About This Toot
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Frances Blaker performs on recorders of all types and sizes with the Farallon Recorder Quartet and Tibia Recorder Duo. As a member of Ensemble Vermillian she explores, transcribes and performs chamber music of the 17th and 18th centuries. She has performed as soloist with the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble Vita Nova, and numerous other groups in the US, Denmark, England, France, Italy and the Netherlands.
Frances is conductor and music director of BABO (Bay Area Baroque Orchestra), a community orchestra for accomplished amateur players. As co-director of Tibia Adventures in Music, she organizes workshops for small groups of adult students in the US and abroad. She teaches private recorder lessons both in person and long distance via Skype and is a sought after instructor at workshops all around the US.
Ms. Blaker is the author of The Recorder Player's Companion and the "Opening Measures" column in the American Recorder magazine, and a collaborator and performer on the Disc Continuo series of play-along recordings.
Her compositions have been published by PRB Productions and Lost in Time Press. Ms. Blaker can be heard on Ensemble Vermillian's two-volume survey of German 17th century chamber music centering around Buxtehude's opus 1, Stolen Jewels and Buried Treasure. The Farallon Recorder Quartet's recordings include the works of Ludwig Senfl and newly released recording of music from England, From Albion's Shores.
Tom Zajac is a multi-instrumentalist widely praised for his versatility,
"and sacbut player Tom Zajac...was particularly versatile, also playing a bagpipe, flutes and recorders and, in some numbers, fingering a recorder with his right hand while he played a drum with his left." [Washington Post, October 14th, 2002]and his stylish playing.
"The art of improvisation, long before the jazz era, was explored in a bagpipe solo dashingly played by Tom Zajac." [Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 5th, 2002]
Tom is a member of Piffaro, the Philadelphia-based renaissance wind band, and the musical/theatrical group Ex Umbris. He's a regular guest artist with the Folger Consort, of Washington, DC, and has also appeared with other leading ensembles in the US including the King's Noyse, Newberry Consort, Violins of Lafayette, Waverly Consort, Concert Royal, and New York's Ensemble for Early Music.
Tom can be heard on over 30 recordings, ranging from Medieval dances and baroque opera, to contemporary folk-rock for Dorian, Deutsche Gramophon, Angel EMI, Virgin Veritas, Harmonia Mundi, Lyrichord, Windham Hill, and others. With his group Ex Umbris, he performed at the 5th Millennium Council event in the East Room of the Clinton White House. He played serpent in a work by Peter Schickele for the nationally broadcast radio show "A Prairie Home Companion", hurdy gurdy for an American Ballet Theater Company performance of a work choreographed by Twyla Tharp, bagpipe for an internationally broadcast sports beverage commercial, and percussion for a 16th-century equestrian ballet at the Berkeley Early Music Festival in California. The sound of his bagpipe also awoke the astronauts every morning on a recent space shuttle mission.Tom teaches at recorder and early music workshops throughout the US and is on the faculty of the Wellesley College.
Dr. Sara Funkhouser attended the Juilliard and Manhattan Schools of Music, where she studied oboe with Harold Gomberg, and Baroque oboe with Ku Ebbinge at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague and recorder with Saskia Coolen in Amsterdam. She resides in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where she performs on Baroque oboe and recorder with a number of early music ensembles: Dallas Bach Society, Fort Worth Early Music, Texas Baroque Ensemble, Texas Bach Choir (San Antonio), Dayton Bach Society (Ohio), Sarabande (Washington, D.C). She now teaches recorder at the University of North Texas.
Barrett Sills, a prizewinning cellist, has also played viola da gamba for the past ten years. He has performed with many baroque groups in Texas, and will join La Folia this year. Sills holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Yale University, where he studied cello with Aldo Parisot and Janos Starker.
Susan leads the Dallas Consort of Viols and is south central regional coordinator for the Viola da Gamba Society of America. A Dallas area player for more than 20 years, she has taught viols (especially beginners) at the Toot since 1986. In real life, she is an editor and writer on the national pages of the United Methodist Reporter, and is a member of the Toot Board of Directors.
