There’s far more to English Renaissance music than the tune of “Greensleeves” fluttering out of a wooden flute at a local festival. On Sunday, April 6, Roger Williams University music faculty and local guest artists will gather together to perform a lively evening of original compositions inspired by English Renaissance music.The evening will include original Renaissance songs and dance music composed by Will Ayton, RWU professor of music, and Steven Jobe, contemporary composer from Rhode Island. Guest artists will include lutenist Robert Asprinio, soprano Ellen Santaniello and the Sam Hill Trio.
Several Renaissance-period instruments will be played, including the viola da gamba, a kind of bowed guitar, and the hurdy gurdy—or wheel fiddle—a type of mechanical violin. Other Renaissance instruments including the lute, harp and recorder will also be featured.
“The Renaissance was a time when more people were making music themselves,” said Assistant Professor of Music Catherine Hawkes, director of the show. “It was a much richer culture of music making than today, when most of us are more likely to put on a CD than pick up an instrument. That idea of friends gathering together to make music is very appealing and a lot of fun to replicate.”
The concert will be held at Roger Williams University in the Performing Arts Center located on the Bristol Campus at One Old Ferry Road. The performance will begin at 2 p.m. and is free and open to the public, as space allows. For more information, call the Performing Arts Center at (401) 254-3626.
Ellen Santaniello, singing