The Caprock Early Music Association (CEMA), founded in 2004, is a 501 (c) 3 service organization whose mission is to foster the performance, education, and advocacy of Early Music in Lubbock and West Texas.
What is "Early Music?"
The music of the medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras spans a thousand years, and ranges from plainchant to madrigals; from Renaissance dances to Baroque chamber music; from early American "shape-note" hymns to early colonial Latin American music. Within it, we can hear the musical "roots" of many kinds of later western music: classical, sacred, folk, traditional, and popular. Even rock and jazz, in addition to their significant African-American heritage, sometimes also use western "modal" scales and harmonizations that were handed down to us from medieval times. Improvisation was also an important part of many kinds of ancient western music, leading to the continuing creation of "new" performances of "old" music.
The term "Early Music" was coined in the mid-20th century to describe a particular approach to medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music, in which performers focus on the music's original cultural and historical context, including the use of historical period instruments and languages. It's not quite the same as "reenactment," but it has some characteristics in common: Early Music performers study the old instruments and the techniques that were used to play them; the ancient notation; the archaic languages; and so on. (There is one major difference, however - Early Music performers don't usually dress in costume unless they're doing something with a theatrical aspect, like an opera, medieval play, or madrigal dinner.)
It's exciting to discover that in the act of opening this window to the past, we are actually creating "new" and exciting performances of music. It's a constantly unfolding process of musical discovery, for both the performers and the listeners.
CEMA and the Lubbock Arts Community
In the past half-century, the Early Music or "Historical Performance" movement has expanded its audience, and almost all most major cities in the U.S. support an Early Music concert series or presenting organization. Yet until recently, there has been no presenting organization or service organization in West Texas to recognize, present, promote, and support this important part of the western musical heritage. CEMA's goal is to contribute to the cultural richness of the region by providing the communities of Lubbock, West Texas, and the Southwest with the following:
- national and international-caliber early music concerts and events for the public, at a reasonable cost;
- regional performance opportunities for local, national and international early music performers, both student and professional;
- educational materials and school presentations about music from the medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras in Europe, North America and Latin America.
West Texas has a rich musical legacy in the realm of American popular music, but it has been traditionally underserved in the area of early chamber music. Performances of medieval and Renaissance music, in particular, are encountered infrequently - which is curious, considering that our elementary school children regularly take part in study units devoted to medieval and Renaissance history and culture! CEMA's concert presentations and educational outreach events realize our mission of bringing world-class early music performances and educational programs to Lubbock and West Texas, thus enriching the artistic and cultural life of our community.
Helen DeVitt Jones Harpsichord (Gerald Self, builder)
Who We Are
Elizabeth Ronan-Silva, past president, co-founded CEMA in 2004 with Angela Mariani (see below), and was the driving force behind the organization until her departure to Florida in 2006. A soprano specializing in classical, baroque, and operatic music, Ms. Ronan-Silva made her operatic debut at the Utrecht Early Music Festival in Cavalli's Ercole Amante under the direction of Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs. She has performed and toured internationally with Reconstruction, Teatro Lirico, Company of Strings, Bottom's Dream, Lizzie and the Theorboys, and the Camerino Band. She received her MA from Mannes College of Music, with additional studies in Germany through a grant from the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund for Musicians. Currently, In addition to touring, she also teaches voice in Tallahassee, Florida, where she now resides. Her beautiful voice, cheerful disposition, brewing skills, and legendary Halloween parties are much missed here in Lubbock!
CEMA's Executive Board:
Angela Mariani, President and co-founder of CEMA, is Assistant Professor of Musicology at Texas Tech University and directs Texas Tech’s early music ensemble, the Collegium Musicum. A singer and multi-instrumentalist, she has recorded and toured internationally with Altramar medieval music ensemble, and is also a member of the traditional Irish music group Johnny Faa. Since 1991, she has also hosted the nationally-syndicated public radio program Harmonia. Ms. Mariani received her graduate degrees from Indiana University's prestigious Early Music Institute, and also serves on the Board of Directors of the national service organization Early Music America.
