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Last year's events

2016–2017 Season


August 5–August 12, 2017 — HSOF: Cavalli's L'Egisto

The Halifax Summer Opera Festival will once again be presenting a fully staged baroque opera accompanied by period instruments, sponsored this year by the Early Music Society of Nova Scotia.

A delightful rarity: our first 17th century opera, and our first Cavalli! Gods and lovers clash in a world of artifice. In Italian, accompanied by harpsichord continuo and violins.

Full details on the HSOF website: http://halifaxsummeroperafestival.com/?page_id=116581

Sat/Sun August 5 & 6 at 2 pm, or
Wed/Sat August 9 &12 at 7:30 pm.

David Mack Murray Studio
Dal Arts Centre, 6101 University Avenue, Halifax
$30/$20 student/$5 children under 13; tickets available online, at (902)-422-6278 ex. 500 or at the door


July 26, 2017 — Boxwood Baroque Concert

Boxwood's baroque concert features some of the finest early music performers from Canada, Europe, Australia and the USA. Music of the French baroque, J.S. Bach unaccompanied suites violin, and much more!

Rachel BROWN- baroque flutes and recorder,
Adrian BUTTERFIELD - baroque violin,
Chris NORMAN - flute,
Adrianne GREENBAUM - Klezmer & baroque flute,
Marie BOUCHARD - harpsichord,
Tony McMANUS - guitar,
Rachel JOHNSTON - cello.

Wednesday, July 26, 7:30 p.m.
St. John's Anglican Church (Lunenburg)
64 Townsend St., Lunenburg
$25 at the door or online; $10 students at the door only


July 17–August 28, 2017 — EMSNS Chamber Orchestra summer session

The EMSNS Chamber Orchestra is a small, amateur mixed ensemble of strings and winds, led by Lauren Klein. This session we are light on celli or other bass instruments, so a sonata without continuo obligato has been chosen. If you play a treble wind instrument, please choose whichever of the two "violin" parts suits your range better. If you play the viola, I need at least two of you to play the "Viola (for bass gamba)" part. Gambas are also welcome! I will bring printouts to the first few rehearsals, but feel free to print your own.

Music: http://imslp.org/wiki/Trio_Sonata_in_C_major%2C_Z.795_(Purcell%2C_Henry)

Monday, July 17, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Faith Tabernacle Church
6225 Summit St, Halifax, NS B3L 1R6
$60 for EMSNS members ($72 for non-members)


July 9, 2017 — Afternoon House Recital

Colin Matthews, Catherine Little (cellists) and I (Penny Margolis, harpsichordist) would like to invite you to an afternoon recital in my chapel apartment (which was previously the chapel in St. Joseph's Convent of the Sisters of Charity) on Sunday, July 9th at 2 pm. Refreshments will be served following the recital.

We will be playing works by Couperin, Scarlatti, Handel, Bach and Boismortier.

Please RSVP if you'd like to attend. I've just begun to promote the event so there are still many seats available. However seating is limited. With its 14-ft high ceiling, it's an acoustic delight and a marvelous venue for music.

Bring slippers, socks or other indoor shoes for your comfort. Buzz "Margolis" to gain entry to the building on Russell Street and please try to arrive a little before 2 pm.

Reservations only at penny.margolis (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sunday, July 9, 2 p.m.
Penny Margolis' Chapel Apartment
The Seton, Russell St, Halifax
Admission by donation (suggested $20)


July 7, 2017 — Madrigal Mystery Tour

Helios Vocal Ensemble make their Music at the Three Churches début in Mahone Bay this Friday with a reprise of the "Madrigal Mystery Tour" programme that they premiered for Cecilia Concerts earlier this year. The concert will include saucy, silly and seductive songs from across Europe, with music by Monteverdi, Lassus, Weelkes, Janequin, Morley, Gesualdo and more.

Founded in 2015, Helios Vocal Ensemble is Atlantic Canada's premier vocal ensemble, performing sacred and secular music from the Renaissance and beyond. Its members include Eszter Horvath (soprano), Elisabeth Stones (soprano), Andrew Pickett (alto), Garth MacPhee (tenor), and John Mark Dawson (bass).

