Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra Newsletter



For all of you recipients of UPBEAT other than Orchestra members: Our Christmas CONCERT is at 2:00 on Sun. DEC. 10 at the Lutheran Church, 600 W. 42nd Ave., San Mateo. Bring your friends, Romans, countrymen and kin. It's free and fun, especially when the krumhorns are in tune It will be even more jolly if the recorders are in tune, as well.

Tish Berlin organized a wonderful Early Music week for Elderhostel participants at the Hidden Valley Institute of the Arts in Carmel Valley during the first week of November. In addition to Tish, the faculty included Frances Blaker who we all know and love, Shirra Kammen who is one of the West Coast authorities on Medieval music, Trevor Stephenson, Harpsichordist from Wisconsin (whose love of Bach is almost palpable and whose recording of the complete Well Tempered Clavier will be released in Jan. '01), Louise Carslake, Recorderist and Baroque Flautist, and Hanneke Van Proosdij, Recorderist, Harpsichordist and Composer.

You may know that Tish, Frances, Louise and Hanneke performed together under the name of Serena. That's the old news. They still perform together, but Serena is now THE FARALLONS. The first public announcement of this change was made at the faculty concert. The new name was made necessary because Serena is also the name of a group made up of 4 Danish female Recorderists who had the gall to produce their CD first.

MPRO members who attended are Laura Gonsalves, Kelly Moore, Betsy Wallace, Penny Savage and Moi. The week was planned for Recorders and Gambas, but Penny was the only Gamba player attending. She was joined in her Basso Continuo duties by a Theorbo player from San Diego, and Trevor on Harpsichord. (Few of us get a chance to play with BC accompaniment and it sure was great! It made us feel like we had finally joined the grownups.) There were a number of people from the Monterey Bay Recorder Society, one woman from Colorado; and a whole slew of folks I'd never seen before from San Jose, Los Gatos and Cupertino, who seemed to arise from the sand dunes of the South Bay's Early Music desert. (Thus reinforcing my belief that there is potential for a strong Early Music influence in the Monterey Bay - South Bay area if we can ever get our act together.)

Although this was only the second year that this event was held, it was filled to capacity. My bet is that next year it will be overbooked, especially if the same faculty returns.

This edition of UPBEAT is the last for this year. I wish you all Happy and safe holidays, and a healthy first year of the next century.

Stephen J. White


Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

Here are the highlights for the second half of the orchestra's 2000-2001 season: On, Saturday, January 20, Kim Pineda from Seattle, Washington will be directing a workshop for MPRO entitled, "The Instrumental Music of Schein, Scheidt and Muffat." For further information about this workshop please see the article and registration announcement which appears in this issue of Upbeat. Bay Area performer and teacher, Tish Berlin, will be guest director for the meeting scheduled on March 21. This is a wonderful opportunity for those in MPRO to work with one of the Bay Area's favorite recorder leaders, and I encourage all of the orchestra's members to plan on attending this meeting.

The Palo Alto Madrigal Singers will be joining the orchestra for the spring concert on Saturday, June 2. Polychoral works for instruments and voices by Roland de Lassus and Heinrich Schütz will be featured on the program as well as music by Handel, Mozart and Binchois. Meanwhile, please remember that the orchestra's holiday concert will take place at Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church, 600 West 42nd Avenue in San Mateo on Sunday, December 10 at 2:00 P.M. Don't forget to invite family and friends to this performance, which will feature seasonal works for voices and early instruments.

The first half of the orchestra's current season will conclude with a holiday party at 7:30 P.M. on Wednesday, December 13, at the home of Fred Kamphoefner, 175 Ravenswood Avenue in Atherton. All MPRO members and their family and friends are invited to attend.

Listed below is the music for the orchestra's first five meetings of the new year. Please note that krummhorn players will be needed for the meetings on January 17 and February 7.

January 3
Mozart: March of the Priests
Binchois: Se j'eusse un seul peu d'esperanche
Handel: Overture for St. Cecilia's Day

January 17
Lassus: Tutto lo di
Harrison: Serenade, Gigue en Rondeau
I Want Jesus to Walk with Me

January 31
Handel: Overture for St. Cecilia's Day
Brahms: Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen
Schütz: Jauchzet dem Herrn

February 7
Harrison: Serenade, Gigue en Rondeau
Binchois: Se j'eusse un seul peu d'esperanche
Lassus: Tutto lo di
Mozart: March of the Priests

February 21
Handel: Overture for St. Cecilia's Day
I Want Jesus to Walk with Me
Schütz: Jauchzet dem Herrn

I look forward to seeing you at these upcoming meetings and working on this exciting and wonderful music with you. Please let any of your friends who play early instruments know about the orchestra's varied activities and invite them to attend an MPRO meeting, workshop or concert.

