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Miami music student awarded Catacoustic Consort Scholarship Award

Shelby Mass, a junior violinist and music performance major at Miami University, was recently awarded the 2015-16 Catacoustic Consort Scholarship Award. The scholarship, provided by the Cincinnati chamber ensemble Catacoustic Consort, is awarded annually to aspiring young musicians in the region who specialize in Early Music. 

Shelby plans to use her $1000 scholarship award money to purchase a Baroque violin bow, to be utilized as part of a summer research project. 

As a recipient of the award, Shelby will study this summer with Baroque violinist and adjunct instructor of Alexander Technique at University of Cincinnati, Jennifer Roig-Francoli. Together with faculty advisor Professor Thomas Garcia, Shelby has arranged for an intensive summer of independent study, researching the performance practices of the baroque consort and comparing them with the modern symphonic style of Beethoven’s orchestra. Her research activities will include residency at the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin Conservatory, where she will participate in hands-on learning with period instruments under several of the most respected baroque musicians in the field, followed by a course at Eastman School of Music on the symphonies of Beethoven and relevant performance practices.

In addition to majoring in music performance, Shelby is minoring in Italian and is a Creative Arts Scholar at Miami. She is working to develop her skills on baroque violin, giving meticulous attention to context, performance practices, and folk dance influences. Her goal is to acquire a unique performance style through first-hand experience and lengthy research. To further these ends, Shelby plans to pursue a Master's and PhD in performance practice, with a focus on early music of the Baroque period.

The Catacoustic Consort is an Early Music chamber ensemble that was founded in 2001 by artistic director Annalisa Pappano. Each year the group presents a concert season that specializes in Baroque and Renaissance music and historically informed techniques. In 2003 Catacoustic won the Grand prize in the Naxos/Early Music America recording competition for their performance of a selection of 17th century Italian laments.