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Encyclopedia > The Baltimore Consort

The Baltimore Consort is a musical ensemble that performs a wide variety of Renaissance music. They began in 1980 as a group specializing in music of the Elizabethan period, but soon expanded their repertoire to include Scottish music, broadside ballads, and Italian, French, and other European music of the 16th and 17th centuries. Their music bridges the genres of classical and folk music.

The Baltimore Consort was founded by Roger Harmon, who formerly had taught lute at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland. They performed together for 10 years before they released their first album for Dorian Recordings, a collection of Scottish music called On the Banks of the Helicon. At the time the ensemble consisted of Custer LaRue (soprano), Ronn McFarlane (lute), Mary Anne Ballard (viols, fiddle), Larry Lipkis (bass viol), Chris Norman (renaissance flutes), Howard Bass (bandora), and Mark Cudek (cittern, bass viol). The lineup has remained largely consistent since that time. The group's most recognizable feature is perhaps the distinctive voice of LaRue, who in 2004 has taken an indefinite leave.

The group has recorded 11 albums for Dorian, including a Christmas album, Bright Day Star, and a collection of bawdy songs with the a capella quartet called the Merry Companions, The Art of the Bawdy Song.


  • On The Banks of the Helicon
  • Watkins Ale
  • La Rocque 'n' Roll
  • The Art of the Bawdy Song
  • Bright Day Star
  • A Trip to Killburn
  • Tunes from the Attic
  • The Ladyes Delight
  • The Mad Buckgoat
  • Adew Dundee
  • Custer LaRue Sings 'The Daemon Lover' with The Baltimore Consort

  Results from FactBites:
The Baltimore Consort (319 words)
The Baltimore Consort was founded in 1980 to perform the repertory for Elizabethan consort, a specific instrumentation of treble viol, flute, lute, cittern, bandora and bass viol.
Since that time, the Baltimore consort has concentrated on British, French, and Italian music of the 16th and 17th centuries, with special attention to improvising and creating arrangements in the style of that period.
A quartet of male singers, The Merry Companions, was formed to assist the Baltimore Consort in a rollicking CD of bawdy catches and ballads, The Art of the Bawdy Song, recorded in 1990.
Baltimore Consort to Perform Dec. 10, 2000 (594 words)
The Baltimore Consort was founded in 1980 to perform the music of Shakespeare's time and has explored English, Scottish and French popular music of the 16th to 18th centuries, as well as German Christmas tunes and Italian music of the Renaissance.
The Consort's interest in early music of England and Scotland, as well as their own personal roots, has led them to delve into the rich trove of traditional ballads and dance tunes preserved in the Appalachian Mountains and Nova Scotia.
The Baltimore Consort has toured extensively in the United States and in 1992, initiated European touring with appearances in Vienna and Regensburg.
  More results at FactBites »



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