Viol Consort Day 12th December 2023

Eleven players had signed up but a couple had to pull out and so eventually nine met to be coached during the morning by Alison Kinder. We had a consort of 5 and one of 4 players. Given that it was shortly before Christmas, it was a good opportunity to explore music with a seasonal theme including some clever arrangements of carols by Ian Payne. Other composers studied during the day were Byrd, Coperario, Croce, Bull and Ferrabosco. During the afternoon, we continued to play whilst Alison gave private lessons to four players.  We ended the afternoon all playing together in 7 and 8 parts.

Viol Consort Day 20th September 2023

We welcomed 8 players who formed two groups of four. It was lovely to see one person who had not been for a while and who is getting back into playing again. During the morning Alison Kinder coached each group in turn, Each group of players was well-matched. Though some of the music was challenging everyone learnt plenty from Alisons' detailed coaching. The morning included works by Coperario, Byrd, Simpson, Funck and Ward.  During the afternoon, we continued to play whilst Alison gave private lessons to those who wanted them.  In this anniversary year Weelkes has often been overlooked in favour of Byrd so we redressed the balance with a set of Pavans and a short Fantasia. We also played an arrangement of Grainger's Brigg Fair for 6 viols and Gibbons Fantaisas 7,8, & 9

Concert - William Byrd: A Portrait

Ingatestone Hall, 10th June 2023

In this 400th year since the death of William Byrd it was too good an opportunity to miss for a combination of voices and viols that Byrd would have been familiar with in a venue where we know he spent time in the service of the Petre family.  The programme was a series of snapshots of different aspects of the composer's life: his musical origins, his Catholic music, the Anglican music he wrote for the new liturgy in service to Queen Elizabeth I, music for worship in private and some of the secular music that would have been performed as part of the entertainment in a wealthy household. We were blessed with a fine evening and the capacity audience enjoyed refreshments in the courtyard soaking up the                                                                                                                                                                                                                      atmosphere.  The programme for the concert is here and below are some                                                                                                                                                                                                                            pictures taken at the rehearsal.

Viol Consort Day 30th May 2023

We welcomed 10 players who formed two groups of five. During the morning Alison Kinder coached each group in turn, Each group of players was well-matched and all found they benefitted greatly from Alison's input. In this Byrd anniversary year the music included Byrd's Pavan and Galliard as well as works by Coperario, Holborne, Jenkins, Mico, Ward. Tomkins, East, Bull, Willaert, and Ferrabosco. During the afternoon, we continued to play whilst Alison gave private lessons to those who wanted them.  

Viol Consort Day 21st February 2023

Numbers have picked up and we had eleven players this time.  During the morning we had two consorts going, matched to people's experience. These days are an opportuniy to meet with other players, try out new sizes of viol in a supportive environment and obtain expert coaching from Alison Kinder, as well as enjoy gems of the consort repertoire. The music included Mico, Gibbons,Dowland, Ward, Deering, East, Purcell, Mouton and Frank. During the afternoon, we continued to play whilst Alison gave private lessons to those who wanted them.  

Viol Consort Day 30th November 2022

Nine viol players, including one who was newly introduced, met to play a variety of consort music. During the morning we had two consorts going. It was an opportunity for people to try out new sizes of instrument in a supportive environment with expert coaching by Alison Kinder. The music ranged from Byrd to Jenkins, Coperario to De Rore, Purcell to Ferrabosco. During the afternoon, we continued to play whilst Alison gave private lessons to those who wanted them.  

Viol Consort Day 10th October 2022

Nine viol players were signed up to come but unfortuately two had to cancel at short notice and we were unable to fill the spaces. Nevertheless the seven remaining players gathered for a morning of consorts coached by Alison Kinder, followed by an afternoon playing while a number had private lessons. We had two consorts going throughout most of the day, playing Ward, Gibbons, Schein and Jenkins. 

Viol Consort Day 20th July 2022

Nine viol players gathered for a morning of consorts coached by Alison Kinder, followed by an afternoon playing while a number had private lessons. We had two consorts going throughout most of the day, playing Purcell, Coperario, Lassus, Ferrabosco. Mico and Byrd. 

Concert - A Traveller's Diary

Great Waltham Church, 28th May 2022

Essex Voices were joined by Chelys Consort of Viols to go on a musical journey around Europe. They imagined the diary entries of a sixteenth-century cloth merchant from Suffolk as he travelled to Germany in time for Christmas, through France, to Spain for Holy Week and on to Venice for Easter and Carnival, before returning to his family in Suffolk. His journey embraced the music of the various places he visited including madrigals, Lutheran melodies, chansons, polyphonic motets, gypsy and animal songs. 

