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Concert Poster

Concert Poster
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ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
In dulci jubilo:
A German Baroque Christmas

Friday, December 12, 2014
8:00 p.m.
St. Paul's Memorial Church
1700 University Avenue
Charlottesville, Virginia

Saturday, December 13, 2014
3:30 p.m.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
7599 Rockfish Gap Turnpike (Rt. 250 West)
Greenwood, Virginia

Our seasonal Christmas program presents early Baroque music from Germany, including the Missa Dixit Maria by Hans Leo Hassler and works by Ludwig Senfl, Michael & Hieronymus Praetorius, and anonymous. Zephyrus will be joined by violins, viola da gamba and organ for this festive Christmas concert. Click here to see the complete program.

Tickets are $20.00 for adults, $15.00 for seniors age 65 and older, and $5.00 for students and children. They are available in advance from New Dominion Bookshop at 404 East Main St, Charlottesville; from Greenberry's in the Barracks Road Shopping Center; and at the door.

For more information, please call (434) 227-4685.


ZEPHYRUS 2014 - 2015 CONCERT SCHEDULE


Zephyrus director Megan Sharp has announced the concert schedule for the ensemble's 24th season. Click here to view the complete schedule.


Concert Poster

Concert Poster
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ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
The Requiem Mass of Tomás Luis de Victoria

Saturday, April 12, 2014
8:00 p.m.
St. Paul's Memorial Church
1700 University Avenue
Charlottesville, Virginia

Toward the end of his life, Victoria served for sixteen years as a personal chaplain and musician to the Dowager Empress Maria. Sister of Philip II and widow of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II, the Empress lived in retirement in a royal convent in Madrid. For her funeral in 1603, Victoria composed a requiem mass, the Officium Defunctorum, which was published two years later. On the title page he calls it "the song of the swan," referring to the Empress, but it also can be thought of as Victoria's swan song, for he published no more.

Click here to see the complete program.

Tickets are $20.00 for general admission and $15.00 for students and seniors. They will be available at the door and at New Dominion Bookshop on Charlottesville's downtown mall and Greenberry's Coffee Co. in the Barracks Road shopping center.

For more information, please call (434) 227-4685.


Concert Poster

Concert Poster
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ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Christmas Music from the Old World and the New

Friday, December 13, 2013
8:00 p.m.
St. Paul's Memorial Church
1700 University Avenue
Charlottesville, Virginia

Saturday, December 14, 2013
3:30 p.m.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
7599 Rockfish Gap Turnpike (Rt. 250 West)
Greenwood, Virginia

The early music vocal ensemble Zephyrus presents its Christmas program for 2013, "Christmas Music from the Old World and the New" on December 13 and 14. The program features music from sixteenth and seventeenth-century England and Spain, as well as music from colonial Mexico and eighteenth-century America. Some of the composers featured include William Byrd, Tomás Luis de Victoria, Francisco Guerrero, and William Billings. Click here to see the complete program.

The program will be performed twice: on Friday, December 13 at 8:00 pm at St. Paul's Memorial Church in Charlottesville; and on Saturday, December 14 at 3:30 pm at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Greenwood. Both venues are wheelchair accessible.

The Charlottesville-based vocal group was founded in 1991 and is directed by Megan Sharp.

Tickets are $20.00 for general admission and $15.00 for students and seniors. They are available at the door and at New Dominion Bookshop on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall and Greenberry's Coffe Co. in the Barracks Road shopping center.

For more information, please call (434) 227-4685.


Concert Poster

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
A Renaissance Vespers

Friday, October 18, 2013
8:00 p.m.
Westminster Presbyterian Church
400 Rugby Road
Charlottesville, Virginia

Music by Victoria, Morales, Guerrero, Pérez and Cabezón. Click here to see the complete program.

This program is a part of the Westminster Organ Concert Series. There is no charge for admission.

For more information about the Westminster Organ Concert Series, visit their web site at http://wocs.avenue.org/.


ZEPHYRUS 2013 - 2014 CONCERT SCHEDULE


Zephyrus director Megan Sharp has announced the concert schedule for the ensemble's 23rd season. Click here to view the complete schedule.


ZEPHYRUS and Friends at St. Mary's Cathedral

Zephyrus and Friends at St. Mary's Cathedral
Edinburgh, Scotland
July 14, 2013
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Zephyrus and Friends at St. Mary's Cathedral
Edinburgh, Scotland


Zephyrus travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland to serve as Choir in Residence at St. Mary's Cathedral July 8 - 14, 2013. St. Mary's is the seat of the Scottish Episcopal Diocese of Edinburgh. The singers included some former members and friends.

You can watch video highlights of Zephyrus at St. Mary's here.


Concert Poster

Concert Poster
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ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Sing We and Chant It: The Mass and the Madrigal

Saturday, April 27, 2013
8:00 p.m.
The Haven at First and Market
112 West Market Street
Charlottesville, Virginia

Sunday, May 5, 2013
4:00 p.m.
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
1000 Langhorne Road
Lynchburg, Virginia

Click here to see the complete program.

