The Festival Consort
Renaissance Band
About Us

The Festival Consort was founded in 1977 by Lyn Elder and Joanna Bramel Young to play at the Northern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire. From there the ensemble began performing vocal and instrumental music of fourteenth, fifteenth and early sixteenth century Europe. In the 1980’s the group was chosen by Columbia Artists to tour the United States with Community Concerts. Over the years the Consort has performed at colleges and universities as well as for many festive occasions throughout northern California. In the 1990’s the ensemble expanded into a typical Renaissance wind band, adding cornetts, sackbuts, and curtal to explore the great five and six-part works written for those instruments.

Members of the Consort have researched and arranged most of the works on their programs. One of the members of the group, David Hogan Smith, has carefully adjusted, tuned, and made reeds for all of the double reed instruments used by the group (the crumhorns, shawms and curtal). For thirty years the Festival Consort has played annual Christmas concerts, where traditional carols accompanied by gittern, lute, and recorders alternate with loud and soft consorts of shawms, recorders, and crumhorns.

The members of the Festival Consort are:

  • Douglas Mandell
    Tenor voice, recorder, shawm, crumhorn, sackbut, gittern, percussion
  • Carol Menke
    Soprano voice
  • Alan Paul
    Recorder, shawm, crumhorn
  • David Hogan Smith
    Recorder, shawm, crumhorn, sackbut
  • Joanna Bramel Young
    Recorder, shawm, crumhorn, curtal