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

Continuum presents excepts of recordings by The Boston Camerata. The ensemble became very active beginning in 1974 under the direction of Joel Cohen and remains to be one of the oldest early music ensembles in the U.S. Besides the usual early music repertoire the ensemble also has recorded early New World American music, heard on this program. Recordings by The Boston Camerata used are: Carmina Burana - Erato 0630-14987-2, Tristan et Iseult - Erato ECD 75528, New Britain - Erato 2292-45474-2, and Angles - Erato 14773-2.

This Continuum features Baroque music mostly by Spanish composers and in a variety of performing manners, including ensembles, vocal soloists and instrumentalists. The music is not from the usual Baroque repertoire normally heard. Recordings used are: Rebelo and Melgas (The Sixteen, Harry Christopher) - Collins Digital 14652, Spanish Baroque Music (Figueras, Savall & Koopman) - Philips 432 822-2, Juan Manuel de la Puente (Al Eyre Espano) - Almaviva DSI 0102, and Poema Harmonico (Hopkinson Smith) - Astree E8722.

Continuum presents Medieval English Music. Of all the European countries, England has the least amount of medieval music available from its historic archives. On this Continuum you’ll hear the most famous of these selections performed exquisitely. The ensembles Sequentia, Hilliard Ensemble, and the Dufay Collective will do the honors. The recordings used are: Miri It Is (Dufay Collective) - Chandos CHAN 9396; English Songs of the Middle Ages (Sequentia) - EMI CDC 7 49192 2; and Sumer Is Icumen In (The Hilliard Ensemble) - Harmonia Mundi HMA 1951154.

Continuum presents a program of music inspired by four medieval gardens, namely; The Garden of Zephirus, The Garden of Earthly Delights, Dreams in the Pleasure Garden, and Dance in the Garden of Mirth. Four different early music ensembles perform this delightful music. Recordings used are: The Garden of Zephirus (Gothic Voices) - hyperion CDA66144, The Garden of Earthly Delights (La Nef) - Dorian DIS-80135, Dreams in the Pleasure Garden (Orlando Consort) - Archive 457 618-2, and A Dance in the Garden of Mirth (Dufay Collective) - Chandos CHAN 9320.

Continuum presents a program of medieval and Renaissance estampies, trottos, ductias and many other forms of foot stomping dance music performed by four outstanding early music ensembles including the legendary New York Pro Musica. This is an hour of upbeat early music. The recordings used are: A Dance in the Garden of Mirth (Dufay Collective) - Chandos CHAN 9320, Praetorius / Susato (New York Pro Musica) - Universal UMD 80565, Chominiciamento di Gioia (Ensemble Unicorn) - Naxos 8.553131, and Red Iris (Sinfonye) - Glossa GCD 970701.

The music of Hildegard of Bingen, the 12th century Sibyl of the Rhine, philosopher, abbess, architect, polymath and composer is featured on this Continuum. Selections from the historically important 1981 recording, A Feather on the Breath of God, performed by the Gothic Voices will be heard as well as a contemporary electronic arrangement of her music. The recordings used will be: A Feather on the Breath of God (Gothic Voices) - Hyperion GAW21039, Celestial Stairs (Ensemble Für Frühe Musik Augsburg) - Christophorus CHR 77205, and Diadema (Vox) - Erdenklang 90343.

This Continuum program is a recording of early music played by the modern early music ensemble from Paris, Capriccio Stravagante, directed by its founder, New Orleans-born Skip Sempe. Composers included are Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Diego Ortiz, Cipriano de Rore, and Josquin des Prez. Included also are compositions and arrangements composed in the antique style by Skip Sempe. Recording used is Antico Moderno (Capriccio Stravagante) - Paradizo PA0008.

Continuum presents excerpts from the medieval Play of Robin and Marion (Jeu de Robin et Marion). It is the earliest secular play with music, written in around 1282 to 1283, and is the most famous work of Adam de la Halle (1220-1288). It was first performed at the Angevin Court in Naples around this time. The story is a dramatization of a traditional genre of medieval French song, the pastourelle. Recordings used are: Le Jeu de Robin et Marion (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis) - Focus 913, Le jeu de Robin et Marion (Ensemble Perceval) - Arion ARN 68162, Arras 1300 (N.O.

This Continuum program presents early music performed on four different instruments from the medieval and Renaissance periods. They are two string instruments and two wind instruments; the viola da gamba, the Renaissance lute, the organetto (a small portative lap organ) and the recorder. Heard will be music specifically written for them played by expert musicians.

Continuum this week presents a program called The Cries of London, referring to the short lyrical and musical calls of merchants hawking their products and services at the beginning of the 17th century. Many street cries were incorporated into larger musical works, preserving them from oblivion. You'll hear the cries and related music of this period. CDs used are: The Cries of London (Theatre of Voices & Fretwork) - Harmonia Mundi 907214, Mariners and Milkmaids (The Toronto Consort) - Dorian DOR-93247, and Watkins Ale (Baltimore Consort) - Dorian DORO-90142.

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