Contact

aleclair@brandeis.edu

Research Areas

Women’s Early Music; Women Composers; Musical Works by Women or Anonymous

Education

M.M., New England Conservatory

B.A., University of Massachusetts 

Links

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Cappella Clausura

Amelia J. LeClair

Amelia J. LeClair

Amelia J. LeClair

Amelia LeClair received her Bachelor's in Music Theory and Composition from UMass Boston in 1975 and her masters degree from New England Conservatory in 2003, studying with Simon Carrington in choral conducting. She made her conducting debut in Jordan Hall in March of 2002.

Having noticed throughout her education the dearth of female composers in the historical canon, she lost faith in her own ability to compose and moved on to raising a family. 

Luckily for her, and all of us, curious and unencumbered musical scholars in the 70's were busy unearthing the works of female composers which had for too long moldered in libraries: Robert Kendrick, Craig Monson, Claire Fontijn, Candace Smith, Judith Tick, Jane Bernstein, and so many more. At long last the Norton Grove Dictionary of Women Composers appeared on university shelves. The work of these scholars became the impetus for the ensemble that would perform the music they discovered.

Shortly after gaining her masters, she founded Cappella Clausura, an ensemble of voices and period instruments specializing in music written by women from the 8th century to the present day. She has presented and premiered the music of Hilary Tann, Patricia Van Ness, Abbie Betinis, Emma Lou Diemer, and many more.

Ms. LeClair greatly enjoys the discovery and presentation to the public of music not in the standard repertoire, such as women's early music and works that expand on Euro-centric strictures. Ms. LeClair is director of choirs at the Church of St Andrew in Marblehead, Director of Schola Nocturna, a compline choir at the Episcopal Parish of the Messiah in Newton. She directed Coro Stella Maris, a renaissance a cappella choir in Gloucester, for five years. She has directed children's choirs for First Unitarian Society in Newton, and Revels. She lives in Newton with her husband.

Current Projects

Chant Immersion in situ: leaping in to the pages of a living breathing manuscript. Pages from a manuscript from 1554 Salzinnes, Belgium, a gallery of folios, an explanation and elucidation of the calligraphy and iconography, a group of women dressed as the residents of the convent would have been, and the music on the folios sung live every half hour.

Representative Publications

Hildegard’s Ordo Virtutum: A Contemporary Production – Qualelibet. http://www.hildegard-society.org\u2028

Women’s Music: Boston Group Unearths the Music of 17th Century Cloistered Women, “Imprisoned for Life.”