Live performance by Cantores Musicæ Antiquæ, Jeffery Kite-Powell, director, on April 7, 2002, at Trinity United Methodist Church, Tallahassee, Florida
Members of Cantores Musicæ Antiquæ:
Meghan Flanagan, Erin Martin, Gini Woolfolk, first sopranos
Danielle Ewing, Kathleen Phipps, and Laura Moore, second sopranos
Jeremy Barber and Sean Parer, tenors
Paul Clayton, Jason Jewell, and Matthew Roberson, baritones/basses
Cantores Musicæ Antiquæ [Singers of Early Music] was formed in the fall of 1989 with the intent to perform music from 1200-1650 in a historically informed manner. The group consists of eight to twelve singers, often one on a part, and includes undergraduates, masters, and doctoral students. Some students are voice majors, while others study music education, choral conducting, theory, or musicology.
After our inaugural concert, my friend and colleague, Douglass Seaton, sent a letter to Dean Bob Glidden praising the ensemble, as seen in this excerpt:
«There is no question that this was by far the best early-music performance I have heard since I came to Florida State. Indeed, it was perhaps one of the best three or four musical experiences I have had in Tallahassee, and having recently been to England and heard some of the finest early-music choirs in the world, I would have to say that the Cantores Musicæ Antiquæ last night were as fine as any of them.»
Following our performance at the Florida American Choral Directors Association at Rollins College, Winter Park, in 1994, the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Miami (Jo-Michael Scheibe), and the Artistic Director of the Miami Bach Society (Donald Oglesby) co-wrote the following lines to Dean Jon Piersol about our performance:
«It was truly an outstanding performance of the highest professional caliber, worthy of comparison to groups like the Tallis Scholars. The standing ovation accorded the group by the members of ACDA testifies to the strength of the ensemble’s performance. We [. . . ] hope you can make it possible for these singers to be heard on recording and in concert throughout the nation. They bring credit to the choral music activities of FSU and our state.»
Indeed, the ensemble is often referred to as Tallahassee’s «Tallis Scholars,» one of England’s premiere vocal ensembles. Our local newspaper, the Tallahassee Democrat, has referred to the group as «FSU’s heavenly Renaissance choir.»
Two full-length concerts per year are common for this group of singers, and they have performed for the American Musicological Society regional conventions in Lafayette, La., Tuscaloosa, Al, Tallahassee, Palm Beach, and New Orleans (twice), the National Theory Society convention, the national convention of the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, the International Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel Conference, the International conference on «John Eccles and His Contemporaries: English Theatre and Music in London circa 1700,» and for the opening of the exhibition from the Victoria & Albert Museum at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach; twice they were broadcast on National Public Radio’s Millennium of Music.
Many of the singers from earlier years are currently professors, performers, or administrators at colleges and universities around the country and abroad, including (those of which I am aware) Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, New York, Wisconsin, Australia, Iceland, and Norway.
JEFFERY KITE-POWELL, professor emeritus of The Florida State University College of Music and director of the Early Music Program (1984-2013), edited and contributed to «A Performer’s Guide to Renaissance Music» (IUP, 2007), edited and translated Michael Praetorius’s «Syntagma Musicum III» (OUP, 2004), and edited the second edition of «A Performer’s Guide to Seventeenth-Century Music» (IUP, 2012). He served as president of Early Music America (1998-2001) and was awarded the Thomas Binkley Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Collegium Director (2003). On his retirement, colleagues and former students from across the country contributed to a book entitled «Hands-On» Musicology: Essays in Honor of Jeffery Kite-Powell (Steglein Press, 2012).