Bruce Brogdon studied classical guitar at the University of St. Thomas. His interest in early music led him to take up the lute, and he has studied privately and in masterclasses with Paul O'Dette and Pat O'Brien. Bruce has performed with the Texas Baroque Ensemble, the Green Mountain Consort, the Houston Baroque Ensemble, the Texas Early Music Project, La Follia Austin Baroque, Ars Lyrica Houston (based at University of Houston), and Aquinas, the resident ensemble of the University of St. Thomas.
Bruce leads his own group, Canzonetta, which specializes in plucked string continuo (lutes, guitars, and harp), and features music of the 16th and 17th centuries.
Ms. Baxter's resume as a professional in the field of early harp includes performances of harp literature from the 12th through 18th centuries on a wide variety of historical harps. Becky has performed at events such as: the National Harp Society Convention, Houston Grand Opera's productions of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo and L'Incoronazione di Poppea (including subsequent broadcasts on NPR), the Boston Early Music Festival, the Round Top Early Music Festival, the Texas Early Music Festival, the Amherst Early Music Festival, and the Historical Harp Society Conference/Workshops.
In addition to her full-time career in church music as Associate Director of music and organist at Clear Lake Presbyterian Church in Houston, Texas and as a pedal harp performer and teacher, Ms. Baxter currently serves on the faculty of the Amherst Early Music Festival and the Texas Early Music Festival. Her first recording on the Dorian label is titled O Lux Beata, Renaissance Harp Music (DOR 93193.) She also appears as a guest artist with Chatham Baroque on another Dorian CD, Españoleta (DOR 90284.) Both recordings went up in the shuttle with astronaut Bill McArthur in Fall of 2000.
Dr. Frank Shirley holds a Master of Music degree in musicology from the University of Texas, where as a Ph.D. in mathematics he teaches courses in math for non-math majors. He has performed in early music ensembles in Ithaca NY, Dallas, and Austin, and has taught for several years at the Fall and Summer Toots. He has studied recorder in workshops with Saskia Coolen, Reine-Marie Verhagen, and Aldo Abreu. In addition, Dr. Shirley has performed as a bass chorister in the UT Early Music Ensemble, the Austin Civic Chorus, the Victoria Bach Festival, and the Dallas area Renaissance Polyphony Weekend.
Jan Jackson, director of Passing Measures, has been directing and performing with professional and educational Early Music ensembles in Central Texas for over 30 years. She has participated in various Early Music festivals and Renaissance faires around the country and in numerous workshops, including those at Amherst College and the Professional Recorder Program at Indiana University.
Ms. Jackson has performed with the Texas Early Music Project, in addition to directing and performing with Passing Measures (medieval, renaissance, and baroque repertoire), Timely Treasures (harp/recorder duo with early music and celtic repertoire) and currently with the Worthy Waites of Whimsey.
She has served on the National Board of Directors for the American Recorder Society and on the Educational Committee for that organization. A registered Suzuki recorder instructor, she is a charter member of the American Recorder Teachers Association, was a member of its board of directors and the chair person for ARTA's Scholarship Committee. She has served as a faculty member for the Armstrong Community Music School (South Austin), and the Texas TOOT (formerly Texas Early Music Festival). She teaches in students' homes, at workshops, with the Lifetime Learning Institute, and privately at her studio, the Academie of Musick (North Central Austin).
Award-winning director, international performer, and recording artist Daniel Johnson has been the artistic director of the Texas Early Music Project since its inception in 1987. Johnson has performed and toured both as a soloist and ensemble member in such groups as the New York Ensemble for Early Music, Sotto Voce (San Francisco), and Musa Iberica. He can be heard on various recordings for Koch International, Foné Records (Rome), Amherst Festival Productions, and the Texas Early Music Project label.
Johnson was the director of the UT Early Music Ensemble, one of the largest and most active in the U.S., from 1986-2003. In 1998, he was awarded Early Music America's Thomas Binkley Award for university ensemble directors. He is also the recipient of the 1997 Quattelbaum Award at the College of Charleston. Johnson teaches master classes in performance practice and also serves on the faculty, staff, and the Executive Advisory Board of the Amherst Early Music Festival. He has been on the faculty of the Texas Toot since 1994.
Web work by Bent Sound Research, based heavily on the work of Westryn Internet Services.