While one might expect that sacred and secular music in the Renaissance had very little to do with one another, this was not in fact the case. The same composers often worked in both genres, and each genre borrowed from or influenced the other.

In tonight's concert sacred music is represented by a sung mass: in fact, only the Ordinary of the Mass, that is, those parts of the service which remain constant throughout the liturgical calendar. The Kyrie and Gloria appear together early in the liturgy. The Credo is the sung version of what is known as the Nicene Creed, the statement of faith agreed to by Christians in the fourth century. The Sanctus and the Agnus Dei are sung toward the end of the service as part of the ritual of the eucharist, or communion.

The mass setting sung tonight was based on a madrigal. The madrigal will be sung first so that you can hear how its material was elaborated to form the music for the mass. This procedure, known as a "parody" mass, was a common one and illustrates the influence of secular music in Renaissance sacred music. But the influences go both ways, for sacred polyphony was also a source of inspiration for early madrigalists.

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina is known mostly for his liturgical music and for his style of modal counterpoint — a style later codified by Johann Joseph Fux (1660-1741) as a school of composition worthy to be studied and employed by future composers. At the time his madrigal Io son ferito, ahi lasso was published in 1560, five years had passed since he was named cantore nella Capella di Nostro Signore (in Pope Julius III's official musical chapel), the highest position a musician might reach in Rome. But he was also a prolific composer of madrigals, many of which were extraordinarily successful. Io son ferito, ahi lasso was very popular and was the subject of many arrangements, instrumental as well as vocal.

Orlando di Lasso was born in 1530 or 1532, in Mons, in modern-day Belgium. He was rumored to have been abducted three times for the beauty of his voice, and by his mid-teens he was in the service of an Italian general who brought him to Italy. He likely began composing in the early 1550s while in Naples, and his first book of compositions, which included madrigals, vilanesche, canzon francesi, and motets, was published in 1555. He moved to Munich the following year to join the court of Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria, where he worked as a tenor in the chapel, took over the music of the court by 1563, and by 1567 was referred to as maestro di cappella of the court. His mass setting based on Palestrina's madrigal Io son ferito was written about 1576 and first published in 1589. (Di Lasso apparently loved the Italian word lasso, which means unhappy or miserable as well as loose or slack. It occurs frequently in his Italian texts as a kind of signature.)

Madrigals originated in Italy during the 1520s, together with a renewed interest in Italian poetry of the fourteenth century. Within a few decades, the madrigal became the most important secular music genre of the sixteenth century. The madrigal provided unprecedented freedom for composers to experiment with new tonalities, textures, and modes of emotional expression, and by the end of the century, innovations by madrigal composers like Monteverdi paved the way to the Baroque era and modern opera.

The madrigal movement spread to northern Europe through Germany, and reached England in 1588, when a volume of Italian madrigals with English translations of the texts was published in London. The genre became enormously popular in England, especially the lighter Italian style represented by Gastoldi's popular ballettos, some of which were borrowed and rearranged by Thomas Morley. The English madrigal reached its culmination with the publication in 1601 of The Triumphs of Oriana, a collection of twenty-five madrigals composed by Morley and his circle, with texts that used literary allusions from Greek and Latin classics to flatter Queen Elizabeth I. The madrigal craze lasted barely thirty years, but its influence continued through the next generation of English composers who began the transition from Renaissance to Baroque styles: Orlando Gibbons, Thomas Tomkins, William Lawes, and others.

Program notes by Thomas Pease and John Gilliom


Zephyrus Logo

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
A Voice from the Sky: Christmas Ancient and Modern

Saturday, December 8, 2012
8:00 p.m.
Christ Episcopal Church
120 W. High Street
Charlottesville, Virginia

Sunday, December 9, 2012
7:00 p.m. (Note the time change from previous years.)
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
7599 Rockfish Gap Turnpike (Rt. 250 West)
Greenwood, Virginia

Zephyrus, directed by Megan Sharp, will present a program of music for the Advent and Christmas seasons. The program includes music from the medieval, renaissance, baroque and modern eras. There will be works from the Zephyrus core repertoire by Clemens, Willaert, Sweelinck, the ever-popular Anonymous, and others. Modern works by Poulenc, Kodaly, Arvo Pärt, Morten Lauridsen, and others will also be featured. Click here to see the complete program.


Title page of 1559 Book of Common Prayer

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Choral Evensong

Sunday, April 22, 2012
5:00 p.m.
Trinity Episcopal Church
1042 Preston Avenue
Charlottesville, Virginia

Sunday, April 29, 2012
5:30 p.m.
St. Paul's Memorial Church
1700 University Avenue
Charlottesville, Virginia

Zephyrus takes great pleasure once again in presenting these Choral Evensong (sung Evening Prayer) services. We will sing settings for double choirs of the evening canticles Magnificat and Nunc dimitis by Robert Parsons. The anthem will be the Cantate Domino (Psalm 98) setting by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, and the Psalm will be a setting of Psalm 150 by Sweelinck, in French.

