MARCH 2018


SFEMS Summer Workshops.  Registration is now open for the 2018 San Francisco Early Music Society (SFEMS) Summer Workshops. There will be separate week-long workshops in June and July on topics including Medieval/Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical, two different recorder sessions, and a "Music Discovery and Youth Collegium" for students. Locations range from Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park to Oakland and Berkeley.  For information including details on the topics and faculty for each workshop, see:

SFEMS Berkeley Early Music Festival & Exhibition. The festival is held every two years, alternating with the Boston Early Music Festival. This year’s event, from

June 3-10 in Berkeley,  will include 19 "main stage" concerts, performances by dozens of other ensembles in the "Festival Fringe" and an exhibition featuring makers and sellers of instruments, sheet music, books, etc. For a  24-page brochure, see:

Play the Recorder Month/Day.   March is the American Recorder Society’s annual “Play-the-Recorder Month”, and March 17 is this year’s “Play-the-Recorder Day.” The ARS encourages its affiliates to play an original composition by Eric Haas, titled

 is "Fantasia on a shape note hymn, based on a tune published in 1817.  Free

sheet music and a background summary by Mr. Haas are available at:

-Judith Unsicker



Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

        Listed below is the music for the orchestra's next three meetings.  Please note that we will be working on all five movements of the Handel Concerto Grosso and that great bass and contrabass recorders will be needed at all three meetings and sopranino recorder and krummhorns will be needed on March 28.


March 14

Schmelzer:  Sonatina

Handel:  Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 1

Crecquillon:  Vidit Jacob scalam

Evans:  Waltz for Debby

March 28

Schmelzer:  Sonatina

Handel:  Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 1

Encina:  Fata la parte, ¿Si abrá en este beldrés

Evans:  Waltz for Debby

April 11

Schmelzer:  Sonatina

Handel:  Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 1

Crecquillon:  Vidit Jacob scalam

Evans:  Waltz for Debby

        I look forward to seeing you at these upcoming meetings.


Fred Palmer


As recorder players, we can qualitatively recognize good acoustics in the places where we perform. Since the 1980s, university researchers have been studying the relationships between prehistoric cultures and their acoustic environments. Several

studies of European painted caves and rock shelters have shown higher densities of

art work in environments that create more echoes and reverberations. This may be linked to use of the painted sites for rituals, including music. Acoustics may also have been a factor in the design of prehistoric structures such as Stonehenge.  In one study, measurements of the acoustic shadows cast by Stonehenge megaliths correspond to the sound wave interference pattern that would be produced by two flutes playing in the center of the henge ( An interview with another acoustic archaeologist also summarizes his research team’s work in terms of music.   It includes digital modeling of resonance at Stonehenge that accounts for a “hum” noted by early observers during high wind conditions. See:



KDFC Radio’s Culture/Staff Blog billed the MyNoise website,, as an opportunity to create your own Gregorian chant.  It’s not quite that, but this site allows you to play with “sliders” to customize the features of over 100 preset recordings of various types of background “noise.”  Choices range from natural sounds to a laundromat to Tibetan throat singing and singing bowls (under the “Tonal Drones” heading). Gregorian chant is under the “Voices” heading. You can also do a one-time calibration of the site to adjust frequencies to compensate for deficiencies of your audio equipment or age-related hearing loss. The site has a link to a “how to” video on calibration, or you can access the video directly at:  Some features of the MyNoise website require payment for “privileged access” but there are plenty of interesting things that you can do for free.


Donations to MPRO are always welcome. If you plan to itemize tax deductions, checks should be made payable to the San Francisco Early Music Society (SFEMS).  Please do not mail donations for MPRO directly to SFEMS, or try to donate to MPRO online through the SFEMS webpage.  If you don't plan to itemize deductions, it is easier for us if your check is made to MPRO.  Checks should be given to Treasurer Chantal Moser at a rehearsal or mailed to her at her home address in the MPRO membership list.  Chantal will ensure that SFEMS credits the checks as donations to MPRO.

The Board: President: Judith Unsicker; Treasurer: Chantal Moser and Mary Ashley; Recording Secretary: vacant; Membership: Chris Flake; Publicity: vacant; Graphics: Mary Ashley; Newsletter Editor: vacant; Workshop Coordinator: vacant; Hospitality: vacant; Music Sales: Laura Gonsalves; Historian: vacant; Webmaster: Dan Chernikoff;  Music Director: Fred Palmer; Assistant Music Director: Greta Haug-Hryciw.  MPRO website:      

Past Months