Early Music Missouri

Organization Member

Contact Information



St. Louis, MO, Missouri

Type of Organization



Early Music Missouri and its concert series, Early Music@First, were created in 2019 by lutenist/musicologist Jeffrey Noonan in an effort to increase the visibility of local and regional Early Music performers and ensembles. Early Music Missouri operates as a resource for musicians and Early Music fans across the central Midwest, presenting regular concerts on its series as well as offering presentations and performances for the wider community in association with other arts organizations. EMMo's initial concert series, Early Music@First, featured six concerts presented annually at First Congregational Church of St. Louis.   

Initial concerts in the spring of 2019 featured a program of music for solo cello performed by Baroque cellist Stephanie Hunt, a concert of Lenten vocal music featuring soprano Samantha Arten and a program of French works for Baroque flute by the trio La petite brise. The 2019-2020 season was cut short in March 2020, but still offered five concerts including a Medieval holiday legend with period vocal and instrumental music, a program of 19th-century solo music for fortepiano and two concerts featuring 17th- and 18th-century string music.

EMMo weathered the Covid shutdown, producing one informal outdoor concert as well as a number of videos for its YouTube channel in 2020. Early Music@First's 2021 -2022 concert season commenced in October 2021 and included six concerts ranging from 17th-century lute music to 18th-century sonatas for viola d'amore. Featured performers include Boston's voice/viol duo Lyracle, Chicago's Bach+Beethoven Experience, the duo Musicke's Cordes and some of the best of St. Louis's local Early Music performers.

In the fall of 2022, EMMo began performance collaborations with St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Ladue MO, a near suburb of St. Louis and with the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art on the campus of Saint Louis University. The series at St. Peter's, "Early Music Missouri Presents" featured six concerts including a program of 16th-century songs for voice, viol and vihuela; a concert for two recorders; a program of virtuosic 17th-century Italian sonatas for solo cello and a choral/instrumental program of sacred music by Claudio Monteverdi. The series on the Saint Louis University campus, "EMMo@MOCRA" featured two programs in the museum's Main Gallery, a recital of English and Italian lute and continuo songs and a solo program of early guitar music featuring works for Baroque and 19th-century guitars. EMMo's 2022 – 2024 season continues with six concerts at St. Peter's and two at MOCRA.

Details about the current season, past programs and EMMo performers may be found at the EMMo website, earlymusicmissouri.net.

Since its start EMMo has presented outreach concerts and lecture/demonstrations for a variety of educations and community organizations. These outreach events include classroom presentations at local universities and community colleges, a performance residency with Missouri's Scenic Regional Library system and a concert with St. Louis's new Burroak Baroque series. Since its inception, Early Music Missouri has paired closely with East Central Community College in Union, MO, regularly offering workshops, classes and concerts on the campus for students and the wider community.

In addition, EMMo has taken concerts from its Main Stage Series to venues and other concert series across the country. In 2022 -2023, EMMo took concerts to several venues in the Kansas City area, Cincinnati, Louisville, Santa Fe and other venues in Colorado. In 2023 -2024, EMMo programs will be heard in North Carolina, Colorado and New Mexico as well as on our series.

EMMo is supported by admission donations at concerts as well as generous donations from friends and patrons. In 2022 – 2023, EMMo received a Special Project Grant from the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission to support the production of it Monteverdi Concert Project. And for the 2023 – 2024 season, RAC has awarded EMMo a Program Support Grant to help underwrite the entire season. 

Early Music Missouri is directed by Jeffrey Noonan, who has played early plucked instruments for forty years across the Midwest with a variety of ensembles. In 2023, the musicologist/vocalist Dr. Samantha Arten, a regular performer on EMMo programs, joined the organization as its Associate Director. 



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