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Care to sing for a long weekend this summer, improve your singing chops, and learn some Renaissance repertoire and singing technique? If you are young, maybe for free? Orlando and Kristina can help.

Schola Cantorum 2016 Summer Workshop

July 28 - 31 (Thursday through Sunday)
Grace Episcopal Church in Syracuse
directed by Dr. Kristina Boerger

Since 1983, Schola Cantorum of Syracuse has conducted an annual summer workshop, at which singers sing early music repertoire and develop the singing skills peculiar to early music ensemble singing. For eighteen years the workshop was led by Alexander Blachly, early music scholar and director of the ensemble Pomerium. Recent directors of the workshop have included Barry Torres, Susan Hellauer, Amelia LeClair, and Kristina Boerger.

Participants *** Venue and schedule *** Repertoire *** Tuition *** Free tuition for young singers *** Housing and meals ***
Registration form *** Young singers application *** Young singers teacher recommendation *** Accommodations


Schola Cantorum was honored to have Dr. Boerger direct the Workshop in 2004, and further honored by her return as director many of the summers since then. Dr. Boerger received her formative musical training from pianist Annie Sherter and holds the doctorate in Choral Conducting and Literature from the University of Illinois. She serves presently as Director of University Choirs at DePauw University. Her extensive activities and credits as singer, conductor, teacher, and choral arranger, particularly in the area of early music, are detailed at her elegant website, , which definitely is worth a look (and a listen): KristinaBoerger.com

Dr. Boerger's chosen repertoire for this years Workshop will center around sacred compositions of the 16th century composer Orlando di Lasso (or di Lassus). Further details appear below.

Participants and Registration

The Workshop is open to singers age 16 and older who have experience singing choral music. This is a convivial but hard-working workshop. One must be able to learn music and sing in time and in tune from a score independently. To assess this skill a recording of you singing an excerpt unaccompanied will be required. This is not to assess voice quality but to check accuracy of pitch and rhythm (see "Audition Recording" below).

Participation will be limited to 40 singers, on a first-come, first-served basis. After 40 registrations, a waiting list will be kept in the event any early registrants find they must withdraw. Your payment will be your registration commitment. Full refunds will be available through June 15.

Venue and schedule

The Workshop this year takes place at Grace Episcopal Church, Madison Street & University Avenue (819 Madison St., Syracuse 13210). Knowledgeable singers love the acoustics of Grace's sanctuary. The church is down the hill and in the bucolic shadow of cosmopolitan Syracuse University, with plenty of places to eat and shop. The weekend runs from 2 pm Thursday to about 6 pm Sunday, including a pot-luck supper on Saturday evening, singing as guest choir for the church's Sunday morning service, and a recital open to the public on Sunday afternoon. Singing at the Sunday morning service is in appreciation of the church's hospitality to us.

Thursday July 28:
2 - 5 pm
7 - 9 pm

Friday July 29:
9 am - noon
2 - 5 pm
7 - 9 pm

Saturday July 30:
9 am - noon
2 - 5pm
6 pm potluck supper

Sunday July 31:
9:30 am service
1 - 2:45 pm rehearsal
3:00 pm concert


Many enthusiasts are familiar with the early Renaissance cantus firmus Mass, in which a preëxisting melody recurs (verbatim or manipulated) in all movements as the basis for the new, polyphonic composition. Fewer are familiar with the late-Renaissance technique used in the parody Mass. Parody in this context connotes only imitation, not the modern sense of ridicule or humor. The model for the Mass movements is an entire polyphonic structure, preëxisting as a part-song or a motet. In the parody, one finds the model's points of imitation adopted into expanded voicings, its cadence structures embedded into formal junctures, and any other salient textures re-used and extended.

Orlandus Lassus composed numerous parody Masses, and we will perform a composite Lassus parody Mass -- featuring one Ordinary prayer from each of five different Mass cycles -- along with the chansons and madrigals on which those settings were based.

The source models after which the Masses are named are:

Quand'io penso al martire (madrigal by Jacob Arcadelt)

Doulce mémoire (chanson by Pierre Sandrin)

FrèreThibault (chanson by Pierre Certon)

Qual donna (madrigal by Cipriano da Rore)

Puisque j'ay perdu (chanson by Tielman Susato)

We would love all applicants to make a special effort to encourage your singing colleagues to come and join you for what will be an incredible experience.


Tuition is $185 for registrations through June 15, $210 thereafter. High school and college students may apply for free tuition (see below).

