Cappella CLAUSURA is an ensemble of voices and early music instruments in Boston whose goal is to research and bring to light works written by women from the 8th century to the present day. Our intention is to dispel the notion that there are not now nor have there ever been gifted women composers. While we perform music by all women composers, and champion living composers, we concentrate on repertoire by women in the cloister, or in clausura, during the Italian baroque period because it was an extraordinary time when women were allowed, by fluke of historical personalities and fashion, to express themselves spiritually and artistically, and most importantly, to be published. History has been blind and deaf to these remarkable works; Cappella Clausura brings vision and voice to them.
In addition to premiering many works by women of the medieval, baroque and renaissance eras, Cappella Clausura has presented and premiered the music of Hilary Tann, Patricia Van Ness, Abbie Betinis, Emma Lou Diemer, and many more living composers.
Amelia LeClair, Director
Amelia LeClair received her Bachelor’s in Music Theory and Composition from UMass Boston in 1975, with some post- graduate studies at Longy School of Music during which time she explored conducting as an option. Having noticed throughout her education the dearth of female conductors as well as composers in the historical canon, she lost faith in her own ability to do either and moved on to raising a family. 25 years later she received her master of music in choral conducting from New England Conservatory in 2003, studying with Simon Carrington. She made her conducting debut in Jordan Hall in March of 2002. In 2004, LeClair founded Cappella Clausura, an ensemble of voices and period instruments specializing in music written by women from the 8th century to the present day. Ms LeClair is a visiting scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center of Brandeis University from 2012-14. In spring of 2013 Ms. LeClair will present her first paper – on Cappella Clausura’s historic and innovative performance of Hildegard Von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum – sponsored by the International Society of Hildegard von Bingen Studies at the annual Medieval Studies Institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Ms. LeClair is director of choirs at the Church of St Andrew in Marblehead, and director of Vermilion, a quartet singing a uniquely Unitarian Vespers service for the First Unitarian Society in Newton. She is former director of Schola Nocturna, a compline choir at the Episcopal Parish of the Messiah in Newton, of Coro Stella Maris, a renaissance a cappella choir in Gloucester, and of the children’s choirs for First Unitarian Society in Newton. She lives in Newton with her husband, graphic designer Garrow Throop. Her daughter, Julia, who lived in China for five years, now resides in Washington, DC. Her son, Nick, a classical guitarist, lives in Brooklyn, NY.