CRMSS Tutors

Greg Skidmore

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

Greg Skidmore will be a tutor at: CRMSS Pacific 2023 and CRMSS Ontario 2023

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, appearing with both 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 was as Christus on Ex Cathedra’s recording of the Lassus St. Matthew Passion and another Ex Cathedra CD release of Alec Roth’s oratorio A Time to Dance features Greg in a role written specifically 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. More recently he was appointed Musical Director of Brighton Consort and in 2014 he founded The Lacock Scholars, one of England's premier amateur vocal consorts, with whom he has recorded and toured extensively. 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 and 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:

"I'm so happy to be able to expand The Canadian Renaissance Music Summer Schools this year to two courses and bring this wonderful music to even more Canadians. Given that 2023 is also a year in which we celebrate anniversaries of two important English polyphonists, there's so much to look forward to. I'm passionate about making CRMSS the best way for you to come to know the music that has shaped my life, whether you are already familiar with it or if it's brand new to you. Come and join us as we dive deep into this wonderful world!"

Matthew Long

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I Fagiolini, The Sixteen, Tenebrae, The Dunedin Consort

Matthew Long will be a tutor at: CRMSS Ontario 2023

Matthew Long was a successful treble soloist, singing the role of Miles in Britten's Turn of the Screw for Italian Opera houses. He studied music at the University of York and sang as a choral scholar in the choir of York Minster during his time there. He later won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London. Whilst there he was a Susan Chilcott Scholar and a Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist. At various times, he has been a member of the celebrated chamber choirs, The Sixteen and Tenebrae and continues to sing as a part of the solo voice ensemble, I Fagiolini.

Matthew has appeared as a soloist with many UK based ensembles, including The OAE, The English Concert, The Hanover Band, The Dunedin Consort, The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the LPO. Highlights have included Bach, St. Matthew Passion for the Boston Handel and Haydn Society; Britten, War Requiem for Jonathan Willcocks in Salisbury Cathedral. In 2017 he performed the title role in Monteverdi's Orfeo to critical acclaim in a series of semi-staged productions in Norway and the UK with I Fagiolini. Further performances are planned in York and London in 2019. In December 2017, Matthew sang the Evangelist for three concerts of Bach's, Christmas Oratorio with the Danish Radio Choir in Copenhagen. He is increasingly known as a Monteverdi specialist, regularly performing the 1610 Vespers, most notably for the national youth choirs of Great Britain at the Albert Hall, London and at the Osaka Jo hall, Japan with the Berlin RIAS Kammerchor. He appears as tenor soloist on the Dunedin Consort's 2017 recording of the same piece.

During the pandemic, Matthew and his wife and children built a successful online children’s music resource: They performed daily classes for over a year from their front room to toddler audiences worldwide.

Matthew's debut solo disc with the LPO and accompanist Malcolm Martineau, Till the Stars Fall, was released in 2015. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, gems from the English song repertoire sit alongside folk songs in celebration of some of Britain's finest music. He performed this programme in May 2018 as part of the 'Music in the Cotswolds' festival for Martin Randall Travel.

In his spare time, Matthew is a keen photographer and follower of wildlife conservation. He lives with his wife, daughter, and brand new son near Brighton, UK.

Matt says:

"I'm really looking forward to returning to London for CRMSS 2023. After 2 years away from CRMSS, I’m delighted that Greg has allowed me out of the polyphonic sin bin. I look forward to another jam doughnut packed week replete with glorious music making. The repertoire focus of the 2023 course promises the (perhaps often overlooked) gift of lots of singing in English! I see this as an opportunity to dial up the textual engagement quota. This can have wondrous effects on singing technique and performance."

Tom Castle

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The Tallis Scholars, Sixteen, Gabrieli Consort, Stile Antico

Tom Castle will be a tutor at: CRMSS Ontario 2023

Originally from Wolverhampton in the West Midlands of England, Tom lives in London, England and is a tenor, organist and teacher. A music graduate from the University of Bristol, Tom specialises in early music and has a busy schedule working with some of the UK's leading choirs and orchestras. As an ensemble singer, Tom works regularly with the Tallis Scholars, the Gabrieli Consort, the Sixteen, Stile Antico, and the Gesualdo 6. As a soloist, he has performed with the English Concert orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and will be making his debut with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for a performance of Handel's Messiah at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham this year. Tom was recently part of the Gabrieli Consort's recording of Purcell's operas King Arthur and the Fairy Queen, which won the BBC Opera disc of the year and was nominated for a Gramophone award. Tom has been involved in church music all of his life, and has held positions in the Cathedral choirs of Exeter, Bristol, Chichester, and Southwark; he also deputises regularly in the choirs of St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Cathedral.

As a teacher Tom has worked in both a classroom and peripatetic capacity. He is currently a singing teacher at the Royal Ballet School and also combines this with accompanying the students for examinations and concerts. He is the vocal coach for the Collegiate Church of St Peter’s Wolverhampton and regularly trains the choristers and choral scholars there. Recently he was part of a project to bring classical music to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, involving various week-long projects that culminated in a concert in the Rose Theatre, Whitehaven.

A massive sports fan, when not making music Tom is often watching or playing sports and is a loyal fan of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club and Worcestershire Royals Cricket Club!

Tom says:

"I’m incredibly excited about being a part of this fantastic project, The Canadian Renaissance Music Summer Schools. I have a huge passion for Renaissance music and can remember as a boy first singing Byrd's Ave Verum; something stirred in me and I have been in love with the music ever since. There is something mesmerising about the complexity and beauty of polyphony and I can’t wait to share my passion with the course!"