Friday, July 7, 8 p.m.
Trinity United Church (Mahone Bay)
101 Edgewater St, Mahone Bay
$20/$10 students


July 6–August 10, 2017 — EMSNS Madrigal group

The EMSNS Madrigal Group will run a summer session again this year, Thursday mornings for 6 weeks starting July 6, at First Baptist Church in the second-floor fellowship hall. We'll sing some light summery things while we enjoy the warm weather! Then we'll break for three weeks until September 7.

Thursday, July 6, 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
First Baptist Church
1300 Oxford St, Halifax
$60 for EMSNS members ($72 for nonmembers)


June 14, 2017 — The King James Version: Music from the Jacobean Court

The Prince Edward Consort will present "The King James Version: Music from the Jacobean Court" at St George's on Wednesday, June 14 at 7:30 pm. The concert will include beautiful motets, intricate madrigals, fascinating early settings of Shakespeare texts, and psalm tunes that have become favourite hymns; with works by Tomkins, Ravenscroft, Byrd, Gibbons, Wilbye and others, sung with one voice to each part. The consort, directed by Andrew Pickett, is a group of Halifax choral singers who have given their time to benefit the Friends of St George's Society, which helps fund music and other programs at St George's. Admission is by donation.

Wednesday, June 14, 7:30 p.m.
St George's Round Church
2222 Brunswick St., Halifax
Admission by donation in support of the Friends of St George's Society


June 10, 2017 — EMSNS Annual General Meeting

This year we'll get together at First Baptist Church for our end-of-year celebration, which will include performances from the winners of our 2nd annual Kiwanis Festival Early Music Awards, as well as a chance to examine some of our instrument collection and library! Plus a short business meeting. We'll socialize afterward, as always—please bring finger foods, and we'll provide drinks. In the Parlour, 3rd floor (street level) of the First Baptist Church.

Saturday, June 10, 4 p.m.
First Baptist Church
1300 Oxford St, Halifax


May 9, 2017 — Sonic Shifts—Going For Baroque

Experience the music of the Baroque period in both worlds— featuring both period and modern instruments! There is no need to choose between 415hz and 440hz! Works by Bach, Biber, Blavet, Fesch, Quantz, and more.

Violin- Karen Langille
Flute- Jack Chen
Cello- Hilary Brown
Harpsichord- Shawn Whynot

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017; doors open at 7pm, concert starts at 7:30pm.
Tickets: https://www.universe.com/events/sonic-shifts-going-for-baroque-tickets-9H27T0

Tuesday, May 9, 7:30 p.m.
Hosted by Michelle and Shawn Cleary
Quinpool/Connaught neighbourhood
Tickets $43/$20 or phone 902–402–1125


May 7, 2017 — Citadel 415: A Concert of Duets for Flute and Obligato Harpsichord

Performed by Henri Gauci on baroque flute and Lynette Wahlstrom on harpsichord using period instruments—reproductions of historic musical instruments used in the 18th Century—this concert will present works composed specifically as duets for flute and harpsichord, compared to the more common combination of a solo instrument with accompaniment. Featured are sonatas composed by Boismortier, J.S. Bach, J.C. Bach and Quantz.

Sunday, May 7, 7:30 p.m.
The Music Room
6181 Lady Hammond Rd, Halifax
Tickets $20/$15 from themusicroom.ca or at the door


May 5–October 29, 2017 — Centuries of Silence: The Discovery of the Salzinnes Antiphonal

Opening May 5, 2017 at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, in Halifax, Canada: the exhibition 'Centuries of Silence: the Discovery of the Salzinnes Antiphonal'. Commissioned in 1554-1555 by Prioress Dame Julienne de Glymes, the Salzinnes Antiphonal originated from the Cistercian abbey of Salzinnes near Namur, in present-day Belgium. The manuscript (240 folios) contains sung portions of the Divine Office, including antiphons, responsories and hymns.The Antiphonal was brought to Nova Scotia by Bishop William Walsh, the first Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Halifax, and was eventually rediscovered in 1998 by art historian Judith Dietz. Since then, the Antiphonal has been the subject of research and several multi-disciplinary projects, including the upcoming exhibit. https://www.artgalleryofnovascotia.ca/exhibitions/centuries-silence-discovery-salzinnes-antiphonal

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
1723 Hollis St, Halifax, NS
AGNS admission $12/10/7/5

