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Cortland Music: Elizabethan Conversation - Music of the Renaissance
- About Us
The duo Elizabethan Conversation was formed in Aurora, NY in 1982 as a renaissance lute duet by Dr. Susan Sandman and Mr. Derwood Crocker. Current performances also include recorder and viola da gamba. They achieve musically pleasing and exciting performances on period instruments by combining scholarship in historical performance with individual judgment, and mixing in the magic of the moment. Dr. Susan Sandman is an early music performer and musicologist who earned her B.A. summa cum laude in music form Vassar College and a Ph.D. in musicology from Stanford University. A Professor emerita of music at Wells College where she started the period music collegium, she is published in professional journals and researches the music for programs and recordings by Elizabethan Conversation. Dr. Sandman has received grants from the National Endowment for Humanities, the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, the Mitch Miller Foundation, and Wells College. Derwood Crocker began private music study during his childhood, and attended Cornell University. An interest in design, sculpture, and music led him to the making of musical instruments, and he has been a full-time craftsman/musician since 1965. The Crocker workshop has produced hundreds of instruments, many of them one of a kind, for performers nationwide; his instruments are in the collections of numerous colleges and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. One lute and the violas da gamba used today were built by him. He lectures on the history of early instruments for workshops and seminars. With Elizabethan Conversation, he has performed at numerous museums and colleges.