a different login email address than previously on record, please note that it will create a new, separate profile for you that will not have any membership data.)

You will then be prompted to update your contact information. If there is no change, please click "save and continue."

On the next screen, you will be able to see your membership level and expiration date if you are a current member. You may renew a membership within 30 days prior to the expiration date.

Still not sure? Watch this handy video!
Excited about becoming a member or renewing your membership? SFEMS Marketing Communications Manager Lorena Zapata will guide you step-by-step through the process online!

"Pressing Play in the Pause"—Join Us for Our 2020–21 Virtual Season

In these extraordinary times, the power of music to transcend the vicissitudes of fortune has become more vital than ever. Though our lives remain on hold, music must move forward.

Join us for our 44th season of extraordinary music-making! Press play in the pause with us as we share an ongoing series of unique online concerts, starting with three presentations this fall.

With your household ticket purchase, you will receive a unique link to our high-definition livestream. Each presentation will feature pre-recorded and live material, as well as a special opportunity to interact with our artists through our live chat.

Concerts will also be available on demand for a limited time after the initial livestream. Our livestream with Severall Friends is available on demand through November 14 (see above).

November 21: Tabea Debus and Alon Sariel present Ohrwurm

Savor great music—period.

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Early Music Corner: S'Cool Sounds

Explore a different facet of the early music world each week!
Learn how S’Cool Sounds continues to bring music into the lives of children through remote learning opportunities.
New York City-based S'Cool Sounds is committed to keeping music in the lives of public school children, no matter how learning takes place this fall.

They have produced several free educational video series for this time of remote learning. Click on the video above to meet their teaching artists!

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This Week's Events

Want your early music event featured on the SFEMS Weekly Calendar? Contact us here and online at

For events, email SFEMS's Marketing Communications Manager, Lorena Zapata at Please submit listings no later than the Thursday before the Monday publication.
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