Viol Consort Day 25th April 2022

Ten viol players, including another new to us player, gathered for a morning of consorts coached by Alison Kinder, followed by an afternoon playing while a number had private lessons. We had two consorts going throughout most of the day, playing Lupo, Coprario, Jenkins, Holborne, Mico and Byrd. Towards the end of the afternoon we all joined together for some eight-part pieces by Croce, Gabrieli and Purcell. 

Viol Consort Day 18th January 2022

Five viol players gathered for a morning of consorts coached by Alison Kinder, followed by an afternoon playing while a number had private lessons. It was good to welcome another new player. Three joined in the consort playing in the afternoon so that there were enough players for two consorts. The music we covered included Ward four-part Fantasias, Schein Banchetto Musicale, Lassus three-part Fantasias, Mico four-part Fantaisas and we finished with three lovely Wilbye madrigals in 6 parts.

Viol Consort Day 22nd November 2021

Ten viol players gathered for a morning of consorts coached by Alison Kinder, followed by an afternoon playing while a number had private lessons. It was good to introduce a new player to the days who came for an afternoon lesson and another who joined in the consort playing. Ali chose some lovely music - Josquin Nympes des Bois, Palestrina Tu es Petrus, Jenkins Pavans, a Tallis In nomine. We also played music by Gibbons, Ward and John Bull. 

Viol Consort Day 19th July 2021

Ten viol players gathered for a morning of consorts coached by Alison Kinder, followed by an afternoon playing while a number had private lessons. Tomkins, Jenkins, Coperario and Byrd were studied and it was great to have two consorts going again.  

Concert - O Clap Your Hands...

Great Waltham Church, 12th June 2021

A fabulous concert of music by Gibbons, Tomkins, Byrd and their contemporaries. Chelys Consort of Viols played superbly and Essex Voices were on good form.  The church was at full, socially-distanced capacity and the evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Viol Consort Days 1st and 2nd June 2021

Two groups of six players were able to meet on each of two days. Expert coaching by Alison Kinder and the sheer joy of being able to play together again made these two days really special for the participants. We studied works by Brade, Schein, Simpson, Coperario and Ferrabosco. Social distancing added another dimension to ensemble playing! As usual, many availed themselves of the opportunity to have a private lesson.

Viol Consort Days 12th and 13th October 2020

We were delighted to resume our regular consort coaching days with Alison Kinder. We were able to have one socially-distanced consort ably coached by Alison. On the 12th the focus was two of the 5-part fantaisias by Michael East. The afternoon gave the opportunity for individuals to have a private lesson with Alison, welcome after the long break due to Covid-19. On 13th the morning was spent on the Tomkins 4-part Fantaisia on Ut, Re, Mi. Fa, Sol, La. And in the afternoon, the Little Consorts by Matthew Locke provided a work out as well as some short pieces by Du Mont.

Viol Consort Day 11th March 2020

The latest in our series of consort coaching days with Alison Kinder. Two consorts played for the morning and were coached for half te time. In the afternoon, individuals had private lessons whilst the rest of the participants played a variety of music.

Viol Consort Day 20th November 2019

Great to welcome another player new to the group today! We played in two consorts for most of the day, meeting up to play polychoral Gabrieli and Mouton in the final session.

Viol Consort Day 18th September 2019

It was good to have a new participant join the regulars and to welcome back those returning after illness. Everyone was friendly and welcoming and the consorts worked out well. We tried some Holborne which was a new departure for us and finished the day with a 9 part piece by Melchior Frank and an arrangement of Brigg Fair by Percy Grainger which worked very well on the viols.

Viol Consort Day May 22nd 2019.

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures at the day we had on 22nd  May 2019. However we had a good day playing Lupo, Byrd, Ward, East and Gibbons. Alison Kinder was in great demand for private lessons in the afternoon and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Viol consrt day February 20th 2019

The latest in our series of days coached by Alison Kinder. 11 players formed two consorts and were coached in the morning on a range of repertoire including Gibbons, Byrd and Okeover. In the afternoon, many took the opportunity to have a private lesson with Alison while the others continued playing. The afternoon ended by singing and playing Lotti's 8 part Crucifixus which worked really well with viols and voices before a spirited performance of an 8 part canzona by Gabrieli.