Adam Gilbert, director of USC Thornton’s Early Music program, describes his job as head of the Early Music program. One of the premiere international players of the Renaissance shawm, Gilbert took over the program when founder James Tyler retired in 2006.
Over the past several decades, the performance of early music has evolved from a highly specialized activity to become an integral facet of professional music. Musicians are involved in a broad range of activities: solo and ensemble performance, research and writing, program-planning, the preparation of performing editions and historically-informed arrangements, and ensemble direction and teaching, to mention some of the main ones.
The aim of Thornton’s program in early music is to immerse students these activities and insure that they leave with sufficient knowledge and expertise to begin careers in the profession of early music, whether in the U.S. or abroad.