At Saint Paul's, we will also sing William Byrd's setting of the Versicles and Responses from the 1559 Book of Common Prayer, along with Robert Stone's setting of the Lord's Prayer.


music manuscript

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Sing For Joy: The Motet in Northern Europe

Friday, March 30, 2012
8:00 p.m.
Westminster Presbyterian Church
400 Rugby Road
Charlottesville, Virginia

This program in the Westminster Organ Concert series features vocal and instrumental music by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Johann Kuhnau, Johann Ludwig Bach and Johann Sebastian Bach. Click here to see the complete program.

There is no admission charge for this concert or any concert in the Westminster Organ Concert Series. Howewver, audience members will be encourasged to make a voluntary contribution to the series (NOT to Zephyrus).

Ample parking is available behind the church, and the sanctuary is wheelchair–accessible. A reception for the artists will follow the concert. For more information, please call (434)963-4690 or visit www.avenue.org/organconcerts


Gothic manger scene

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Music for Advent and Christmas

Saturday, December 10, 2011
8:00 p.m.
St. Paul’s Memorial Church
1700 University Avenue
Charlottesville, Virginia

Sunday, December 18, 2011
3:30 p.m.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
7599 Rockfish Gap Turnpike (Rt. 250 West)
Greenwood, Virginia

The debut concert by Zephyrus director Megan Sharp is a program of music for the Advent and Christmas seasons of the liturgical year. Click here to see the complete program.


Photo of Megan Sharp

ZEPHYRUS Announces New Music Director, Megan Sharp, and 2011 - 2012 Concert Season

When Zephyrus, Charlottesville’s early music vocal ensemble, concluded its twentieth concert season in April with a celebration of the music of Heinrich Schütz, rumor had it that the group would disband. Founding director Paul Walker and his wife (and Zephyrus singer) Diane Parr Walker have departed Charlottesville for new positions and new horizons at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

But Zephyrus is pleased to announce its 2011-2012 Charlottesville concert season. Conductor and singer Megan Sharp has been named the ensemble’s new Music Director, and nearly all the singers from last season will return.

Performing vocal music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras, Zephyrus will present concerts during the Christmas season and shortly before Easter. The eighteen to twenty singers will offer a diverse program of a cappella music for Advent and Christmas in two performances: Saturday evening, 10 December 2011, at St. Paul’s Memorial Church near the university; and Sunday afternoon, 18 December 2011, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Greenwood. On Friday, 30 March 2012, Zephyrus will be featured in the Westminster Organ Concert Series, hosted by Westminster Presbyterian Church, in a concert of vocal and instrumental music by Bach, Schütz, and other German Baroque masters.

Director Megan Sharp earned her undergraduate degree in music from the College of Wooster and holds a master’s degree in opera from the Boston Conservatory. Following a period of intense study of Baroque singing with Sally Sanford and Baroque dance with Ken Pierce, she specialized in performance of opera and oratorio as well as early music. Her opera roles range from Amor in Cavalli’s “L’Egisto” to Baby Doe in “The Ballad of Baby Doe” by Douglas Moore. Her oratorio credits include Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” under the baton of Louis Lane, and the Mozart Mass in C Minor at Trinity Church, Boston. She has performed with the Boston Early Music Festival, the Connecticut Early Music Festival, Schola Cantorum, Ensemble Chanterelle, and the Longwood Opera. Since moving to Charlottesville, Ms. Sharp has presented a number of chamber concerts, collaborating with her husband, harpsichordist-organist Jonathan Schakel, oboist Meg Owens, viola da gamba player Loren Ludwig, and violinist David Sariti.

Ms. Sharp has directed choirs in churches and schools for fourteen years. She currently serves as music director at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, directing five different ensembles. She maintains a private voice studio and, because singing is an art of the body as well as the voice, she also teaches t’ai chi at Hiromi T’ai Chi, where she has studied for three years.

As Zephyrus begins this new era under Ms. Sharp’s direction, the singers will give special attention to perfecting the groups's ensemble sound. As Ms. Sharp puts it, “The group has expressed a desire this year to work on the blend, togetherness, and beauty of our singing. In doing so, I hope the singers will gain confidence and our audience will know the joy we experience while singing together. Regardless of how the music may challenge the performers—and this is not easy music!—its performance should sound effortless, so that our listeners are aware only of the beauty of the music and the joy we have in singing together.”

Zephyrus will hold s during the month of August. Interested singers may contact Ms. Sharp here. .


Stories From Previous Concert Seasons:


A Farewell Message to Director Paul Walker

I'm speaking on behalf of all the singers of Zephyrus: We'd like to publicly acknowledge our admiration, profound appreciation, and deep affection for Paul and Diane Walker and for their many gifts which have brought into being and sustained for lo these many years this remarkable group, Zephryus.

