Join us for the 2021-2022 Seminar Series in Early Music Performance

The Highland Park Recorder Society proudly announces its 2021-2022 early music seminar series. Led by Dr. Lewis R. Baratz, there will be 8 more seminars throughout the season focusing on various topics and featuring guest artists. The seminars have been praised for “far exceeding expectations,” and Lewis’ teaching hailed as “surprising and delightful in his way of focusing on individual facets of technique and musicianship… It makes for lessons I can really take home, practice, and learn from.”

Join us as we explore and play some of the delightful and popular English country dance tunes that are among over 1,000 that John Playford compiled and began publishing in 1651. Playford later published divisions on ground basses, catches, music for lira viol, cittern, and harpsichord, as well as sacred music. 

We’ll discover some of the Playford country dances as well as two dances by his contemporary Matthew Locke. We will have the opportunity to play along with Lewis on recorder, Agnes Simkens on baroque violin, Jorge Torres on theorbo and baroque guitar, and Kathleen Scheide on harpsichord.

Everyone is welcome to attend and enjoy the presentation. All seminars will be held online and include an historical context and playing the music sent in advance. For more information and to register please visit the registration page. If you have questions, please email .

The Board of the Highland Park Recorder Society is thrilled to engage Dr. Lewis Baratz to serve a second term as Music Director of the Highland Park Recorder Society. Lewis is founder and director of the period instrument ensemble La Fiocco, and conductor of the chamber orchestra of Lafayette College. He has performed on recorder and harpsichord with the Academy of Sacred Drama, Bethlehem Baroque, the Queens Consort, MidAtlantic Opera Company, Voices Chorale, Vox Ama Deus, and La Fiocco, the period instrument ensemble that he founded in 2010.

Lewis Baratz

Dr. Lewis R. Baratz, Music Director
Date Topics Artists
10/25/21 Seminar 1: Building a Rock-Solid Recorder Technique. Lewis R. Baratz
11/15/21 Seminar 2: Playing Handel’s Sonatas for Recorder & Continuo. Lewis R. Baratz
Benjamin Berman
12/20/21 Seminar 3: Telemann’s Sonatas for Recorder & Continuo Lewis R. Baratz
Benjamin Berman
1/17/22 Seminar 4: Jacob van Eyck’s Variations on English and French Dances Lewis R. Baratz
1/22/22 Masterclass Lewis R. Baratz
2/21/22 Seminar 5: The Bird Fancier’s Delight & English Solo Preludes Lewis R. Baratz
3/21/22 Seminar 6: Intro to Early 17th c.  Music:  Rossi, Merula, and Falconieri.  Lewis R. Baratz
Benjamin Berman
Nathan Bishop
4/18/22 Seminar 7: Duet Night. Renaissance and Baroque 2-Part Music Lewis R. Baratz
Sarah Davol
5/16/22 Seminar 8: Interpreting French Baroque Music Lewis R. Baratz
Sarah Davol
6/13/22 Seminar 9: Playing Playford - The English Popular Music Tradition, 1651-1706.
Note new date.
Lewis R. Baratz
Agnes Simkens, violin
Jorge Torres, theorbo and Baroque guitar
Kathleen Scheide, harpsichord

The Highland Park Recorder Society Presents the 2021-2022 Seminar Series in Early Music Performance

  • Each seminar will meet on the 3rd Monday of each month through June 13.
  • Each seminar will run from 7:30-9:00 P.M. on Zoom.
  • There will be questions and discussion (optional) from 9:00-9:30 PM.
  • The charge for non-members for the remaining seminars is $30 each.

Sign up now!

  • Please sign up, register, and pay online or by check at least 5 days before the event.
  • To pay by check, mail your check and this printed Registration Form, indicating the number of seminars chosen, to HPRS, c/o D. Messer, 431 Lincoln Ave., Highland Park, NJ 08904. In the Check Memo indicate the purpose of the check: Seminar, &/or Membership, &/or Donation.
  • To pay online, use our online registration form
  • After registering, you will receive music and the Zoom invitation.

Online Registration

The Artists

Benjamin Berman earned the B.Mus. and M.Mus. degrees from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.  He is music director of the Presbyterian Church in Bound Brook, NJ, music director and conductor of the Hub City Opera and Dance Company and of the Highland Park Community Chorus. He has sung with the West Jersey Chamber Music Society, Makhelat Hamercaz, the Jewish Choir of Central Jersey, the Choral Arts Society of New Jersey, and the newly-formed professional choir, Vocala.  Benjamin plays harpsichord with La Fiocco, and is accompanist for the Rutgers University Queens Chorale. 

Nathan Bishop is a modern and baroque violinist, and an Irish and traditional fiddler.  He is a recent graduate of the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. He founded the Rutgers University String Ensemble (RUSE) and is conductor of the Hunterdon Music for Youth’s “Saturday Strings” Youth Orchestra Program.  In addition to performing, Nathan coaches classical and baroque violinists in traditional fiddling styles. He is currently studying the Suzuki philosophy at the School for Strings in NYC, and continues to explore the role of music education in our adaptive world. 

Sarah Davol is a nationally renowned modern and baroque oboist. She is a founding member of American Classical Orchestra, principal oboist of Vox Ama Deus Orchestra, and has been a featured soloist with Amor Artis, Bachanalia, Big Apple Baroque, Concert Royal, La Fiocco, REBEL, RYM Ensemble, Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra, Washington Bach Sinfonia, among others. Sarah has toured Germany with Apollo Ensemble and Publick Musick, and South America and Mexico with Chanticleer and Wiener Akademie with actor John Malkovich. She is director of Englewinds, an Eco-music ensemble, and is on the adjunct faculty of William Paterson University and Rutgers University.  

Agnes Simkens is a specialist in baroque and modern violin. She is a co-founder of Biber Baroque, and has performed with Rebel, Opera Lafayette, Ars Musica, and La Fiocco. She earned performance degrees from the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp, Belgium, Yale School of Music, and the D.M.A. at the Moores School of Music of the University of Houston.  Agnes teaches violin at Montclair State University, and maintains private violin teaching studios in Short Hills and Teaneck, New Jersey.

Matthew Weinman is a professional lutenist, plucked string teacher, and composer with expertise in 16th and 17th century compositional forms as a stimulus to invention. He graduated from Mannes College of Music in Historical Performance and earned his M.Mus. from Columbia University.  Matthew studied Renaissance and baroque lute and theorbo with Pat O’Brien and Paul O’Dette, and composition with Dan Cataneo, Maria Rojas, David Loeb, and Robert Cuckson.  His compositions have been published by the Lute Society of England and The Lute Society of America.

Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners
Through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund.