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About Early Music Michigan
Our mission is to perform early music in a dynamic, varied, and historically informed manner that honors this body of rare and ancient musical treasures, the artistic voice, and the humanity of collaborative music making.
Early Music Michigan was founded in 1996 as the Michigan Bach Collegium. In 2009, we changed our name to Early Music Michigan to emphasize our mission of performing a wide variety of early music–generally speaking, music written and performed before the nineteenth century–not limited to the works of J. S. Bach. As an early music ensemble emphasizing historically informed performance, we occupy a valuable niche, providing music and creative programming that would not otherwise be available in the greater Kalamazoo area.
Artistic Director – Luke Conklin
As a historical performer, Dr. Luke Conklin has worked with early music groups throughout North America including American Bach Soloists, Portland Baroque Orchestra, New York Baroque Incorporated, and the Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra and Choir. A frequent collaborator with Cleveland-based Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra, he appears on their recent albums Christmas from Sugarloaf Mountain and O, Jerusalem! City of Three Faiths, playing recorder, Celtic and Medieval harps, Irish flute, and shawm. In addition to Luke’s work as a performer, he is an active music educator, teaching private lessons on modern and historical woodwinds as well as serving as the co-director of the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Preparatory Winds. Luke holds degrees in Historical Performance Practice from Case Western Reserve University and The Juilliard School.
Administrative Director – Becky Straple-Sovers
Dr. Becky Straple-Sovers is a medievalist and a technical writer at Stryker Medical. She graduated with a Ph.D. in English from Western Michigan University in 2021, where she studied early medieval English literature. She has sung with a variety of early music groups since high school and joined EMM in 2014, becoming Administrative Director in 2020. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance from Illinois State University and has choreographed for and danced in EMM’s multimodal performances, including Cosmic Dance in 2017 and Visitatio Sepulchri in 2018.
Board of Directors
Ilse Schweitzer Van Donkelaar
Our Board of Directors plays a vital role in ensuring EMM’s sustainability as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and as a local performing arts ensemble. We are actively recruiting new board members, so please contact us if you are interested in shaping EMM’s future! We are particularly looking for Directors with accounting or legal expertise, but we would love to hear from anyone who is interested. No musical experience is necessary–just enthusiasm for supporting EMM. Please contact us to express your interest and set up a meeting so we can meet you and give you more information about this opportunity.
Keep in touch!
Join our mailing list to keep in touch with EMM and learn about future concerts, upcoming events, and more!
Your tax-deductible gift ensures that our unique form of music will continue to be available in Kalamazoo at a reasonable price.