It's been 20 years-for Paul and Diane and a couple of others in the group (and in our audience)-but regardless of whether it's been 20 years or just 20 months that we've sung with or listened to Zephyrus, it's been a wonderfully rich and moving experience. Paul has introduced us to a stunning repertoire of music many of us had never known before, certainly never known as intimately as one comes to know it when singing it. He's been astonishing-he's prepared editions of virtually everything we've sung; he's schooled us in the signature forms and musical quirks (and arcane linguistic accents) of each composer, each historical era, each geographical region whose works we've sung; he's worked ardently with us, as he's said in his program note, to bring to life through us the medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque music he's long heard in his head. This has been good work, work to which he is passionately dedicated, and work to which again and again he's called us. In this work, we singers have found challenge, delight, meaning, even astonishment-for some of us, working with Paul and Zephyrus has been nothing less than the opportunity to sing the music our voices were truly meant to sing.

Whether Zepyrus has performed in nearly empty halls or full houses, in spaces with indifferent acoustics or in English cathedrals where the old stones gratefully gave their ancient music back again,before live audiences or in front of recording mikes-we've had a marvelous time. I think our audiences have too. To make a more contemporary reference: what a long strange trip this has been, Paul and Diane! It's with full hearts, as well as full voices, that we give you our thanks and our love, and we wish you Godspeed and every success as you leave Charlottesville for South Bend and Notre Dame.

Marcia Day Childress
10 April 2011


Portrait of Heinrich Schütz by Rembrandt

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Music of Heinrich Schütz

Saturday, April 9, 2011
8:00 p.m.
Trinity Episcopal Church
214 W Beverley St.
Staunton, Virginia

Sunday, April 10, 2011
3:00 p.m.
St. Paul's Memorial Church
1700 University Avenue
Charlottesville, Virginia

The farewell concert by Zephyrus director Dr. Paul Walker is a program of music by Heirich Shütz. Schütz was the first German composer of international stature and the subject of Dr. Walker's doctoral dissertation. Click here to see the complete program.

If you are a Zephyrus fan, do not miss this concert and the opportunity to wish the Walkers well as they prepare to move to South Bend.


Magnificat from 1559 Book of Common Prayer

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Choral Evensong

Sunday, February 20, 2011
6:00 p.m.
St. Paul's Parish (Episcopal)
2430 K Street, NW
Washington, DC

Sunday, March 20, 2011
4:30 p.m.
Trinity Episcopal Church
1042 Preston Avenue
Charlottesville, Virginia

Zephyrus takes great pleasure in the opportunity to participate in these Choral Evensong (sung Evening Prayer) servics. We will sing William Byrd's glorious settings of the evening canticles Magnificat and Nunc dimitis from the Great Service, along with Robert Stone's setting of the Lord's Prayer and Byrd's Versicles and Responses. The service music text is from the 1549 and 1559 editions of the Book of Common Prayer.

The anthem at St. Paul's will be O, clap your hands, a setting of Psalm 47 by Orlando Gibbons. At Trinity, during Lent, we will sing the Miserere mei (Psalm 51) setting of Gregorio Allegri.


Cover art for Fifteenth Century Choirs CD

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Christmas Music and CD Release

Saturday, December 11, 2010
8:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church
500 Park Street
Charlottesville, Virginia

Sunday, December 12, 2010
7:00 p.m.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
7599 Rockfish Gap Turnpike (Rt. 250 West)
Greenwood, Virginia

Zephyrus celebrates the release of its latest CD, Fifteenth-Century Choirs, with a Christmas concert featuring pieces from the new CD. Click here to see the complete program.

Tickets are $20 ($15 for students and seniors), available in advance from the New Dominion Bookstore downtown, Greenberry’s Barracks Road, Mincer’s at the Corner, and at the door.


Three clerics singing (from medieval manuscript)

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
The Zephyrus Medieval Quartet: The End of the Middle Ages

Saturday, November 13, 2010
8:00 p.m.
The Unity Church
2825 Hydraulic Circle
Charlottesville, Virginia

Sunday, November 14, 2010
3:30 p.m.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
300 W. Frederick St.
Staunton, Virginia

The Zephyrus Medieval Quartet—Astrid Henriksen, Paul Walker, Colin Bird, and Jason Stell—will perform music from early fifteenth-century Italy that shows Western polyphony on the threshold of the Renaissance. The composers, Antonio Zacara da Teramo and Johannes Ciconia, are scarcely household names today, but their music is sophisticated, intricate, sometimes daring, and often beautifully tuneful. It deserves to be much better known.

The Quartet will be joined by the tenors of Zephyrus for a reprise of Zacara’s Credo Deus deorum, which the group recently recorded for its new CD, Fifteenth-Century Choirs.

If you like the Quartet’s recording of the Machaut Mass, you will not want to miss this concert.

Tickets are $20 ($15 for students and seniors), available in advance from the New Dominion Bookstore downtown, Greenberry’s Barracks Road, Mincer’s at the Corner, and at the door.


