Your heart will soar!
Please join the Medieval Women’s Choir for another spectacular season of medieval music—and new works—from around the world. Purchase a three-concert subscription and save 25% over individual ticket prices.
Three glorious concerts
Our three venues are superb partners
The acoustics elevate the performance space to an equal partner in medieval music-making.
Songs of Ecstasy and Devotion
May 13, 2017
Bethany Lutheran Church
The religious communities of the middle ages were not only places of prayer and contemplation. They were also hotbeds of intense spirituality and lavish ceremony, where the magnificence of God was reflected in the magnificence of the liturgical music cultivated there. In an age before opera houses or public concerts, ambitious singers found an outlet for their art in an ecstatic, highly ornamented repertoire of vocal music which was the preserve of the most virtuosic among them; the musical equivalent of soaring gothic architecture, richly colored stained glass, or sumptuous manuscript illumination.
Marian Seibert, Erika Chang, Aaron Cain, and Bill McJohn join Artistic Director Eric Mentzel to rediscover the link between devotion and ecstasy.
The White Lily
June 3, 2017
Trinity Parish Church
Candens lillium, stella radiosa, mater gloriosa—A perusal of medieval Marian texts yields a long list of honorific names for Mary, the mother of Jesus. She is the white lily, the shining star, the glorious mother of all, the new Eve, and the direct line to Christ. She is at once a servant and the queen of heaven, in stature second only to God.
The medieval church designated Mary as the mediatrix, a figure with special powers to intercede with her son on behalf of humankind. The cult of the virgin led to a staggering outpouring of song as believers, feeling far removed from a distant God and unworthy to address him directly, turned to their Blessed Mother to arrange forgiveness and an eternity in heaven.
Songs and poems for Mary became so basic to medieval culture that they popped up everywhere: adopting the melodies of popular troubadour songs, inserted into preexisting liturgical music, and forming the basis of decidedly non-sacred love songs. In medieval Paris, clever young poet/composers even wrote bi-textual motets that praise Mary in one voice and recount a bawdy encounter with “Marion” in the other. A program of Marian music is a true cross-section of medieval music and a window into the medieval heart.