The Mockingbird Early Music Ensemble will perform at Mississippi State's McComas Theater Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Music for the free program consists of British sacred and secular instrumental and vocal repertoire from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Selections include music by Purcell and Dowland, music from the court of Henry VIII, and music from Shakespeare's plays.
Located in Oxford, the Mockingbird Early Music Ensemble was formed in 2003 and is composed of enthusiastic proponents of the historically informed presentation of music created before 1750, played on recreations of original instruments. Founding members include: Irene Kaufmann, recorders; Susan Marchant, recorders and viola da gamba; D. Warren Steel, harpsichord, recorder and Baroque guitar; and Ronald Vernon, recorders and viola da gamba. Jos Milton, tenor, will join the group for the MSU program.
Kaufmann, a native of Uruguay, South America, played flute with the National Uruguayan Symphony from 1990 to 2001. She was also a member of the Grupo Barroco and the Orquesta Barroca de Montevideo.
Marchant has performed early music at numerous festivals, concert series, and on radio and television with the Harwood Ensemble in Chicago, Ill., and PanHarmonium in Birmingham, Ala.
Milton's performance schedule has included numerous engagements as tenor soloist with the Texas Early Music Project, Texas Choral Consort, La Follia and Austin Civic Chorus. He also performs regularly with Conspirare's Company of Voices, Austin's dynamic Grammy-nominated chamber ensemble. In 2011, Milton joined the voice faculty at the University of Mississippi, where he serves as assistant professor of music.
Steel also is a music professor at UM, where he has taught music history, organ and harpsichord since 1980. His books and other writings document early American psalmody and its survival in the Sacred Harp singing tradition. His organ CD "Baroque Pearls: Rediscovered Gems from France and Spain" was issued on Centaur Records in 2007.
Vernon is professor of music Emeritus at UM, where he was appointed to the faculty in 1972. He conducts the Lafayette-Oxford-University Orchestra and teaches conducting. From 1986 to 1996 he served as chair of the music department.
For more information about the event, contact the MSU music department at 662-325-3070.