MTSU Honors College hosts Nov. 25 concert as part ...

MTSU Honors College hosts Nov. 25 concert as part of ‘Beauty’ lecture series

Mark Rimple

Mark Rimple

The MTSU Honors College will welcome countertenor and lutenist Mark Rimple and soprano Julie Ferris as they perform songs in praise of love across four centuries of Western music.

The concert, titled “Beauté Parfaite” (perfect beauty), will be held at 4:15 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25, in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building amphitheater (Room 106) on campus. The concert is free and open to the public. A printable campus map can be found at

The concert is part of the Honors College Fall Lecture Series and will follow Rimple’s 3 p.m. presentation, “Returning the Soul: Concepts of Beauty in Expressionist Music, Art, and Literature.” The lecture also is open to the public.

Rimple, who is a professor of music theory and composition at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, also serves as the director of the Collegium Musicum, a chamber ensemble specializing in the use of authentic instruments and performance techniques in the music of the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras.

“As director of the Collegium Musicum, I try to find music that both educates the student about larger historical trends and styles of music and that reveals a bit of the hidden treasures of our past,” said Rimple, who is a skilled composer and performer and frequently appears with the musical groups Trefoil and The Newberry Consort.

Ferris, who will perform with Rimple, was born and raised in Murfreesboro. She lives in southeastern Pennsylvania and sings with the vocal ensemble Musica Humana. Ferris also has performed as a soloist with early music ensembles such as New York Collegium and The Folger Consort. She studied voice as an undergraduate at Northwestern University and completed a master of music history degree at Temple University

Ferris also has extensive experience as a professional church soloist in the Chicago and Philadelphia areas. Her father, Norman Ferris, served as an MTSU history professor for about 35 years before retiring in 1997. Norman Ferris and other family members plan to attend.

Rimple and Ferris will present love songs from Machaut’s Remede de Fortune and from the lute ayre collections of Thomas Campion, John Dowland, Francis Pilkington and Alfonso Ferrabosco, a collaborator in Ben Jonson’s masques.

Rimple will perform several solo lute compositions by Francesco da Milano, Valentin Bakfark and John Dowland, and will also perform several selections from the small corpus of surviving medieval dance works on the gittern, a precursor of the European Lute. 

— Randy Weiler (