There are two Early Music Ensembles that rehearse and perform regularly in the Department of Music, Baroque Ensemble and Viol Consort. Both are under the direction of Prof. Brent Wissick. These ensembles are open to qualified undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and community members. Individuals interested in learning to play these instruments should be in touch with Prof. Wissick (bwissic@email.unc.edu). Vocalists are normally referred through their voice teachers or choral directors.

Baroque Ensemble

The Baroque Ensemble uses baroque violins, violas, cellos, violone, harpsichords, organ, archlute, and sometimes early winds or natural brass. The Department does own some instruments of this type for student use. Occasionally, singers are invited to sing arias and in small vocal ensembles with the group. There is normally a public concert at the end of each term, with others scheduled for special projects. In recent years, the ensemble has played concertos by Corelli, Vivaldi, Handel, and Bach; suites by Purcell, Lully, and Bach; and vocal music by Buxtehude, Bach, Purcell, and Handel; as well as accompanying a fully staged performance of Cavalli’s opera L’Egisto. The Baroque Ensemble meets on Thursdays from 5:30–6:30 p.m.

Viol Consort

The Viol Consort is made up mainly of various sizes of viola da gamba, but also involves lutes, singers, and early winds such as recorders and sackbuts on a regular basis. Its repertoire is mainly Renaissance music, but sometimes explores medieval music using vielles, rebecs, and percussion. The Department owns some of these instruments for student use. The Consort often shares a concert with the Baroque Ensemble and in recent years has performed music of Josquin, Cipriano da Rore, Lassus, Senfl, Issac, Dufay, Lupo, and Gibbons; as well as songs from the Liber Vermel and Cantigas de Sancta Maria. The Viol Consort meets on Fridays from 12:00–1:00 p.m.