Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra Newsletter



The "Reading Between the Notes" Workshop directed by Tom Bickley on October 23, 2004 lived up to it's promise.

We were presented with a good variety of musical selections for analysis before and while playing them. For each selection we discussed and determined the "home pitch" of the musical theme and identified the musical phrases. The result of this approach gave us greater appreciation of the musical style and what notes needed to be emphasized during performance.

While this increased knowledge about the music has many advantages, it may or may not improve the overall performance.

Nicholas Lander, in his Recorder Home Page, points out what we all know, and that is in order for music to sound as the composer intended, the recorder must have good control of tone, intonation and articulation. He states that these three variables of technique are usually difficult for amateurs and requires a lot of time, patience and intelligent work.

Because of the effort required to control tone, intonation and articulation, Lander raises the question as to whether The Recorder is an Instrument of Torture or an Instrument of Music?

What do you think?

Tony Jackson, President

Next UpBeat

Since MPRO has no rehearsals in December, the next UpBeat will be a combined December-January issue and will be mailed to everybody in mid-December.


Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

The orchestra's holiday concert will take place at Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church, 600 West 42nd Avenue in San Mateo on Saturday, December 4 at 2:00 P.M. All those planning on taking part in this performance are expected to attend the dress rehearsal at 7:30 P.M. on Thursday, December 2, at J.L. Stanford Middle School in Palo Alto. Please note that the meeting on November 17 will be a joint rehearsal with the Praetorius Singers and will begin at 7:30 P.M. in the JLS Middle School library. (Bring your music stands.)

A sign-up sheet for those planning on taking part in the holiday concert will be available at the meeting on November 17. Small ensembles are invited to appear in this concert, and those groups which intend to perform on December 4 are asked to give me the following information by November 17: the title(s) of the music to be performed, the name(s) of the composer(s), the name of the ensemble (if any) and the names of the ensemble's members. I encourage all MPRO members to take part in the holiday concert and to invite their family and friends to attend.

Listed below is the music for the remaining meetings of the orchestra in 2004. Please note that krummhorns, dulcian, viola da gamba and great bass and contrabass recorders will be needed at the meetings on November 17 and December 2 and that there will be assigned seating at the December 2 dress rehearsal.

November 17 MPRO Rehearsal 7:30 PM
This meeting begins at 7:30 P.M. in the
JLS Middle School library

Hakenberger: Hodie
O infame deloyaulté
Secunda: Meine Yiddishe Meidel
Thursday, December 2 Dress rehearsal for the holiday concert
Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School, 7:30 P.M.

Good King Wenceslas, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear,
Deck the Hall
Hakenberger: Hodie
Frank: Intrada I
O infame deloyaulté
Mozart: Minuet
Handel: Sarabande
Secunda: Meine Yiddishe Meidel
December 8 MPRO holiday party, 7:30 P.M.
The home of Mary Ashley
3114 Cowper Street, Palo Alto

I look forward to seeing you at these upcoming meetings.

Fred Palmer

Save the Date!

On Saturday, January 29th, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra will sponsor a workshop by Vicki Boekman entitled Getting to the Heart of the Matter…making the music come alive. The workshop will be held at the Union Church of Cupertino, 20900 Stevens Creek Boulevard, Cupertino. Vicki will show us how to make music come alive by working on the basics of rhetoric, resonance and sound production, and by use of different articulation patterns to express the composers‚ intentions and mood of the piece. See next month’s UpBeat for details and registration form.

Thank You, Abby Eller!

Our recent past president, Abby Eller, sold music at our recent workshop. She stayed for the entire day, and made $43.00 for the orchestra. A very much appreciated action for which we heartily thank Abby for her generosity.

Busy October for the Crones

With a great deal of pride and humility, the Crones (Laura Gonsalves, Anne Ng, Jean Ridley, Stevie White and Sonja Wilcomer) accepted requests for the following engagements:

Former MPRO member Lee Hukill and his wife Pat asked that the Crones play at Lee’s 80th birthday party. It was a festive and heartwarming affair complete with hats given to everyone as they came in the door, catered buffet, many skits honoring and poking fun at Lee, and moving recollections of their childhood with their Dad on the part of Lee’s sons. The Crones wore their own witch hats for the occasion and even played a special “Happy Birthday” arranged by Anne Ng.

MPRO’s Margaret More arranged for the Crones to perform for the 5th and 6th grades at the Waldorf school in Los Altos. After the Crones played, there was a lively question/answer period which included great interest in the variety of basses and Jean’s Ridley’s sopranino. Finally the Crones ended the session by accompanying the 6th graders in playing their recorders on one of the songs they’ve learned this year. A common remark from several of the teachers present was; “I’ve never seen these students so quiet and attentive!”

Ain’t it hard to be humble?

Stevie White

Christmas Party

Mary Ashly has again kindly lent us her home for our Christmas party to be held on Dec. 8. Mark your calendars and plan to join us for our usual wonderful food and funfest.

A Memorable Workshop

On Saturday, October 23, 32 people attended MPRO’s fall workshop led by Tom Bickley. One of the participants summarized the program quite well:

“I loved the workshop. I really like feeding both sides of the brain, the clarity of items to analyze, the concept of de- and re-mythologizing. Tom is very easy to listen to and learn from. I got value from the assignment in small groups, and sharing before the large group playing. That, plus the concepts and practice of listening, resulted in large group playing at a much higher level than before. I have listened with attention ever since.”

Special thanks to Workshop Coordinator George Greenwood and all who assisted in making this workshop a great success!