Early Music Ensemble
MUSIC/MUSIC HISTORY C90T (Undergraduate students)/C490 (Graduate students)
UCLA EARLY MUSIC ENSEMBLE
(AKA Collegium Musicum)
Open by instructor consent to undergraduates and graduate students campus-wide
Professor Elisabeth Le Guin
This ensemble is dedicated to Western vocal and instrumental music from historical periods prior to 1800, with particular emphasis on repertories not usually covered by other standing UCLA ensembles. The mission of the course is dual: to explore historical repertories and performance practices with due depth and rigor; and to bring the results of these explorations to a professional performance level.
This course may or may not entail the use of historical instruments, depending on the project and the needs and desires of those involved in it. A limited number of historical instruments belong to UCLA for the use of its students, and can be rented. Interested students should apply to the Director.
Elisabeth Le Guin came to UCLA’s Musicology Department from a 15-year prior career as a free-lance early musician (she is a cellist) during which time she helped found Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, made some forty recordings of chamber and ensemble music, and played under many of the ‘big names’ in Baroque and late-18th-century orchestral conducting. She is an expert in string continuo playing and vocal accompaniment.
UCLA had a thriving Collegium Musicum in the 1980s; several professors at that time, most notably Fred Hammond, were responsible for UCLA’s acquiring a collection of early-music instruments for student use, including harpsichords by William Dowd and John Phillips, a Greg Harrold positiv chamber organ, a complete sett of viols, and various recorders, flutes, and violin-family instruments.
This ensemble was discontinued in 1989, when the then Music Department split into the current three (Music, Ethnomusicology, and Musicology) that constitute the Herb Alpert School of Music, and Dr Hammond left UCLA for Bard College. Since that time, although there have been various volunteer efforts by members of all three departments, the group has not had ensemble status—this means that Music Majors have not been able to participate in it for ensemble credit, so that it has tended to take place more or less separately from Music Department programs, to be sporadic, and to be more or less amateur in its goals and productions.
Ensemble status was granted to the EME for Fall 2009; that quarter a group of 33 students from all over campus performed a concert of Venetian and Latin American poly-choral music in the beautiful Rotunda of Powell Undergraduate Library, the group’s informal home for its performances.
IMAGES OF POWELL ROTUNDA
Click HERE to hear excerpts from Fall 09 concert.
Volunteers from that group continued into Winter and Spring quarters, giving two more concerts in the beautiful Rotunda.
Click HERE to hear excerpts from W10 concert.
Click HERE to hear excerpts from S10 concert.
As of now, budget and personnel constraints mean that the EME can be a full-fledged ensemble course for only one quarter per academic year; in 2010-2011, that quarter will be Spring. However, volunteers (including the Director, Professor Le Guin) are already planning some smaller, volunteer-based concerts for Fall and Winter, in order to generate some continuity. Interested parties should contact Dr Le Guin directly to arrange an audition, at
In order to ensure high standards of execution and collaboration, auditions are held at the beginning of each quarter in which a concert is planned, regardless of whether ensemble credit will be offered that quarter.