7:30 - 9:30pm


Ganz Hall | 430 S. Michigan Ave, 7th floor, Chicago, IL 60605

Event type:

CCPA Performances


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About this event

The Epic Journey of a Traveling Musician in the Middle Ages

A Collaboration with Trobár and Catalina Vicens

The Newberry Consort presents a program of music that would have been performed by musicians who undertook the perilous journeys to Europe’s famous menestrel schools in the Middle Ages. The word menestrel, literally “minstrel,” refers to the secular musicians who were active in Europe between 1250 and 1500. I Sing a New Song tells the story of a menestrel and her companions as they journey from Paris to a menestrel school in Brussels. These schools were international conventions where musicians gathered to buy instruments, network, compete for prizes, and learn new songs to take back to their home cities. France, Germany, and the Low Countries were popular locations for menestrel schools, though participating musicians came from around Europe, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles through challenging territory.

For this program, we are pleased to collaborate with Cleveland-based Medieval ensemble Trobár, and internationally-recognized specialist Catalina Vicens, who will play organetto. Two shawms and a medieval slide trumpet join the cast for rollicking dances and ornamented song melodies. While most of the music at menestrel schools was learned by ear, some of it was later compiled into collections by Liebhard Eghenvelder, Judocus de Windsheim (the Lochamer Liederbuch), and other scribes. French musicians were also particularly well-represented, and the program will include music by composers such as Guillaume de Machaut and Pierre des Molins. The music will be brought to life with vivid art and text curated by musicologist and graphic designer Shawn Keener.

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The Newberry Consort is an Ensemble-in-Residence at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts.