About Scivias:

Treble voices celebrating medieval music in Rochester, NY. 

Scivias Medieval Ensemble was founded by Dr. Heather Holmquest in the fall of 2019. The group performed its inaugural concert at the Rochester Early Music Festival in November of the same year. That first concert featured works that represented the Virgin Mary as the "sea star" or "maris stella," a common metaphor highlighting Mary's role as a guiding light for the lost and as a link between heaven and earth. The group's original six members performed chant, laude, and motet in the resonant space of Calvary St. Andrew's. 

"Scivias" is short for “Scito vias Domini,” which means “know the ways of the Lord.” It’s the title of an illustrated text by Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th century nun who is one of the few known female composers from the medieval period. The text is an autobiographical religious tome recounting Hildegard's visions and moments in her life when she believed that she heard the voice of heaven. 

 

Since its founding, Scivias has more than doubled in size, welcoming seven new singers in 2021. The group is looking forward to two upcoming projects: a holiday concert in December and a French program celebrating springtime in April.

For more information, contact the group's administrators at sciviasensemble@gmail.com

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