Shawms and Stories

Shawms and Stories

This year Forgotten Clefs travels to the Middle Ages and Renaissance to explore the life of a knight. You’ll hear adventures of contests won and lost—both in love and on the battlefield—told by Renaissance instruments: recorders, harp, and drums as well as double reed and brass instruments. Join us February 11-16, 2019!


From the 2017-18 season:

Shawms and Stories brings a 30 minute musical storytelling program for children (target ages 3-8) and their families to South Central Indiana libraries, museums, and community centers. In the pilot season, six performers tell the story The Really Awful Musicians (John Manders) using music and visual projections. The program will include: a reading of the story, an introduction to some unusual instruments (including pipe and tabor, lute, harp, sackbut, and bass recorder), and audience engagement.

The story explores themes of teamwork, music, diversity, and history. For example, the horse Charlemagne teaches musicians how to read music—this refers to emperor Charlemagne, who was instrumental in the spread of Gregorian Chant throughout Europe in the Middle Ages.

This program will feature newly composed music by Patrick Dittamo, winner of the 2017 Shawms and Stories Composition Competition.

Patrick C. B. Dittamo is a Kansan composer, scholar, and musician. He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music composition from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he studied composition with Dr. Brian Hulse and historically-informed performance with Dr. Ruth van Baak Griffioen. He commissioned as a U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps officer through the William & Mary Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, and was subsequently stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, serving on rotational deployments to Kuwait and Korea before leaving active duty at the rank of captain. He is currently studying for a Master of Music degree in composition and musicology at Kansas State University. Patrick lives in Manhattan, Kansas with his better half, tenor Bryan Pinkall, and their red-footed tortoise, Orpheus.


Funding provided in part by the Indiana Arts Commission, the Brown County Community Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.