Forthcoming EEMF events

To download a flyer and application form for an event, click on the title, where available.

Saturday, 15 June 2024

Roses, pinks and violets’

Madrigalists of Eastern England

with David Allinson

St John's Church, Hills Road, Cambridge

The event will celebrate East Anglian madrigalists of the Jacobean period, John Wilbye, George Kirbye, and John Ward. This year is the 450th anniversary of Wilbye's birth, but all three were contemporaries. John Wilbye, star composer of the 'English madrigal school', and his underrated contemporary George Kirbye, did not hold jobs in the church: they were attached to great families in the Bury St Edmunds area, so most of their surviving works are secular, consisting largely of madrigals. However, in addition to madrigals, the workshop will include Kirbye's extraordinary motet 'Vox in Rama', and Ward's 'Weep forth your tears', a lament upon the death in 1612 of Prince Henry.

Madrigalists Flier

Application Form

Janet Tanburn

Online workshops

Find out what the other early music fora are organising for your online enjoyment by clicking here.

Some previous EEMF events
Click on the event to read a report (where available)

In 2023

The Epiphany Party: “Madonna and Child”

This year, music in honour of Mary and the infant Jesus, including works by Victoria, Praetorius and Melchior Franck, formed the basis of our musical diet. This festive music was led by the wonderfully inspiring maestro Philip Thorby. Once again, a sumptuous shared lunch was provided by Jennie Cassidy and many others.

William Byrd: a choral workshop to mark the 400th anniversary of his death

David Allinson

David focused on liturgical music Byrd published towards the end of his life.
The Feast of Candlemas, or Purification, falls in early February, and so we sang settings of the texts which are proper at the celebration of Mass for that feast, which commemorates the presentation of Jesus in the temple. The music of Byrd’s Gradualia is mercurial – expressive, challenging and immensely rewarding.
Additionally we sang parts of Byrd's Mass for Four Voices.

We were a large group of singers, and as always with this tutor, it was a splendid, challenging day.

The venue, Storey's Field at Eddington, north-west Cambridge, was new to EEMF: a spectacular new building whose massive main hall has an excellent acoustic.

'Back to the future': An exploration of composers prior to and leading up to Byrd

A choral event with Angus Smith

Castle Street Methodist Church, Cambridge

William Byrd stands out as a landmark figure in English music but we do not want to view his achievements in isolation. This workshop honoured the unbroken development of music through the previous 200 years, covering a fascinating and inspiring range of unaccompanied choral music, ranging from an anonymous 11th century Alleluia to Byrd’s Veni, sancte spiritus and Miserere mihi Domine, via composers such as Dunstaple, Frye, Taverner and Parsons.

In 2022

For the first time since Covid lockdown we gathered in person for the traditional Epiphany Party.

Philip Thorby ran a very enjoyable and hard-working day for a chamber-sized gathering in Beccles. No shared lunch was possible this year because of restrictions, but we hope to be back to normal next year.

Music for all the Saints: an online presentation by Patrick Craig

Renaissance Composers and Artists were often drawn to the lives of the Saints for inspiration in their work and many of Patrick’s favourite pieces feature Saints in their texts. He paired these works with art from across Europe and explored the lives of the men and women who
inspired such faith and creativity.

O sing unto the Lord a new song!’ Psalm motets of the Renaissance
A polyphony workshop for singers with David Allinson

The Psalms of David are a cornerstone of Judaeo-Christian culture; a storehouse of rich idioms and images. These poems of praise and prayer, of lamentation and thanksgiving, were written to be sung; some even mention instruments and dancing. In this workshop we sang a selection of settings by 16th century composers for whom the Book of Psalms provided an unimpeachable source of texts, even as the storms of Reformation and Counter-Reformation raged across Europe. The motets reflected the longing and lamentation of the Psalms, but the day also included straightforwardly joyful music, making for a varied repertoire of song by composers including Morales, Byrd, Palestrina and Cardoso.

Madrigals – a summer progress

Tutored by Angus Smith in the delightful Old Chapel, Elsworth, Cambs.

The 16th century is often seen as the first ‘Golden Age’ of English music, but in this workshop Angus Smith unveiled the achievements of some lesser-known composers who had connections with East Anglia and whose compositions equalled and occasionally surpassed those of their better-known contemporaries.
ngus is a founder member of the Orlando Consort, and he is also the Oundle International Festival's Creative Projects Associate. He has a long history of introducing early music repertoire to amateur and youth choirs. He is a Choral Ambassador for publisher Stainer & Bell.

Missa Dominus Regnavit

A glorious 16-part polychoral work by the Flemish composer Lambert de Sayve (1548 or 1549 – 1614) who served at a number of Austrian courts including the Imperial chapel

This workshop was for four four-part choirs of voices, cornetts, sackbuts, curtals, viols and organ, with other strings and recorders. Our tutor was Philip Thorby, who led us through the impressive work at some speed in order to cover all movements in the limited time. So our full concentration was demanded.

The venue was the former Church of St Peter's by the Waterfront, College Street, Ipswich, now a dedicated Arts Centre. This was EEMF's first visit to Ipswich for some time. It was a memorable day and we hope to use this venue again.

In 2021

Venice in the 1500s

Philip Thorby gave four illustrated talks online about his passion for Venice in the 1500s. MEMF, TVEMF and EEMF jointly organised the series.
Read a summary of the four talks.

An emerald in a work of gold

In this workshop for singers, held online by Zoom, we delved into the extraordinary diversity of music found in the private manuscript collection belonging to sixteenth-century bibliophile Robert Dow. Rory McCleery, founder and director of The Marian Consort, was our tutor and guide on this occasion.

Music of Celebration – a weekend of music-making in Thaxted

2021 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Michael Praetorius. Our programme included the spectacular 16-part In dulci jubilo, as well as Giovanni Gabrieli’s In ecclesiis and Heinrich Schütz’s 4-choir setting of Psalm 150 – all scored for trumpets, trombones, oboes, sackbuts, cornets, strings and continuo as well as solo and choir singers. In addition, we celebrated the unlocking of music-making from coronavirus restrictions.

We were especially privileged to work with tutor Patrick Craig again.

The Circle of Bright Fire

An exploration by Zoom of Hildegard of Bingen's music and writings
With Bill Carslake
Bill brought his own particular insights and matching interests as musician, composer and writer into this fascinating appreciation of the works of Hildegard.

In 2020

Epiphany Party: RESONENT ORGANA!

At Blyburgate Hall, Blyburgate, Beccles

“Let instruments sound, drums be struck, and the hearts of men exult with joy!”. Scenes from the Christmas Story set to music by Cesare Gussago and Agostino Soderini. From Annunciation to Visitation, Nativity to Epiphany, the story is told in colourful and joyful eight-part motets for voices and instruments. Philip Thorby led this annual workshop, with delicious food prepared as always by Jennie Cassidy and members.

Machaut and the Magic of the Medieval

A workshop for all voices and instruments, ancient & modern. This workshop offered an introduction to some of Machaut's most famous works, alongside a few less familiar numbers and a brief foray into the earlier Montpelier Manuscript where music from the previous generation provides us with some context. We covered the poetic song forms of virelais & rondeau, including the well known Ma fin est mon commencement. We also tackled the hocket, including Hoquetus David, composed in one of Machaut's more backward looking moments.

At St Andrew’s parish hall, Marks Tey, Essex, with t
utor Lizzie Gutteridge.

For a list of earlier events go to

[EEMF Homepage]

[More information]


Updated 16/03/2023. Please contact the EEMF committee with comments