This Sunday, Enjoy a Renaissance Music Christmas

Enjoy a the enchanting and delicate sounds of olden times during a holiday-inspired concert Dec. 4 from 3-4pm in Marvin Auditorium during A Renaissance Music Christmas.

Castle & Cross Consort, Topeka’s early music ensemble, performs holiday tunes on the recorders and folk harp, as well as the krumhorn, a capped-double reed (similar to a bag pipe) instrument, and psaltery, an early stringed instrument that is triangular in shape and played with a bow. Hear the sounds of chimes and the glockenspiel too.

The musicians promise a relaxing experience with a mix of Renaissance, Celtic and some contemporary original pieces – a nice change of pace during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

“When it comes to the carols, we often bring several versions together to create variety. One very nice example is our version of ‘In the Bleak Midwinter.’ We start off with a very traditional version of the Gustav Holst piece for recorder trio with harp accompaniment. We then use the harp to change keys, and I take off with a lovely version for harp solo. It ends with the trio joining the harp for the final verse while melding the harp version with the more traditional one,” James Mosher, musician and librarian, said.

This concert is part of our Music for a Sunday Afternoon live music series held periodically throughout the year.

Artists in Castle & Cross Consort include a doctor of metaphysics, an avid racquetball player, a nationally recognized quilt artist and a stained glass artist. The individuals in this unique group are all expert musicians.

”We got together in 1988 for a one-time performance, or so we thought. Our founder, Elizabeth Nichols, one of the original eight founders of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association which promotes the Orff school of music education, recruited us as the entertainment for a Renaissance feast, and we’re still playing together.”

The word “consort” describes a family of instruments, in this case, the recorder family (sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, and bass) to which other instruments can be added. Another often-used consort would be viols, early stringed instruments which look like a string bass (with the sloped shoulders).





A public relations professional, editor and writer, Lisa shares the library story in her blog posts, in the bimonthly Library News, and media interviews. A self-described social media and news nut, Lisa harnesses that passion to raise awareness and understanding of the library's vital role in this community.