CRMSS Tutors

Greg Skidmore

Back to top

The Tallis Scholars, I Fagiolini, Alamire, The Gabrieli Consort, Eric Whitacre Singers

Born in Canada, Greg Skidmore arrived in England as an undergraduate at Royal Holloway College, University of London. After graduating with First Class Honours in Music, his post-graduate Choral Scholarship at Wells Cathedral lead him to Lay Clerkships at Gloucester Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. He now lives in London, England and pursues a varied career as a consort, choral, and solo oratorio singer alongside his burgeoning work as a conductor and workshop leader.

Greg is one of the UK's most sought after consort singers. He has appeared with The Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen, The Cardinall's Musick, Tenebrae, The Gabrieli Consort, Alamire, Contrapunctus, The Eric Whitacre Singers, Collegium Vocale Ghent, Ensemble L'Arpeggiata, Cappella Amsterdam, and La Grand Chapelle (based in Madrid). He can be heard on discs released by Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, and Harmonia Mundi USA, including recent Grammophone Early Music Award winning recordings with Alamire (‘The Spy’s Choirbook’) and The Tallis Scholars (‘Missa Hercules Dux Ferrarie, Missa D'ung aultre amer & Missa Faysant regretz’). In 2015, he featured in I Fagiolini’s Betrayal, a fully staged, devised presentation of the madrigals and sacred music of Carlo Gesualdo. 2017, the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi’s birth, was a busy year for I Fagiolini, and Greg performed many concerts of Monteverdi’s madrigals and sacred music, toured a new CD release, and performed his opera L'Orfeo this year with the group. 2019 saw Greg take part in an extensive tour of I Fagiolini’s Leonardo: Shaping the Invisible project, in collaboration with Dr Martin Kemp, a leading scholar on the life and art of Leonardo da Vinci. In 2020 and 2021, he featured in all of the Voces8 LiveFromLondon festivals, with I Fagiolini and the Voces8 Foundation Choir.

Greg also works as a soloist. Solo engagements have included working with ballet dancer Carlos Acosta in his A Classical Farewell at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England; Handel’s Messiah with the Irish Baroque Orchestra; Purcell’s Ode for St Cecilia's Day with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment; Purcell's Fairy Queen with the Gabrieli Consort; and Monterverdi’s 1610 Vespers at the Brighton Early Music Festival, and with I Fagiolini and the BBC Singers at the Barbican Centre. His solo recording debut, released in 2011, was as Christus on Ex Cathedra’s recording of the Lassus St. Matthew Passion and a recent Ex Cathedra CD release of Alec Roth’s oratorio A Time to Dance features Greg in a role written for him.

While at Christ Church in Oxford, he began a course of doctoral research in Musicology at the University of Oxford and started his own men’s voices consort, I Dedicati. Recently he was appointed Musical Director of Brighton Consort and in 2014 he founded The Lacock Scholars. He has given workshops and masterclasses in the UK, France, Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Australia in association with The Sixteen, I Fagiolini, and on his own, specialising in various collections of Renaissance polyphonic repertoire. Greg has assisted Eamonn Dougan, Associate Conductor of The Sixteen, and Justin Doyle, Chief Conductor of RIAS Kammerchor (Berlin) in leading week-long singing courses specialising in early music and vocal chamber music. He is increasingly engaged in Canada as a guest conductor, clinician, and record producer. He has been published in Early Music and his writing has appeared in programmes and CD liner notes for The Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen, The Cardinall’s Musick, The Gabrieli Consort, Tenebrae, and Ex Cathedra.

Greg says:

"After so much disruption, uncertainty, disappointment, and struggle over the last two years, I cannot tell you how much I'm looking forward to CRMSS 2022, our first chance at hopefully having a 'normal' CRMSS again. CRMSS 2021 was a really special experience, but a unique one and I can't wait to get back to how things were, or as close to it as possible. I know that with Robert Hollingworth coming that we're all in for such a treat. Please join us!"

