Fellow MPRO Members,


It’s only February and already 2014 has been quite a year. I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the recent events and the changes occurring to our organization — Fred’s diagnosis and ongoing treatment and Greta’s appointment and debut as our Assistant Director, as well as last fall’s shifting meeting schedules and locations. For a group no doubt accustomed to many years of stability in its musical direction, structure and routines, I’m seeing nothing but eagerness and agility in adapting to what seems to be the new normal. I want to thank everyone for stepping up to fill in the inevitable gaps, and for their patience and help as I continue to grow into my role.


As was the case with the Holiday Concert, this spring’s playlist makes for an ambitious set. I must confess the volume of music can be intimidating at first, especially to some of us newer members who are still working on basic technique. With the MIDI files, however, we have the tools to succeed, and Fred doesn’t assign anything we aren’t capable of playing.


To that end, I want to follow up on George’s comments from January 8 and request that we all get familiar with the new pieces, especially the Telemann, as quickly as possible. This will reduce the time spent learning the notes and rhythms, so we can concentrate on interpretation (and avoid unnecessary wear and tear on our Directors).


I’ll return to my MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) article installments once things settle down a bit, but I think the current state of things warranted a word.


Regards, Dana Wagner

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Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,


Listed below is the music for the orchestra's next three meetings.  Please note that there will be sectional seating for the Telemann Concerto, with those playing Soprano Recorder 1-3, Alto Recorder 1 and Tenor Recorder 1-2 sitting on the right as they face the conductor and those  playing Alto Recorder 2, Tenor Recorder 3-4 and Bass Recorder on the left.  Please observe this seating arrangement when you choose your place at the beginning of all three meetings.  Please note as well that bassoon and great bass recorders will be needed at all three meetings, bass viola da gamba on February 26 and March 12, sopranino recorder, krummhorns and dulcien on February 19 and March 12 and contrabass recorders on February 26.



February 19

Telemann:  Concerto in B flat Major

Hotby:  Quae est ista

Anonymous:  O lusty May, Wo worth the tyme,

How shuld my febill body fure


February 26

Telemann:  Concerto in B flat Major

Albinoni:  Adagio Op. 9, No. 8

Cowell:  Birthday Piece, Jig


March 12

Telemann:  Concerto in B flat Major

Hotby:  Quae est ista

Anonymous:  O lusty May, Wo worth the tyme,

How shuld my febill body fure

Bach:  Passepied I and II


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


Sincerely, Fred Palmer





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I began studying music in third grade, took soprano recorder and piano lessons from Ms. Grace Butler, and then added alto and tenor recorder to my repertoire. In fifth grade, as part of the school music program at Escondido Elementary, I began clarinet. In middle school I considered switching to oboe, but happily changed my mind when I heard the bassoon. The summer after seventh grade, I started lessons with Ms. Yueh Chou and have been studying with her for two and a half years.


This year, as a high school freshman, I play bassoon in my high school band, I am the principal bassoonist in the California Youth Symphony Associate Orchestra and, of course, I am a member of MPRO. I recently was part of the Santa Clara County Honor Band, and I am currently preparing for a Bach competition. I am planning on continuing to play music throughout my four years of high school and beyond, as I really enjoy doing so.


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 by Anne-Marie Wiggers


The guest director of the MPRO Winter Workshop was Paul Leenhouts, Director of Early Music Studies at the University of North Texas, who brought us music from the 15th through 21st centuries.


In the first two Renaissance pieces, “Vergene bella (Dufay) and “Douce Mémoire” (J. Buus), Paul emphasized understanding the character and the function of each note with respect to the whole arrangement. We were lucky to have quite a few low-pitched instruments in our group, allowing each part to double-up with 4-footers and 8-footers and create a lovely, mellow sound.


Next we tackled two early 17th century pieces. First was Cornelis Schuyt’s swingy, Italian “Canzon La Barca.” (The title is a pun on the composer’s last name, which means boat.) Paul demonstrated vocally how he wanted the music to sound: da-ba-da-ba-dee-be-ba-da-doo. Very jazzy. He made a point that the low instruments should play softly, the middle parts steadily and harmoniously, with the high part just floating easily above the other voices.


We played three variations of a well-known, meditative arrangement, “Von der Fortuna werd’ ich getrieben” (J. P. Sweelinck, arr. by Leenhouts) often played in The Netherlands during prominent funerals. One of the exercises Paul asked us to do for playing accurately in time was lifting our finger(s) just at the last split-second before fingering the next. This created a snappy, timely sound.  We needed this effect also for the “Concerto Armonico No.1” (van Wassenaer, 1700’s) with the leaping 1/4th and 1/8th notes for many measures. The effect was rather jig-like.


Our closing piece was the popular Dutch song, “Tulpen aus Amsterdam” (arr. by Leenhouts). It is reminiscent of a typical Dutch street scene with hand-cranked barrel organs decorated with  robotic drummer boys, dancing ladies and clashing cymbals.


Our time went fast with Paul Leenhouts, an internationally recognized musician and teacher who passed on his knowledge about early music in a very personal and congenial manner.


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Links to youTubes of music in the current MPRO repertoire


 Concerto in B flat Major, Telemann, first movement:  


 Concerto in B flat Major, Telemann, last movement


 Orchestral Suite No. 1, Bach, Passepied I & II



The passepied (pronounced pas’pje) is a French court dance and instrumental form of the 16th to 18th centuries. The music begins with an upbeat in  3/4 or 3/8 time and is similar to the minuet, but faster. Passepieds usually occur in pairs, with the first section reappearing as a ‘da capo’ after the second. Its name may refer to its characteristic step. The feet cross (pass) and recross while gliding forward.

adapted from Wikipedia and Britannica




The Board: President: Dana Wagner; Treasurer: Leslie Pont; Recording Secretary: Helen Shamble; Membership: Chris Flake; Publicity: TBD; Graphics: Mary Ashley; Newsletter Editor: Mary Ann Field; Workshop Coordinator: Laura Gonsalves, Stuart Elliott; Hospitality: Judith Unsicker; Music Sales: Laura Gonsalves; Historian: vacant; Webmaster: Dan Chernikoff; Facilities Mgr: Grace Butler; Consort Coordinator: vacant; Historian: vacant; Music Director: Fred Palmer. MPRO website: < http://www.mpro-online.org >             










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