about us

We are a band of multi-instrumentalists dedicated to bringing engaging concerts to young people. Started in 2009 as an educational group at Rice University in Houston, Texas, we have shared our enthusiasm for historical music and instruments to over 100,000 people in the last eight years. Our most recent collaborations have been with Young Audiences and Ars Lyrica Houston who helped us expand our outreach through programs at the Hobby Center and schools throughout the city.

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why outreach?

Outreach is an opportunity for students to hear from the people most passionate about specific areas of study. When we visit schools, we get to share our love for history through the sounds and instruments from the Renaissance and students get to experience a piece of history that still survives to this day. We hope to spark the imaginations of young people as they see and hear these living relics and learn about what life was like when society considered instruments to be the highest form of technology. We bring fifteen Renaissance instruments to every outreach performance and we explain their individual mechanisms, the materials used to make them, and how they were utilized in the Renaissance. Unlike other aspects of history, music actualizes a connection to the past which engages students on an experiential level.


"Renaissance Rock"

In "Renaissance Rock," we introduce students to more than fifteen fascinating wind and string instruments of the Renaissance. Through a lighthearted, varied, and highly interactive program featuring consort music from England, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, students explore the uniquely modular sound and instrumentation possibilities inherent to Renaissance music and instruments. The highlight is a “mixed consort” presentation, in which we invite students to participate by suggesting and hearing different instrument combinations for the dance tunes they get to know. When space permits, the students even get up and learn several simple Renaissance dances themselves, which allows them to connect with the music on a physical level and enhances their understanding of Renaissance culture. Students will leave excited about history, having thought critically about the similarities and differences between music's important societal roles in Renaissance and its roles in our own society.

Program Goals:

  1. To introduce students to the mechanics of universal musical concepts such as vibration, resonance, and pitch; to explore the basic building blocks of Western musical language (common to both Renaissance and modern popular styles), i.e., rhetoric, mood ("affekt"), and compositional form 
  2. To allow students to connect with music physically through dance, thereby enhancing their understanding of the link between physical movement and musical gesture
  3. To challenge the students to vividly engage with history through examining different period instruments, hearing stories about other time periods, and experiencing cultural diversity through comparing and contrasting music and dances of Spain, Italy, France, and England.
  4. To become aware of music as a means of expressing a wide variety of emotions and ideas. This encourages tolerance in our hugely diverse society of differing opinions, and helps students recognize and articulate complex emotions in a welcoming yet intellectually stimulating environment.