Sharang Sharma

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Huron University College, Elmer Iseler Singers, Tafelmusik

Sharang Sharma will be a tutor at: CRMSS Pacific 2023 and CRMSS Ontario 2023

Sharang is Choral Music Director and Lecturer in Arts and Social Sciences at Huron University College in London, Ontario. He sings with Tafelmusik Baroque Chamber Choir, The Elmer Iseler Singers, and has appeared regularly with Soundstreams Choir 21. While active on the Canadian historical and contemporary music scenes, Sharang has also sung with ensembles in the United Kingdom while there for his studies. He completed his Bachelor of Music at Western University, and his Masters at Oriel College, University of Oxford. While at Oxford, Sharang was the tenor lay clerk at The Queen’s College, and sang with numerous Oxford- and London-based ensembles, including the Academy of Ancient Music and Instruments of Time and Truth for the BBC. His extensive choral and operatic repertoires are built 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 (formerly Gerald Fagan Singers), UWOpera, and Western University Faculty of Music choirs, and was the latest 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).

Currently, Sharang divides his time between conducting the Chapel Choir at Huron, singing in Toronto, and teaching a survey course on historical/global musics. As a veteran of the CRMSS experience, he is delighted to be back to witness the process of new folks getting absolutely excited about Renaissance Polyphony!

Sharang says:

"People will tell you about their best moments at CRMSS. I, however, will pinpoint the worst one; it's the hour after the course ends. The silence during your travel back home from the course, is the silence of a void that, you come to realise with the passing of time, was occupied by magnificence and beauty for a whole week. There are few things in the world that make grown people cry for no apparent reason, and this is one of them. Tears of absolute joy!"

Lucas Harris

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Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Toronto Continuo Collective, Vesuvius Ensemble

Lucas Harris will be a tutor at: CRMSS Ontario 2023

Lucas Harris is thrilled to have supported CRMSS Ontario since the course’s inception, accompanying singers on various types of lutes as well as providing leadership in the solo song and lute workshop components.

Lucas discovered the lute during his undergraduate studies at Pomona College, where he graduated summa cum laude. He then studied early music for two years in Europe, first at the Civica scuola di musica di Milano and at then at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen. After five years in New York City, he moved the base of his freelance career in Toronto, where for over two decades he has served as the regular lutenist for Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. Lucas is a founding member of the Toronto Continuo Collective, the Vesuvius Ensemble (dedicated to Southern Italian folk music), and the Lute Legends Collective (an association of specialists in ancient plucked-string traditions from diverse cultures). Lucas plays with many other ensembles in Canada and the USA and has worked in recent years with the Helicon Foundation, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Atalante, The Newberry Consort, Les Délices, and Jordi Savall / Le Concert des Nations. Lucas has a great passion for education, and has served as a coach/accompanist/lute instructor/lecturer/chorusmaster for several workshops including Oberlin’s Conservatory’s Baroque Performance Institute, the Tafelmusik Summer and Winter Baroque Institutes, the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance, Early Music Vancouver’s Baroque Vocal Programme, and his own online Baroque Voice & Continuo Academy.

In 2014 Lucas completed graduate studies in choral conducting at the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, Lucas was chosen as the Artistic Director of the Toronto Chamber Choir, for which he has created and conducted some 25 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.

One of Lucas's many pandemic Projects’ was the reconstruction of 12 solo voice motets by the Italian nun Chiara Margarita Cozzolani which are available for free download on the Web Library for Seventeenth-Century Music.

Lucas says:

"My deep fascination for Renaissance music goes all the way back to my teenage years, when I begged singers from my High School Glee Club to perform Elizabethan songs with me accompanying on my guitar. Call me a nerd, but all these years later I still feel a shiver of excitement when I page through a facsimile volume! For me, CRMSS is a joyful opportunity to explore Renaissance music with others who share the same love and curiosity."

Dr. Kate Helsen

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Western University, London Canada

Dr. Kate Helsen will be a tutor at: CRMSS Ontario 2023

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."

Jonathan Stuchbery

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Tafelmusik, St. James Cathedral Toronto

Jonathan Stuchbery will be a tutor at: CRMSS Pacific 2023

Jonathan is a specialist in period instruments of the lute and guitar family based in Toronto, Ontario.

Versatile as a soloist, chamber musician and continuo player, Jonathan frequently distinguishes himself in the rich early music scene throughout Canada and abroad. He can be seen performing music on period instruments, solo and with ensembles such as Tafelmusik, Aureas Voces, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Capella Intima, Theatre of Early Music, and in festivals and series including Music and Beyond, Festival Montréal Baroque, and Musique Royale. Alongside soprano Sinéad White, Jonathan forms Duo Oriana, who’s album ‘How Like a Golden Dream’ releases March 17, 2023 under the Leaf Music label. Duo Oriana has been featured by Early Music America, as artists in residence at Toronto’s St. James Cathedral, and embarks on their first tour abroad in September 2023 as they head to the UK and Ireland.

In 2020 Jonathan received a Master's in the Performance of Early Music at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona, studying in the studio of Xavier Diaz-Latorre. His master’s research on historical stringings on the baroque guitar received the highest marks and is published in RECERCAT which archives research carried out at institutions in Catalunya. His classical guitar studies began in Penticton, British Columbia and he received a bachelor of music with a double major in guitar and lute performance at McGill’s Schulich School of Music, where he was recognized for outstanding achievement in Lute. He studied with Jérôme Ducharme and Sylvain Bergeron.

Jonathan says:

"I’m delighted to be joining the team at CRMSS Pacific this year, this course unifies three out of the four greatest things on earth: vocal music, *renaissance vocal music*, and lute music (the fourth being tea of course). I participated in this course as a singer in 2019 where it was a joy to be steeped day-in-day-out in renaissance music. I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to my home province and share my passion for lute playing and this exceptional repertoire."