Blue Heron Renaissance Choir (Blue Heron) is a vocal ensemble that presents live performances based on the study of original source materials and historical performance practice. Blue Heron’s principal repertoire interests are fifteenth-century English and Franco-Flemish polyphony, ranging from Dunstable and Du Fay through Ockeghem to Josquin; Spanish music between about 1500 and 1575; and neglected early sixteenth-century English music, especially the rich and unexplored repertory of the Peterhouse partbooks (c. 1540). Since 2010, Blue Heron has been artist-in-residence at Boston College.
The ensemble has also reached outside these areas to perform very early music (organa by the twelfth-century French composer Perotinus) and very recent music (new works by the Australian Elliott Gyger).
Blue Heron draws from a roster of musicians in order to constitute the ensemble best suited to the repertoire at hand. Its performing ensemble therefore ranges in size from three singers (for a fifteenth-century chanson) to as many as fifteen (for a large-scale early sixteenth-century English mass in a cathedral setting) and adds instruments (slide trumpet, trombone, vielle, bajón) when appropriate.
Founded in 1999, Blue Heron presents its own concerts in Cambridge, Massachusetts, performs regularly at Monadnock Music in New Hampshire, and has appeared at other venues throughout the northeastern U.S., including the 92nd Street Y in New York City. It often appears under the aegis of the Boston Early Music Festival. It prepared the complete Eighth Book of Madrigals by Luca Marenzio for the international Marenzio conference at Harvard University in April, 2006. In 2008, the ensemble appeared at the Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, California.
Its first CD, featuring music by Guillaume Du Fay, was released in March, 2007 on the Blue Heron label.
Blue Heron is a constituent organization of ArtsBoston.