Concert Announcement: Schola Magdalena Sings Medieval and Modern

Schola Magdalena sings medieval and modern

Schola Magdalena sings medieval and modern

 February 7 & 8, 2013

Schola Magdalena presents a candlelit evening of exquisite music, new and old, for women’s voices. Along with medieval plainchant, early polyphony, and the music of Hildegard of Bingen, the group is pleased to present new music, including Stephanie Martin’s “Missa Lumen” and commissioned works by Canadian composers Emily Walker and Meghan Bunce. Walker’s delicate and serene setting of “Ubi Caritas” and Bunce’s mysterious and exciting “Hai Alla Al Walah,” based on a Baha’i text, have been composed for Schola Magdalena’s performance with NUMUS Concerts, a series in Waterloo dedicated to presenting “the bold sounds and ideas of a new generation of composers and performers while celebrating the innovators of the past.” Ben Grossman, hurdy-gurdy, will join Schola Magdalena for this concert, accompanying both the music of Hildegard and the new work by Meghan Bunce, and perhaps throwing in a few surprises.

Please join Schola Magdalena for this celebration of beautiful new works and the great medieval music that has inspired them.


HildegardSchola Magdalena celebrated the Feast of Saint Hildegard tonight by singing a short concert before Evensong at St. Thomas’ Church, Huron Street, here in Toronto. I don’t know if my colleagues in this women’s ensemble have a similar experience, but for me it is pretty freaky to be singing music that was written by a woman living about a thousand years ago in a country several thousand miles away in a convent on a hillside vineyard by the Rhine river. Her musical language is really a universe away, and even if you could understand her Latin texts,  you would be mystified by her visceral imagery of human relationships and her colourful (green) view of science and the natural world, and her obsession with the phrygian mode. Yet her music gets through, and expresses something inexpressible.

I’d just like to say thank you to my friends in the Schola for their beautiful singing and (I am sure of it) the healing power that music can have when sung with sincerity, skill and understanding.

Happy birthday, Hildegard.

(reposted from