Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra Newsletter

APRIL 2002


Pat Marion, MPRO Associate member and friend lent me a book recently which concerns both the Jews and my passion for music.

"We lived next to the Kaufman's on ninth street in Niagara Falls N.Y. from 1934 when I was two years old, until 1942. Because both my parents worked, Mrs. Kaufman watched over me during the day. She treated me to her homemade pie and ice cream and gave me pennies for the candy store on the corner. She also gauged the depth of the depression by how many hoboes she fed, and she gave yard work to them during the week. I wanted the Kaufmans to be my God parents and couldn't understand what "different religions" had to do with the issue.

In the late thirties, even as a kid, I noticed a change in Mr. and Mrs. Kaufman's demeanor. They were home more, having dropped many of their social activities, and when out in public they tended to talked very quietly, in near whispers, as if they were afraid to draw attention to themselves. When I asked about this, the answer I got was "We're Jews, and something terrible is happening to Jews in Europe. It's not safe to draw attention to ourselves."

My eight year old mind couldn't understand why something occurring so far away made our town unsafe, and surely couldn't conceive of anybody being unkind to these nice people. It wasn't until after I was graduated from college that I learned the full extent of the Holocaust and understood the fear of the Kaufmans. I then read all I could get my hands on about Jewish history and the horror which the Nazis wreaked on six million people. This need to learn about the world events of my innocent, cloistered years continues."

Martin Goldsmith, a son of musicians, has written what is to me, a very powerful book about his search of his family's life in Germany, including his parents experiences during the gradually increasing oppression of Jews in the thirties and into the years of the war. Similar to "Playing for Time", it has to do with how musicians were protected, at least for a while, from being sent to the camps. I'm writing about this book because we share a love of music, and some of you may have similar, very persistent memories of that awful era. If so, you might like to read this book: Goldsmith, Martin, The Inextinguishable Symphony. A true story of music and love in Nazi Germany. John Wily and Sons, Inc., New York: 2000.

Stevie White


Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

I want to congratulate all the members of the MPRO Ensemble and Praetorius Singers for the excellent performance at the video recording on March 16. This was indeed the best playing and singing these two groups have done together to date, and the result deserves to be broadcast on television and preserved on video tape. I want you to know how much I appreciate all the hard work, time and dedication each member of both groups put in to making this recording such a resounding success. This is truly a milestone in the ongoing development of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra and one that will have a significant impact on its future. I thank all those who took part in this important project. This was a job well done.

Shira Kammen will be guest director for the orchestra's meeting on April 17 and will present a program of medieval selections including works by Dufay, Landini and Machaut. This will be a wonderful opportunity for those in MPRO to work with one of the Bay Area's leading performers and interpreters of medieval music, and I encourage all of the orchestra's members to plan on attending that evening.

The meeting on May 1 will include a joint rehearsal of L'Angelina by Soderino and the Vejvanovsky Serenada with the Oriana Consort of Viols. Since this will be the only opportunity for the orchestra to play these two pieces with the viols prior to the dress rehearsal for the June concert, I urge all members of the orchestra to attend this meeting. Regarding the other two selections scheduled for the May 1 meeting: Please look over your music to the Pärt, Pari Intervallo. Those assigned to the soprano recorder part on this piece are strongly urged to use an electronic tuner to check second octave E flat on their instruments for intonation as well as while practicing third octave C for response and tuning. On the Finale from the Haydn Divertimento all players need to work on making sure that their fingers are firmly closing the tone holes (and keys) of the recorder before producing each note. Everyone will also need to practice this piece with a metronome beginning at 80 beats/minute for the quarter note and slowly working up 176 beat/minute. Finally, those playing soprano recorder in the Vejvanovsky Serenada will need to check their third octave C on a tuner and practice that note for accurate response and intonation. Listed below is the schedule for the orchestra's next two meetings.

April 17 MPRO Rehearsal
Shira Kammen, guest director
Medieval music featuring works by Dufay, Landini and Machaut
May 1 * MPRO Rehearsal
With the Oriana Consort of Viols
Soderino: L'Angelina
Vejvanovsky: Serenada
Pärt: Pari Intervallo
Haydn: Divertimento in F, Finale

I look forward to seeing you at these upcoming meetings.

Fred Palmer


The Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra's spring concert will take place at the Portola Valley Town Center Multi-Use Room, 765 Portola Road in Portola Valley on Sunday, June 2 at 2:00 P.M. A sign-up sheet for those who would like to take part in this concert will be available at the orchestra meetings in April. All those who plan on performing with the orchestra are expected to attend the dress rehearsal, which will take place at the Portola Valley Town Center Multi-Use Room on Wednesday, May 29 at 7:30 P.M. Small ensembles are also invited to appear in this concert, and those groups which intend to perform on June 2 are asked to give the music director the following information by May 15: the title(s) of the music to be performed, the name(s) of the composer(s), the name of the ensemble (if any) and the names of the ensemble's members.

Bay Area Recorder Series workshop and concert

Brazilian recorder virtuoso Cléa Galhano and harpsichordist Vivian Montgomery will present a workshop focusing on Brazilian music for recorder and harpsichord on Saturday, April 13 from 5-9 p.m. (previously 1-5 p.m.). On Sunday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. the Duo will perform "Les Goûts Réunis: Virtuosity in the Italian, German and French". The workshop location is MusicSources, 1000 The Alameda in Berkeley. The Sunday concert is at Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda. For information call 510-559-4670 or email barecorderseries@mindspring.com.

MPRO Ensemble and Praetorius Singers to appear on telelvison

MPRO Ensemble and Praetorius Singers to appear on telelvison

On March 16th the MPRO Ensemble and Praetorius Singers taped a half-hour performance at the Mid-Peninsula Community Media Center studio in Palo Alto.

Four broadcasts of the tape are scheduled:

Cable Channel 27 Friday April 5, 4:30 PM

Cable Channel 27 Wednesday, April 10, 8:00 PM

Cable Channel 27 Thursday, April 18, 4:30 PM

Cable Channel 28 Tuesday, April 16, 11:05 PM

These channels can only be viewed in Palo Alto, EPA, Menlo Park , Atherton, and Stanford.

Copies of a video recording for cable television broadcast featuring the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra can be ordered through Mary Carrigan. The price per copy will be around $9.00, and the deadline for placing orders is April 17. Copies of the video will be available for delivery around the beginning of June. If you would like a copy of this video recording and have not yet signed up to order one, please contact Mary at 415-664-9050 (e-mail:yramc44308@aol.com.).


May 3 - 5: Marin Headlands Workshop for Recorders and Viols, sponsored by East Bay Chapter-ARS, at Marin Headlands Institute, Sausalito, CA. Seventeen playing sessions over the weekend (Friday evening to Sunday noon) features twelve conductors: David Barnett, Letitia Berlin, Frances Blaker, Louise Carslake, Robert Dawson, Frances Feldon, Eileen Hadidian, Shira Kammen, Judy Linsenberg, Peter Maund, Frederic Palmer, and Joanna Bramel-Young. Entire weekend or partial attendance ok.

For information contact Penni Savage 510-597-0416, or

e-mail psavage205@aol.com.