Renaissance RegailiA

Thanks to the generous donations of Ars Lyrica in Houston, we've had access to some amazing Renaissance clothing for our outreach shows. It's interesting to learn about clothing from 500 years ago and get a chance to wear some of these historically-influenced pieces. 

Eva agreed to model for our most elaborate dress. This is by no means a complete Renaissance outfit, but you can see a few of the more important layers. (Apologies for the photos--they were taken on a smartphone)

First, we have the Chemise (shuh-meez). It's made of a light fabric with ornate sleeves and a lacy neckline that shows above the rest of the dress.

Then we have the Forepart (fohr-pahrt) which shows through the front of the dress. This particular design would have been considered a high-class dress as it has beautiful embroidery and pearls sewn into the design.

Next, the bodice is laced on. In this case, the lacing is in the back, which indicates a high-class lady. Lower class ladies more commonly had lacing in the front of the dress. Eva is also wearing a hat -- perhaps an expert can tell us the name for this specific type of hat!

The last piece we have is the Overskirt. This particular overskirt weighs approximately ten pounds and putting it on requires assistance!

Make your own double reed

We usually first introduce young people to double reeds since the Crumhorn and Dulcian are both double reed instruments. Reeds are easy to create if you have a simple drinking straw. Here's a fun craft project for young people interested in musical instruments.

Take a straw, cut one end like the picture below, and hold the straw in your mouth two to three inches down the straw. Blow forcefully so that the two sids of the reed buzz. Add holes in the straw to create pitches!

 **Credit to WikiHow -- http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Simple-Sound-Pipe-from-a-Plastic-Straw

**Credit to WikiHow -- http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Simple-Sound-Pipe-from-a-Plastic-Straw

Goodbye Houston, 2015

As the school year ends and the kids are aching for summer vacation, the Crumhorn Collective has said goodbye to an amazing three weeks in Houston. We reached approximately 8,000 kids during our time in Texas and wow, it was a crazy amount of energy! We felt great about the shows but of course, the best compliments come from the kids themselves:

"Y'all sound great!" (Gotta love the Texas y'all!)

"When the music is played together, it sounds like music!" (Well, you might not think that when we haven't warmed up)

And of course we had some funny questions:

"Are you nice?" (Hmm..not when I have to play crumhorn with no coffee)

"Is there any backstage drama?" (Well now that you mention it...)

We were deeply grateful to have the time to meet so many interesting and creative kids. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ars Lyrica Houston and to Young Audiences. We couldn't have had such a great run with out their help!