Press Release: Houston Early Music presents Ciaramella in A Piper’s Noel

Press Release: Download HEMciaramella102110-FINAL


P. O. Box 271193

Houston, TX 77277-1193

Media contact:

Susan Love Fitts, 936-597-8825

Houston Early Music presents Ciaramella in A Piper’s Noel

Monday, December 13, 7:30 p.m.

HOUSTON, TX – October 21, 2010 – Houston Early Music presents a Renaissance musicale that is a must-see holiday event for Houston audiences.  On Monday evening, December 13, Christ Church Cathedral will resonate with enchanting sounds and the musical imagery of early Christmas when world-acclaimed ensemble Ciaramella takes the stage.

Ciaramella’s name is derived from both the Italian shawm and a 15th-century song – When she opens her mouth, she knocks men flat – about a beautiful girl whose clothes are full of holes. This ensemble will truly do just that, as the rich and intricate counterpoint of A Piper’s Noël captivates the hearts of all who hear. The work brings forth the great tradition of combined bagpipes and shawm (early oboe), as well as early representations of modern instruments that include flute (recorder), bassoon (dulcian), trumpet (slide trumpet), and trombone (sackbut).

Adam Gilbert, co-founder of Ciaramella, says of this work, “Its inspiration is derived from the representation of angels announcing the birth of Christ. We see the bagpiper, or shepherd, so amazed at the angels that he puts down the bagpipe made of goat or sheepskin. This represents the putting away of carnal cares. These rustic instruments were used throughout the Baroque era, as heard in themes from Handel’s The Messiah.”

Ciaramella brings to life Renaissance classics with the ease of jazz musicians improvising on a theme, revealing the origins of carols we know and introducing forgotten popular gems. With the addition of four male voices, Ciaramella blends traditional dance melodies with added embellishment and improvisation, classical motets, and popular tunes. The focus is authentic music that will range from toe-tapping to cerebral to five-hundred years of jazz.

Ensemble members are Adam Gilbert, Rotem Gilbert, Debra Nagy, Doug Milliken, Greg Ingles, and Erik Schmaltz. This year they plan to record A Piper’s Noël, as well as a collection of traditional and improvised Spanish dances.  More information about this exciting group can be found at

You do not want to miss this performance that begins at 7:30 p.m., with a 6:45 p.m. pre-concert lecture by Adam Gilbert.  The performance takes place at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas Ave. (77002).

Tickets are available online at or by contacting Houston Early Music at or 713-432-1744.

See Program, Notes, and Artist Biographies


Monday, December 13, 2010, 7:30 p.m.

CIARAMELLA – A Piper’s Noël

Christ Church Cathedral

1117 Texas Ave.

Houston, Texas 77002

Pre-concert lecture by Adam Gilbert, 6:45 p.m.


One of the nation’s oldest early-music organizations, and as the city’s only presenting organization dedicated to covering the large historical span of early music in all of its forms, Houston Early Music epitomizes a movement that has swept the world of classical music. Officially incorporated in 1969, the nonprofit provides performance opportunities for up-and-coming and major early music artists from around the world in an annual concert series. A successful and growing educational outreach program introduces a future generation to a broad range of music. Houston Early Music is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance and by Texas Commission on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts.

HOUSTON EARLY MUSIC – Later this Season:

Monday, March 28, 2011, 7:30 p.m.

TRIO SONNERIE – The Harmony of Nations

Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church

6221 Main Street

Houston, Texas 77030

Monday, May 2, 2011, 7:30 p.m.


Trinity Episcopal Church

1015 Holman @ Main

Houston, Texas 77004


Attached photo: Ciaramella.

Photo credit: Peter Nagy

Media contact:

Susan Love Fitts, 936-597-8825