Fred Palmer


MPRO now has a web page! Point your web browser at <http://www.sfems.org/mpro>. There you will find our rehearsal and concert schedule, current and past newsletters, our history, pictures of us from past concerts, a list of MPRO Consorts with pictures, forms for renewing your membership and for joining a consort, and a "Resource Page" with fingering charts, notes on performance practice from Fred, and a huge list of links to other recorder-related web sites. Plus lots more -- check it out! Consort Members: Please bring in a picture of your consort and give it to Dan Chernikoff for inclusion on the web page! We're having a contest -- first prize for the Best Consort Picture will be awarded Fred's car! (Well, maybe not, but send in your pictures anyway).

Dan Chernikoff


Thanks for sending me corrections to the MPRO Membership List which was included in last month’s newsletter. Please make the following corrections:

1) Angela Owen plays "cymbals", not "symbols" (Wow, I've been programming too long!)

2) Anne-Marie Wigger's email is at mindspring.com. (I had typed "mindsprint"!)

3) Phyllis Reisner's telephone number and email need correcting (see printed newsletter for proper info).

Also, please add the following names:

1) Anthony Breitbart, Participating member. Tenor-Soprano. (See printed newsletter for address and email).

2) Hans Samelson, Associate member. Bass-Tenor-Alto (See printed newsletter for address and email).

Chris Flake


The following members are looking to join or form a new consort:

Pat Morris
Sr. Josephine Burns
(See printed MPRO members list for address and email).

George Greenwood
Consort Coordinatorp


Re-Interpreting the Dance Music
of Johann Herman Schein, Samuel Scheidt, and Georg Muffat

By Kim Pineda

On January 20, Kim Pineda will be presenting a workshop for the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra entitled the, "The Instrumental Music of Schein, Scheidt and Muffat." For further information about this workshop please see the announcement which appears in this issue of Upbeat.

Do the following two situations sound familiar? 1. "The music sounds interesting and fun, but the rhythms and all the fast notes look scary. If only I could keep from getting lost, or feel relaxed in the midst of rhythmic chaos." Or 2. "The music sounds interesting when I hear it, but it looks boring, simple, and unchallenging."

Often when people get together to play music both of these situations come up and a lot of music gets dismissed because it falls into one or the other of these categories. At first glance both appear in the dance music of Schein, Scheidt, and Muffat. Everyone seems to be familiar with Schein’s Banchetto Musicale ("Not those things again! We want something interesting and challenging!"), and people are often scared by the virtuosic passages in Scheidt’s Ludi Musici ("I can’t play that fast. If it doesn’t go fast, it is boring."), and Muffat gets ignored because it is thought of as string music (Muffat actually gives instructions on what to do when playing his Florilegia suites on wind instruments).

I like to look at what I call the Big Picture, which is just seeing the music from a distance, beyond individual notes (the old "can’t see the forest for the trees" thing). Once you can look past the notes of your part, then you will see the whole musical picture. Familiarity with some music can lead us away from the Big Picture, as will a cursory glance at some unfamiliar music. One step we can take to see the Big Picture involves examining the differences between the conventions of musical notation and the rhetoric and practice of performance in any given period. When we add to this our modern performing editions and a playing tradition based on a number of 20th-century assumptions, we find ourselves with a fair amount of musical filters which cloud our perspective.

But what about the actual playing? Once we wade through our 20th-century assumptions we will discover that virtuosic passages can be played by breaking them down into smaller note groups, complex rhythms can be analyzed and turned into easy-to-manage patterns, and simple-looking music can always be made more interesting by using varied articulation which will help bring out its subtly hidden rhythmic vitality. Historical articulations can be boiled down to the distinction between the attack and duration of notes and are not as complicated as they first seem. When you start thinking in this way, you will soon forget about the individual angst of your own part. Then you we will be able to take this music, whether it appears complex and technically challenging or simple and uncomplicated, and inject it with life and energy, all the while remaining calm and enjoying the music as it unfolds to show us the Big Picture.

DON’T FORGET THE holiday party

on Wednesday, December 13, at the home of Fred Kamphoefner. You may bring fruit, cheese, wine, sweets, nuts, punch, et al.


Our annual fall workshop, held October 28 at the Palo Alto Unitarian Church, was a great success! It was well attended, and our enthusiastic and capable workshop leader, Frances Blaker, introduced us to several new pieces, including compositions by little known English composer, Peter Philips. Register early for our January 20th workshop, led by Kim Pineda. (See registration form and Kim’s article, "The Big Picture" in this issue.)


For sale: New unused Yamaha tenor recorder, plastic, with C# key. Also Yamaha soprano and alto plastic recorders. Also a Gill wood soprano recorder. Phone Pearl at (650) 325-7549.


Eileen Hadidian’s CD is out, just in time for the holidays: DOLCE MUSICA , A Contemplative Journey. Celtic, Renaissance and Medieval melodies on flutes, recorders and harps, with Eileen and Natalie Cox. Contact Eileen for ordering details at (510) 524-5661, or e-mail at healingmuses@aol.com.