“The singers were stylish and confident. Dirst and his
ensemble played with lithe energy and brilliant sound.”
The Shepherd School Crumhorn Collective
The Shepherd School Crumhorn Collective was founded in 2009 as a completely student-run renaissance band based at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Their mission is to bring Renaissance wind music to audiences who might otherwise not encounter it, in order to inform colleagues and acquaintances in a lighthearted and interactive setting about great music of the past.
Over the past three years, they have gathered a sizeable following both on and off of Rice campus through frequent outreach performances, concerts at private events, and lecture recitals, all performed on combinations of crumhorns, recorders, bagpipes, cornemuse, shawms, dulcian, viola da gamba, hurdy-gurdy, sackbut, cornetti, lute, and percussion. The actual members of the ensemble are as academically and musically diverse as their list of instruments: their majors at Rice range from double bass and Music History to modern bassoon, modern percussion, Music Theory, Art History, Medieval Studies, and Applied Mathematics. Current and past members of the band also hold degrees from Rice University, Portland State University, Oberlin College, The Colburn School, and The Curtis Institute.
Because of the interactive nature of their programs, the group has gained extensive outreach experience in the Houston area at St. John’s Episcopal School, Silverlake Elementary, the Shepherd School foyer, and Ars Lyrica Houston’s New Year’s Eve Gala, for which the group not only provided musical entertainment, but also taught renaissance dances. In addition to their outreach work, The Shepherd School Crumhorn Collective undertook a “Waits” project in 2011, which required them to pipe “Stundenblasen” every hour for 22 hours at various classroom posts around the Shepherd School. In 2010 they were awarded a Sviatoslav Richter grant for music outreach, and since then the group has been honored to perform at Rice University’s McMurtry College Dedication ceremony, as well as to premier a piece written for them by Karim Al-Zand, Shepherd School professor of composition and theory. The Shepherd School Crumhorn Collective is delighted to join Ars Lyrica Houston as their Young Artists in Residence for the 2012/13 season.