Sunday, December 4, 2016

Report from the Sixth Catacoustic Grant Winner: Shelby Mass

The 2016 winner of Catacoustic's Early Music Grant was Shelby Mass.  Shelby is currently a senior at Miami University, majoring in violin performance and Italian. Her hope is to continue on to graduate school and specialize in Baroque performance. She has attended Baroque performance workshops both in the US and in Europe. Her biggest need when she applied for the grant?  A Baroque bow!  Here is her report:

The bow is a Nardi, made of pernambuco
The Catacoustic Consort Grant program has enabled me to engage in a project that combines what I know with so much that is totally new. At the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute [attended this summer] I was stunned by the beauty and depth of this music, and I found myself completely hooked!

My inspiration is the relationship between humans and their art. A desire to explore the effect that history, philosophy, and music have upon each other led me to seek out resources for taking my search to the next level, and I am very blessed to have been chosen for a scholarship which enabled me to purchase my first Baroque bow. This bow has enabled me to prepare for upcoming auditions to graduate historical performance and performance practice programs. Simply practicing with my Baroque bow has given me a dramatically different understanding of the repertoire which I am studying, and Baroque performance practices have become much easier for me to understand and implement.

I began my early music adventure this summer with the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute and an undergraduate summer research project on the contrasts between Baroque and Classical compositional and performance practices, and with my new bow I am now able to engage in continued learning on this subject! I have been so very grateful and happy to be able to work with Catacoustic Consort’s support of this project, and I look forward to sharing what I have learned!

We're hoping Shelby will get a chance to perform in town during the Cincinnati Early Music Festival in February.

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