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Early Music

Early Music

Early Music at Saint James, a part of the diverse musical offerings of Saint James Episcopal Church, Lancaster, PA, is a self-sustaining concert series that presents three to four professional performances each year of music composed before 1800 in our beautiful and acoustically rich sanctuary.  The concerts of primarily Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music are informed by historical performance practice and played on faithful reproductions of historic instruments.  The series offers a venue for small and/or emerging ensembles, and presents a rich repertory of music composed before 1800 that is not otherwise available to the Lancaster community.  Ticket revenues, tax-exempt gifts, grants, and sponsorships support the concerts. Early Music at Saint James also strives to enhance the worship experience in full cooperation with our Minister of Music by contributing to the performance of early music at the 10:15 a.m. Sunday Mass and the monthly Choral Evensong service. See the Concert Schedule for more details.

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Like poets of all ages, medieval songwriters employed the imagery of flowers to depict feminine beauty.  Trefoil’s program uses the Rose, or fleur de valeur as an organizing principle. They have gathered stems from several centuries, styles, and nations to assemble an exotic bouquet of musical riches from the troubadours and trouvères to the late medieval chansons and motets of Ciconia, Dunstable, Dufay and Binchois.

Their program also reveals a glimpse of the cooperation and admiration between composers and poets of England, France, Castile, and Italy, who flourished by reworking and varying each other’s ideas in the vibrant, international musical scene of the late 14th and early 15th centuries.


 TREFOIL is a trio of singer-instrumentalists long active in early music, with experience in such ensembles as Concert Royal, Les Arts Florissants, New York’s Ensemble for Early Music, Pomerium, Clarion Music society, Piffaro, My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort, and other groups. The trio debuted in New York and Philadelphia early in 2000 with a program of 14th-century French songs. The Philadelphia Inquirer tagged the performers as “a hearty trio of medieval music specialists” and their work as “an intricate, enigmatic vocal art.”