Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra Newsletter



Music has for many years been noted to have some effect, usually unknown on behavior and mental function. The East Bay Recorder Society (EBRS) had Eileen Hadidian as the Guest Conductor for the November meeting, and while that is not unusual the content of the program was quite different.

Most of us know that Eileen was diagnosed with Cancer of Breast in 1994 followed by period of remission followed by a relapse in 1997. She discussed her illness at the meeting and how that experience resulted developing a program in 1999 called "Healing Muses or Music for Healing". She attributes her current status of Well Being to the mystical powers of Music.

For several years members of EBRS have been playing for people with illnesses that confined them to their homes, nursing homes and/or hospitals. Eileen decided to compile and arrange "Tunes" that were better suited for those occasions. Contributions of "Tunes" were made by Frances Feldon; Richard Geisler and our Music Director Fred Palmer. What made the EBRS October meeting unique is the fact the compilation of "Tunes" has been completed and is called The GIG BOOK - Tuneful Music for Public Performance and Private Enjoyment. The book is currently not available to non-members of EBRS and is not for sale. The meeting consisted of playing music from the book, and it was quite enjoyable.

That Meeting reminded me of another musical phenomena that is quite controversial. In 1993, Frances Rauscher, Gordon Shaw and Katherine Ky, published a brief paper in Nature noting a significant improvement in cognizant ability after exposure to music. Thirty-six college students were divided into three groups and spent ten minutes listening to (1) piano sonata by Mozart (sonata for two pianos in D. K 448), (2) a tape of relaxation instructions or (3) silence. Immediately afterwards, they tested on measurements of spatial/temporal (S/T) reasoning using a standard intelligence groups of tests, the Stanford-Binet Test.

The IQ scores of the Mozart group was 8-9 points higher than the other groups. but effect only lasted for 10-15 minutes. This improvement has been called The Mozart Effect. The Mozart Effect has been alleged to have many benefits, some of which are: improved test scores; reduced learning time; calms hyperactive children and adults; reduces errors; improves creativity and clarity; heals the body faster; to name only a few

In 2000 Dr. Norman Weinberger summarizes, after 10 plus years of research of effects of music on brain, that music education and music-making have positive effects on many mental and behavioral factors that are themselves not a part of music. However there is no agreement about whether or not the Mozart Effect is genuine. The larger context and implications of the Mozart Effect have been mainly ignored within the scientific community and grossly misrepresented within the public domain. The best ways to gain long term benefits from music are still to devote guided effort and hard work to its study and performance.

Thanks for listening

Tony Jackson, President


Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

The orchestra's holiday concert will take place at Grace Lutheran Church, 3149 Waverley Street in Palo Alto on Saturday, December 3 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 Tuesday, November 29, at Grace Lutheran Church. A sign-up sheet for those planning on taking part in the holiday concert will be available at the meeting on November 2. Small ensembles are invited to appear in this concert, and those groups which intend to perform on December 3 are asked to give me the following information by November 9: 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 2005. Please note that krummhorns, dulcian, viola da gamba and great bass and contrabass recorders will be needed at the meetings on November 9 and 29 and that there will be assigned seating at the November 29 dress rehearsal.

November 9 MPRO Rehearsal
Bertali: Sonatella
Handel: Largo
Haydn: Allegro
Shostakovitch: Fugue No. 1
Pass'emezzo della Paganina and Saltarello
Tuesday November 29 Dress rehearsal for the holiday concert
Grace Lutheran Church, 7:30 P.M.

Lappi: La Ghirardella
Hugo de Lantins: A ma dame playsant et belle
Pass'emezzo della Paganina and Saltarello
Handel: Largo
Haydn: Allegro
Shostakovitch: Fugue No. 1
Sha, Shtil
Rumshinsky: A Bis’l Libe, un a Bisele Glik
Bertali: Sonatella
Hark! The Harold Angels Sing, The First Noel, Jingle Bells
December 7 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 and working on this music with you.

Fred Palmer


MPRO’s workshop, held last Saturday, October 22, was a resounding success! Cindy Beitmen, currently a member of Mills College music staff, led over 30 attendees in a number of renaissance pieces which were, or might have been, played at the wedding of Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria and Renee of Lorraine. Cindy displayed several copies of paintings of the event which was held in Munch in 1568. Most of the compositions were written by Orlande de Lassus, but we also played music composed by others. Cindy even had us singing one of the songs! We spent the final hour reenacting the wedding, with Cindy reading excerpts from a contemptary account of the wedding in between performing the compositions. The account emphasized a description of the feast which must have include most of the recipes of a medieval cook book! Cindy’s energy and enthusiasm contributed to everybody’s good time!

PLAN NOW to attend MPRO’s next workshop, which will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2006. Tom Zajac will present A Golden Century of Polish Music: 1530-1630. Details in next month’s UpBeat.


This photograph was published in the Palo Alto Weekly in June 1987. It was taken at the MPRO Spring Concert at the Palo Alto Cultural Center Auditorium. The whip had been given to Angie as a joke sometime earlier to "whip MPRO into shape." She was retiring as president and music director of MPRO, and she was passing the whip onto the next person in charge. I had agreed to be president for the next year and arrange rehearsals while the search committee headed by Esther Lederberg looked for a new music director. So I got the whip. I didn't really crack the whip at all, but eventually passed it on to a new president at Angie's urging, but by then it had lost its cachet. It would have better gone to Fred, who could still put it to use! (See Chris Flake's take below on Fred with the whip.) Angie doesn't remember who gave her the whip, and I don't remember to whom I gave it. (A sharp-eyed friend discovered this on the Palo Alto Historical Association online photo archive at http://images.pahistory.org.)

Mary Ashley

Please don't give the whip to Fred!!!

Chris Flake


MPRO is financially barely getting through these days due to the increased cost of rehearsal space and the general rise in the cost of living. Since we are a tax-free organization, you can contribute to MPRO and get a charitable tax-free credit as well. If you want to make a contribution, send a check for any amount ($25, $50, $100, etc.) to Mary Carrigan, MPRO treasurer, 420 Crestlake Drive, San Francisco, 94132. Make the check out to: SFEMS (They are the reason we are tax-exempt) and write MPRO DONATION in the check’s Memo space. Mary will send your check to SFEMS and you will get a letter back from them acknowledging your contribution for tax purposes.


ARS member Phil Robbins' long-anticipated and sorely needed East Bay music store, A Cheerfull Noyse, will open during the first week of November. It will be a complete music store specializing in early, Classical and folk music.

A Cheerfull Noyse, 1228 Solano Ave., Albany, CA 94706 Phone/Fax: 510-524-0411 Toll Free: 877-524-0411 www.acheerfullnoyse.com Tentative hours: Mon-Sat: 10 AM - 7 PM, Sun: 11 AM - 6 PM

Next UpBeat

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