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Polyphony Weekend

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Texas Toot, Inc.
(formerly known as The Texas Early Music Festival)

Who We Are

The Texas Toot is a Texas-based non-profit devoted to early music education and performance, presenting two workshops each year. The Fall Texas Toot is a short weekend workshop with instruction in recorders, viols, early reeds, harp, lute, voice, and more. The Summer Texas Toot offers a one-week program of classes at all levels, focusing on Renaissance and Baroque music, but with offerings for Medieval and 21st century enthusiasts as well. Expert instructors in recorder, viol, early reeds, lute, harp, and voice will tend to young professionals, seasoned amateurs, and eager beginners with equal care. The Toot also sponsors or supports other events, including the Renaissance Polyphony Weekend.

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The Fall Toot Online!
Nov 20-22, 2020

Despite the pandemic, we are still here! And we hope you are staying safe and healthy in this most stressful of times. Although we couldn't hold the 2020 Summer Toot because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to pay our faculty a partial fee to make up for the devastating loss of all music income.

And the Texas Toot is still alive! Through the generous support of Amherst Early Music, we will present the first online Fall Toot, on our usual weekend-before-Thanksgiving: Nov 20-22.

Amherst has been offering online classes every weekend for most of the summer, and they are quite expert at delivering enjoyable, participative classes through Zoom. See what they have in store at their website. Take the opportunity to sign up for an Amherst weekend class even before the Toot, to get used to how Zoom works. Texas Toot registration will be opened (on the Amherst site as soon as our classes are finalized.

Friday night (Nov 20) will be a convivial Zoom to meet and greet old friends. Bring your favorite beverage and get ready to smile and visit! Saturday and Sunday will each have 3 class periods, with a couple of choices during each period, and there will be a brief faculty concert on Sunday evening.

We'll be joined by many of our familiar and faithful faculty: Mary Springfels, Frances Blaker, Tish Berlin, Jennifer Carpenter, Peter Maund, Saskia Coolen. We also welcome (or welcome back) some newer faces: Annette Bauer, Sarah Mead, Christa Patton, Ros Morley, Pat Neely, Priscilla Herreid!

We're not sure what the coming year will bring, but we hope there will be joyous celebration of playing together in person once again! If not, then at least (necessity being the mother of invention) enterprising people have made great leaps in technology, letting us come virtually together to play the music we love.

For over forty years, we've been holding workshops and providing early music fun and learning for amateurs and aficionados alike! The Fall Toot is normally held at Lakeview Methodist Conference Center near Palestine, Texas.

28th Renaissance Polyphony Weekend
February 21 - 23, 2020

New location: St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Richardson, Texas

Image of chant music   Music to be prepared:
Motets for the Church Year
by Jacob Handl (Jacobus Gallus)

For more complete details about this year's workshop, see the brochure — or click on the Polyphony Weekend link in the left-hand menu.

Workshop leader: Dr. William P. Mahrt, of Stanford University (California).

If you have questions about the Polyphony Weekend, please e-mail us:

About the 21st Summer Texas Toot

Summer Toot 2020 is Cancelled

It should come as no surprise given the current situation with COVID-19, but we are still saddened to announce that we are canceling the 2020 Summer Toot. We looked forward to working with our new venue, Schreiner University, and they have been very gracious every step of the way. We will return deposits to those who had registered.

We hope 2021 brings the first Schreiner University Texas Toot.

Stay safe,
David Podeschi -- President, Toot Board

Below is what we had planned for this year...

Nina Stern, Wendy Gillespie,
Frances Blaker, and Mary Springfels

Photo of Nina Stern Photo of Wendy Gillespie
Photo of Frances Blaker Photo of Mary Springfels

Please join us for the 2020 Summer Texas Toot ... "more than recorders"! We are very excited about our new home for the Summer Toot: Schreiner University, in Kerrville, Texas! Nestled in the beauty of the Texas Hill Country, Schreiner's campus provides all the classrooms, concert spaces, housing, and meals that you expect as part of the Toot experience. But there is much more!

Outdoor recreation opportunities abound, in this small city right on the Guadalupe River. For walkers, the 5-mile public River Trail ( will have a brand-new trailhead right at the university, with a beer garden planned for completion in April 2020! For the non-walkers among us, freely available parking lots around the campus make it easier to move from housing to dining to classrooms.

As always, we'll have outstanding faculty members teaching recorder, viol, lute, harp, and other instruments, as well as voice and ensembles.

Here are two easy ways to support the Texas Toot, any time of year!

(1) If you are an Amazon or Amazon Prime shopper: click here to sign up for Amazon Smile. Then, just start your shopping from, and the Toot will benefit from almost everything you buy — at no extra cost to you!

(2) Donate to the Texas Toot quickly and easily through PayPal. You need not have a PayPal account; they will securely process a payment from your own credit card.

Press the Donate button below to go to the Paypal site; enter your payment information and the amount to give once you are on their secure site (look for a Lock symbol, or the URL starting "https" to see that it is secured).

The Texas Toot is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, organized "to promote the preservation and performance of early music by amateur musicians with voice and reproductions of period instruments". Donations to the Texas Toot are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law, and you will receive a receipt for tax purposes.

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