Making a Noyse in the Garden

Outdoor Concert, August 1 and 2 at 2:30pm

The Ancient Music Society of Victoria is collaborating with the Early Music Society of the Islands to present a garden concert of Outdoor Music from the Renaissance.

As we begin to emerge from the recent lockdowns, we know that the safest way to experience live music is out of doors, in a small gathering with appropriate distancing. Thanks to the generous offer of the use of a lovely and spacious garden in the Fairfield area of Victoria, we are able to present music that was written and performed four and five hundred years ago in its natural outdoor setting.

While we usually experience it nowadays in the concert hall, the “Alta Capella” or loud consort of wind instruments was primarily an outdoor ensemble in Renaissance times. It was used in celebrations of all kinds, from village dances to civic and royal ceremonials. The loud consort of local Victoria ensemble, A Great Noyse, will present music featuring sackbuts, shawms and dulcian. 

In addition to the consort music, the concert will also feature early German bagpipes. We associate bagpipes mostly with Scottish pipe bands, but the instrument was a ubiquitous outdoor instrument throughout Europe in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Its origins are ancient – the Roman emperor Nero apparently played the bagpipes, not the fiddle – and the instrument, in all its localized forms, is still a strong cultural tradition in all corners of Europe. 

Attendance will be by donation, all of the proceeds of which will go to the musicians. See the panel on the right to sign up for the concert.

COVID-19 Precautions

We take the safety of our audience and musicians seriously. While it is not possible to completely eliminate the risk of infection in any setting around other people, the concert will be carried out well within government guidelines for public gatherings and social distancing. We ask that all attendees cooperate in adhering to the measures that will be put in place for the safety of all.

In the spirit of cautious reopening, the concert will be held out of doors on a socially distanced, no-touch basis. The audience will be well under the limit of 50 for public gatherings. Audience members will be spaced out to maintain appropriate distancing. You may sit with no more than one other person in your “bubble”. We ask that you bring your own chairs or blankets to sit on the grass. No refreshments will be served, but feel free to bring along you own (and please take away your own garbage). We encourage the use of non-medical facemasks, if you are comfortable wearing one. Because of the spacing and some of the garden elements, two or three of the designated spots will have limited line of sight during the performance. Designated spots will be used on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The musicians of A Great Noyse Loud Consort are: 

Bob Fraser, bass sackbut - bass trombonist with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Bob has a masters degree in musicology and has performed with the Calgary Philharmonic and Winnipeg Symphony orchestras. He is also a long-time chorister with Christ Church Cathedral and with the Vox Humana Chamber Choir. Bob has a keen interest in early music and is a founding member of A Great Noyse. He has been a board member of the Ancient Music Society of Victoria since its inception. 

Marcus Hissen, tenor sackbut - in addition to his position as second trombone with the Victoria Symphony, Marcus runs a successful horticultural business. He has performed with orchestras throughout Canada, including the Toronto Symphony, and has been involved in the creation of several innovative music education programs He discovered the joys of early trombone ("sackbut") during the Ancient Music Society of Victoria's Piffaro workshop in 2016.

Bill Jamieson, shawms and Schaeferpfeifen (shepherds' pipes) - a symphony musician turned accountant, Bill first performed Renaissance wind consort music in university while taking a music performance degree on French horn. A longtime early music fan, he is a founding member of A Great Noyse and also performs regularly with the early folk ensemble Banquo Folk Ensemble. He was the driving force behind the formation of the Ancient Music Society of Victoria and currently sits on the board as Treasurer of the Early Music Society of the Islands.

Katrina Russell, dulcian - a graduate of the University of Victoria and the New England Conservatory of Music, Baroque bassoon specialist Katrina has performed with some of the most prestigious early music ensembles in England, Europe and North America, including the English Concert, the King's Consort, the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment, the Academy of Ancient Music and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra. She is currently a member of Victoria Baroque and is a frequent performer with the Early Music Society of the Islands.