OCTOBER, 2011

 

 


MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

This  month we are privileged to print an article written by Angela Owen.  Angie joined the MPRO in the early 1960’s, and became our Music Director in 1967.  She served in this capacity for 20 years before Fred Palmer took over in 1987.  She then she served as the Editor of UpBeat until she retired from the orchestra in 2000.

 

In the following paragraphs Angie gives you some new perspectives on playing the recorder.

 

Dick Davies (for Amy Booth)

 

The Why's and How's of Playing Recorder

 

There are various reasons for playing recorder: the enjoyment of making music; its an instrument easily learned; its not expensive; it can be played alone or with other people; it's soft sound doesn't disturb the neighbors. It's the "How" of playing that is not always considered carefully enough.

 

The recorder was never intended to be played in any way other than one-to-a-part. Thus MPRO is an anomaly, yet a wonderful one because it serves the purpose of bringing people of like minds together to create something pleasant and rewarding to both creators and listeners. However, playing with such a large group is not the same as playing with just one or two others. In MPRO you are part of a section, so if you drop a note in a fast passage, your fellow players will cover you; the tempo is set and kept by the conductor, who also tells you how to phrase. You don't necessarily spend too much time paying attention to intonation because you often don't hear your own playing, or are too busy just getting the notes out and not losing your place. You trust your conductor to make all the decisions necessary to produce an well-sounding performance.

 

Now when playing in a small group, each of its members is responsible for setting and maintaining the tempo, of starts and endings, of whether or not to make repeats, for remembering accidentals, for phrasing, for intonation - in other words, for the whole thing. You will have to discuss these items, come to an agreement, mark up your music, pick one person to give the signal to start and stop and LISTEN to each other to keep in tune. If you get lost and can't find your way back in, you've had it. In MPRO you can fake playing on and nobody can really tell the difference.

 

To me, playing duets is the most challenging - you are exposed on every note you play, yet blending with your partner can produce the most beautiful sound, especially when played on Altos and Tenors. Of course its great to belong to a small ensemble - the more friends the merrier - but try duets and see what happens. There is lots of music available - from easy to difficult, from medieval to contemporary.

 

And a final thought from someone who has shared her life with recorders for over 60 years -when your hands get too arthritic to handle the tenor and bass, embrace the soprano and alto which will treat you well - and let the tenor and bass enjoy their well-earned retirement.

 

To me, playing duets is the most challenging - you are exposed on every note you play, yet blending with your partner can produce the most beautiful sound, especially when played on Altos and Tenors. Of course its great to belong to a small ensemble - the more friends the merrier - but try duets and see what happens. There is lots of music available - from easy to difficult, from medieval to contemporary.

 

And a final thought from someone who has shared her life with recorders for over 60 years -when your hands get too arthritic to handle the tenor and bass, embrace the soprano and alto which will treat you well - and let the tenor and bass enjoy their well-earned retirement.

 

Angela Owen

 

 u    u    u    u    u    u    u    u    u    u

 

 

Conductor’s Corner

 

 

Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

 

I want to take this opportunity to welcome all of the new members who have joined MPRO for its 2011-2012 season.  The young people who have come into the orchestra are a particularly welcome addition since they provide an enthusiasm and fresh outlook that is essential to keeping MPRO a vital musical organization.  I am looking forward to a happy and mutually beneficial collaboration between these young members and the older veterans of the orchestra.  Each can learn a great deal from the other. 

 

Listed below is the music for the next two 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. Also, please note that contrabass recorders as well as bass viola da gamba and harp will be needed at both meetings and dulcien and krummhorns on November 9.

 

 

October 19

Dunstable:  Sancta Maria

Piazzolla:  Resurrección del Ángel; Un Dia de Paz;

Los Paraguas de Buenos Aires

 Britten:  Wulcom Yole!

Boyce:  Symphony No. 3

 

November 9

Purcell:  Suite in G Major

Brade:  Allmand

Dunstable:  Sancta Maria

Piazzolla:  Resurrección del Ángel; Un Dia de Paz;

Los Paraguas de Buenos Aires

 

 

I look forward to seeing you at these upcoming meetings.

   

Sincerely,        Fred Palmer

 

 

u    u    u    u    u    u    u    u    u    u

 

 

MPRO HOLIDAY CONCERT

 

Our annual Holiday Concert will be held on Saturday, December 3, at the Grace Lutheran Church, 3149 Waverley Street in Palo Alto at 2:00 P.M.  Be sure to mark your calendar!


 

 u    u    u    u    u    u    u    u    u    u

 

 

MPRO has New Members

 

You may have noticed that we have some new blood in MPRO these days -- the "The RecordHers" group has joined the orchestra!  Our new members are Steffi, Amanda, Meredie, Lee, and Kristina, all of them in 7th grade and attending Hillview and Menlo Middle Schools. 

 

The five girls started playing the soprano recorder in third grade in Oak Knoll School under the instruction of MPRO's own Bee Tee.  They quickly took to the instrument and started playing it all the time, during recess, after school, etc.  One day, on their own initiative, they decided to form their own recorder group with two other girls.  True to their creative nature, they came up with their very own unique name, The RecordHers.

 

The RecordHers quickly became a hit at school and started performing in local venues.  They were also featured at KNOL, the school TV channel, the school district office and in the final third grade recorder concert. The girls continued to play through their 4th and 5th grade year. You may remember that they performed in an MPRO Holiday concert two years ago.  Most of the girls play several recorders -- Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Sopranino -- and several also play other instruments in their middle school band. 

 

Dan Chernikoff, who is coaching the girls, asked what they thought about MPRO after attending two rehearsals.  Their comments were: "It's really fun".  "Confusing at times but fun".  And "A good learning experience to fine tune our skills and learn from our elders, both new and old friends".

 

The MPRO is happy to welcome these very bright and talented young members to our group!

 

Bee Tee and Dan Chernikoff

 

u    u    u    u    u    u    u    u    u    u


 

Text Box: west valley music

Moeck and Yamaha recorders

LARGE selection of recorder music
Solo—ensemble—method

Accessories

262 Castro Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
650-961-1566
          www.westvalleymusic.com

DUES ARE DUE

 

Have you paid your dues for the 2011-2012 season?   $100.00 for Participating Member, $35.00 for Associate Member.  Make your check to MPRO.  Scholarships are available.

 

Also, be sure Chris has your latest e-mail address.

 

 

u    u    u    u    u

 

 

Receiving UpBeat by E-Mail?

Please tell our Membership Chairman,  Chris Flake that you don’t need the paper copy of UpBeat any more.

 

 

The Board: President: Amy Booth;  Treasurer: Leslie Pont;  Membership: Chris Flake;  Publicity: 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: < http://www.mpro-online.org >

 

 


 

 

 

Past Months