CRMSS Guest Artist: Robert Hollingworth

Back to top

Director of I Fagiolini, Reader in Music at the University of York, UK

Robert Hollingworth is passionate about presenting music to audiences in innovative ways. He founded I Fagiolini in 1986; with them he has presented signature projects including Simunye, The Full Monteverdi, Tallis in Wonderland, How Like An Angel (with Australian contemporary circus group C!RCA) for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Betrayal: a polyphonic crime drama, and Leonardo: Shaping the Invisible with Professor Martin Kemp for Da Vinci 2019. A year-long celebration of the Monteverdi 450th anniversary in 2017 featured performances of Flaming Heart, 1610 Vespers, The Other Vespers, and L'Orfeo at venues including Glyndebourne, Cadogan Hall in London for the BBC Proms, and Queen's Hall as part of the Edinburgh International Festival.

Under Hollingworth’s expert direction, I Fagiolini has gone on to win the Royal Philharmonic Society's Ensemble Award, a Gramophone Award and the Diapason D'Or de l'Anné. Recent releases on DECCA Classics include the multi-award winning recordings Striggio: Mass in 40 Parts, Amuse-Bouche, and Monteverdi: The Other Vespers. In 2019, I Fagiolini released Leonardo: Shaping the Invisible on the CORO label, a programme celebrating the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's death in music and image. I Fagiolini toured this programme extensively in 2019 in association with leading da Vinci expert Professor Martin Kemp.

Robert has directed the English Concert, Academy of Ancient Music, BBC Concert Orchestra; and some of the world's finest chamber choirs including Accentus, NDR Chor, Netherlands Chamber Choir, National Chamber Choir of Ireland and BBC Singers. Last season he conducted De Profundis on their latest album, an exploration of the rarely performed Spanish master Vivanco’s Missa Assumpsit Jesus & motets, for Hyperion.

Robert has recently conducted projects with Capella Cracoviensis, RIAS Kammerchor, VOCES8 & VOCES8 Scholars with Academy of Ancient Music in Bach's Actus Tragicus and Duruflé's Requiem, completed a tour of Handel's Messiah with Irish Baroque Orchestra, and journeyed to Perth, Australia where he was Keynote Presenter at the Australian National Choral Association's ChoralFest 2019. He gave the world premiere of Benji Merrison’s new piece, xoxvx ovoid, with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain at the Aldeburgh Proms. This season, Robert returns to Berlin twice to conduct RIAS Kammerchor: first in a programme of Purcell as part of the Barocktage Festival collaboration with Staatsoper, and later to work with them on Orazio Vecchi’s L'Amfiparnaso. Robert makes his Russian debut as part of the British Council's 'UK-Russia Year of Music' conducting Blow's Venus and Adonis featuring Anna Dennis and Jonathan Sells alongside Russian choir Intrada and Pratum Integrum.

Robert has been appointed Artistic Director of Stour Music festival from 2020, succeeding Mark and Alfred Deller. He regularly writes and presents programmes for BBC Radio 3, television, and other media outlets. He is Reader in Music at the University of York, where he founded and continues to lead the MA in Solo Voice Ensemble Singing course and directs university chamber choir 'The 24'.

Robert says:

"If you sing Renaissance music, you probably don't need me to explain why you should come. You already know some of the sound worlds - the plangency, the thrill up your spine when you get the chord exactly in the right place. The world we recreate when we sing this stuff is alive and vibrant - about the closest we'll ever get to time travel. All we hope to do on this course is help you to do it better and with these tutors, (to quote Captain Kirk) 'we have the technology'."