For further information, contact the Workshop Coordinator:

Timothy J. Beck
54 Norton Avenue
Clinton, NY 13323
917-392-1047 (evenings/weekends) timothyjbeck@gmail.com

Free tuition for young singers

Free Workshop tuition is available to a limited number of young singers, from age 16 through college age. High school students (if in New York) should have attained at least Level 5 in NYSSMA solos. The application process includes a teacher's recommendation. Schola is eager to give young singers exposure to the pleasures of singing early music.

We are especially looking for interested young Tenors!

Potentially interested young singers, or their teachers or ensemble directors, are urged to contact Schola's music director, Barry Torres, at


The application form for young singers (which includes Mr. Torres' mailing address and telephone) appears below.

Free tuition for young singers is through the generosity of donors to the Bruce Memorial Scholarship Fund. Dr. Kenneth Bruce, who died in 2002, had sung with Schola Cantorum for many years and was very supportive and helpful to young singers who joined the group.

Housing and meals

Housing and meals are on your own. A list of nearby hostelries appears below, under "Accomodations." Eating out in groups is one of the pleasures of this workshop, with the natives guiding the visitors to convenient and inexpensive local eating places. (Free housing in the homes of Schola members may be available to young singers.)

Registration form

Please print out and complete the registration form that appears below, and mail it, with your check, to Timothy J. Beck. Your check for $185 ($210 after June 15) should be payable to Schola Cantorum. (If you are a young singer requesting free tuition, please so indicate!)

Timothy J. Beck,
54 Norton Avenue,
Clinton, NY 13323

E-mail: timothyjbeck@gmail.com

Phone: 917-392-1047 (evenings/weekends)



City, State, ZIP: ____________________

Phone (home): _______________________

(work): _______________________

Email: ________________________

Singing part (S/A/T/B?) _____________

Audition Recording

As stated above a short audition recording must be submitted. Please record yourself either in mp3 format or on cassette tape singing your own voice part unaccompanied on the CREDO (page 10, up to measure 37) section of the Missa super Quand'io penso al martire of Orlande de Lassus:

Missa super Quand'io penso al martire

You may either sing in Latin or on a neutral vowel, at whatever tempo you find comfortable and appropriate. Please remember that this is to assess accuracy of pitch and rhythm, not voice quality.

All auditions materials will be assessed by Barry Torres, director of Schola Cantorum. If there are any problems with the download or any questions, do not hesitate to email or call Timothy J. Beck.

Please mail with your application to Timothy J. Beck, or email an mp3, indicating your name so we can match it to your mailed application.

Young singers teacher recommendation

Teacher Recommendation
Schola Cantorum Workshop
Kenneth Bruce Scholarship

Name of applicant

How long have you known the applicant and in what context?

Please evaluate the student's ability as compared with others of the same age and experience:

1: Poor 2: Below Average 3: Average 4: Above Average 5: Excellent

Pitch control 1 2 3 4 5

Rhythm 1 2 3 4 5

Clarity of Tone 1 2 3 4 5

Sightreading 1 2 3 4 5

Expressiveness 1 2 3 4 5

Motivation 1 2 3 4 5

Interest/Curiosity 1 2 3 4 5

Please add any comments that may provide a fuller picture of the student's ability, skills, and interests.

Your Name


Phone Number


Four hotels, in the $160 - $180 range for a double, are within walking distance of Grace Church. The Genesee Grande is one block away. The Park View, Sheraton SU, and Crowne Plaza are within half a mile. In the $180 - $200 range is the newly opened Hotel Skyler, 2 blocks away. You can Google to these hotels' websites, and also check them out on TripAdvisor.

Rooms for $100 or less are available at brand-name motels near the Carrier Circle Thruway exit. These include Ramada, Days Inn, Red Roof, Quality Inn, and Motel 6. From Carrier Circle to Grace Church is about a 20-minute drive (seven miles).

Free housing in the homes of Schola members may be available to young singers.

Young singers application

To apply for free Workshop tuition (a Kenneth Bruce Scholarship), complete the following form and submit it to Barry Torres together with your teacher's recommendation.

Barry Torres
41 Farmer St.
Canton, NY 13617
(315) 323-8038





School or College

Year in School

Date of Birth

Singing part (circle) S1 S2 A1 A2 T1 T2 B1 B2

Singing Experience

Current musical activities

Why are you interested in participating in the Schola Cantorum workshop?

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