Wykeham Consort is an ensemble of musicians who enjoy the music of Renaissance Europe. Their concerts include music ranging from anonymous Spanish villancicos with simple expressions of human emotion and complex, exciting rhythms to the elegant poetry of French chansons and lively English Country Dances. The historical and cultural context of the music, translations of the texts and explanations of period instruments used are included in performances. The music is accessible, direct and appealing to contemporary audiences because of its’ clarity of expression and genuine human emotion. Some of it was the popular music of its day that everyone played and sang. Wykeham Consort performances of Renaissance music are filled with the same passion, anguish and delight that animate us all today.
Matilda Giampietro has been singing early music for 20 years, first with The Everyman Guild and now with The Wykeham Consort. She teaches Montessori Music and Movement and serves as music director at Washington Montessori School in New Preston, CT. In 2009 Matilda completed a PhD in Sacred Music at The Graduate Theological Foundation in Indiana. She teaches at the Center For Montessori Teacher Education in New York, has presented workshops at Orff-Schulwerk and Montessori Conferences in the United States, Puerto Rico and Italy and has given Montessori Music and Movement courses for teacher training programs in the United States, in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Qingdao in China and in Hanoi, Vietnam. She has been delighted to share and learn music and dance traditions in Burundi and Kenya in Africa. Matilda teaches World Music as an adjunct faculty member at Western Connecticut State University. Singing, dancing and teaching music and dance is the most enjoyable and fulfilling life she can imagine.
Erica Warnock studied viola da gamba with Grace Feldman at Neighborhood Music School in New Haven and now plays with various groups in Connecticut and New York. She is a former member of The Everyman Guild. In her spare time, she is raising a family, housekeeping, gardening, and assisting her husband Guy Wolff in his pottery shop. Her father was the noted luthier and historical instrument maker of lutes and viols, Donald Warnock. The house she grew up in was filled with the sounds of musicians playing and the opportunity to study many different instruments. Her most bizarre playing experience to date has been to record bass viol for a video game sound track, in company with English concertina, acoustic guitar and the Prague National Orchestra!
Sarah Jane Chelminski teaches Recorder at the Neighborhood School of Music in New Haven. She also teaches Recorder at Washington Montessori School in Washington, CT. She has studied with Grace Feldman at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven for many years and participated in Master Classes with the Waverly Consort, Marion Verbruggen, Dan Laurin and the Flanders Quartet.
Andy Lafreniere received an M.M. in classical guitar performance from the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford in 1985. Mr. Lafreniere is the co-director of the Suzuki Talent Education School of Sandy Hook, CT. He is on the Suzuki Association of the Americas guitar development committee that is part of a worldwide organization that is researching and developing the guitar literature for the Suzuki Method. Mr. Lafreniere is a frequent guest clinician at Suzuki Institutes held throughout the U.S. Andy enjoys performing in a variety of styles and settings and has performed with many groups and musicians.
James Allen has loved the drums for as long as he can remember. Initially self- taught he bought his first drum set from a friend at the age of sixteen. After being raised on big band and classic rock he studied drum set with Floyd Williams and Joseph Bracchitta. While working toward his Bachelors degree in music performance (cum laude) from the State University of New York in 1990, James worked as a percussionist for the dance department. He received a Masters in Music Performance from Yale in 1995 where he studied with Gordon Gottlieb. He studied timpani at the Metropolitan Opera with Richard Horowitz, and Latin percussion at the Boys Harbor in New York City's Spanish Harlem. Mr. Allen has traveled to 49 states with Broadway shows, played a million gigs and was chased by a moose in Anchorage, Alaska while touring with "Evita." In 1995 he fell in love with teaching and the Orff Schulwerk method and has been teaching children to love music ever since. Mr. Allen currently teaches music at Ox Ridge School in Darien where he has a chorus of 90 students. He co-wrote the current music curriculum, and has developed numerous assessments including authoring a composition workbook for the music department.