Lucas Harris

Back to top

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Toronto Continuo Collective, Vesuvius Ensemble

Lucas Harris discovered the lute during his undergraduate studies at Pomona College, where he graduated summa cum laude. He then studied early music in Italy at the Civica scuola di musica di Milano (as a scholar of the Marco Fodella Foundation) and then in Germany at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen. After several years in New York City, he moved to Toronto in 2004 and became the regular lutenist for the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. He is a founding member of the Toronto Continuo Collective, the Vesuvius Ensemble, and the Lute Legends Ensemble. Lucas plays with many other ensembles in Canada and the USA, including the Helicon Foundation (New York) and the Smithsonian Chamber Players (Washington, D.C.). He coaches singers and instrumentalists at the Tafelmusik Summer and Winter Baroque Institutes and Oberlin Conservatory’s Baroque Performance Institute, and was an accompanist, coach, and lecturer for Vancouver Early Music’s Baroque Vocal Programme. In 2014 Lucas completed graduate studies in choral conducting at the University of Toronto, the degree having been funded by a prestigious SSHRC research grant not often awarded to performers. Upon graduating, Lucas was chosen as the Artistic Director of the Toronto Chamber Choir, for which he has created and conducted over a dozen themed concert programs. He has also directed projects for the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the Ohio State University Opera Program, Les voix baroques, and the Toronto Consort. Lucas was praised for his work with Les voix humaines in Montréal: “The revelation of the concert was the Torontonian lutenist Lucas Harris, who weaved a poetic thread through his infinitely subtle interventions. The sweetness and patience of his playing . . . was astonishing.” (Le Devoir)

Lucas says:

"My favourite aspect of playing, singing, studying, and listening to Renaissance music is the sense of mystery I always feel. The musicians and composers from that time, in spite of not having so many comforts and conveniences that we enjoy, achieved something that today we’re still trying to understand. Spending a week coming together with others who want to understand this music better as I do has been a truly joyful experience during CRMSS in 2018, 2019, and 2021. I’m so looking forward to the focus on Iberian music in CRMSS 2022 and am greatly honoured to be a part of this faculty."

Dr. Kate Helsen

Back to top

Western University, London Canada

Before teaching Music History at Western University, Kate held a two-year post-doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) at the University of Toronto, researching musical notation in the 12 th and 13 th centuries. Her doctoral research focused on Gregorian chant transmission, orally and through the earliest notated books. She has published articles in Plainsong and Medieval Music, Acta Musicologica, the Journal of the Alamire Foundation, SPECTRUM, and Early Music.

She has been a researcher with many projects around the world including Portugal, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, as well as here at home in Canada; usually, her role focuses on connecting the musicological 'dots' with the technological tools now available to researchers in the Humanities. She is currently involved in developing software and analytics for medieval musical document analysis and chant melody comparisons on a large scale, in several SSHRC-supported projects. She sings professionally with the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, in Toronto.

Kate says:

"The kind of happy symbiosis that CRMSS can achieve between musicianship and musicology is incredible, and I look forward to it every year as a kind of musical miracle."

Katherine Hill

Back to top

The Toronto Consort, St Bartholomew, Regent Park

Singer (and player of the viola da gamba and nyckelharpa) Katherine Hill first developed a keen interest in the interaction between older European text and music as a teenager in Toronto, singing Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony in various choirs and ensembles. With support from the Canada Council for the Arts she moved to the Netherlands in the year 2000, pursuing studies, all over Europe, in as many facets as possible of historical performance practices of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and early Baroque, very intentionally seeking out and building a natural, vibrant and sustainable singing technique for rhetorical music. Over the last 20 years, Katherine has performed, recorded and toured with many early music groups, including the Sequentia Ensemble for Medieval Music, Scivias (Berlin), Ars Choralis Coeln, ensemble nu:n, Cappella Amsterdam, Collegium Vocale Ghent, Early Music Voices Calgary, and Ensemble Les Fumeux (Montréal).

Katherine is currently a co-artistic director of the Toronto Consort and is the Cantrix and Director of Music at the Anglo-Catholic parish of St Bartholomew, Regent Park, where she directs a mixed choir (that sings primarily 16th century liturgical music) and also a women’s choir, Vinea (specializing in music from women’s communities before the year 1500). In 2010, she completed an M.A. in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto’s world-renowned Centre for Medieval Studies, and works regularly as a singing teacher and vocal coach in Toronto, particularly in historical theatre projects at Glendon College (York University).

