As your new president, let me start by introducing myself.  I am currently retired after teaching Special Education for 15 years.  I now enjoy bocce, painting, and volunteering at our local hospital.  I have three children and four grandchildren.  I was raised in a very musical family.   My mother was a piano and organ teacher and played tympani in the community orchestra.  All my siblings played an instrument.  I grew up playing French Horn and played professionally before I started having children.  In the mid nineties,  I came to the recorder when a friend of my mom’s gave me an alto, and I taught myself how to play.  The first group I played with was a group run by the South San Francisco recreation center.  It was there that I heard about MPRO.  I played until about 2000 when I took an extended break.  I have been back with the orchestra for the past three years.  I also play with the AAUW recorder group in Pacifica and with the Belmont Consort.  I currently study with Fred.  I want to welcome everyone back for this new season which I know will be another exciting year of musical experiences. 


Amy Booth


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Workshop Coordinator

We need someone to coordinate our workshop scheduled for January 21, 2012.  We already have commitment from Glen Shannon.  The coordinator will work with committee to obtain a venue, see hospitality is handled, printing of music (George Greenwood usually handles), contact with Director (Stevie White), publicity and other last minute details.


Consort Coordinator

Keep a list of consorts and help members form or join one of the consorts.  Our list on the web is out of date.



Keep a record of the history of MPRO.  Sonja had kept a notebook and took pictures.


For further information see Liz Brownell.  Here’s your chance to help MPRO run its programs.  In addition, it gives you the opportunity to know other members of the orchestra.

Conductor’s Corner


Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,


Welcome to MPRO’s forty-ninth season.  I am pleased to let you know that the orchestra will be returning to Grace Lutheran Church for its upcoming holiday concert, which will take place on Saturday, December 3, at 2:00 P.M.  Please mark this date on your calendar.  For this concert, I have chosen several new and attractive selections, including a motet by the late medieval English composer, John Dunstable, an Allmand by William Brade featuring recorders, krummhorns and continuo, a movement from Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols and three tangos by the 20th-century Argentine composer, Ástor Piazzolla.  Those who attended Clea Galhano’s workshop last season will recall playing these tangos under her direction, and I found them so interesting and musically rewarding that I decided they would make an excellent addition to the orchestra’s next performance.  In addition to this music, we will be including encores of the Allegro from the Symphony No. 3 by William Boyce and the Suite in G Major by Henry Purcell.  We will also be welcoming back Gwen Freeman on keyboard who will be joining the orchestra for the performance in December.


Listed below is the music for the first three meetings of the orchestra.  Music can be purchased at these meetings for those who did not download and print it from the PDF files sent to the orchestra’s membership in August.  Those returning from last season can use their music for the selections by Boyce and Purcell.  Gwen Freeman will be attending the first meeting on September 7, and since this will be the only opportunity prior to the dress rehearsal to play the four selections scheduled for that evening with all instruments present, I strongly encourage all MPRO members to attend as well.  Also, please note that contrabass recorders as well as bass viola da gamba will be needed at all three meetings, dulcien and krummhorns on September 7 and October 5, and harp on September 21 and October 5.


September 7

Boyce:  Symphony No. 3

Britten:  Wulcom Yole!

Brade:  Allmand

Purcell:  Suite in G Major


September 21

Dunstable:  Sancta Maria

Piazzolla:  Resurrección del Ángel; Un Dia de Paz;

Los Paraguas de Buenos Aires

Britten:  Wulcom Yole!

Boyce:  Symphony No. 3


October 5

Piazzolla:  Resurrección del Ángel; Un Dia de Paz;

Los Paraguas de Buenos Aires

Brade:  Allmand

Dunstable:  Sancta Maria

Purcell:  Suite in G Major


I look forward to working with you again in September and encourage you to let any of your friends who play early instruments know about the orchestra's activities this season and invite them to attend our upcoming meetings, workshops and concerts.


Fred Palmer


Budget and Planning for 2011-2012


On May 4, 2011 the MPRO Board reviewed the budget for the 2011-2012 year. It was agreed the dues be $100.00 for the year for all members. The associate fee will be $35.00.  For a scholarship individuals should contact the Membership Chair or Treasurer, Chris Flake, to negotiate an appropriate token payment.  Everyone is welcomed to be a member of the MPRO orchestra.


Workshop plans were discussed at the Board meeting. Glen Shanon has agreed to direct the workshop on January 21, 2012.  The fee for the workshop will be $45 for MPRO and SFEMS members.  Nonmembers and late registration will be $50. Time and location of workshop still needs to be determined.


Planning for year was also discussed.  It is not possible to know ahead of time how many members will participate.  We need to remind members to please attend all rehearsals and let the director know as soon as possible when they cannot attend.  Everyone is thanked for the great year. Please invite friends and musicians to join us for the 2011-2012 year.


Liz Brownell and Grace Butler, retiring Co-Presidents


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Membership Dues Increase


The MPRO Board has reluctantly decided to increase membership dues this year from $90 to $100 for regular members and from $25 to $35 for associate members.  Dues had not been changed for years, and with the ever increasing rental costs for practice meeting and concert venues, an adjustment was required.  For example, this year our rental fees for JL Stanford Middle School's music room for practice meetings are increasing to $90 per session, and most of the dues increase will go to cover this bill.  In addition, we have had to draw on our reserve funds for the last several years to balance our budget, and these reserves will not last long if we continue to draw upon them at our current rate.