May 6 — Late Medieval Chant Manuscripts Workshop

In connection with the opening of the Salzinnes Antiphonal Exhibition, Dr. Hendrik Vanden Abeele, artistic director of the Belgian plainchant group Psallentes, will conduct a workshop on late medieval chant manuscripts on Saturday, May 6, at 2 PM in the seminar room at AGNS. Dr. Vanden Abeele will speak on the performance practice aspects of the Salzinnes Antiphonal and the challenges that late medieval music poses for modern-day performers. https://artgalleryofnovascotia.ca/events-programs/salzinnes-antiphonal-musicians-perspective-dr-hendrik-vanden-abeele

Saturday, May 6, 2 p.m.
AGNS Seminar Room
1723 Hollis St, Halifax, NS
AGNS admission $12/10/7/5

June 25 — Music in the Antiphonal

Join Dr. Jennifer Bain, Associate Professor at the Fountain School of Performing Arts, Dalhousie University, for a talk and tour of the exhibition, Centuries of Silence: The Discovery of the Salzinnes Antiphonal. Dr. Bain will describe interactions between the rich illuminations and the music in the Salzinnes Antiphonal, and will offer a primer on chant manuscripts, page layout, and musical notation.

Sunday, June 25, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
1723 Hollis St, Halifax, NS
Admission to AGNS + EMSNS Members: Free / Public: $5

July 16 — A Look at Rare Books and Manuscripts

Join Joe Landry, Master Bookbinder and Conservator, in the exhibition,
Centuries of Silence: The Discovery of the Salzinnes Antiphonal, to learn more [about] the composition, structure and materials used in the construction of the Antiphonal and other books and manuscripts of the time.

Sunday, July 16, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
1723 Hollis St, Halifax, NS
Admission to AGNS + EMSNS Members: Free / Public: $5

September 10 — The Conservation of the Salzinnes Antiphonal

Public talk with Christine McNair, Canadian Conservation Institute, Ottawa.

Sunday, September 10, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
1723 Hollis St, Halifax, NS
Admission to AGNS + EMSNS Members: Free / Public: $5

September 17 — Family Sunday: All About the Book

Join us for hands-on studio activities with Artist and Bookbinder Katherine Taylor, inspired by the exhibition Centuries of Silence: The Discovery of the Salzinnes Antiphonal. Also, make sure you visit the exhibition on the 3rd floor of Gallery North and meet with Joe Landry, Master Bookbinder and Conservator who will answer any questions you have and tell you more about techniques in bookmaking process.

Sunday, September 17, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
1723 Hollis St, Halifax, NS
Admission to AGNS

September 23 — Concert at Saint Mary's Basilica: Salzinnes Saints

Plainchant from the Salzinnes Antiphonal
Belgian ensemble Psallentes, directed by Hendrik Vanden Abeele, is known internationally for the performance of plainchant and has released 25+ recordings since its founding in 2000. The concert is co-produced by the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University, and Cecilia Concert Series.

Saturday, September 23, 8 p.m.
Saint Mary's Cathedral Basilica
5221 Spring Garden Road, Halifax
To purchase tickets online, go to: http://ceciliaconcerts.ca


May 5–May 26, 2017 — The History of Church Music—Beginning to Bach

Lynette Wahlstrom, well known to EMSNS members and director of music at First Baptist, Halifax, presents "The History of Church Music—Beginning to Bach", Fridays May 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th, 10–11:45 am in the Parlour at First Baptist. All welcome: register by email at beginningtobach@eastlink.ca, 50 person limit. Donations to FBCH Piano Fund would be appreciated.

Friday, May 5, 10 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
First Baptist Church
1300 Oxford St, Halifax
Donations to First Baptist Piano Fund


May 4–June 15, 2017 — EMSNS Madrigal group

The next session of the EMSNS Madrigal Group is announced! As always, we’ll be singing some classic favourites as well as some exciting lesser-known pieces, from diverse parts of Europe! Short, a capella, secular works for small choir. All skill levels welcome. Thursday mornings.