Sharang Sharma

Back to top

Huron University College

Sharang is presently the Choral Music Director at Huron University College in London, Ontario. He regularly performs with ensembles in Canada, and has been an active musician in the UK before coming to Huron. Sharang received a Bachelor of Music degree from Western University and went on to study historical musicology at Oriel College, University of Oxford. While lay clerk at The Queen’s College, Sharang sang with numerous Oxford- and London-based ensembles, e.g. the Academy of Ancient Music, and Instruments of Time and Truth, and the BBC. He has built his choral and operatic repertoire through performances with The Strand Consort, Fount & Origin, Spectra Ensemble, King’s College London Chapel Choir, as well as semi-professional and amateur choral societies in the UK.

In Canada, Sharang has been engaged in choral work at various cathedrals, chapels, parishes, and colleges, all of which have prepared him for a life in ecclesiastical music. He has performed with ensembles like Kammerchor, Chor Amica, UWOpera, and Western University Faculty of Music choirs, and is the current James T. Chestnutt Choral Conducting Scholar with the Elmer Iseler Singers. He has also premiered music by established and budding composers in Canada, the UK, and the USA. Sharang has co-edited Nota Bene: Canadian Undergraduate Journal of Musicology, and presented his research at GAMuT (University of North Texas) and Oriel Talks (Oriel College, Oxford).

At Huron, Sharang is working to incorporate his interest in medieval plainchant with his choral experience as part of a "medium-scale" experiment that seeks to answer: can the average 20-year-old student somehow relate to the average 1000-year-old plainchant? He will be delighted to talk to you about his thoughts on music's transcendental quality, and his experience with the sound of "beautiful singing" surpassing the implicit boundaries that lie between the different cultures of a multicultural world. Having been at every session of the Canadian Renaissance Music Summer School, he understands that many of his questions are highly relevant at CRMSS. Sharang is thrilled to be back yet again!

Terry McKenna

Back to top

The Toronto Consort, Stratford Festival, Wilfrid Laurier University

Terry McKenna enjoys performing a wide range of musical styles on period and modern lutes and guitars. He’s been with the Toronto Consort for more than 30 years now (!) and also plays with Ensemble Polaris and the Toronto Masque Theatre as well as guest appearances with I Furiosi, Musica Franca and Opera Atelier, among others. In addition to historical-based repertoire, Terry welcomes opportunities to perform contemporary scores by composers such as James Rolfe, Omar Daniel, Peter Hannan, John Beckwith and Harry Freedman. Terry has participated on many recordings and broadcasts and finally did his own feature project, Throw the House Out of the Windowe (and Other Damn Fine Dance Tunes) on the Marquis Classics label. Another one is in the works – stay tuned! (Other notable recordings are Joyner's Dream, Sylvia Tyson; Secret Fires of Love, Studio Rhetorica; The Italian Queen of France, Toronto Consort)Terry gets great satisfaction from teaching guitar and lute at Wilfrid Laurier University. He also enjoys composing and performing music for his wife Susan Kennedy’s youth theatre project Playmakers! Terry lives in Stratford, Ontario (where he performs with the Stratford Festival) with Susan and their four children, two dogs, three cats, 1 frog, 1 turtle, 2 cute new anoles and 3 goldfish…

Update: Since the above statements were relevant, the pets (except for Shelley, the turtle) and children have all moved on and Terry has entered the newly discovered country of "semi-retirement". He's actually having a good time exploring! Currently he's surveying the 16th- and 17th-century repertoire of sacred music arranged for lute solo and, for 19th-century guitar, the exceptional music of Wenzeslaus Matiegka.

