Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra Newsletter



At this point in time, The MPRO is well on it's way in preparing for out concert in December 2004. On October 23, 2004, our first workshop of this season will take place.

This workshop will be directed by Tom Bickley and the title of the workshop is "Reading between the Notes". The Director has chosen this title, because the workshop is designed to show a set of skills that can be used to analyze any kind of music. The skills presented at this workshop are derived from music theory. Our Director feels that these will strengthen any performer's interpretive technique as well as enable the performer to listen to all music with greater pleasure. This sounds like something we can all use since MPRO is a performing ensemble. I hope that most of you will be able to attend and take advantage of these techniques.

As I scan information on the internet dealing with the recorder, I occasionally find information that is helpful to me, and of course, Iím anxious to share some of that information with you. Dr. Brian Blood (Dolmetsch Online Site) has selected Three Rules for improving our recorder playing: (1) Play and Listen; (2) Listen and Think; (3) Think and Play.

He suggests that as we begin to play exercises and/or rehearse music for our regular MPRO meeting, we cannot know what will happen. For example, notes may not sound or squeak; we may forget a fingering or two; we may have trouble with tonguing, etc. Dr. Blood believes that if we use the Three Rules (Play, Listen and Think) we may discover that our problems are related to how we hold the recorder. (Our fingers may not be free to move, not relaxed, etc). He points out that thinking and analyzing what we are doing is quite helpful. When we return to our exercises and rehearsal pieces and use what we have learned about "our bad habits", it is more likely than not, our playing of the recorder will have improved.

Let's try it.

Tony Jackson, President


Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

The music for the next two meetings of the orchestra is listed below. Please note that the meeting on October 20 begins at 7:30 P.M., that viola da gamba will be needed on October 20 and November 3 and that krummhorns and dulcian will be needed on October 20. Contrabass recorder will also be needed at both meetings. I look forward to working on this music with you.

October 20 MPRO Rehearsal 7:30 PM
Hakenberger: Hodie
Frank: Intrada I
Secunda: Meine Yiddishe Meidel
November 3 MPRO Rehearsal
Handel: Sarabande
Liadov: Chant de NoŽl
Frank: Intrada I
Mozart: Minuet

Fred Palmer


Donít forget MPROís Fall Workshop, "Reading Between the Notes", which will be held on Saturday, October 23, 2004, at Hope Lutheran Church, 600 W. 42nd Avenue in San Mateo from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Tom Bickley will be teaching us to play and interpret works by Erasmus Widman and Michael East, as well as a motet by Taeggio for double choir and Lullaby for Bob by Bay Area composer, Jim Wilson, in a six-part arrangement.

If you havenít signed up yet, call Mary Carrigan at 415-664-9050 or visit the orchestra's website at http://www.sfems.org/mpro.

Lessons Aren't Just for Children!

I'd like to highly recommend to all MPRO players that you consider taking private lessons. Because, quite frankly, you need it. But don't get offended, because so do I, and so does everyone! Although it flies in the face of today's culture of do-it-yourselfers and rugged individualists, the fact is that if you want to improve and to increase your enjoyment of playing recorder and playing with MPRO, the fastest way is to obtain the help of a qualified teacher. Everyone can benefit from a good teacher. When I was a music student in college, I was surprised to discover that my oboe professor would fly out to New York every month to meet with HIS teacher -- I don't think that we ever outgrow the need for constructive advice and feedback.

The MPRO web site http://www.sfems.org/mpro has a list of local recorder teachers and their contact info -- look on the "Recorder Player Resources" page. Charles Fischer teaches in Sunnyvale, Judy Linsenberg in Palo Alto and the East Bay, and our very own Fred Palmer offers lessons in Burlingame. Fred and Judy are also available to coach small ensembles, which is an excellent way to really hone your skills of playing in a group and playing in tune.

Dan Chernikoff
MPRO Webmaster


On Sunday, October 17, San Francisco Chapter, ARS, presents its second annual Consort Concert on recorders of various sizes, with music by Holborne, Praetorius, Telemann, Buxtehude, Shostakovich, and Joplin, among others. St. Johnās United Church of Christ, 501 Laguna Honda Blvd., SF. Wheelchair accessible. 6 pm. Admission $10, or $5 for students, seniors, and SFEMS and ARS members.

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.


MPRO welcomes the following recorder players who have recently joined (or rejoined) our orchestra as participating members:

Claire Heinzelman
Suzanne Rankin
Betsy Vashel


If you havenít paid your dues for the 2004-2005 season, see Chris Flake or mail your check to Chris (see paper copy of newsletter for his address). $80 for Participating Member, $20 for Associate Member. Make you check to MPRO.

Chris Flake