Thursday, May 4, 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
First Baptist Church
1300 Oxford St, Halifax
$70 for EMSNS members ($84 for nonmembers)


March 26, 2017 — Anything A Cappella

Hear the EMSNS Madrigal Group at Halifax Libraries' Anything A Cappella event! Also featured will be the University of King's College "Unconscious Collective", the Holy Heart Schola Cantorum, the Halifax Schools Jazz Boys, barbershop groups and more. http://www.halifaxpubliclibraries.ca/programs.html?ids=64813&d=1

Sunday, March 26, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Paul O'Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library
5440 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax
Free admission


March 10–March 12, 2017 — Vincent Lauzer Weekend

Thanks to the good people of Rascal's Delight, superstar recorder virtuoso Vincent Lauzer will be offering some wonderful activities during his visit to Halifax next weekend! Vincent will be performing the Bach Brandenburg Concertos with Symphony Nova Scotia.

March 10 — Early Instrument Reading

Come and play! Open to all early instruments—recorders, Baroque flute, viols, serpent, crumhorns, etc.—at A440. Register with Nancy Carr.
Event is over, was great!

Friday, March 10, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
St. James Anglican Church
2668 Joseph Howe Dr, Halifax
Free for EMSNS members, $15 others

March 11 — Early Music Masterclass

Open to anyone or any group, on any instruments. Participants $25 for 1/2 hour or $50 for an hour—register with Nancy. Event is over, we had a great time!

Saturday, March 11, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
St. James Anglican Church
2668 Joseph Howe Dr, Halifax
Free to audit for EMSNS members, others by donation.

March 12 — Private Lessons with Vincent

Private lessons available Sunday morning

Space limited—register with Nancy. Event is over! Vincent was fully booked!


February 10–February 12, 2017 — EMSNS welcomes Tallis Scholars' Greg Skidmore

The Early Music Society is thrilled to be hosting Greg Skidmore, Canadian-British early music baritone, conductor, and scholar, in his first ever visit to Nova Scotia.

February 10 — EMSNS Movie Night: Draw On Sweet Night

Together with Capriol Films, the Early Music Society is delighted to present the Canadian premiere of Draw On Sweet Night, a beautifully filmed dramatization of the life of eminent Renaissance composer John Wilbye, and featuring gorgeous musical performances by I Fagiolini, Fretwork, and The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble.

There will be a pre-film talk by Greg Skidmore, who appears briefly in the work, on the music of John Wilbye and his experiences in the making of this film.

Friday, February 10, 7 p.m.
MacAloney Room, Dalhousie Arts Centre
Room 406, 6101 University Ave, Halifax
Pre-film talk 7 pm, Film 8 pm. Free admission.

February 11 — Renaissance Choir Night with Greg Skidmore

Greg Skidmore leads us in a participatory evening of Renaissance polyphony. As with all our join-in events, accessible repertoire will be chosen—so if you can read music and carry a tune, this is your chance to come and sing with a Tallis Scholar!

Note this event will also be at the MacAloney Room, not Faith Tabernacle as previously announced.

Saturday, February 11, 7:30 p.m.
MacAloney Room, Dalhousie Arts Centre
Room 406, 6101 University Ave, Halifax
Free to Dalhousie students/staff and EMSNS members; others by donation


January 28, 2017 — The Annual EMSNS Mid-Winter Tune-Up

The Winter Tune-Up is one of our most enduring and popular events. Come and play/sing some of whatever you've been working on by yourself or with a group, in a convivial, non-judgmental, supportive atmosphere—or just be part of the audience. As always, we'll finish the evening with snacks and drinks, so please bring finger foods, and we'll provide the drinks!

Saturday, January 28, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Bethany United Church
7171 Clinton Avenue, Halifax
Free to EMSNS members, public by donation


December 28, 2016 — EMSNS Charpentier Messe de Minuit Reading

Our annual reading of Charpentier's Christmas Mass has become an EMSNS holiday tradition. We'll also have a chance to sing through the ancient French carols underlying this beloved work. All singers and players of instruments (in C; at A440) are welcome; we will find a part for you to play even if you're not in the original scoring. Instrumentalists, please don't forget your music stands, and everyone, please bring finger foods for a reception afterward—we'll provide the drinks! Note the 7 pm start time.

Wednesday, December 28, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
St. James Anglican Church
2668 Joseph Howe Dr, Halifax
Free for EMSNS members; others by donation


Updated: March 16, 2017    |    Design: D.vanderMolen