Meet The Quilisma Consort

Lisa Gay, the director of the Quilisma Consort, has been playing music since 1978 when she began studying the recorder. Early music immediately fascinated her, and she continued to seek opportunities to pursue this genre. She has studied early music performance with many notable teachers including John Tyson, Aldo Abreu, Tom Zajac, Sheila Beardslee Bosworth, and Leisle Kulbach. An experienced performer, Lisa has appeared in The Christmas Revels in Cambridge and Chicago, sang in a production of the medieval liturgical drama Sponsus, and served as musical director for The Taming of the Shrew. While living in Chicago, she was a member of the Masqued Phoenix Consort. Since returning to the Boston area, she has been a soloist with Ars et Amici and has appeared as a guest artist with the Wellesley Collegium Musicum. Her teaching experience includes one-on-one and ensemble coaching in recorder, group lessons in sight-singing, a lecture presentation on understanding medieval music, and an on-going Renaissance dance class at the University of Chicago. She was on the faculty of the Whitewater Early Music Festival in 2003 and 2004.

For a more detailed account of her education and experience, please see her resume.


Carolyn Jean Smith grew up in New York City and studied recorder there as a child. She moved to Boston in 1983 to pursue a BS in Biology at MIT. After working in research for several years, she returned to school to pursue her lifelong love of recorder. She completed her Master of Music degree in Early Music at the Longy School of Music in May 1999. She has performed with Stämbandet, Serendipity and Cantata a Trois, and is currently a member of Quilisma. Carolyn has studied with Ford Weisberg, Sonja Lindblad and John Tyson, and has done masterclasses with Michael Lynn, Gerd Lunenberger, John Tyson and Paul Leenhouts. She has participated in the Oberlin Performance Institute and the International Baroque Institute at Longy, has performed in the Society for Historically Informed Performance (SoHIP) Concert Series, the MIT Chapel Concert Series, the Noon Concert Series at Cathedral Church of St. Paul, the Gardner Museum Concert Series, and at First Night Boston, and has been heard on WGBH's Morning Pro Musica with Stämbandet. She can be heard on Nordic Voices, a CD released in 1997 by Stämbandet under the Nordic Sounds label.

More information about Carolyn can be found in her resume.

A native of Stafford, Virginia, Melika M. Fitzhugh (A.B. Harvard-Radcliffe: Music Theory and Composition, M.M. Longy School of Bard College: Composition) has studied conducting and composition with Thomas G. Everett, Beverly Taylor, James Yannatos, Julian Pellicano, Roger Marsh, Jeff Stadelman, and, most recently, John Howell Morrison. Per compositions have been commissioned by John Tyson, Catherine E. Reuben, John and Maria Capello, Laura and Geoffrey Schamu, and the Quilisma Consort, and have been performed by those artists as well as the Radcliffe Choral Society, Berit Strong, Miyuki Tsurutani, Libor Dudas, and Aldo Abreu. Ze was the 2014 winner of both the Longy orchestral and commencement processional/recessional composition competitions, and has performed with the Radcliffe Choral Society, Coro Allegro, the Harvard Wind Ensemble, the Village Circle Band, and WACSAC. Mel, who has composed music for film and stage, was a member of Just In Time Composers and Players and is currently a member of world/early music ensemble Urban Myth, in addition to playing bass guitar with acoustic rock singer/songwriter Emmy Cerra, the ambient rock band Rose Cabal and the Balkan folk dance band Balkan Fields. Mel enjoys playing a variety of instruments for folk dance ensembles, including: violin/viola; acoustic guitar/bass; recorders; flute; hand percussion including dumbek/djembe/kahoun. Ze came to the Quilisma Consort to focus on early music.

What Critics have said about the Quilisma Consort

American Recorder Society Magazine, Fall 2015

Also returning to the Relay was the Quilisma Consort (Lisa Gay, Carolyn Jean Smith, Melika Fitzhugh), here playing exclusively works by the last member -- and this time adding tenor voice (Elijah Hopkin). Fitzhugh's poignant Lamentations of an Aztec Poet, played mostly on SAT Renaissance recorders (occasionally requiring a recorderist to play two simultaneously) was full of percussive chiffs, word-painting of the texts, and Ligeti-like clusters. Hopkin's vocal gymnastics included slides and leaps to unexpected intervals -- difficult for many singers to pull off, yet he did.