Hark, how the bells ring in the holidays and the New Year, which brings to us “Music of Nations – Renaissance to Modern”.


Dona Nobis Parem…peace be with you.


Grace and Liz (Co-Presidents)




The Recorder, An Instrument for Many Times and Places

by Frederic Palmer


One of the recorder’s most significant assets is the suitability of its sound and technical capabilities for an incredibly wide range of music.  This not only includes the standard Western repertoire from the Middle Ages through the present day, but also a variety of styles that is truly international, from folk and ethnic music found around the world to popular Latin American selections.  Unfortunately, many recorder players restrict themselves almost exclusively to the Renaissance and Baroque and, as a result, not only limit their musical experience but also lose out on the advantages of playing a wide range of music which can have on one’s technical and interpretive skills.  Once recorder players venture outside these historical periods they will be exposed to musical vocabularies that require an extension of their existing technique, whether it is the syncopations of ragtime or the fingering combinations required for the exotic intervals in klezmer music.  At the same time, they will also notice that similar devices appear in diverse musical styles, for example, the hemiola that gives the Mexican huapango its rhythmic drive but is also found in the cadences of a renaissance galliard, or the swing of the eighth notes in jazz and notes inégales of the French Baroque.  This, in turn, allows them to see the music of the Renaissance and Baroque in a new light, with greater interpretive possibilities and a more assured technique.


On Saturday, January 29, the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra will present a workshop entitled, Music of Nations Renaissance to Modern.  The workshop will focus on recorder music from the 16th century to the present and will feature selections from countries throughout the world as well as well known composers of the Renaissance and Baroque. The workshop will be directed by Clea Galhano, who is an internationally renowned recorder player and accomplished performer of early, contemporary and Brazilian music.  For further information see the enclosed brochure or contact Leslie Pont.   





Conductor’s Corner


Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,


I want to congratulate those members who took part in the two concerts that concluded the first half of the orchestra’s current season for their fine playing that made these performances a success.  I especially appreciate those who took part in the December 3 Winter Gala for making the trip to Hayward and adjusting, in a very professional manner, to the unfamiliar acoustics and setup changes they encountered.  Their efforts were very much appreciated by the audience and other performers at the Gala.  Special thanks go to Dr. Buddy James and the East Bay Singers for a most successful collaboration with MPRO and for contributing so much to the orchestra’s holiday concert in Palo Alto with polished singing and the choral selections that were performed.  I would also like to thank those who added a special touch to the orchestra’s sound.  These include Gwen Freeman on keyboard, Nick Vigil on oboe, those members who doubled on krummhorns and Bill Lazar who played dulcien and viola da gamba.  Finally, I would like to express my thanks to Greta Hryciw for taking time from her very busy schedule to perform with MPRO at the December 3 Gala. 


And now, here are some of the highlights for the second half of the orchestra's 2010-2011 season:  On Saturday, January 29, Clea Galhano will be directing a workshop for MPRO.  You will find details about the workshop in this issue of Upbeat.  Those who have worked with Clea Galhano on previous occasions know that she is not only a consummate teacher and performer but also infuses the workshops she presents with a refreshing and infectious Latin spirit, and I encourage all the members of the orchestra to take advantage of what promises to be a most vibrant and musically rewarding experience next month.  Music for the second half of the orchestra’s 2010-2011 season will include an encore of Shmulowitz’s  A Brivele der Mam’n, the first movement from the Symphony No. 3 by William Boyce, two early 15th-century French songs and two selections that I have composed.  Sonata La Margherita is in the antiphonal style of the late 16th and early 17th centuries, while Esprit incorporates an idiom cultivated by several composers associated with the Eastman School of Music during the 1950s and 60s.  I am also pleased to announce that Gwen Freeman will be joining us on keyboard for the spring concert and will be attending the MPRO meeting on January 5.  Since this will be one of the few occasions when the orchestra will have the opportunity to rehearse the music for the second half of the current season with all instruments present, I encourage all members to make every effort to attend this meeting.


      Listed below is the music for the orchestra's first three meetings of the New Year.  Please note that there will be sectional seating for Sonata La Margherita, with those in Coro Primo sitting on the right as they face the conductor and those in Coro Secundo on the left.  Please observe this seating arrangement when you choose your place at the beginning of the meetings on January 5 and February 9.  Please note as well that bass viola da gamba and contrabass recorders will be needed at all three meetings, great bass recorders and harp on January 19 and February 9, sopranino recorder on February 9 and dulcien as well as krummhorns on January 5 and February 9.


January 5

Boyce:  Symphony No. 3

Palmer:  Sonata La Margherita

Palmer:  Esprit


January 19

Boyce:  Symphony No. 3

Grenon:  Je suy defait

Shmulowitz:  A Brivele der Mam’n 

Palmer:  Esprit


February 9

Boyce:  Symphony No. 3

Johannes le Grant:  Entre vous nouviaux mariés

Palmer:  Sonata La Margherita

Palmer:  Esprit



I look forward to seeing you at these upcoming meetings and working on this 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



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A Message from our Treasurer

Text Box: west valley music

Moeck and Yamaha recorders

LARGE selection of recorder music


262 Castro Street
Mountain View, CA 94041

Hi Everyone.


I just wanted to let you know that the donations given at our December 4th  holiday concert totaled  $275!   Thank you,  your families and friends,  for contributing to our General Fund!


You can make a tax deductible donation to MPRO at any time to help balance our budget.   Make your check to SFEMS, the San Francisco Early Music Society (since we are an affiliate) and specify that the donation is for MPRO.   Please give any checks to me, and I will route them through SFEMS.


Have a joyous, safe and happy holiday season.


Leslie Pont





Merry Christmas. everybody!
















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