Mission & History
Founded in 1987 by Daniel Johnson, the Texas Early Music Project is dedicated to preserving and advancing the art of Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and early Classical music through performance, recordings, and educational outreach.
The project started as a unique venue in which student members of The University of Texas at Austin Early Music Ensemble could work and perform with professionals, allowing students to explore repertoire normally out of their reach. As such, TEMP served to bridge the ensembles of The UT Butler School of Music and the Central Texas early music community while Mr. Johnson directed the UT EME (1986–2003).
During the period 1995–2002, TEMP's Baroque orchestra (with Daniel Johnson conducting) performed in several productions with the Sarah and Ernest Butler Opera Center, including Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Baroque and Loving It, (a pastiche of selections from the works of Lully, Rameau, Cavalli, Cesti, and others, created by Daniel Johnson), Cavalli’s L’Ormindo, Monteverdi's Coronation of Poppea, and Handel’s Alcina and Rinaldo. TEMP performed regularly at the Early Music Weekend at Round Top Festival Institute, for the Texas Early Music Festival in Palestine, TX, for the annual Mostly Music Marathon benefiting AIDS Services of Austin, and in public and private concerts in the Austin area.
In 1998, TEMP became a member of the Austin Circle of Theaters, recorded its popular CD The Bonny Broom and Other Scottish Ballads, and initiated its Midwinter Festival of Music, with two to three performances of a wide variety of concerts and operas on six successive weekends (1999–2002). Local performers and guests from Europe, Canada, and other parts of the US came together for performances of Handel’s Rinaldo and Alcina, Purcell’s King Arthur, a post-modern blending of early and modern music and theater (It's About Time), and an inclusive range of concerts ranging from Hildegard chants and Sephardic love songs to lieder by Schubert and Beethoven.
Since the 2002–2003 season, TEMP has offered a relatively calm six-concert season, between the months of September to May. Many of the concerts were so much fun and so popular that different versions of them were presented in successive years, including Convivencia: The Three Worlds of Spain (2004 and 2005) and The Play of Daniel (2003–2005).
Members of TEMP also perform regularly with such groups as La Follia Austin Baroque, Dallas Bach Society, Texas Baroque Ensemble, the Clearlight Waites, Sinfonia Baroque, and other ensembles.
TEMP is very proud to be in residence at the Armstrong Community Music School, where we offer coaching and instruction in historical performance practice.
Texas Early Music Project
Board of Directors
Anthony Toprac, President
Stephanie Prewitt, Vice President
Pam Corn, Treasurer
Karen McLinden, Secretary