Texas Early Music Project

Organizational Overview

Texas Early Music Project
2905 San Gabriel
Austin, 78705

Mission Statement

Founded in 1987 by Daniel Johnson, Texas Early Music Project (TEMP) celebrates creations of times past for their ability to connect with modern lives and modern needs. Our concerts are filled with period instruments and singing expressing the passions, loves, fears, and humor of people from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and early Classical periods.

Under this over-arching mission, TEMP seeks to support Austin Early Music artists, establish Austin as an international center of Early Music, and bring the joy and beauty of world-class Early Music performance to our Austin audience.

TEMP's cultural identity includes adherence to historically informed performance practice from 10th century chant to early 18th century romanticism, using authentic reproductions of historical instruments.

In addition, TEMP retains a primary goal to educate a younger and more diverse audience on the genre of Early Music from both a historical and aesthetic perspective.

This Season: Texas Early Music Project features 6 concerts per season, ending with the PHENOMENAL Monteverdi Vespers of 1610!!! Here's a summary of this season's concerts:

1. September 2016: TEMP kicked off the 2016-17 season with the critically-acclaimed "Pathways to Bach" concert, in which we performed music by the genius predecessors of Johann Sebastian Bach: Dieterich Buxtehude and Heinrich Schütz.

3. December 2016: Always a popular concert, this past December's "An Early Christmas" concert continued the successful season in the box office as TEMP enthralled audiences with its unique renderings of both ancient and familiar Christmas carols from across Europe.

4. February: "Love's Grand: The Sweet Delights of Baroque Opera" concert features music from opera's intimate beginnings in the late 16th century through the High Baroque. Experience the beauty, brilliance, and passion that the best composers in Italy, France, and England instilled in opera, with music by Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Purcell, Handel, Rameau, and others!

5. March: "Notre Dame Cathedral, c. 1200": From the beginnings of opera, we step back 400 years to around 1200, when the Notre Dame school of polyphony was prominent in mastering the change from single-voice chant to three- and four-part polyphony. Our all-men's chorus from TEMP performs this stunning, meditative, joyous music at St. Mary's Cathedral and First Presbyterian Church.

6. May: "Monteverdi 1610": We end this season with a phenomenal concert, Monteverdi's monumental masterpiece, the Vespers of 1610. This grand, extravagant work features TEMP's soloists, full choir, and period orchestra, with international stars as well as local favorites performing this incredible fusion of Renaissance and Baroque music that is both intimate and majestic. Monteverdi was a major figure in the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque, and his 1610 Vespers includes elements of both musical eras as well as a few future developments. This collection is universally considered to be one of the 'Greatest Hits' of western music history, and like many classics, it transcends its own era to reach into our own. Monteverdi's timeless genius is on full display in TEMP's spectacular end to the 2016-17 season.

TEMP is engaging in a very timely season called...It's About Time! Here are some sneak previews from the array of concerts and projects you can anticipate for the upcoming season:

1. We are beginning with a brilliant concert of "Paris City Limits"! By popular demand, we bring back our concert of exciting dances, popular folksongs, dazzling chansons, and heartfelt songs of love and melancholy by the masters and by some relative unknowns, featuring even more of Janequin's spectacularly pictorial chansons.

2. TEMP is boldly going where no TEMP has gone before (well, since 2002) with a revised version of an original work by Danny Johnson (with Meredith Ruduski.) Featuring TEMP soloists, orchestra, and professional dancers and actors, this amazing staged work incorporates music from ancient to modern times in a love story set throughout the centuries. New and old unite as our modern day characters meet and reconnect with an unexpected past in this moving, imaginative work. It's About Time… for February, 2018.

3. In addition to these concerts and our "Early Christmas" concert, TEMP will be presenting 3 more concerts in our 2017-2018 season: Details forthcoming!

