melanie marshall’s performing
I am not primarily a performer, but music performance is an element of my research and teaching. In addition to co-ordinating the UCC Renaissance Vocal Ensemble and Early Music Ensemble courses,
bringing in Deborah Roberts to teach voice to our students, and trying to work out how to involve still more students and young people in making ‘early music’ in Cork,
I organise the odd masterclass, workshop and concert (often open to non-students too). In 2008 I joined the board of directors of East Cork Early Music. ECEM runs the annual
East Cork Early Music festival
with international, national and local performers, plus masterclasses and workshops.
I am interested in historically-informed performing practice, particularly in relation to women’s musical practices in early modern Italy,
in ensemble relationships, and in music & space. Through improvisation, I am involved in exploring different political models for ensemble organisation,
models that contrast significantly with more ‘traditional’ performing practices that use notated music & a music director.
Current performing activities
I sing on occasion with the Celestial Sirens, an ensemble directed by Deborah Roberts. We have performed at the South Bank Centre, and the
Brighton Early Music Festival, and we recently contributed to the Musica Secreta
Alessando Grandi’s motets
and will soon be recording music by Palestrina and Rore
as it might have been sung by sixteenth-century nuns. Deborah Roberts is currently inspiring me to work harder than I have done for a while, so that’s a lot of fun.
Past performing activities
I sang with the College of Clerks Choral
at St Mary’s in Youghal from its inception in January 2006 until summer 2007. Unfortunately I can no longer
commit to this regularly. I also participated as a vocal improviser in the inaugural Sonic Vigil at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork in October 2005, and performed Sarah O’Halloran's ‘Static and
Rambling Lines’ (23 and 27 April 2006) in the Glucksman Gallery.
From 2001-2005 I was a choral scholar with Cantores Michaelis in Southampton. I also sang with Lauda
, Southern Baroque
and with Moscaglia (a London ensemble, now defunct). As an undergraduate, I sang with the Edinburgh University Renaissance Singers
(and I subsequently toured with them to Italy in 1997 and England in 2000). I was also invited to join various ad hoc ensembles the names of which I no longer recall: one
such group performed Machaut’s Messe de Notre Dame for a ‘St Giles' at Six’ concert in St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh during the festival in 1995 or 1996; recorded a service
for broadcast on Scottish radio at St Andrew's and St George's Church in Edinburgh.