This winter I am participating in a team-taught seminar at Catholic University, called "Sacred and Secular Music in Medieval Culture," which is being cosponsored by the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music and the Department of Medieval and Byzantine Studies, thanks to the leadership of Professors Joan Grimbert and Grayson Wagstaff. I will be giving a lecture this Wednesday on Gregorian chant in the medieval Divine Office and its impact on the life and creative culture of the Middle Ages. Much more exciting, however, the renowned performing ensemble Anonymous 4 will be giving master classes on performing medieval music to the class as part of a residency this semester at Catholic University. They will inaugurate their involvement with a concert this Saturday in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. If you will be in Washington this weekend, you should attend, since the group has announced that this year's tour of performances will be their last. Their program for this concert, "La bele Marie," features a new selection of 13th-century French music in honor of the Virgin Mary: according to their Web site, "conductus—marvelously varied one-, two- and three-voice songs in Latin—and popular medieval chansons in honor of 'la bele marie'." (The group will give another concert in Washington on March 14.) If you won't be in Washington, try to see them in another city on the tour.
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