Music for the Annual Festa, 1500–1650
The most important musical event for a scuola grande was the annual celebration of the feast day of its patron saint. In the 16th and early 17th centuries, the scuole each hired some of the best musicians in the city. In 1553, singers of St. Mark's formed a company to regulate their participation in these and similar feasts. In the first half of the 17th century, the annual celebration at the Scuola di San Rocco became one of the most spectacular musical events in the city. The scuola hired the best choirs, soloists, instrumental ensembles, and virtuoso players, as well as multiple organists, with the participation of such masters as Giovanni Gabrieli, Giovanni Croce, Claudio Monteverdi, and Alessandro Grandi.
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