Janet E. Scott, historical keyboards
Harpsichordist Janet Scott has been active as a soloist and continuo player for over twenty-five years, performing in Canada, the United States, England, and Austria. Among her teachers are the well-known British scholar and harpsichordist, Colin Tilney, and Elisabeth Wright, the distinguished professor of harpsichord and forte piano at the Early Music Institute, Indiana University, where Janet earned her Masters degree in Harpsichord Performance. In addition to being a recipient of numerous Canadian government Arts Grants, she was a founding member of two baroque ensembles, served as manager of a baroque orchestra, was the artistic director of a summer music series, and toured the province of Nova Scotia, performing at historical churches in the famed Canadian concert series, Musique Royale.
She now lives in Bloomington, Indiana with her husband, harpsichord maker David Jensen, where she is a sound recording cataloger for the William & Gayle Cook Music Library at Indiana University. She is also a church organist, gives harpsichord lessons privately, performs regularly with the Fort Wayne Bach Collegium, and freelances with ensembles in the U.S. and in Ontario. In November of 2011 she will be performing in Vancouver with the early music group ¡Sacebuche! A keen amateur viol player, Janet is the editor of the Viola da Gamba Society News, the Society’s quarterly newsletter.
Phillip W. Serna, viola da gamba
Phillip W. Serna has performed on double bass with numerous Midwest orchestras and chamber ensembles including the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, New Philharmonic Orchestra, the Northshore Camerata, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and many others. Phillip also performs on viola da gamba with Early Music ensembles including Ars Antigua, the Chicago Early Music Consort, Duo fantaisie en Echo, the Fort Wayne Bach Collegium, the Newberry Consort of Viols, New Comma Baroque, the Secret of the Muses, the Spirit of Gambo – a Chicago Consort of Viols, the Third Coast Viols and many others.
On viol, he continues to appear across the Midwest as a viol pedagogue, as a recitalist performing old works and premiering new works for viol, as a concert soloist performing concerti by Telemann and others, as well as a soloist performing works by Buxtehude and Bach including Bach’s Sonatas, St. Matthew Passion, Brandenburg Concerto No.6 and Cantatas 76, 106 & 198. Phillip is the founder and music director of the Early Music outreach program Viols in Our Schools, Early Music America’s Outreach Award recipient of 2010. In addition to teaching privately around the Chicago area, Phillip is instructor of double bass and viola da gamba at Valparaiso University.
Phillip holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Masters and Doctorate degrees from Northwestern University School of Music where he studied double bass with Michael Hovnanian and DaXun Zhang as well as viola da gamba with Newberry Consort founder Mary Springfels.
Sheila Smyth, Baroque violin
Sheila Smyth, baroque violin, is a busy performer in and around Toronto with many ensembles and orchestras, both baroque and modern, on violin, viola and treble viola da gamba. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance degree from the University of Toronto and has undertaken further modern training in New York with Burton Kaplan. Her baroque studies have included masterclasses and lessons with Marilyn McDonald, Robert Mealy, Mark Destrubé and Elizabeth Blumenstock, among others. She is principal violist of Nota Bene Baroque and Opera York, and assistant principal violist of Talisker Players, the Choral Music Orchestra. Sheila is a frequent guest soloist with the Toronto Continuo Collective and Scaramella, and has performed in the Luminato festival and Grand River Baroque Festival. She has been heard live in performance with the Emperor Quartet on CBC Radio 2 and CFMX Radio, and is a founding member of Musathena and the Cardinal Consort of Viols.
Valerie Sylvester, Baroque violin
Valerie Sylvester received a Master’s Degree in violin performance from the Mannes School of Music in New York after completing undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto. Her early music studies have taken her to almost all of the baroque masterclass workshops in North America and lessons with many of the leading early music specialists. She is concertmaster of the Niagara Symphony, Talisker Players (‘The Choral Orchestra’), and the orchestra of Opera York. As a baroque violinist she has performed with various ensembles throughout Ontario, including Aradia, Opera Atelier, and Tafelmusik. She is a founding member of Nota Bene Baroque Orchestra and is a frequent guest soloist with the Toronto Continuo Collective. She is a co-founder of the baroque chamber groups ‘Musick’s Hand-maid’, ‘Coprario’s Musique’, and ‘Musathena’. She also plays bass viola da gamba and performs frequently with the Cardinal Consort of Viols.