Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra Newsletter



Three weeks from now, we will have reached the end of another year of performing and playing music with our friends. Collectively we are known as The Mid-Peninsula Orchestra.

Our most recent concert of December 4, 2004, was very gratifying, since the music we performed was done quite well. We should not forget, lots of hard work from many people is required for a successful concert. I am indebted to each and every member of MPRO for the work they did in preparing themselves for this concert. Fred Palmer, our Music Director, has worked hard in selecting our music and giving us the guidance we need to perform the music. Laura Gonsalves, who manages and makes certain that all of us get appropriate copies of the music we are expected perform is another one of the numerous persons responsible for our successful mission.

The Praetorius Singers, under the direction of Doris Williams, has always added additional enjoyment to our concerts and this year was no exception. Nicholas Vigil, oboe soloist, has appeared as guest soloist with MPRO on numerous occasions and the orchestra always acquires a different musical eloquence when he is a part of the musical performance. The Program Notes prepared by Stevie White gave me an insight of the music that made the program more enjoyable. It was her Program Notes that clearly pointed out that the music we performed for the concert of December 4, 2004 spanned a period of 400 - 500 yrs. We should all be appreciative of her work and help.

It has occurred to me, and especially at the end of this year, that we on the board have heard very little from the membership of MPRO in general. I am very interested in your point view regarding our present operational policies. We shall plan sometimes in the early part of 2005 to have general MPRO meeting to discuss our common interest - MPRO.

Please, do not let my announcement of a general meeting prevent you from having a very good Holiday and a Very Happy New Year.

Tony Jackson, President

One Issue for 2 Months

Since MPRO has no rehearsals in December, this issue of UpBeat is a combined December-January issue which was mailed to the membership in mid-December.


Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

I am pleased to announce that the second half of MPRO's 2004-2005 season will include two performances with members of the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra. The Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO) trains Bay Area string players from elementary through high-school age and has earned an international reputation for its excellence. MPRO will be performing two major works with PACO, both originally composed for recorders and strings: Biber's Sonata pro Tabula and the Concerto a 8 by Heinichen. To begin preparing for these performances with PACO, please mark the following on your calendar:

Wednesday, May 4
Joint rehearsal with PACO
JLS Middle School, 7:30 P.M.

Thursday, May 12
Joint rehearsal with PACO
Cubberley Theatre, Palo Alto, 5:30 P.M.

Friday, May 13
Performance with PACO
Covenant Presbyterian Church, Palo Alto, 7:30 P.M.

Wednesday, May 18
Joint rehearsal with PACO
JLS Middle School, 7:30 P.M.

Wednesday, June 1
Dress rehearsal with PACO for the spring concert
Grace Lutheran Church, Palo Alto, 7:30 P.M.

Sunday, June 5
MPRO spring concert with members of PACO performing
Grace Lutheran Church, Palo Alto, 3:00 P.M.

The concerts with PACO will be a rare, if not once-in-a-lifetime, opportunity for members of MPRO to perform two of the finest works from the baroque repertoire for recorders and strings. The concerts will also give the orchestra the chance to work with a group of talented and dedicated young musicians. As MPRO's music director, I feel privileged to take part in these unique and significant performances and hope that all of the orchestra's members will be able join me in these two concerts.

No less significant than the concerts in May and June is the workshop MPRO has scheduled for January 29 in Cupertino with Vicki Boekman. Ever since serving on the faculty with Vicki at the Colorado Recorder Festival in 1988 and getting to know her as a consummate performer and teacher, I have been trying to arrange for her to present a workshop for the orchestra. Now that she has relocated in the United States, that opportunity is finally here, and I can say with absolute certainty that this is one workshop you will not want to miss. For further information, please see Vicki Boekman's article and the workshop registration announcement, both of which appear in this issue of Upbeat.

Listed below is the music for the orchestra's first three meetings of the new year. Please note that krummhorns and contrabass recorder will be needed for the meeting on January 26 and great bass and contrabass recorders will be needed for the meeting on February 2.

January 5 MPRO Rehearsal
Biber: Sonata pro Tabula
Heinichen: Concerto a 8
Secunda: Meine Yiddishe Meidel
January 26 MPRO Rehearsal
Biber: Sonata pro Tabula
Heinichen: Concerto a 8
Pass'emezzo della Paganina and Saltarello
February 2 MPRO Rehearsal
Biber: Sonata pro Tabula
Heinichen: Concerto a 8
Hugo de Lantins: A ma dame playsant et belle
Liadov: Chant de Noël

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

Getting to the Heart of the Matter…making the music come alive

by Vicki Boekman

No one can argue that great musicians have a true gift; they are born with innate talents that simply cannot be learned. However, there are skills that can be acquired, and this is what we will be focusing on. I would like to get to the heart of the matter of what makes music come alive.

Johann Mattheson lists more than twenty affections (characteristic emotions) and describes how they should be expressed in music. The close relationship between music and human affections has often been recognized and emphasized in all types of music. But often it seems as though the process of learning and playing music takes an intellectual, theoretical approach and ends up being very analytical in nature. This results in rather dry, distant interpretations. Whether we are playing for an audience in a large space, for our families at holidays or with friends at chapter meetings, we need to focus on establishing a greater relationship between us as humans with emotions and the music. We need to learn how to use our body and senses for transforming what is on the musical score out to others…even if it is only out to our pets curled up on the living room couch.

What I’d like to propose is this: You are your instrument! The tool that you choose to play on - the recorder, or whatever other instrument - is irrelevant…it is your own body that the music must resonate from. I’d like to work on exploring and exploiting your own resonance possibilities so that the sound you make can be your own unique and expressive tool. And we’ll work on taking the mystery and guesswork out of interpretation by using all of your senses in learning to recognize clues and patterns of a composition. In short we’ll be combining the affections and rhetoric of the music (the theory) with the practical.

Vicki Boekman’s workshop will be held on Saturday, January 29th, 2005, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. See the enclosed flyer for details.


Jazz & Contemporary Works for Recorder Ensemble by Duke Ellington, Paul Desmond, Scott Joplin, Paul Leenhouts, Pauline Oliveros, Kazimierz Serocki, Hans Ulrich Staeps.

Letitia Berlin, Frances Blaker, Louise Carslake, Frances Feldon, Hanneke Van Proosdij, Recorders

Friday, January 7, 2005 8 PM
St Alban’s Episcopal Church
1501 Washington St., Albany

For information, call (510) 527-9840 or e-mail franfel@aol.com