Zephyrus 2010 - 2011 Concert Schedule

Zephyrus director Paul Walker has announced the concert schedule for the ensemble's 20th season. Click here to see the complete schedule.


Josquin des Prez painting

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Music of Josquin des Prez

Sunday, March 21, 2010
3:30 p.m.
St. Paul’s Memorial Church
1700 University Avenue
Charlottesville, Virginia

Zephyrus will offer a program of music by Josquin des Prez. The program will focus on both sacred and secular works for five and six voices, mostly composed during the final two decades of the composer’s life and his crowning achievement. Among the pieces are the beautiful Marian motets Ave nobilissima creatura and Benedicta es caelorum regina, the clever Petite Camusette and ever-popular Faulte d’argent, and the dark brooding De profundis and Pater noster/Ave Maria. If you are fond of Josquin’s Praeter rerum seriem, recorded on our Nativity CD, you will love this concert.

Click here to see the complete program.

Tickets are $20 ($15 for students and seniors), available in advance from the New Dominion Bookstore downtown, Greenberry’s Barracks Road, Mincer’s at the Corner, and at the door.


Christmas 2009 Concert Poster

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Christmas Music Of the Baroque

Saturday, December 12, 2009
8:00 p.m.
Christ Episcopal Church
120 West High Street
Charlottesville, Virginia

Sunday, December 13, 2009
7:00 p.m.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
7599 Rockfish Gap Turnpike (Rt. 250 West)
Greenwood, Virginia

Zephyrus offers its annual Christmas concert in two performances: 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 12 at Christ Episcopal Church, West High Street, Charlottesville, and 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 13 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Greenwood. The program will be a new one featuring Christmas music from the Baroque era. Much of this music is likely to be unfamiliar, but it deserves to be much better known. Click here for the complete program.

Zephyrus will be joined by Baroque string players David Sariti and Loren Ludwig from the University of Virginia.

Tickets are $20 ($15 for students and seniors), available in advance from the New Dominion Bookstore downtown, Greenberry’s Barracks Road, Mincer’s at the Corner, and at the door.


ZEPHYRUS 2009 - 2010 Concert Schedule

The Zephyrus concert schedule for the 2009 - 2010 season has been announced by Paul Walker, director. Click here to see the complete schedule.


Italian Concert Poster

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
So Sweet Is the Fire
Early Italian Music of Desire and Devotion

Sunday, April 26, 2009
8:00 p.m.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church
717 Rugby Road
Charlottesville, Virginia

Zephyrus will present a concert of early Italian music. Much of the program will feature secular music, including works from the 14th century by Francesco Landini and others, early Renaissance frottole, a panoply of 16th- and early 17th-century madrigals by Marenzio, Monteverdi, and others, and settings by Andrea Gabrieli of texts from the Sophocles play, Oedipus the King. Zephyrus will be joined for this performance by special guest Constance Whiteside playing Medieval and Baroque harp. Click here for the complete program.

Tickets are $15 ($10 for students and seniors), available in advance from the New Dominion Bookstore downtown, Greenberry’s Barracks Road, and Mincer’s at the Corner, and at the door.


Tallis Concert Poster

Click picture for a larger image.

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Music of Thomas Tallis

Saturday, February 21, 2009
8:00 p.m.
Trinity Episcopal Church
214 W. Beverly Street
Staunton,Virginia

Sunday, February 22, 2009
8:00 p.m.
St. Paul’s Memorial Church
1700 University Avenue
Charlottesville, Virginia

Included will be pieces from the various styles cultivated by Tallis: large-scale works for the Catholic service (Gaude gloriosa), small English-language works for the newly-established Anglican Church (Hear the Voice and Prayer), metrical Psalmody for the Reformed Church (The Third Tune), and motets in Continental style written during Elizabeth’s reign (Suscipe quæso Domine). Click here for the complete program.

Tickets are $15 ($10 for students and seniors), available in advance from the New Dominion Bookstore downtown, Greenberry’s Barracks Road, and Mincer’s at the Corner, and at the door.


Easter Concert Poster

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Christmas Music Old and New

Saturday, December 13, 2008
8:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church
500 Park Street
Charlottesville, Virginia

Sunday, December 14, 2008
7:00 p.m.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
7599 Rockfish Gap Turnpike (Rt. 250 West)
Greenwood, Virginia

The program will feature Christmas music spaning seven centuries, beginning with Zephyrus’s trademark performances of Renaissance Christmas motets, both old favorites and new offerings. A set of modern pieces including Morten Lauridsen’s O magnum mysterium will be followed by Christmas carols dating from the Medieval to the Baroque eras. Also featured are two movements from Cipriano de Rore’s Missa Praeter rerum seriem, based on the Josquin des Prez motet recorded by Zephyrus. Click here for the complete program.