TEMP Outreach is back with a new program in addition to our current favorite, "A History of Music in 30 Minutes." This new program, "24 Italian Hits" features historically accurate performances of selections from the famed "24 Italian Art Songs and Arias", standard solos every high school and junior high school in Texas uses for UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest. Our group of professional musicians perform historically-accurate performances of these pieces in a hilariously modern, wacky story. It is a surefire favorite for schools everywhere and helps educate and engage students in their musical studies.

To further expand on our lively Outreach in the virtual world as well as in schools in the Austin area, TEMP has continued its popular "Music History Shorts" to wild reviews by students and teachers alike! Check us out here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TxEarlyMusicProject

Impact Statement


Hailed as a "musical alchemist," our Artistic Director Danny Johnson revitalizes ancient and often obscure works in engaging arrangements for voices and period instruments.Texas Early Music Project is the only performing arts organization in Texas that presents music from the entire 700 year scope of the Early Music genre, including several ethnic and folk traditions (e.g., Hispanic, Sephardic, and Celtic).

Each concert season, TEMP delivers at least thirteen performances of Early Music repertoire to the Austin community, featuring renowned vocalists and instrumentalists gathered from central Texas and around the world (see http://www.early-music.org/2015-2016-season/ for this season's concert schedule).

TEMP's concerts are regularly recommended by the Statesman and the Austin Chronicle. TEMP has consistently gained critical acclaim, with concerts and artists winning seven of twenty nominations for Austin Critics Table awards.


In 2014, with the support of an Austin Community Fund (ACF) grant, we expanded our educational outreach directly into local schools with a series of in-school "mini-concerts", a project we labeled "BEMAS" (Bringing Early Music to Austin Schools).The aim of the BEMAS project is to expose youth to musical genres that are the foundation of western classical music and promote understanding and enjoyment of early and classical music.

In 2014-2015, TEMP delivered five in-school BEMAS concerts to area schools (Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and AISD's Bowie High School). The average attendance was approximately 70 students per performance, with 30% interested in attending future early music concerts outside of school hours.

In 2016-17, TEMP has continued our educational outreach program with the help of the Susan Anderson Kerr Scholarship.

"I knew nothing about early music before I went to my first TEMP concert. I assumed that there was piano there. Since I play the piano, all I know is classical music, the violins and the pianos. After 5 concerts, I come to know early music, its style and its instruments. I especially love how TEMP divides different concert into different regions-it just makes the whole program more exotic and more interesting to hear." -Coco Chu, Kerr Scholar, 2016

Begun in 2013 as a scholarship to help specific students attend TEMP performances throughout the season, this scholarship has since evolved into a more far-reaching program where our Outreach Ensemble visits different schools in the Austin area, thus effecting a far larger group of young minds than before.

This year, Texas Early Music Project has 1 major program geared to our schools:

• TEMP's A Brief History of Music in Western Europe: Our Artistic Director and founder of Texas Early Music Project, Daniel Johnson, gives a brief overview of the development of music in Western Europe over six centuries in an entertaining lecture-recital format. TEMP's group of 10-12 singers and instrumentalists perform various pieces as examples during the lecture. The lecture-performance is followed by a 10-minute Q&A session. Running time: 45 minutes.

Next year, we intend to introduce an additional program into our repertoire which is geared to our junior high and high school choir students:

• TEMP's 24 Italian Hits! Available beginning the fall semester 2017. TEMP's ensemble of 4-5 professional singers and a small continuo ensemble gives an authentic, entertaining performance of selections from the famous 24 Italian Art Songs and Arias, a staple of every Solo & Ensemble Contest in the state of Texas. This Outreach program is especially tailored to school choirs and voice students. Running time: 45 minutes.

Having a more varied selection from our Outreach 'menu' will help us continue to reach and positively affect a greater number of students in the Austin area. We're looking forward to meeting more students and teachers and introducing them to their musical roots!

