Milton G. Scheuermann Jr.

Host of Continuum

Milton has been the co-host (with Thais St. Julien) of Continuum since 1976. He is a true New Orleanean, born on Mardi Gras day, attending P. A. Capdau Grammar School and Warren Easton High School. After completing the five year program of the Tulane School of Architecture in 1956 he was drafted into the Army. After a two year stint in the combat engineers in Germany he returned to New Orleans to work with the architectural firm of Goldstein, Parham & Labouisse, becoming an associate in the firm of Parham & Labouisse after Mr. Goldstein’s death. He was appointed University Architect for Dillard University in 1972 and retired from that position in 2002.

Milton was a faculty member at the Tulane School of Architecture for 56 years, retiring in 2015 as Adjunct Professor of Architecture. He taught courses in drawing, photography, calligraphy, visual presentations and two courses that he designed himself; Architecture & Music and Architecture & Mysticism. Both courses involved his passions for music and magic.

Milton has taught piano since an 8th grade student at Capdau School. He studied piano for 16 years with Gordon Kirst, pianist at the original Roosevelt Hotel. While in Germany with the combat engineers he frequently performed as a pianist, and he also bought a Renaissance style recorder. After returning to New Orleans he began playing in a recorder ensemble, the Woodvine Recorder Consort, started by the then new South African Council General, Vere Stock. His growing love for early music culminated in the formation of New Orleans Musica da Camera in 1966. The ensemble is now the oldest continually performing early music ensemble in the world.

Many of the instruments used by Musica da Camera were constructed by Milton from original manuscript drawings. The ensemble now has the pleasure of owning well over 100 early instruments, including seven harpsichords, housed in its own building on Laurel St. in uptown New Orleans. In that building is Musica da Camera’s office, library of over 9,000 books and scores of early music, 4,000 CDs, rehearsal space and living quarters of Thaïs St. Julien (with her 3 cats), Milton’s co-director for Musica da Camera.

Equal to his passion for early music (particularly medieval and early Renaissance) is his passion for the music of Richard Wagner. He is an expert on Wagner with a deep knowledge of all of the composer’s operas, both German texts and scores, knowing all of them from memory. While still in high school, he taught himself German so that he could understand Wagner's librettos.

His third great passion is magic, as a performing art. He is a member of the Knights of Slights, and former or current officer of local chapters of the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Mentalism is his specialty; his performances have often made audience members more than a little uneasy about the transparency of their thoughts.

When not doing any of the above, he sleeps very soundly at night.

Ways to Connect

With Spring now officially with us Continuum celebrates the new season with a special program of early English Music featuring a live performance by The Folger Consort of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. You'll hear "It Was a Lover and His Lass", "Daphne" and many other appropriate to the coming of Spring. Recordings used are: When Birds Do Sing (The Folger Consort) - Bard BDCD 1-9207 and William Byrd - Virginals & Consorts (Capriccio Stravagante) - Auvidis E 8611.

A collection of dances from the Middle Ages will be heard on this week's Continuum. Featured will be dances, particularly estampies, from 13th Century England, 14th Century France, as well as Renaissance lute dances from Italy performed by Early Instrument Ensemble Loinhdana and lutenist Ronn McFarlane. Recordings used are: Estampies et Danses Royales du Moyen Age (Loinhdana) - Pierre Verany PV.790043 and Between Twos Hearts (Ronn McFarlane, lute) - Dorian DOR

Continuum presents a recording of The Llibre Vermell, "The Red Book", the name given to the 14th century manuscript found in the library of the monastery of Montserrat in Spain. This manuscript is bound in red velvet and contains ten pilgrim songs and dances that probably would have been known by the pilgrims traveling to that monastery in the Middle Ages. The manuscript was prepared approximately in 1399. It originally contained 172 double pages, of which 32 have been lost. No composer is identified for any of the ten songs it contains.

"Ensemble für frühe Musik Augsburg", the great early music ensemble from Augsburg, Germany is featured on this week's Continuum. This is Part I of a series of programs devoted to the ensembles many CD recordings. Recordings used will be: "Camino de Santiago" - Christophorus CHR 74530, "Melancolia: Tears of the Soul" - Christophorus CHR 77225, and "Neidhart von Reuental" - Christophorus CD 77108.

On this Continuum you'll hear a special program devoted to the art of the recorder in early music presented by the legendary short-lived David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London. In the 1970s Munrow had the talent of playing a wide variety of early instruments particularly the recorder for which he became quite famous. His English style of discreet, controlled expression contrasts with the greater tonal flexibility of the Continental style of that period. Recordings used are from The Art of the Recorder — Testament SBT2 1368 — a 2 CD set.

On this Continuum you'll hear dance music of the Renaissance by three major composers of the 17th century: Thoinot Arbeau of France, and William Byrd and John Playford of England. Among the dances heard will be branles, basse dances and pavans. Recordings used are; "Danses Populairies Francaises," performed by The Broadside Band - Harmonia Mundi HMA 1951152, and "William Byrd - Virginals & Consorts," performed by Capriccio Stravagante under the direction of New Orleanian Skip Sempe - Auvidis E 8611.

Excerpts from the medieval musical, "The Play of Robin and Marion", is featured on this Continuum. Composed by the 13th century trouvère Adam de la Halle, this pastoral work is considered by some to be one of the first operas written. The recording is an historic live performance given in 1984 by musicians of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, the famous early music school in Basel, Switzerland. CD is "Le Jeu de Robin et Marion", Focus 913.

La Folia is one of the most important anonymous melodies of the 15th & 16th centuries. It has been reported to have variations composed for it by over 400 composers over the years. Probably the most notable one is by Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713). This week on Continuum you'll hear this composition and others from a few notable composers extending into the present day.

On this Continuum you'll hear a recording of a live New Orleans Musica da Camera concert from October 5, 2014. It is A Voice Still Heard - Medieval Sephardic Song, recorded at Ursuline Chapel in New Orleans.

This is a repeat of a concert given by Musica da Camera in 1990 at Gates of Prayer Synagogue in New Orleans and broadcast nationally over American Public Radio. The recording is on the Musica da Camera’s CD, A Voice Still Heard - Belle Alliance BA 011.

A program of Renaissance sacred music is featured this week on Continuum. A few of the composers that you will hear from are Josquin des Prez, Clement Janequin, Thomas Tallis, Gesualdo, and Cipriano de Rore. The music is from the Century CD collection, History of Early Music. Various performers are on this Volume 8 of the complete Century CD ten volume set.

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