ZEPHYRUS 2008 - 2009 Concert Schedule

The Zephyrus concert schedule for the 2008 - 2009 season has been announced by Paul Walker, director. Click here to see the complete schedule.


ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
The Early Renaissance In England and France

Sunday, February 24, 2008
3:30 p.m.
St. Paul's Memorial Church
1700 University Avenue
Charlottesville, Virginia

Zephyrus performs gems from the late fifteenth century. Click here for the complete program.


ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
A Renaissance Christmas

This year Zephyrus offers its annual Christmas concert in three performances: Saturday, December 8, 8 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church, Park Street, Charlottesville; Sunday, December 9, 3:30 p.m., at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Greenwood; and Saturday, December 15, 8:00 p.m., at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Staunton.

The program will feature trademark Zephyrus performances of Renaissance Christmas motets, both old favorites and new offerings. Other music incldes a set of small-scale, intimate Renaissance pieces that would have been sung in private homes and a set of Christmas pieces from the late Middle Ages. All will be sung unaccompanied.

Tickets are $15 ($10 for students and seniors), available in advance from the New Dominion Bookstore downtown, Greenberry’s Barracks Road, and Mincer’s at the Corner, and at the door.


ZEPHYRUS 2007 - 2008 Concert Schedule

The Zephyrus concert schedule for the 2007 - 2008 season has been announced by Paul Walker, director. Click here to see the complete schedule.


Easter Concert Poster

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Music for Easter

Sunday, April 15, 2007
3:30 p.m.
St. Paul's Memorial Church
1700 University Avenue
Charlottesville, Virginia

Music enthusiasts will have the rare opportunity of hearing selections of Easter music spanning four centuries at an April 15, 2007 concert held at St. Paul’s Memorial Church, 1700 University Avenue, in Charlottesville. Zephyrus, a non-profit vocal ensemble based in Charlottesville that is dedicated to the performance of music from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras, will perform Christ lag in Todesbanden by Johann Sebastian Bach, and other music for Easter. The concert will begin at 3:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

Paul Walker, Director of Zephyrus, is Associate Professor of Music and director of Early Music Performance at the University of Virginia. Walker founded Zephyrus in 1991 and has since devoted the choral group to bringing the treasures of early music to a wider audience.

For this concert, Walker wanted to showcase music written specifically for the Easter season, which is lesser known than pieces composed for Christmas.

“The Bach cantata is one of the best known Easter pieces written,” said Walker. “It’s a fantastic piece written by one of the last top-flight composers to write music primarily within the liturgical contexts of the Church. This is one of Bach’s earliest cantatas and one of his best known and best loved. Sometimes known as Cantata 4, it is based on a tune by Martin Luther that was an adaptation of a Gregorian piece created in the Middle Ages.”

Zephyrus, which consists of approximately 20 men and women representing a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds, will be accompanied by a small orchestra including players from the University of Virginia Baroque Orchestra.

“At this concert the audience can expect to hear a variety of early music from Gregorian chant to late Baroque, with some standard Renaissance motets,” said Walker. “This concert offers a variety of styles covering 400 years. That is something we don’t do every time but it seemed appropriate for this one where audiences will have a chance to experience music unified around one season of the year.”

Zephyrus audiences have come to appreciate the unique combination of inspiring music and historical information they get at each concert thanks to detailed program notes written by Walker. “We try to do this music in an aesthetically pleasing and intellectually stimulating way,” he said. “A lot of people come to our concerts wanting a spiritual dimension, while others don’t. We present the music in a proper historical way and give out the more intellectual dimensions of it, but we leave the interpretation and the reaction to it up to the listeners.”

Walker added that the acoustics at St. Paul’s is especially conducive to this music. “It’s our favorite place to sing and that will be a big enhancement for this concert.”

Tickets are $15 per person; $10 for seniors and students. They can be purchased in advance at Mincer’s, Greenberry’s at Barracks Road or the New Dominion Bookstore, or at the door.

For additional information, call 434-293-5339 or e-mail pmw6q@virginia.edu.


Monteverdi Concert Poster

ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Claudio Monteverdi
Music For St. Mark's Basilica, Venice

Saturday, February 17, 2007
8:00 p.m.
University Baptist Church
1223 West Main Street
Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville music lovers will have the chance to travel back to early 17th century Venice when Zephyrus, Central Virginia’s Early Music Ensemble, presents works by Monteverdi at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, at University Baptist Church on West Main Street.

The program is built around psalms and duets Monteverdi composed when he followed Giovanni Gabrieli as maestro di capella of St. Mark’s in Venice, where his primary responsibility was to provide music for the various liturgical services.

The concert will remind Zephyrus fans of the group’s presentation several years ago of Monteverdi’s Marian Vespers of 1610 and will, again, feature more solo and duet performances than have recently been offered. In addition, the whole-group pieces contain much contrasting texture and grand effects, making this event particularly appealing to those who enjoy the more modern works in Zephyrus’ repertory. Click here to see the complete program.