Leslie Pont, Treasurer


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On May 6 of this year the congenial Flanders Recorder Quartet provided the enthusiastic audience at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Los Gatos a musical feast with a seven course symphonic menu.  Setting the program music in the context of a gourmet meal was unique and made one hunger for both music and food. The first course, “French Aperitif,” a sonata by L-A. Dornel, took the audience “surfing through Baroque music” and was followed by “Italian Antipasti,” comprised of two canzoni and described as “Virtuoso diminutions combined with a few dabs of delectable, creamy melodies.  A paradise of mild and sharp tastes.” After the antipasti came the “Sorbet” (a Bach “Concerto in a minor, BWV 596) “A very spicy, piping hot bouillon accented by a past master, with sweet voiced harmonies and sizzling counterpoint and served in five contrasting movements.”  The “Specialty of the House,” a “Suite for Pipes” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, came next where “the ingredients are splendid melodies served up on a bed of soft, sweet  harmonies.”

After intermission the audience returned to the sanctuary to hear “Le Coup de Coeur du Chef de Cuisine,” a modern piece by Jan Van der Roost, entitled “I Continenti,” and featured music of three global regions: South America, Oceania, and Africa.  This course was described as “A home-made culinary version of hits from modern international cuisine.  A dish to tempt even the greatest connoisseur.”  The musical meal finished with two desserts: “Dessert 1” was a light-hearted piece by Frans Geysen called “On the Bottle” and was actually played on bottles and explained as “The crème de la crème, a unique Flemish dessert with chef Bach in mind!”  “Dessert 2” contained three melodies from about the year 1400—“A hearty dessert with seasonal treats from the good old days.”  Two encores followed leaving the audience hungry—hungry for more music and hungry for good food!


Review by  Keith Kvenvolden 


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Sonja Wilcomer, a long-time member of MPRO,  died on July 12, 2011.  She served as MPRO’s historian, and was often seen taking photographs during a workshop or concert.  She also performed as a member of the Crones ensemble. 


Here are some special memories of Sonja:


As MPRO Historian, she was often seen taking pictures with her trusty old camera loaded with film.  She is especially remembered for the get-well cards she sent.  She made them herself, and featured one of her beautiful flower photos.


When photo card seekers entered the Shady Lane Gallery of Palo Alto, their first purchase was often “Sonja Wilcomer’s nature photographs”.


Sonja was always a "willing and enthusiastic" participant in opportunities to play recorders.  She sought out practice sessions with small groups in addition to MPRO.  She would often host the sessions at her home.  As soon as the door bell rang, her cat would high-tail-it for the back bedroom and put both paws over her ears until the tootling, squeaks and squawks were done.  Thank you Neal and Sonja for your wonderful hospitality! 


During her final days in the hospital, consummate musician Sonja requested her bed be raised so she could play a recorder concert for her favorite staff member.


After being at the gym for a year, Sonja was pleased that her colleagues in one of her musical groups noticed she had “muscles in her arms.”


When she had some diet obstacles to overcome she shared some of her special recipes--the buckwheat pancakes were really good--and gluten free!


One MPRO member heard The Crones perform "LeClercq's  Air" by Richard E. Wood.  Sonja played the bass part in a hauntingly beautiful way that  “I will always remember.  Now, when I play the part, I try to make  it sound as good as Sonja did, and in the process remember her.”


During MPRO rehearsal breaks, surrounded by the chatter of other musicians, Sonja provided a welcomer quiet space to enter. We will all miss her!


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     You are invited to be our guest at the next meeting of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra

Bring your instruments or just come and listen.


     The Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra 2011-2012 season rehearsals begin on Wednesday, September 7 from 8:00 to 10:00 P.M. at Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School, Room 060; 480 East Meadow Dr.,  Palo Alto.  The orchestra is open without audition to recorder, early wind or early string players who are able to read and play the music provided at meetings.


2011-2012 meetings will be held on the following dates:

Sept. 7,  21;     Oct. 5,  19;      Nov. 9,  16;     Jan. 4, 18;        Feb. 1, 15, 22;

Mar. 21, 28;     Apr. 11, 25;     May 2, 9


Concerts scheduled for December 3 and June.


      For further information please visit our web site at


MPRO is an affiliate of the San Francisco Early Music Society.




Text Box: west valley music

Moeck and Yamaha recorders

LARGE selection of recorder music


262 Castro Street
Mountain View, CA 94041



A reminder that your dues for the 2011-2012 season is due:  $100.00 for Participating Member, $35.00 for Associate Member. 


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The Board: President: Amy Booth;  Treasurer: Leslie Pont;  Membership: Chris Flake;  Publicity: Mary Jeanne Fenn  ;  Marguerite Dilley  ;  Newsletter Editor:  Dick Davies  ;  Music Sales: Laura Gonsalves  ;  Graphics: Mary Ashley;  Webmaster:  Dan Chernikoff  ;  Workshop Coordinator: TBD;  Consort Coordinator: TBD;  Hospitality: Stevie White  & Claire Heinzelman;   Historian:  TBD;  Music Director: Fred Palmer


MPRO  website: < >               











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