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2007 Events

Elizabethan Conversation
"Shakespeare's Colors"

4pm Sunday October 7, 2007
United Community Church
19 Church Street (corner of Church and Central Ave.) Cortland, NY
Free Admission

Mr. Derwood Crocker and Dr. Susan Sandman

The duo Elizabethan Conversation was formed in Aurora, NY in 1982 as a renaissance lute duet by Dr. Susan Sandman and Mr. Derwood Crocker. Current performances also include recorder and viola da gamba. They achieve musically pleasing and exciting performances on period instruments by combining scholarship in historical performance with individual judgment, and mixing in the magic of the moment.

Combining the study of early music and literature provides us with a window into the past unlike any other. Developments in Music, Literature and Art were part of the changing culture of the Renaissance and reflected the ideas and attitudes that were emerging at that time. The various arts fed, sustained and influenced each other, revealing the underlying changes in culture.

"Shakespeare's Colors" features lutes, violas da gambas and recorder in music from about 400 years ago, the time of Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth. The audience will hear English pieces such as "Tower Hill" "Greensleeves and The Queen's Treble" evocative of times past, and be introduced to the contrasting instrumental colors. Italian and other foreign styles were also popular in the court and theater of the English renaissance, so Scottish favorites as "The Bonny, Bonny Broom" and Linnen" Hall, and Spanish Recercadas will also be presented. Composers include Giles Farnaby (c. 1565 - 1640), John Johnson (d. 1504), Diego Ortiz (fl. 1553) and pieces from an Italian lute manuscript. Intended to be a "Plaine and Easie" introduction to the colorful sounds of Elizabethan England, the performers will offer poetry as well as descriptions of the music and instruments to create a colorful occasion.

Dr. Susan Sandman is an early music performer and musicologist who earned her B.A. summa cum laude in music form Vassar College and a Ph.D. in musicology from Stanford University. A Professor emerita of music at Wells College where she started the period music collegium, she is published in professional journals and researches the music for programs and recordings by Elizabethan Conversation. Dr. Sandman has received grants from the National Endowment for Humanities, the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, the Mitch Miller Foundation, and Wells College.

Derwood Crocker began private music study during his childhood, and attended Cornell University. An interest in design, sculpture, and music led him to the making of musical instruments, and he has been a full-time craftsman/musician since 1965. The Crocker workshop has produced hundreds of instruments, many of them one of a kind, for performers nationwide; his instruments are in the collections of numerous colleges and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. One lute and the violas da gamba used today were built by him. He lectures on the history of early instruments for workshops and seminars. With Elizabethan Conversation, he has performed at numerous museums and colleges.

This event is supported by a NYSCA Decentralization grant obtained through the Cultural Resources Council of Onondaga County and by a grant from the New York State Music Fund established by the New York State Attorney General at the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

CD's by Elizabethan Conversation will be available for sale at the concert.