Lecture-Demos & Masterclasses



Sailors, Sirens & Kings:

Traditions & Change in Ladino Song

This interactive, often witty, lecture-demo introduces Ladino song types, history and language. Field recordings from various Ladino communities are presented both as musical examples and as illustrations of the songs’ functions within traditional contexts.

The session zooms out to explore broader performance issues and challenges faced by musicians working with traditional repertoire in general. Topics include:

  • In what ways have traditional Ladino songs adapted to new cultural environments, both historically and in modern times?

  • What are implications for questions of authenticity?

  • What roles, responsibilities and obstacles do performing artists have when working with traditional material?  

Demonstrations from members of the award-winning Guy Mendilow Ensemble and samples of other artists’ interpretations provide an entry-point into a discussion of the tension between preservation and change within a tradition. 



Listening *through* the Music:

Team-Building through Musical Improvisation

Exciting, quickly learned improv games give participants experience critical to working with others: the abilities to tune in, connect, and respond spontaneously and meaningfully to one another to make fresh, fulfilling music.

Geared for music educators as well as classroom teachers, this experiential workshop delves into the theory and practice of team building and the cultivation of leadership through games in musical improvisation.


This workshop requires no previous musical experience. Participants should come ready to move and play. This workshop has used by mediation organizations like Seeds of Peace and featured at universities and conservatories including the Longy School of Music of Bard College and Moravian University.



Guy Mendilow

(M.M. Longy School of Music; International Certificate, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Longy School of Music; B.A. Oberlin College)

A citizen of Israel, Great Britain and the U.S. Guy Mendilow grew up touring internationally, starting his professional stage career at age ten with the American Boychoir. Today his work as composer, performer and researcher focuses on traditional Ladino songs from the Balkans and Mediterranean.

Mendilow is invited to present in universities across the U.S. including Harvard University, Cornell University, Brandeis University, Oberlin College, Emory University and Hebrew Union College. His group, the Guy Mendilow Ensemble, includes musicians from Israel, Palestine, Argentina, Japan and the U.S.

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