Sigurd Øgaard, Vice President of CEMA,was born in Bergen, Norway, in 1978, and began studying the organ with his uncle at age ten. His organ performance studies have included the International Summer Academy for Organists in Haarlem, Holland; the Grieg Academy in Bergen; and the Birmingham Conservatoire in England, where he also worked as organ scholar at St Mary's Church, Warwick. In 2002, Sigurd moved to the USA to work as Organist and Assistant Director of Music at First United Methodist Church, Lubbock, Texas, and pursue a Master’s Degree at Texas Tech University. He has also completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting. Sigurd has performed extensively in Norway and abroad, including St. Bavo Church (Netherlands); St. Paul’s, Westminster and Coventry Cathedrals (England); Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim Cathedrals (Norway), as well as Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis (USA). For the past two years he has been treating West Texas audiences to a series of concerts that will eventually encompass the complete organ works of J.S. Bach. Mr. Øgaard is married to American violinist Kirsten Yon.
Kirsten Yon, CEMA’s Treasurer, is Assistant Professor of Violin at Texas Tech University. The winner of multiple competitions, she has performed internationally with professional orchestras from Europe to South America, and is concertmaster of the Caprock Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra. An acclaimed educator with degrees from the University of Michigan, the Cleveland Institute, and a DMA from Rice University, Ms. Yon received a TTU Alumni Association New Faculty Award in 2004, and is the founder and faculty advisor of Cuerdas de Enlace, a Texas Tech University pedagogical and performance outreach program with ties to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Her other teaching activities include the “Suzuki Talent Education of the Lubbock Region” program; Interlochen Center for the Arts; the Texas Tech University Orchestra Camp; and the Texas Tech String Project.
Stacey Jocoy, CEMA’s Secretary, is an Assistant Professor of Musicology at Texas Tech University. She received her Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has been the recipient of numerous academic honors, including fellowships from The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and the William Nugent Foundation, as well as awards from The Huntington Library and the Newberry Library. Dr Jocoy is a specialist in the field of early English music, and has many scholarly publications to her credit, including a forthcoming critical edition of John Playford's Brief Introduction to the Skill of Music. As a performer, Dr Jocoy is a vocalist and practices historical dance.
CEMA's Board Members:
Clinton Barrick is Director of Programming at KOHM-FM, the twenty-four hour Classical Music/NPR radio station licensed to Texas Tech University. He is also a staff pianist for the TTU School of Music, where he plays for the University Choir and performs concerts with faculty and select students. Barrick has performed in recital throughout Central Europe and the Middle East as well as the United States where he has most recently appeared with members of the Texas Tech University Voice Faculty. In addition, Barrick has appeared in concert with Texas Tech Alumni David Gaschen, Bruce Ford, Marcus Haddock, and Susan Graham. In March 1998, he made his Carnegie Hall debut as tenor soloist in Pergolesi's Magnificat. He has written program notes for concerts at the Texas Tech University School of Music and has been published in the periodical, Classical Singer. Barrick is a featured pianist on the recording, GOTTLIEB: Love Songs for Sabbath / Three Candle Blessings / Psalmistry, available on the Naxos label.
Jeannie Lovett Barrick currently serves on the music theory faculty at Texas Tech University where she teaches undergraduate music theory and aural skills. She is also a member of the Austin-based professional ensemble, Conspirare, which was recently nominated for two Grammy awards including Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance for the 2008 release, "Threshold of Night" (Harmonia Mundi). Barrick is a private voice instructor at Muleshoe High School and serves as an accompanist for local and state UIL competitions. She can also be heard as a soloist with the Caprock Early Music Association. Barrick holds degrees in vocal performance and music theory from Texas Tech. She and her husband, Clint, are the proud parents of daughter, Rachel Kathryn.