Ars Lyrica’s primary educational goal is to make early music engaging and accessible for young people who would otherwise seldom encounter live classical music.
To help children experience the world of early music, Ars Lyrica has developed several educational outreach programs for schools. “Harp History” traces the development of the harp from the Middle Ages to modern times and is specifically designed for K-5 students to address and enhance the requirements of STAAR (State of Texas Assessment of Academic Resources) standards. “Renaissance Rock” introduces K-12 students to period dances plus an array of period instruments including recorders, shawms, crumhorns, and bagpipes. Both are interactive in nature and designed to connect children intellectually and physically with an earlier culture. The expansion of educational outreach is one of major goals for Ars Lyrica. The success of “Harp History” and “Renaissance Rock” has inspired Ars Lyrica staff to develop a bilingual program in 2016 titled "Songs from the Heart," which introduces K-12 students to early vocal literature and period instruments.
Learn MORE about our programs and artists below!
In "Renaissance Rock," the Crumhorn Collective introduces students to more than fifteen fascinating wind and string instruments of the Renaissance. Through a lighthearted, varied, and highly interactive program featuring dance and consort music from England, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, students explore the uniquely modular sound and instrumentation possibilities inherent to Renaissance music and instruments. The highlight is a “mixed consort” presentation, in which students are invited to participate by suggesting and hearing different instrument combinations for the dance tunes they get to know. When space permits, the students even get up and learn several simple Renaissance dances themselves, which allows them to connect with the music on a physical level and enhances their understanding of Renaissance culture. Students will leave excited about history, having thought critically about the similarities and differences between music's important societal roles in Renaissance and its roles in our own society.
In addition to in-school presentations, "Renaissance Rock" is also offered on the Hobby Center for Performing Art's annual Discovery Series. Click Here for More Details
Therese Honey presents "Harp History", a demonstration program about the evolution of the harp through medieval, Renaissance and modern times. It gives the students an appreciation for how the harp produces musical sound and for changes in the appearance and sound of the harp over time. The program is designed for groups of K through 5 students and includes a brief “hands-on” section.
Songs from the Heart
"Songs from the Heart," introduces K-12 students to early vocal literature and period instruments. This bilingual program, designed for big assemblies and curated by bilingual mezzo-soprano Cecilia and percussionist Jesus Manuel, will feature solo vocal works in various languages and styles (with special emphasis on Spanish and Latin American repertoire) accompanied by percussion and continuo instruments.
A smaller vocal residency, designed to give students with some musical experience a better understanding of the history of song, will include individual coaching and give students the opportunity to improve their performing skills and knowledge about early music.
Ars Lyrica introduced "Songs from the Heart" to selected public schools in the Houston area during spring 2015 semester; the program was recently featured during the Heights Kids Day of Music.
To book an Outreach Performance in your school, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ars Lyrica's office at 713-622-7443.
Ars Lyrica houston partners with The Arts Access Initiative to ensure equitable arts access for every K-8 Houston Independent School District student
Young Artists in Residence:
The "Crumhorn Collective" was founded in 2009 as a completely student-run renaissance band based at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. They have since gathered a sizable following through frequent outreach performances, concerts at private events, and lecture recitals, all performed on combinations of crumhorns, recorders, bagpipes, cornemuses, shawms, dulcian, viols, hurdy-gurdy, sackbut, cornetti, lute, and percussion.
With their impressive arsenal of instruments, and exceptionally energetic and interactive programs, the group has gained extensive outreach experience in many of Houston's public schools, as well as at Ars Lyrica events, and performances at The Centrum, Miller Outdoor Theatre, and on The Hobby Center's Discovery Series. In 2010 they were awarded a Richter grant for music outreach, performed at Rice University’s McMurtry College Dedication, and were honored to premier a piece written for them by renowned composer Karim Al-Zand. The Crumhorn Collective is delighted to continue their relationship with Ars Lyrica Houston as their Resident Young Artist Ensemble this season.
Cecilia Duarte appeared with Ars Lyrica Houston last February in All in a Garden Green, Songs about Springtime. She created the role of Renata in the first opera with mariachi music Cruzar la Cara de la Luna with Houston Grand Opera, touring with it to the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France, and then in later performances at Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera (revival), San Diego Opera and Arizona Opera. Cecilia is an active performer in the circle of contemporary music, and has premiered several works, such as Ethan Greene’s A Way Home (HGO and Opera Southwest), David Hanlon’s Past the Checkpoints, The Ninth November I was Hiding (HGO), and chamber pieces written by composers Mark Buller and Paul English also through HGO. An early music enthusiast, Cecilia has performed at the Oregon Bach Festival, the Festivalensemble in Stuttgart, Germany, and the Festival de Música Barroca of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, as well as performing often with the Bach Society Houston and Ars Lyrica Houston. Past performances include Zerlina in Don Giovanni (Opera in the Heights), Jessie Lydell in A Coffin in Egypt (HGO) and several operas with the University of Houston. Future performances include Harriet/First Responder in David Hanlon’s After the Storm with Houston Grand Opera in May 2016 and an Angel in G.F. Handel’s Jeptha with Ars Lyrica Houston.
Jesús Pacheco obtained his Bachelor Degree in Percussion from the Superior Conservatory in Seville, Spain. He was part of the Youth Andalusia’s Orchestra, as well as the Divan, under the baton of Michael Thomas and Baremboim respectively for several years. A versatile percussionist, he performed at the FestivalEnsemble in Stuttgart, Germany and the Bach Collegium (Stuttgart Bachakademie) under the direction of Helmut Rilling. He was a regular in the professional orchestras of the Andalusian region long before he moved to Houston.
He arrived to Houston four years ago, where he is a very prolific performer and music educator. Versatile percussionist, he has already performed with many ensembles and companies in town such like Bach Society, Mercury, Ars Lyrica, Octave Illusion, Latin American Philharmonic Orchestra, Houston Brass Band, etc. Jesús is the current Assistant Band Director at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston-TX, while keeping a really active live as a performer in the area.
Childhood fascination with the harp blossomed into an exciting and successful career as a professional harpist and recording artist for this Houston native. As a self-proclaimed “crusader for music of great heritage”, Therese Honey draws on her vast knowledge of early music history and her stunning virtuosity to bring alive for her audiences the incredibly beautiful music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque eras.
Honey’s unique specialization keeps her in demand for lectures, concerts and festival engagements across the United States. With a vast and varied repertoire that includes familiar classical and popular favorites, she is a first choice for performances at social occasions as a soloist or with chamber groups.
Therese Honey delights and entertains her listeners when she performs on any one of her collection of harps, which range in size from the modern gold Concert Grand harp to the ancient Celtic harp. Therese Honey is a specialist in Celtic and Early harps, with a background in classical pedal harp. Therese tours throughout the United States and in 1997 she performed at the 20th Annual Carolan Festival in Keadue, Co. Roscommon, Ireland.