Established in 2004, Blackdowns Early Music Projects (BEMP) were principally conceived to draw together groups of experienced singers to work under the expert guidance of specialist music directors on programmes of infrequently performed early music (mostly pre 1720). Principal Director since the inception of BEMP is JanJoost van Elburg, guest directors have included Andrew Parrott, Robert Hollingworth, Peter Leech and Gawain Glenton.
Singers are invited from all over Europe and the UK to spend 3 or 4 days working together on music that is usually performed in a suitable venue in or around the Blackdown Hills, bridging the Somerset / Devon borders. The rehearsals are held in a picturesque village with all essential amenities
Frequently the music is accompanied by specialist early music instrumentalists. The resulting choral concerts have become a mainstream event in the calendar for anyone who loves renaissance or baroque vocal music. In recent years specialist workshops for players of early instruments have been added, with course tutors offering public recitals for the participants and local audiences.