Schola Magdalena

Schola Magdalena

What do Emily Walker, Meghan Bunce, Maurice Durufle, Perotin and Hildegard have in common? Honestly I can not say for sure, but on February 7 and 8 we are going to perform works by these diverse composers that span a thousand years, thousands of miles and many generations of musical ideas and styles. It’s an interesting experiment, and it was Glen Buhr’s idea to bring us together with some young composers who would write new music for us. We (Schola Magdalena,that is) are a group of women who sing a lot of Gregorian chant, polyphonic music written in the middle ages (like the thirteenth-century master of Notre Dame organum, Perotinus) as well as the 11th-century music of Hildegard of Bingen,Abbess,poet,scientist, healer and mystic, and most recently an official Doctor of the Church. Now on Friday February 8th we’ll be performing in our home venue, the historic Church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Toronto. This is the amazing sacred space where our group met and began singing together. It has a palpable spiritual atmosphere and music hangs in the air like incense. It’s as if you can cut the acoustic with a knife, the resulting sound is as thick as butter. The building cries out for music, and when you step inside, you either want to sing your heart out, or listen very closely. On Thursday February 7th, however, Schola will be guests at the NUMUS concert series in Waterloo and we will perform at the Jazz Room. This is a departure for us, since we’ve never sung in a venue where over flow seating is at the bar, nor in a place that was formerly a strip club. I am so curious about the space that I’m going to check it out this Thursday. The same venue hosts a concert of Bartok string quartets at 8pm. Come check out either concert. For more information consult www.scholamagdalena.ca and enjoy the common threads of our Medieval and Modern programme.

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