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

Dancing in the Middle ages was one of the most popular pastimes. There are some medieval and Renaissance dances that have come down to us. Unfortunately quite a few of the popular dances were not written down because it was assumed that everybody knew them. On this Continuum you’ll hear some of the 45 or so dances that we do have available from early written sources. Recordings used are: A Dance in the Garden of Mirth (The Dufay Collective) - Chandos CHAN 9320, and Istanpitta II (New York’s Ensemble for Early Music) - Lyrichord LEMS 8022.

Terpsichore was the Greek Muse of the Dance. The name also refers to a collection of Renaissance dances collected by the 17th century Michael Praetorius. This Continuum presents a recording of some of these dances performed by the Capriccio Stravagante Renaissance Orchestra of Paris under the direction of New Orleanean Skip Sempe, The recording used is Terpsichore, Paradizo PA0011.

This Continuum program is devoted to the music of the Ars Subtilior (subtle art), an early musical style characterized by rhythmic and notational complexity, centered in Paris, Avignon in southern France, also in northern Spain at the end of the fourteenth century and in southern France in the 14th century. Often the term is used in contrast with Ars Nova, which applies to the musical style of the preceding period from about 1310 to about 1370.

Continuum presents a program devoted to Renaissance music performed on two of the most popular musical instruments of that period, the viola da gamba and, the lute. Performers include Ron McFarlane, Paul O'Dette and the famous Jodi Savall, all well known masters of their instruments.

Continuum features The Early Music Ensemble Gilles Binchois, which has been performing medieval church music for over thirty five years. The musicians are named after one of the most important composers of the 15th century Burgundian School. You'll hear them perform Guillaume de Machaut’s 14th century Mass of Notre Dame, the first medieval polyphonic setting of a mass by a known single composer. The setting of this mass is thought to have been composed specifically for the Cathedral of Rheims.

This Continuum presents a program of early English music performed by a unique ensemble known as The King's Noyse, the leading North American Renaissance-style violin, viola and cello ensemble. The music is from three of their CDs entitled Canzonetta, Holborne's "My Selfe", and The Queen's Delight. Recording's used are: Harmonia Mundi France HMU 907127, Harmonia Mundi HMU 907238 and Harmonia Mundi France HMU 907180.

One of the major American early music ensembles, The Baltimore Consort, was founded in 1980. On this Continuum you'll hear a wide variety of excerpts from three of their CDs, featuring the female singer, Custer LaRue, who specializes in Renaissance music and traditional Folk music. The recordings uses are: The Ladyes Delight - Dorian 90252 DOR, The Art of the Bawdy Song - Dorian DOR 90155, and The Mad Buckgoat - Dorian DOR 90279.

A very large repertoire of Sephardic music is available on CD recordings. Continuum is pleased to present a wide selection of Songs of the Sephardim from their library performed by three recognized ensembles who play this music expertly. The recordings used are A Song of David (La Rondinella) - Dorian DIS-80130, The Sacred Bridge (The Boston Camerata) - Erato 2292-45513, and Diaspora Sefardi (Hesperion XXI) - AliaVox AV9809.

This Continuum program features three famous singers of the past performing songs from the early music repertoire. The singers are countertenor Alfred Deller, mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani and soprano Victoria De Los Angeles. They present a variety of early music selections recorded over forty years ago. Recordings used are: Alfred Deller: Portrait of a Legend (Alfred Deller et al) - Harmonia Mundi HNX 290261, Jan DeGaetani Early Music Recital (Jan DeGaetani et al) - Bridge 9087, and Songs of Spain (Victoria De Los Angeles) - EMI Classics 7243 5 66937 2 2.

Continuum presents a program devoted to Renaissance flute music from the 16th century, specifically from the Chanson Musicales, printed in Paris in 1533 by the famous French printer, Pierre Attaingnant. Copies of actual Renaissance wooden flutes are used by the ensemble, Zephyrus Flutes, directed by Nancy Hadden. A Renaissance lute is added in a number of the selections. The recording used is: Pierre Attaingnant - Chansons Musicales, Paris 1533. (Zephyrus Flutes) ZF001. 

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