Manitoba University Consort
Founded as the Christine Mather Consort in Winnipeg in 1963, by Christine Mather and Peggie Sampson, to perform music written between 1100 and 1800. In 1964 it presented its first concert and changed its name to the Manitoba University Consort. It also was known as the Manitoba Consort. In addition to Sampson (gamba) and Mather (winds, lute, psaltery), the original members included Victor Martens (tenor), Phyllis Cooke Thomson (soprano), Paul Palmer (winds), Harold Vogt (treble viol), and Joyce Redekop-Penner - later Redekop-Fink (harpsichord). Subsequent members included Douglas Bodle and Lawrence Ritchie (harpsichord and portative organ), Heather Ireland (mezzo-soprano), and Sylvia McDonald (soprano).
Mather and Sampson were responsible for the collection and transcription of music for the group. Its repertoire included works by Machaut, Dufay, Dowland, Praetorius, Buxtehude, Rameau, Telemann, and Bach. The consort assembled what was at the time one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of historical instruments in Canada - some 5 viols, 30 wind instruments, lute, portative organ, psaltery, rebec, vielle, bells, and percussion, all replicas. Despite its relatively short existence, the ensemble gained an international reputation through its appearances in western Canada (1965), England (1966, when it appeared by invitation at the 1966 Aldeburgh Festival, and 1968), California (1967), Germany, and Switzerland (1968). It also performed in Montreal in the Canadian government pavilion at Expo 67 and at the NAC during the centre's inaugural ceremonies in 1969. The group was heard regularly over CBC radio and, while in Europe, broadcast over the BBC, Radio Suisse romande, and Hessischer Rundfunk. It disbanded in 1970 and most of its instruments were sold to the University of Victoria.