The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Immediate

NOTE TO EDITORS: Elizabeth Aubrey, director of the Collegium Musicum, may be reached at (319) 335-1623, or by e-mail at <>.

UI Collegium Musicum will include music by Hildegard on 'Christmastide' concert Dec. 5

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Collegium Musicum, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of the music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque eras, will present its fall performance at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at the First Presbyterian Church, 2701 Rochester Avenue, Iowa City. The concert, "Chistmastide in Town and Abbey," will be free and open to the public.

The program will feature music of England, Germany and France from the 11th through the 16th centuries. Elizabeth Aubrey, professor of musicology in the UI School of Music, will direct.

Members of the Collegium Musicum will gather in the Fellowship Hall of First Presbyterian Church after the concert to play and sing traditional carols with members of the audience who wish to share in an informal celebration of the Christmas season.

For one portion of the concert, a group of women will sing liturgical chants on the subject of Christ and the Virgin Mary by the 12th-century German mystic Hildegard of Bingen. The abbess of the convent at Rupertsberg, Hildegard was the composer of chant known for its florid melodies, a prolific writer of mystic texts and scientific treatises, and advisor to some of the most powerful political and ecclesiastical figures of medieval Europe.

The recent revival of popular interest in liturgical chant has led to a re-discovery of the music of Hildegard, who is one of the earliest identified women composers in European history. The observation this year of the 900th anniversary of her birth has contributed to the growing popularity of her music.

A choral ensemble will sing sacred motets from the monastic office of Christmas Day by the 16th-century English composer William Byrd. Byrd's music is revered for its beautifully interwoven counterpoint and rich harmonies. It is a remarkable evidence of Byrd's greatness as a composer that he could be successful in militantly Protestant England, in spite of his own devout Catholic beliefs.

More light-hearted works will be performed by singers and instrumentalists of the Collegium, including settings by Michael Praetorius of the well-known carol "In dulci jubilo," and several early English carols. Instruments will include recorders, violas da gamba, flutes, cornetts and sackbuts.

Known internationally as a scholar and performer of early music, Aubrey will be featured in the performance of a medieval song that portrays an imagined conversation between Mary and the baby Jesus as she rocks him in the cradle. Aubrey has directed the Collegium Musicum since 1982.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at