CRMSS Pacific 2023
Tutor TeamBack to top
The tutor team for CRMSS Ontario 2023 will be:
Greg Skidmore, Sharang Sharma, and Jonathan Stuchbery.
We are still looking at expanding our team at CRMSS Pacific 2023 this year. Check back here in the coming weeks for more information.
RepertoireBack to top
CRMSS Pacific 2023 Theme
At previous CRMSS courses, the repertoire has conformed to a given theme, usually based around a national style or a particular composer. The one exception to this was at our very first CRMSS course, back in 2018. At this course the repertoire was selected to represent as wide a range of styles and composers as possible, and to fit the singers who attended CRMSS 2018.
At CRMSS Pacific 2023, we will take this approach again with respect to including music from all composers and national styles. Instead of focussing of a certain type of repertoire, will instead gear our efforts toward preparing the music for High Mass at St Helen's Parish, our host, which will take place on Sunday, May 7th 2023 at 11:30am.
We will learn movements from a Mass Ordinary setting (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus & Benedictus, and Agnus Dei) as well as some motets that will be appropriate to the time of year. This repertoire will be chosen in March or April 2023, after the makeup of the participants is better known. We will communicate our repertoire selections with you once they've been made.
While the specific pieces have yet to be chosen, we will very likely perform music by some of your favourite composers, namely: William Byrd, Tomàs Luis de Victoria, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, and Orlando di Lasso. There were so many great composers writing during the Renaissance all over Europe, and we hope also to include music by Claudio Monteverdi, Josquin des Prez, Cipriano de Rore, and others.
What types of singing will happen at CRMSS Pacific 2023?
As mentioned above, a major focus of our weekend together will be singing together as one choir, preparing sacred a capella music from the Renaissance for performance during Mass.
Consort singing: one and two per part vocal chamber music
Any serious amount of time spent getting to know the music of the Renaissance must include small-ensemble singing. While this music won't be performed at the Mass on the morning of Sunday the 7th, it is nonetheless an important part of the CRMSS experience, and will be included in the weekend's schedule. The precise nature of how many groups will form, how large each will be, and how much time will be devoted to this sort of vocal chamber music will be determined once we have a better idea of how many participants there will be.
It is in these small group settings that we can best explore secular repertoire from the Renaissance, and we will choose relevant secular repertoire to sing in these contexts.
Participants are encouraged both to bring their own music to sing in small groups and also to get in contact with Greg with repertoire suggestions.
PerformancesBack to top
Mass at St Helen's Parish
On Sunday, May 7th 2023 at 11:30am the participants of CRMSS Pacific 2023 will provide the music at High Mass at St Helen's Parish. This will be the main public performance associated with the course and will be our chance to share with our hosts what we have accomplished over the course of the weekend.
Daily evening church services
On our three evenings together (Friday the 5th, Saturday the 6th, and Sunday the 7th) we will sing a Compline service at the very end of the day. Compline, sung in English, is a simple service and is largely made up of plainsong, with a few simple motets included for contrast. It is designed not as something pressured or necessarily to be worked towards, but rather as a way of bringing our day together to a peaceful close - precisely as the service was designed to do in its original monastic context. These three services will allow us to come together as a course and to experience the daily rhythm of liturgical music making that formed the wider context for most of the music we will be studying, even if only for three days. Given that CRMSS Pacific 2023 only lasts for one weekend, these three Compline services will have a special meaning for us.
Internal 'sharing' concert for CRMSS participants
On the afternoon of Sunday, May 7th 2023, after Mass has finished and we've had some lunch, we will hold an informal and internal concert open only to CRMSS Pacific 2023 participants. It will be here that everyone who has participated will have a chance to perform any of the music they have worked on over the course of the weekend. This will be your chance to show off what you've been able to achieve in your small groups and also perhaps a time for us to revisit some music that we would like to sing again.
Lectures, Symposia, and Round Table discussionsBack to top
We very much hope to have one lecture given as part of CRMSS Pacific 2023. This will be a chance for you to rest your voices(!) and concentrate on an aspect of Renaissance music scholarship. Our speaker at CRMSS Pacific 2023 is still to be confirmed and we will post that information when we have it.
At our previous CRMSS courses, we have enjoyed the following:
Our CRMSS 2022 Guest Artist, Robert Hollingworth, gave a talk entitled Method to the Madness in which he outlined the history of his group I Fagiolini, as well as its performance philosophy.
Dr. Kate Helsen secured special access for us to rarely viewed manuscripts and prints from the Renaissance held in the archives of Western University.
Dr. Aaron James gave a talk about how musicians in the time of Josquin des Prez actually learned music as students, using a system known as the Guidonian Hand, and entitled A Helping Hand: Guido, Hexachords, Solmization, and Musicianship in the Renaissance.
Dr. Kate Helsen showed us how Josquin des Prez was actually a pretty slippery character to pin down - who was he, actually? How many 'Josquins' were there? Her talk was entitled Josquin: Choose your own adventure.
Dr. Patrick Murray took us through the process of preparing a piece of Renaissance polyphony for modern day performance in his talk entitled Anything but ‘Ordinary:’ Bringing a Renaissance mass to life in contemporary performance.
Sharang Sharma took us through an introduction to some practical methods we can use to help learn the required musical skills to sight-read Renaissance music and chant effectively.
Dr. Roseen Giles gave a paper entitled ‘Don't worry, this will sing itself', and other musical fictions about the practice of musica ficta.
Andrew Pickett presented ‘Drop the beat’ - Introduction to the theory and practice of vocal ensemble intonation.
Dr. Kate Helsen introduced us to some of her fascinating new research in What's in a Riff - Chant DNA in modal polyphony.
Greg Skidmore, Matt Long, and Emily Atkinson took part in a round table discussion led by Dr. Giles entitled Being a Professional Singer in the UK, taking questions on every aspect of their professional lives in the UK.
Lucas Harris gave a lecture entitled Musica Transalpina: The madrigal in Italy & England, c1600
Dr. Kate Helsen gave us a crash course in Renaissance musical notation with her workshop entitled Partly Useful: Renaissance notation
Dr. Troy Ducharme of the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University wrapped our heads around Gesualdo's wild sounds with Beyond Rules: Counterpoint Technique, Musical Meaning, and Style in Selected Works of Gesualdo.
Proposed ScheduleBack to top
Below is a proposed schedule for the weekend.
CostBack to top
$250($150 for current students)
$250 is our standard rate for a singing participant at CRMSS Pacific 2023. Anyone who is enrolled in full or part-time education at the time of the course (May 5th to 7th, 2023), studying any subject, qualifies as a current student.
Our instrumental offering at CRMSS Pacific 2023 is still being finalised. If you are an instrumentalist with experience playing music from the Renaissance and would like to get involved, please do get in touch with us. The cost for you of participating in CRMSS Pacific 2023 will depend on the nature of how you get involved and as our plans firm up, we will publish more information on this website.
You will need to cover your travel to Burnaby and your accommodation, if required, during the weekend. While CRMSS doesn't bear these costs, we do try to help as much as we can with your logistics.