Texas Early Music Project

Amplify Day Goal: $10,000.00

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, and we are only halfway through! Here's a summary of this season's concerts, past, present, and future:

1. TEMP kicked off the 2015-2016 season with the critically-acclaimed "Convivencia Re-Envisioned" concert, in which we explored many of the cross-cultural ties and themes that connected the three great cultures of early Spain: Muslim, Jewish, and Christian. The concert included two historically accurate 3-D videos in an immersive depiction of the medieval Spanish city of Plasencia, directed by Dr. Roger L. Martínez-Dávila, an academic historian at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

2. In October, our "Medieval Pilgrimage in Iberia" program was praised by Robert Faires, Arts Editor for The Austin Chronicle: "North Austin has never been so satisfying as when the Texas Early Music Project led this listener on a Medieval Pilgrimage in Iberia. TEMP Artistic Director Danny Johnson's program of songs from the middle Ages celebrated the Virgin Mary, St. James, and God's creation with an infectious gratitude and joy, its uplifting nature buoyed even more by the stellar musicianship of its instrumentalists and divine vocals by a female choir, featuring angelic solos by Jenifer Thyssen, Stephanie Prewitt, and Nina Revering."

3. Always a popular concert, this past December's "An Early Christmas" concert broke TEMP box office records and enthralled audiences with the lovely acoustic renderings of ancient, familiar Christmas carols across Europe. Here's a short snippet of a rehearsal for one of our beautiful arrangements of the French carol, "Noel Nouvelet": https://www.facebook.com/TexasEarlyMusicProject/videos/10153806352021926/

4. February: "London City Limits: Opera on the Thames" concert promises to be a smash hit! Featuring the enchanting music of Henry Purcell and an original plot by TEMP's storytellers, this fully staged opera pastiche is a magical combination! Purcell! Camping trips! Fairies! Love! What will happen?

5. April: TEMP's sweet "Dutch Treat: The Golden Age of the Netherlands"! The small but powerful and incredibly artistically influential Lowlands developed many of the foremost composers, musicians, and artists of the Renaissance and early Baroque. From Amsterdam to Flanders, we'll sample as much as we can from the courts, churches, and street songs! With guests Mary Springfels (viola da gamba) and others.

6. "Paris City Limits: Chansons, Dances, and the Birds" concludes our 2015-16 season with a delightfully fresh and French concert! We visit the popular music of Paris from the mid-16th century: exciting dances, popular folk songs, dazzling chansons, and heartfelt songs of love by the masters and by some relative unknowns! With guests Mary Springfels (viola da gamba), Peter Maund (percussion), and Ryland Angel (countertenor).

Educational Expansion: TEMP has created a Youtube series we are calling Music History Shorts! This 3 minute online program is geared to students and Early Music fans alike.

TEMP is engaging in a season of new beginnings! Here are some of the concerts and projects you can anticipate for the upcoming season:

1. We are beginning with a brilliant concert of "Pathways to Bach"! Johann Sebastian Bach, one of the most famous composers in the realm of German Baroque, was truly "standing on the shoulders of giants." We celebrate those famous predecessors of Bach in this brilliant Baroque beginning of our 2016-2017 season.

2. TEMP is boldly going where no TEMP has gone before with a brand new Studio CD recording! This much-anticipated recording will feature some of the greatest TEMP musical moments captured and professionally engineered to give our audiences a jaw-droppingly beautiful rendition of some of the finest Early Music ever performed. Come be a part of our team and help make this CD happen!

3. 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: Original and Uncut" features historically accurate performances of the famed "24 Italian Art Songs and Arias" every high school and junior high school in Texas uses for UIL Solo & Ensemble Contests. Our group of professionals performs historically-accurate performances of these pieces, along with explanations of the pieces, both musically and historically. It is a surefire favorite for schools everywhere and helps educate and engage students in their musical studies.

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 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. most recently, TEMP was listed at number 4 in Austin Chronicle's "Top Ten Dance/Classical Music Treasures of 2015", by Robert Faires.

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 wishes to continue our educational outreach program with the help of interested donors and grants.

Needs Statement

TEMP seeks to expand our audience through increased advertising and frequency of concerts, as well as creating a studio CD recording in 2017.
The concert beginning our season is especially important in helping fund the rest of our year.
We are beginning the 2016-2017 season with a concert entitled "Pathways to Bach," which celebrates the beautiful works of Bach's predecessors, many of whom contributed their own unique, indelible mark on musical history as we know it. The first concert of our season is often the biggest endeavor we do for the season, and we need funding to make this happen.

Secondly, but of no less importance is reviving our Educational Outreach program for 2016-2017. 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.
1. First, is our original and very entertaining outreach presentation of "A History of Music in 45 Minutes." In this program, we sweep through 700 years of music in a fun and engaging lecture-performance with authentic period instruments and voices.
2. TEMP's singers and instrumentalists are bringing the UIL Solo and Ensemble music to new life in a program we call, "24 Italian Hits: Original and Uncut." In this performance, we bring the solos and ensemble music every high school choir student sings to new life in a historically-informed musical performance and explanation of the pieces. A surefire favorite!

We need your help to make these plans a reality. Any amount Helps!

Can cover program and ticket processing costs of concerts

Can help with travel expenses for visiting artists throughout the season

Can provide a concert stipend for one of TEMP's premier musicians

Can assist TEMP's educational efforts for concerts in local schools

Can help underwrite the 2016-2017 TEMP concert season!

"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