Spring Concert.  Save the date! MPRO's 2018 Spring Concert is scheduled for Sunday, May 6 at 2:00 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1106 Alameda de las Pulgas, in San Carlos. There will be two rehearsals at the church on the evenings of Monday, April 30 and Friday, May 4.

Mailing list archives. If you are subscribed to one or more of MPRO's email lists and have a Gmail or other Google account, you can access our mailing list archives by going to groups.google.com, logging in if necessary, and clicking on the

"My Groups" link near the top left corner of the page. Click on the name of a list and

the archives will appear. Newer members can find sheet music and MIDI files

for several of MPRO's past seasons by looking in the “mpro-members” list archives for emails with subject lines like "Music and part assignments for...," and "New MPRO Music."

Contributing copy or ideas for Upbeat.  MPRO members are always welcome to contribute articles or announcements for Upbeat. (If you have an announcement for an event that is less than a month away, you should use the “mpro-members” or “mpro-interest” email list.)  Have you attended an interesting class or workshop? Are you a new member who would like to introduce yourself to the group?  Have you come across some fascinating “trivia” related to recorders or early music?  If you don’t feel like writing an article, but have an idea for something that I could research and write about, please let me know. As acting Newsletter Editor, I keep a running list of ideas for future issues, and try to get the newsletter out around the first of each month between September and May.  My email address is in the MPRO membership list.

-Judith Unsicker



Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

        Listed below is the music for the orchestra's next three meetings of the New Year.  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, krummhorns and bassoon will be needed on February 14.


February 14

Schmelzer:  Sonatina

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

Handel:  Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 1

February 28

Schmelzer:  Sonatina

Handel:  Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 1

Crecquillon:  Vidit Jacob scalam

Evans:  Waltz for Debby

March 14

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


Two of the "seven liberal arts" taught in medieval universities were music and astronomy.  Sir William Herschel (1738-1822) is best known as the discoverer of the planet Uranus, the first "new" planet since antiquity. (He wanted to name it after his patron, King George III.)  However, before he took up astronomy as a self-taught hobby, Herschel had a successful career as a music performer, conductor and composer.

William Herschel was born to a musical family in the electorate of Hanover, Germany, which at the time was united with the British crown. At the age of 15, he joined the local military band as an oboe player. (In addition to the oboe, he played the violin, organ and harpsichord.)  He was probably AWOL when he went to England in 1757 to make his fortune.  By 1760 he headed the Durham military band and was composing symphonies. He was first violinist with the Newcastle orchestra in 1761 and then held posts as a church organist in Leeds and Halifax.  In 1766 he was appointed as organist in the Octagon Chapel in the fashionable spa town of Bath, and later became the director of the Bath orchestra.  His job at Bath was lucrative enough that he had time to study mathematics, languages, and eventually astronomy.  He began astronomical observations in 1773 in his “spare time.”  His sister Caroline, who came to Bath in 1772 to keep house for him, sang soprano with his orchestra and eventually became his assistant in astronomy and a recognized astronomer in her own right.  

The discovery of Uranus on March 13, 1781 made Herschel internationally famous. King George appointed him court astronomer and gave him a pension that allowed him to drop his musical career and devote full time to astronomy. He was recognized by the scientific community, made a Fellow of the Royal Society, and later knighted. Over their careers, William and Caroline Herschel discovered thousands of other astronomical bodies. He is also credited with the discovery of infrared radiation. A star, an asteroid, and craters on the Moon and Mars are named after him.

There is an impressive list of Herschel's musical compositions in his Wikipedia biography.  They include symphonies, concertos, sonatas, and a variety of pieces for voice, organ and harpsichord.  Recordings of his music online include an Allegro for organ, the Allegretto (III) from his Oboe Concerto in C Major, and excerpts from his Symphony No. 8 as background music to a slideshow of images from the Hubble Telescope. The links for these are, respectively: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwAbnmxCSsc




Harmonia is an hour-long early music program that is nationally syndicated to public and classical music radio stations.  Its web page has links to streaming broadcasts of complete programs and shorter “podcasts.”  Themes of recent programs include “A Tour of the Tudors” and “Three Centuries of Patronage: The Medici Musical Legacy.”  See:https://indianapublicmedia.org/harmonia/

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: http://www.mpro-online.org      

Past Months