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Magnificat Welcomes Back Old Friends for New Season

First Season Veterans Martin Hummel, Neal Rogers, The Whole Noyse, and members of Sex Chordæ Return for 16th Season Opener

Magnificat’s first set of concerts will be a homecoming for many of the musicians who performed in our first season. In fact eight of the performers in this month’s concert of music from Hamburg participated in a set of concerts of music by Heinrich Schütz in 1992 that was on both the Magnificat and San Francisco Early Music Society Series.

We are pleased to welcome back Martin Hummel for he first concerts in Magnificat’s new season. Martin first sang with Magnificat in our first season – way back in December of 1992, when he sang the Evangelist role in the Schütz Christmas Story. He was back in 1994 for Schütz’ Resurrection Story and reprised both pieces in 2001 (Christmas) and 2004 (Resurrection).

I first met Martin when he was a teenager. I had shared a stand with his brother Cornelius at the Aspen Music Festival in 1980. I went to Germany at Christmastime that year to work with Karlheinz Stockhausen on a piece he was transcribing for cello (this was before my baroque cello days) and while there I stayed with the Hummel family in Würzburg. Martin charmed us all singing German folksongs and accompanying himself on a guitar.

Another returning veteran of that first Magnificat season is Neal Rogers, who sang the some of the first self-produced Magnificat concerts in 1991 and all three sets in our first season. Neal went on to sing many seasons with Magnificat and also sang many concerts with me when I conducted the California Bach Society. He moved to Southern California for several years but is back in the area and we’re glad he can join us for this set.

The Whole Noyse also performed in the Schütz concerts in the first season and have appeared with Magnificat many times since. Well known to Bay Area audiences, the Whole Noyse celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2006. Over the past two decades they have established themselves as one of the Bay Area’s leading early music ensembles. They have made repeated appearances on the San Francisco Early Music Society concert series and have been presented by early music societies of Vancouver, BC, and San Diego, California, as well as in numerous other venues. They have performed in a dozen different Magnificat programs over the years and it is a pleasure to have them back for another set.

The Sex Chordæ Consort of Viols had not yet formed at the time of those Schütz perfomances in 1992, but two members of the ensemble, John Dornenburg and Julie Jeffrey played in the concerts. Since John formed Sex Chordæ they have performed widely including appearance at the Berkeley Early Music Festival, and on the San Francisco Early Music Society, San Jose Chamber Music Society, Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, and Gualala Arts concert series and have recorded three excellent CDs. John has of course also appeared frequently playing viol and violone with Magnificat.

Magnificat regular David Tayler was also on board for that Schütz concert in our first season. It seems like only yesterday…

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