Paul Walker will direct the ensemble from the organ. He will be joined by David Sariti, Lee Bidgood, and Loren Ludwig, members of the U.Va. Baroque Orchestra, playing violins and viola da gamba, and by Constance Whiteside, playing Baroque harp.

General admission tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and elders. They can be purchased in advance at Greenberry’s at Barracks Road, Mincer’s on the Corner, and New Dominion Bookstore on the Downtown Mall. For more information, call 434-293-5339.


Machaut CD Cover

Zephyrus Releases Fourth CD

Four Members of Zephyrus—tenors J. R. Ankney and Jason Stell, and counter-tenors Colin Bird and Zephyrus director Paul Walker—perform the 14th-century mass, Messe de Nostre Dame, by Guilluame de Machaut. Machaut was arguably the most famous musician of fourteenth-century Europe. This complete setting of the Mass Ordinary was the first by single composer.

Charlottesville, Virgina fans can find copies for sale at Hotcakes in the Barracks Road Shopping Center and at Spencer’s 206 downtown on Water Street. To purchase a copy by mail, click the button below.

For information on other Zephyrus CDs, click here.


ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Music For Christmas

Saturday, December 9, 2006
8:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church
500 Park Street
Charlottesville, Virginia

Sunday, December 10, 2006
3:30 p.m.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
851 Owensville Road
Ivy, Virginia

Charlottesville-area audiences can get a taste of both Christmas past and Christmas present when Zephyrus, Central Virginia’s Early Music Ensemble, performs Renaissance motets and contemporary music of the holiday season under the direction of Paul Walker. There will be two opportunities to enjoy this varied program: at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 9, at First Presbyterian Church on Park Street in Charlottesville, and at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 10, at St. Paul’s Ivy just north of Route 250 West on Owensville Road.

The entire concert will be sung a capella and will feature favorites from Zephyrus’ repertoire as well as pieces new to the group. The Renaissance set includes selections from the ensemble’s two Christmas CD’s, Nativity and Angelus, both of which will be available for purchase. The modern set is built around 20th and 21st century music such as Franz Biebl’s Ave Maria and Morten Lauridsen’s O magnum mysterium, most of which the singers will be performing for the first time. Finally, a set of carols will treat audiences to a wide variety of tunes in myriad languages — English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Czech and Polish. These selections result in a program ranging from complex, challenging pieces to simpler, more traditional holiday fare, thus providing an excellent opportunity to experience the scope of Zephyrus’ repertoire. Click here to see the complete program.

Music lovers new to Zephyrus as well as long-standing fans can get into the holiday mood while experiencing a wide spectrum of Christmas works in a festive, family-friendly concert. Be advised that these general admission holiday concerts often sell out, so plan to arrive early. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and elders; they may be purchased in advance at Greenberry’s at Barracks Road, Mincer’s on the Corner, and New Dominion Bookstore on the Downtown Mall, or at the door. For more information, call 293-5339.


The Zephyrus Medieval Quartet
Secular Music from Late Fourteenth-Century France

Friday, October 13, 2006
8:00 p.m.
Meade Hall
Christ Episcopal Church
120 West High Street
Charlottesville, Virginia

What did Medieval monks sing for fun, as a break from the routine of daily Gregorian Chant? Find out when Zephyrus’s Medieval Quartet presents secular music of 14th-century France at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 13, at Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Charlottesville.

The concert promises to be a lively, enlightening event that treats the audience to music rarely performed since the era of its creation. Its style is one of incredible technical sophistication: included in the performance will be a long canon that tells of a bird-hunting expedition, complete with appropriate calls and whoops; a piece in four parts, of which two can be sung both forwards and backwards against the other two; a love song originally notated in the form of a heart (the image on concert posters), and a song about a harp notated on the strings of a harp

Two tenors, J. R. Ankney and Jason Stell, and two counter-tenors, Colin Bird and Zephyrus director Paul Walker, combine for a typical Zephyrus evening: an opportunity to learn more about intricate early music while listening to singers who convey that complexity with astonishing ease and beauty.

Tickets, available only at the door, are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. The concert takes place in Meade Hall of Christ Episcopal Church. The church is located at 120 West High Street, although the side entrance on 2nd Street NW near Jefferson is more convenient to Meade Hall. For more information, call 434-293-5339.


ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Guillaume de Machaut, Messe de Nostre Dame

Sunday, September 10, 2006
4:00 p.m.
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
121 North Augusta Street
Staunton, Virginia

Four Members of Zephyrus, the Charlottesvile-based early music vocal ensemble, will perform this 14th-century mass of the Virgin Mary by Guilluame de Machaut.

Machaut was arguably the most famous musician of fourteenth-century Europe. His complete setting of the Mass Ordinary was the first by single composer. Our performing forces are those of the fourteenth century: only four singers – two countertenors and two tenors.

Tickets are $10-15, available at The Bookstack in Staunton and at the door before the performance.


Hearing Heaven:

The Creation of the Choir in Renaissance England

Dr. Roger Bowers has provided an expanded version of his lecture that preceded the Zephyrus concert on April 2, 2006. Click here.


ZEPHYRUS PRESENTS
Choral Polyphony: the First 100 Years

Sunday, April 2, 2006
8:00 p.m.
St. Paul's Memorial Church
1700 University Avenue
Charlottesville, VA

Saturday, May 6, 2006
7:30 p.m.
Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
8 North Laurel Street
Richmond, VA

Program

Kyrie, Messe de Nostre Dame Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300 - 1377)
Gloria Leonel Power (c.1375 - 1445)
Credo Deus Deorum Antonio Zacara Teramo (c.1355 - 1413)
Sanctus "Papale" Guillaume Dufay (1397 - 1474)
Agnus Dei Anonymous (Old Hall manuscript, c.1421 )
Ave maris stella Guillaume Dufay
Descendi in hortum meum John Dunstaple (c.1380 - 1453)
Maria plena virtute Robert Fayrfax (1464 - 1521)
O Maria Salvatoris Mater John Browne (b.1453?)

Machaut was arguably the most famous musician of fourteenth-century Europe. His complete setting of the Mass Ordinary was the first by a single composer. Our performing forces are those of the fourteenth century: only four singers – two countertenors and two tenors.

The balance of the program illustrates the development of the chorus in the early fifteenth century.

The Charlottesville performance will be preceded by a talk at 7:15 p.m. Dr. Roger Bowers of Cambridge University will talk on the early development of the chorus in sacred music.


Zephyrus Releases Third CD

In January 2005 Zephyrus released its third CD, a recording of music by Flemish masters of the high Renaissance. Central to the recording is a complete performance of the Missa Sub tuum presidium by Jacob Obrecht, the first mass that Zephyrus has recorded. We chose it because of its interesting progression of movements from Kyrie to Agnus Dei: the first incorporates only three voices, the second (Gloria) has four, and so on, until one arrives at seven voices in the Agnus Dei. The entire mass is based on various Gregorian chants with texts to the Virgin Mary, of which the title chant, Sub tuum presidium, is the most prominent and can be heard in every movement. In the Agnus Dei, no fewer than four voices carry chant tunes (and texts).

Other pieces on this CD include the dramatic Lugebat David Absalon of Nicolas Gombert, the ethereal Nesciens mater of Jean Mouton, the sensual Ego flos campi of Jacobus Clemens non Papa, the intricate Christe Redemptor omnium of Adrian Willaert, the flowing Alma Redemptoris mater of Johannes Ockeghem, and the well-crafted Gaude virgo of Josquin des Prez. It’s our most ambitious CD to date and our best work.

Charlottesville, Virgina fans can find copies for sale at Hotcakes in the Barracks Road Shopping Center and at Spencer’s 206 downtown on Water Street. To purchase a copy by mail, click the button below.

For information on other Zephyrus CDs, click here.


Zephyrus At Ely Cathedral

Zephyrus was choir in residence at Ely Cathedral in East Anglia, England, July 25-31, 2005. Seventeen singers participated in the seven services, and we were accompanied by Alice Layman, local organist of St. Paul’s Ivy.

Our repertory encompassed a mix of early and modern music. Highlights included the singing of the evening canticles from William Byrd’s Great Service in Ely’s large and resonant Lady Chapel and a moving rendition of Arvo Pärt’s Beatitudes in the quire of the cathedral with the great organ. For our final service we joined forces with a group of twenty-four American, Canadian and British singers from the C. S. Lewis Society to sing Herbert Howells’s Gloucester Service canticles in the nave for the society’s triennial meeting.

The whole experience was wonderful, and we wish that more of our fans could hear (and see) us perform in the kind of spaces for which much of the music we do was originally conceived. The singers also enjoyed very much their accommodations in the Medieval choir house, and the director enjoyed sampling the local specialty, eel (for which Ely is named), one night at dinner.


Zephyrus At the Staunton Music Festival

On August 28, 2005, Zephyrus participated in a very unusual concert at the Blackfriars Theater in downtown Staunton, Va. It was devoted to works by Josquin des Prez and modern compositions by living composers based on Josquin’s (and his contemporaries’) music. We sang (straight!) three movements from the Missa Ave maris stella (which we also sang for Sunday morning Eucharist in Ely) and three motets: Gaude Virgo, Ave Maria, and Salve Regina.

We had not heard any of the modern pieces and very much enjoyed experiencing the ways in which these composers respond to Renaissance music.


Contribute To Zephyrus

Please consider making a donation to Zephyrus. Our study and performance of early music, including our concerts, are made possible in large part through the generous contributions of our supporters.

Zephyrus is a tax-exempt non-profit organization as defined in section 501(3)(c) of the U. S. Internal Revenue code. Your contribution is fully tax-deductible.

Contributions may be mailed to:

Zephyrus
1702 King Mountain Road
Charlottesville, VA 22901

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Last updated: 31 August 2014