Early music, morris dancing for the end of the year (and the beginning)

Tomorrow, December 28, the Bouwerie Boys, our local men’s Morris side, will dance with Ring o’ Bells (the local women’s side) and Half Moon Sword at the Pound & Pence pub at 55 Liberty Street, in a belated Boxing Day celebration. Seven o’clock; come prepared to drink beer.

On December 29, two free performances by Piffaro at the Cloisters, 1 and 3 o’clock. Ooh, look, neat work behind that Education link: about Renaissance music structures, the band’s instruments, and with (of course) sound samples. Well done, friends! (I can’t add them here, but go listen to the shawm samples.) Anyway, I’ve caught their short Christmas-season concerts in the Fuentiduena Chapel several times, and it’s always beautiful and fun. The music sounds extra-fabulous in the small Romanesque chapel.

For the 400th anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, a free performance with participants from up and down the East Coast, organized as the Green Mountain Project. Sunday, January 3, at 7:00 at St. Mary the Virgin on West 46th Street.

And if that’s not enough Vespers for you, ARTEK is lead ensemble in another performance, at St. Ignatius Loyola on Park Avenue, Wednesday, January 20, at 8:00. Not free but not too terribly pricey either.

Also cheap, also bound to be fun, the APAP (Association of Professional Arts Presenters) showcase put on by GEMS on Sunday, January 10, at 7:00 at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church on 55th Street. This is a wonderful space for early music; I couldn’t believe how perfectly the plucked strings sounded at last year’s showcase. Six groups for five bucks; seriously, how can you beat that?

And shapenote in the offing: Lower East Side singing on Saturday, January 2, 2-5 at the Living Room on Ludlow Street as usual, and second Sunday singing on Sunday, January 10, at St. Paul’s Church in Carroll Gardens, 2-5:00 with potluck after.

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