Needs Statement

Generally, TEMP seeks to expand our audience through increased advertising and frequency of concerts, as well as performing in more venues in the upcoming season.

In particular, the Monteverdi concert at the end of this season is especially important in helping fund the rest of our year and drive up our audiences for the upcoming season. Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 marks a new level of professionalism for TEMP; in addition to this being the 450 anniversary of Monteverdi's birth, this will be the first time TEMP and only TEMP will be performing this piece. In the past, a work of this size and grandeur required a combination of forces from other ensembles. This time, we are providing a 100% TEMP performance!

The success of this concert is essential in determining the success of our next season, and we need help to cover the cost of advertising, artist costs, and other related expenses for this concert. Further, TEMP will be allotting 100 tickets (each at a $30 value) to students in various schools in the Austin area to increase our diversity and appeal to our younger generation of Austinites. Your support during this campaign helps enable us to make this happen and increase our student attendees for future concerts in the upcoming season.

Secondly, and of no less importance is continuing the process of to development and expansion for our Educational Outreach program for 2017-2018. TEMP seeks funding to continue this well-received and valuable program to continue our educational mission of bringing early music to Austin area students. This upcoming season, we plan on initiating 2 different educational concerts to our Austin area schools, and we need your help to make these plans a reality. Any amount helps!

Here are a few ways your donation can make a difference to TEMP:

$5-$199 Helps with office supplies and program printing

$200-$499 Helps cover venue rental costs and website maintenance

$500-$999 Assists with artist compensation

$1,000-$4,999 Assists in director compensation

$5,000- $9,999 Sponsors a concert (both in our season and in our educational outreach)

Can help underwrite the 2017-18 TEMP concert season!

"I knew nothing about early music before I went to my first TEMP concert. I assumed that there was piano there. Since I play the piano, all I know is classical music, the violins and the pianos. After 5 concerts, I come to know early music, its style and its instruments. I especially love how TEMP divides different concert into different regions-it just makes the whole program more exotic and more interesting to hear." -Coco Chu, Kerr Scholar, 2016

"The Sunday matinee was as packed as I'd ever seen a Texas Early Music Project concert. Extra seating was brought in to accommodate folks in the center walkway. A triumph of Sunday afternoon timing, no doubt, but also a testament to the long memory of TEMP audiences who appreciate the pure slapstick joy and the musicality of these neat mini operas." "Music review: Texas Early Music's 'London City Limits'," Luke Quinton, Austin-American Statesman, Feb 2016

"The gratitude and joy in this concert of songs honoring the Virgin Mary, St. James, and God's creation was infectious, and made all the more so by stellar musicianship from the instrumentalists and divine vocals by a female choir." Robert Faires, "Top Ten Dance/Classical Music Treasures", Austin Chronicle, January 1, 2016

"As founder and artistic director of the Texas Early Music Project [Daniel Johnson] . . . an early-music specialist of international renown . . . has been and remains the foremost cultivator of our taste in the music of the medieval, Renaissance, and baroque periods . . . he has ensured that [early-music] will be heard and treasured for generations." -Austin Chronicle

"Thank you and all the people at TEMP--what a wonderful concert we got to hear on Wednesday! I've had so many students and teachers tell me how much they enjoyed the beautiful music, and how much they appreciate the time that the musicians shared with us… I have to tell you that more than several folks have said 'Please have them come back.' Students and staff really fell in love with the music, and the musicians!"
-Jane Rundquist, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

"For more than two decades, TEMP has been Austin's ambassador to lesser-known medieval, Renaissance, and baroque music, celebrating with each performance a spirit of discovery for performer and listener alike." -Austin Chronicle

"Only Danny [Johnson] would mix Gregorian chant with 'Classical Gas' with fiddle tunes and do it in a way that the audience sees the connections." -Laurie Stevens
Texas Early Music Project looks for motivated, passionate music-lovers in the Austin area to help out with a number of activities. Please contact us at info@early-music.org for more information.