Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra Newsletter

MARCH 2006


Tony Jackson Dear MPRO Members,

It was approximately 12 years ago, that I became a member of MPRO. It was quite easy to become a member. The By-Laws stated then, as it does now, that MPRO membership is open without audition to anyone who plays an early instrument and can read and play the music provided at the meetings. This is an organization for amateur musicians.

A professional wind instrument player wrote an article in Flute Talk (January 2004) about the "The First Years in An Orchestra". Many musician have spent years of musical training with the hope of landing a position in an orchestra. In pursuit of this goal, they will take numerous auditions and struggle through years of rejections and anxiety. When they finally succeed, most of them are unaware of the non-musical and business considerations that might effect them during the tenure period.

Most orchestras have a period of at least one year in which new musicians are evaluated on the job. At the end of this period new players either receive a dismissal notice or receive a long-term contract. The most basic responsibility that players have is to be completely prepared for every rehearsal and concert. This is an obligation that players have been trained to do and thus is expected. What is not expected are the many other duties that are a part of the orchestra life, such as orchestra meetings, committee memberships, pension discussions and contract disputes. According to the author of the article, these non-musical duties can be quite overwhelming.

Well enough of that. It is easy to see, that by comparison, playing in MPRO is a sweet deal. Occasionally some of us members will volunteer to become officers of MPRO, such as members of the Board and/or President of the organization.

We are fast approaching the end of the 2005-2006 season, but the show must go on. We will need a new President for 2006-2007 season; give it some thought; the organization needs you.

My membership in MPRO over the past 12 years has been gratifying for me and my 3 yrs as President has been my means of contributing to the EFFORTS of all.

Thanks for listening!

Tony Jackson, President


Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

Glenn Shannon will be the orchestra’s guest director for the upcoming meeting on March 22. He will be directing one of his latest compositions entitled, Peanut Butter Prelude & Fugue. Glenn Shannon and his original music for recorders have been favorites at previous MPRO meetings, and March 22 promises to be another hit. So, please plan to attend. Also, please mark the April 19 meeting on your calendar. That evening there will be a joint rehearsal with Gabrieli West. This will be one of only two occasions we will have to practice the Schmelzer Sonata and Gabrieli’s Chiar’ Angioletta with Joyce’s ensemble, and it is most important that everyone who plans on playing in the June concert attend this meeting.

Listed below is the music for the orchestra's next three meetings. Please note that krummhorns will be needed at the meeting on March 29 and great bass and contrabass recorders will be needed at the meetings on March 29 and April 5.

March 22 MPRO Rehearsal
Glen Shannon, guest director
Shannon: Peanut Butter Prelude & Fugue
March 29 MPRO Rehearsal
Machaut: Donnez, signeurs
Schmelzer: Sonata a otto
Gabrieli: Chiar’ Angioletta
April 5 MPRO Rehearsal
Brahms: Dein Herzlein mild
Brahms: Der Falke
Machaut: Donnez, signeurs
Gabrieli: Chiar’ Angioletta
Schmelzer: Sonata a otto

I look forward to seeing you at these upcoming meetings.

Fred Palmer

When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.


Tom Jajac Workshop On January 28, Tom Zajac led over 50 recorder and viol players in Polish music, mostly written in the 1500’s. We played music which none of us had ever heard before. MPRO Workshop Coordinator George Greenwood introduces Tom Zajac.

Relatively little of the untold riches, manuscripts and prints, survived the ravages of the many wars and social upheavals that Poland experienced, as well as forty five years of Communist control. Even the leading composers of the day are scantly represented by only one or two sources. Enough survived, however, to give a vibrant picture of the musical life of Krakow and other musical centers.

Many folks felt this was one of the best workshops they’ve attended!


REMINDER: This Saturday, March 4, 2006, the East Bay Recorder Society presents "The Borrowers: Imitation in Renaissance Music" (or, "One Man’s Motif Is Another Man's Motet"), a workshop by Adam Gilbert. 9am-4pm at Zion Lutheran Church, 5201 Park Blvd., Oakland. Cost is $40. Drinks and snacks will be supplied; please bring a bag lunch. For further information, contact Susan Richardson, 510-526-7861, susanvrichardson@yahoo.com. (See last month’s issue of UpBeat for details.)


At a recent meeting of the MPRO board an updated version of the By-Laws was approved. A copy may be obtained from the UpBeat Editor if desired.


Our most recent MPRO participating member is Anna Berman of Palo Alto. Anna has lived in this area for many years. While she has previously played recorder with small groups, this is her first experience with a large ensemble. Anna also enjoys hiking. Welcome to MPRO, Anna!