CRMSS International Scholars

Back to top

University of York, UK

2022 marks the introduction of the CRMSS International Scholars programme. Each year, we will welcome a group of student singers from outside Canada, starting with the United Kingdom. They will come as a pre-formed group, who know one another and have worked together before, and will share their talents and experience with the rest of the CRMSS participants over the course of the week. They will act as leaders within the larger singing groups, and participate in the small group sessions in amongst the Canadian participants, as well as have some time to rehearse on their own.

To begin, we are pleased to welcome all five current students studying for a master's degree in Music at the University of York, in the UK, enrolled in York's "Solo Voice Ensemble Singing" MA pathway (known as SVES). This is a course of performance-based master's level study dedicated entirely to one-per-part ensemble singing. The programme lasts one year and includes daily rehearsing and coaching, three major recitals, and opportunities to perform with all of the University of York's many other singing groups.

For more information on SVES, please have a look at the University of York's website.

This year's CRMSS International Scholars are:

Isabelle Palmer, soprano
Sarah Keating, soprano
Rachel Singer, alto
Josh Adams, tenor
T. J. Callahan, bass

Isabelle Palmer is a soprano graduate of Royal Holloway, University of London, where she held a choral scholarship from 2016-19. A current choral scholar of the HeartEdge Foundation, Manchester and Genesis Sixteen alumnus, she is now studying for her MA at the University of York. She enjoys performing a wide variety of repertoire, from French chansons to Baroque cantatas, but her primary passion lies with music of the Renaissance. When she isn’t singing she can usually be found reading, writing and getting far too excited about dogs.

Sarah Keating is a soprano from Waterford, Ireland and recent graduate of both the Royal Irish Academy of Music and Trinity College, Dublin. She performs regularly around Ireland with ensembles such as Chamber Choir Ireland, Resurgam and Sestina and has worked as a Lay Vicar Choral at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. Her recent solo performance engagements include soprano soloist with University of York Choir in Fauré’s Requiem. Sarah is currently studying her Masters in York and is a voice student of Susan Young. In her spare time Sarah enjoys sea swimming and has an unhealthy obsession with hummus!

Sarah says:

"I am so looking forward to performing some exciting Renaissance music at CRMSS 2022 and meeting new people to sing alongside!"

Rachel Singer is a mezzo-soprano from Perth, Australia, who sings with an array of elite chamber and larger ensembles around Australia including the National Youth Choir of Australia and The Giovanni Consort, and is currently based in York, England, to pursue postgraduate study. In addition to her musical pursuits she has a Bachelor of Neuroscience under her belt, and a passion for making and drinking excellent coffee!

Rachel says:

"There is something so distinctly magical about the music of the Renaissance. A week filled with choral, consort and solo rehearsals on repertoire from this period, plus a gentle sprinkling of candlelit compline services and keynote lectures sounds like an absolute treat!"

Joshua Adams is a young Australian singer and award-winning composer from Perth, who has recently moved to York to pursue his MA. Before leaving Perth, he was the Principal Cantor at St Mary’s Cathedral where he was a chorister for 15 years, a voice teacher, and Musical Director of the chapel choir at The University of Notre Dame Australia – Fremantle. Josh has both sung and had his music performed in Australia in many of its professional outfits, a recording featured on national radio, and more recently, his music has also been performed in the UK. Canadian debut: coming soon?

T.J. Callahan moved to York to earn his MA after seven years in Seattle, where he worked for Seattle Opera and sang with premier choirs including the Byrd Ensemble and Radiance. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, so he’s been pretty close to one London or another for most of his life. He has a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and has only used it to make weird electronic music noises. He sings as a bass deputy at York Minster and studies with Alex Ashworth. He enjoys going on unreasonably long bike rides around Yorkshire and saying hello to the cows.

T.J. says:

"I'm so excited to be a part of CRMSS 2022. I've done a couple of Renaissance singing courses before, and there's really nothing better than getting together with other nerds and making music nonstop for a week. It's especially important for me as an American to have access to a course of such high caliber so close to home."