Dear friends,

Early spring greetings to you and yours, and welcome to our thirteenth season, SPOLIA

As president Emily Higgins shared with you in December, SPOLIA takes its name from the architectural term for materials removed from their original context and reused in a new one, such as a Roman column integrated into a Gothic cathedral. More broadly, spolia describes the creative re/appropriation of objects, ideas, and aesthetics to generate something which is simultaneously old and new. The original material’s characteristics may be preserved or altered depending on the intentions of the creator; Spolia can serve as apotropaic charms to ward off danger, symbols to assert power or legacy, or simply act as convenient building materials. 

On a metaphorical level, spolia represents a blurry temporal space where past, present, and future are indistinct. In this space, memory and prophecy are perhaps not so far removed from one another. Memory is a story about what has already happened. Prophecy is a story about what will happen. Spolia reveals our agency as the narrator of those stories, illuminating how old dots may be connected into new maps of possibility.

        “…If you’re in the right mind 
        when it happens, it can come on you strong
        and you might hear music passing on the wind,
        or see a light where there wasn’t one before…”

Season Thirteen reflects on this fluidity of memory, prophecy, and our creative agency through six centuries of repertoire crafted with musical or poetic spolia. Highlights include the world premiere of Catherine Dalton’s In the Infinite, selections from Orlando di Lasso’s Prophetiae Sibyllarum, Tim Takach’s As the Sunflower Turns on Her God (a musical realization of the Fibonacci sequence), Adolphus Hailstork’s Seven Songs of the Rubaiyat, and Imogen Holst’s transportative Mass in A Minor–an early neo-Tudor masterwork of hers which has only recently become available for performance. 

We are especially thrilled to collaborate this season with singers from William Floyd High School, students of our very own Donia Rivera (alto). Connecting with these outstanding young musicians was easily the highlight of our February rehearsal, and we can’t wait to share our final concert of this season with them–and you!–later this Spring. Visit for more details and ticketing information.

Until then, be well, and we sincerely look forward to sharing in music and community with you quite soon! I leave you with a few words of Omar Khayyam, as (loosely) translated by Edward Fitzgerald:

        “Come, fill the cup, and in the fire of Spring
        Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling:
        The Bird of Time has but a little way
        To flutter – and the Bird is on the Wing!”

Warmly yours,

Dr. Erik Peregrine (they/them/theirs)
Artistic Director, Ensemble Companio