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BERNARDUS medieval music ensemble


Named after the troubadour Bernard de Ventadorn (c1130 - c1200) and his colorful life, BERNARDUS is dedicated to presenting the powerful and rarely heard repertoire of the Middle Ages. Founded in 2008, members Jay White (countertenor) and Craig Resta (medieval strings) form the core of the group, adding other singers, actors, and instrumentalists to suit each program. The combination of music, images, readings, and drama help create the unique experience of the medieval artistic vision, which is a focus of the ensemble and its performances. A compelling feature of BERNARDUS programs is the emphasis on telling a story through performance. With multiple aspects of medieval music being presented simultaneously, this offers an accessible experience for those new to this style, as well those more familiar. Notable appearances include The Boston Early Music Festival (USA 2009), The Princeton Festival (USA 2013), Exeter Cathedral (UK 2016), and Buckfast Abbey (UK 2016). Artist-scholars who have joined BERNARDUS include Anne Harris (DePauw University), Marie McCarthy (University of Michigan), Eric Van Baars (Kent State University), Marla Berg (Kent State University), Sarah Pelletier (Princeton University), Patrick Cogan (Rutgers University), Jefferson & Elaine DeMarco (Carmel Bach Festival), and Richard Bunbury (Boston University), among others.

Countertenor Jay White has been hailed by the press as “displaying beauty and flexibility” and having “a voice with a full measure of passion.” Sought after as an interpreter of medieval, renaissance, and baroque repertoire, he has appeared with early music groups in America and abroad. Dr. White sang eight seasons with the internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble Chanticleer, with whom he traveled to over 40 states and 15 foreign countries, performing in prestigious venues and music festivals around the world. His discography includes 17+ albums with Chanticleer, including two GRAMMY® Award winning recordings. Jay has been heard on numerous NPR programs and radio broadcasts in the US and overseas. He further participated twelve seasons with the Carmel Bach Festival, presently sings with Apollo's Fire Singers, and is Artistic Director of Quire Cleveland. Trained at Indiana University and the University of Maryland, Dr. White has taught at the University of Maryland, University of Delaware, and DePauw University, and is currently Professor of Voice at Kent State University. His instruction areas include applied voice, classical literature and opera, musical theater, vocal health and pedagogy, and related work in academic music studies.
Craig Resta holds degrees from the University of Maryland College Park, Indiana University, and Baylor University. His principal violin teachers include Kevin Lawrence, Stanley Ritchie, and Davis Brooks; research and performance practice mentors are Marie McCarthy, Thomas Binkley, and Harry Elzinga. Performing opportunities encompass programs at The Round Top Festival, The Berkeley and Boston Early Music Festivals, and The Bloomington and Washington Early Music Festivals. Concert and workshop appearances have been in Texas, Indiana, California, Ohio, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Utah, Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey; and abroad in Switzerland, Germany, China, England, and Ireland. In addition to Bernardus, he is also a member of Armonia Nova. As a pedagogue and scholar, Dr. Resta is Professor of Music Education at Kent State University and served as Editor of the juried journal Contributions to Music Education (2013-2020). He teaches at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels in string and instrumental pedagogy, pre-service music teacher education, research writing and practices, and music teaching and learning foundational studies, with inquiries focusing on sociocultural issues connected to music in schools and society.
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