Early World Music at Saint James

2022 – 2023 Season

About Early World Music at Saint James

Early Music at Saint James was the vision of founder and Director Emerita Kathleen Spencer. Now, years after its first performance in February of 2011, Early World Music at Saint James is a sought-after venue in the historic performance genre. Each season, concerts of music composed before 1800 are presented in the acoustically rich sanctuary of Saint James Church. The performances of primarily Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical music are played on faithful reproductions of period instruments. The series offers a venue for small and/or emerging ensembles as well as established artists, presenting a rich repertoire of music not generally available to the Lancaster community.

Tickets available online and at the door.

Adults: $25
Students & Children: $10
Pay by cash, check or credit card

Early World Music is a self sustaining concert series that relies on ticket sales, tax-exempt gifts, grants and sponsorships. If you’d like to help support Early World Music, click here and select Early World Music from the drop-down menu. You may also include a note in the optional memo field.

Help Support Early Music at Saint James

Saint James is a mask-optional campus for congregations and audiences.  We have installed an advanced air filtration system and all our staff are fully vaccinated. We invite those uncomfortable attending in person to use our streaming option for attending concerts.

All concerts are being recorded and will be available to ticket holders after the concert.

Download the 22 – 23 Season Brochure

Jasson Priset (lutes, baroque guitar), Margo Andrea (mezzo soprano, vielle), Carlo Valte (Arabic lute), Rex Benincasa, (frame drums darbouka, riq, hurdy-gurdy, voice)

Sunday, September 25, 4 PM | Available online and in person


Dancing Over the Caucasus to the Sea – A fabulous journey through early music from Persia to Armenia, Cyprus, Greece, North Africa, Italy and Iberia.

Bridging the ancient to the present with songs, compelling dances and virtuosic improvisations, ALBA illuminates melodies, dynamic rhythms, improvisation traditions and the poetry of the Mediterranean with four acclaimed performers: Margo Andrea, mezzo-soprano & vielle; Carlo Valte, oud & baroque guitar; Jason Priset, lutes, theorbo & guitars; and Rex Benincasa, percussion, voice and psaltery.

Friday, November 18, 2022; 7:30 PM | Available online and in person

Iestyn Davies, countertenor &
Thomas Dunford, lute

A Musicall Banquet

Son of the more famous John Dowland, Robert (c.1591-1641), an equally renowned lutenist, published in 1610 A Musicall Banquet furnished with varietie of delicious ayres, collected out of the best authors in English, French, Spanish and Italian – a treasure of its period realized by two of today’s leading exponents of the lute song.

Sarah Mead, Wendy Gillespie, Julie Jeffrey, Joanna Blendulf, Emily Walhout

Sunday March 19, 2023; 4 PM | Available online and in person

Nota Bene, Viol Consort

Continental Drifters

In the 16th century, as trade routes opened across the European continent and pushed over mountains and across oceans into Asia and the Americas, the printing press helped to accelerate the dissemination of music. Singers and players traveled with their patrons, taking their native music to distant lands.

Nota Bene explores these journeys with a range of musical voyages: across the Continent, across the Channel, across the Alps, and further afield, including music that traveled from Portugal to Japanese missions, from France to indigenous villages in Guatemala, from Spain to the great churches of Mexico, and from England to the colonial settlements of North America. Nota Bene performs on a matched set of viols that closely replicate Italian instruments of the 1580’s, with a rich and mellow sound full of detail and sonority.

Purchase Tickets for Nota Bene

Sourena Sefati, Rahim Alhaj, Javier Saume Mazzei

Saturday, May 6, 7:30 PM | Available online and in person

The Rahim AlHaj Trio

One Sky

…a deeply immersive sonic experience filled with intoxicating waves of sound and brilliant melodies that transport listeners to a world of tranquility and beauty—a state of mind both calm and elated.

The Rahim AlHaj Trio features two-time Grammy nominee, National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings artist and Iraqi oud virtuoso and composer Rahim AlHaj joined by Iranian santour maestro Sourena Sefati and world percussion master Javier Saume Mazzei.

Purchase Tickets to the Rahim AlHaj Trio