Musical group will bring 16th century music to modern-day Goshen College on Feb. 12

Monday, January 31, 2005

Musical group will bring 16th century music to modern-day Goshen College on Feb. 12

Considered one of the most exciting and imaginative early music ensembles performing today, Baltimore Consort focuses on the dances and songs of the 16th century from a variety of countries. The members explore English, Scottish and French popular music, focusing on the relationship between folk and art song and dance.

“We are using the information we have about the past to make something that is a creative experience in the present,” said group member Mary Anne Ballard, who does research for most of the group’s programs, a process which takes at least a year for each performance and begins with looking through libraries for new pieces of music.

The Renaissance-era instruments used by Baltimore Consort include guitar, bagpipes, viola da gamba (a stringed instrument played held downwards or on the lap), rebec (smaller than a violin and played like a viola), cittern (similar to a mandolin), lute, wooden flute and others. “In an age when everything tends to be over-amplified, it is always refreshing to hear the gentle, subtle sounds these instruments make,” said the Reading Eagle-Times about Baltimore Consort.

The group describes its sounds as “part Early-Music scholarship, part Appalachian family songfest, part jazz-and-rock-inspired improvisation, part country-western hee-haw music and a big part musical risk-taking.” A performance by the group may feature pieces such as English instrumental dances, French chansons and Celtic and Appalachian songs.

The “rambunctious sextet” consists of Ballard (viols, rebec), Mark Cudek (cittern, viols, Renaissance guitar), Custer LaRue (soprano), Larry Lipkis (viol, recorder), Ronn McFarlane (lute) and Mindy Rosenfeld (flute), though LaRue is on leave from the group during the 2004-05 season and Jose Lemos (countertenor) will take her place. “The Baltimore Consort works like a fine ensemble acting company. They breathe together. They feel together … their purpose is to entertain, which is just what they do,” said the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Baltimore Consort was named the 2003 Billboard Top Classical-Crossover Artist of the Year, has performed on syndicated radio broadcasts (“St. Paul Sunday,” “Performance Today,” CBC’s “Onstage”) and has recorded 14 albums.

Future concerts in the Performing Arts Series:

· March 13 and 20, 3 p.m. – Goshen College Opera: Die Fledermaus

· April 16, 7:30 p.m. – Cantus

· April 26, 7:30 p.m. – Wroclaw Philharmonic (add-on)

For information about ticket availability, prices, reservations or more information, contact the Welcome Center at (574) 535-7566 or e-mail

– by Melanie Histand

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit