MARCH 2014





Fellow MPRO Members,

Here are a few more shots from the MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) in Brussels.


Apologies to the less geeky but, aside from the superb craftsmanship of these instruments, it’s remarkable how closely modern manufacturers have copied them—in some instances down to the exact color of their finish and the pattern of holes in their fontanelles.



In a supremely practical touch, we were issued clip-on receivers and headphones through which, if we stood on a white icon in front of the instrument, we could hear a sound sample.  


It was a bit odd seeing and hearing recorders in a museum, when we actually play them so often. It reminded me how much groups like ours are a part of history, keeping the technique and the sound alive. 


Regards, Dana





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Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,


The orchestra's spring concert has been scheduled for Saturday, May 31, at 4:30 P.M.   The location is Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1106 Alameda de las Pulgas at Britten in San Carlos.  The dress rehearsal will take place at 7:30 P.M. on Friday, May 30, at Trinity Presbyterian Church.  There will also be an additional regular meeting of the orchestra at Trinity Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, May 14, at 7:30 P.M.  Please mark these dates on your calendar. I encourage everyone to take part in MPROs upcoming spring concert.


I am also pleased to announce that Greta Haug-Hryciw has been appointed permanent assistant director of the orchestra.  As assistant director, Greta will be conducting the following selections at the MPRO spring concert and future rehearsals:  Birthday Piece and Jig by Cowell, O lusty May, Wo worth the tyme,  How shuld my febill body fure and Passepied I and II by Bach.  The orchestra is fortunate to have such a well-qualified and capable person in this new and important position, and we appreciate Greta’s willingness to serve as MPRO’s assistant director.


Listed below is the music for the orchestra's next three meetings.  Please note that there will be sectional seating for the Telemann Concerto, with those playing Soprano Recorder 1-3, Alto Recorder 1 and Tenor Recorder 1-2 sitting on the right as they face the conductor and those  playing Alto Recorder 2, Tenor Recorder 3-4 and Bass Recorder on the left.  Please observe this seating arrangement when you choose your place at the beginning of the meetings on March 12 and March 26.  Please note as well that great bass recorders and bass viola da gamba will be needed at all three meetings, bassoon on March 12 and March 26, contrabass recorders on March 26 and April 9 and sopranino recorder, krummhorns and dulcien on  March 12 and April 9.


March 12

Telemann:  Concerto in B flat Major

Hotby:  Quae est ista

Anonymous:  O lusty May, Wo worth the tyme,

How shuld my febill body fure

Bach:  Passepied I and II


March 26

Telemann:  Concerto in B flat Major

Albinoni:  Adagio Op. 9, No. 8

Cowell:  Birthday Piece, Jig


April 9

Cowell:  Birthday Piece, Jig

Anonymous:  O lusty May, Wo worth the tyme,

How shuld my febill body fure

Bach:  Passepied I and II



I look forward to seeing you at these upcoming meetings.

Sincerely, Fred Palmer




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IRENE BEARDSLEY, MPRO keyboard accompanist, was featured in the San Jose Mercury News in January. Here is an excerpt from the article by Bruce Newman.



Thirty five years ago, a team of ten women undertook a historic climbing expedition to the top of one of Annapurna’s 8,000-meter peaks in the Himalayas. Irene Beardsley was a member of the team led by UC Berkeley biochemist Arlene Blum. They were not only the first all-female team to climb an 8,000-meter mountain. They also were the vanguard of the first American team to conquer mighty Annapurna I. The team made it to the top, but lost two of their team members in a climbing accident. Their story is told in the book which is pictured.







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I was raised in a semi-rural town in Utah. In those days, lots of kids took piano lessons and I did too. This was not a high culture experience.  My teacher knew her business and would relentlessly pound rhythm on my head as I played.  I am grateful for her insistence on good posture. 


Life brought a long array of jobs including waitress, tour guide, newspaper delivery, naval officer, lawyer, and until recently, schoolteacher.  Teaching has been my passion for the last 14 years.  Along the way I was blessed with a great husband and two children. They are my three best friends.


I started recorder as an adult after reading an advertisement for group recorder lessons in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Ten weeks of lessons for $50. No musical experience necessary.  Mary Ann Franson and Sandy Ferguson taught the group and I was hooked.  Shared music is like the grace notes adorning a melody: daily life lifted.


The recorder has led to other musical experiences including a 2-week certification class with Orff-Schulwerk and teaching recorder in the classroom.  I enjoy the array of music and technique that come through workshops. I think the MPRO orchestra is a priceless blend of skill development and music appreciation.  Thank you Fred (and countless volunteers) for building and sustaining this program through the years. Since rhythm comes from the top of your head, I still bob a bit when things gets tricky.  Look for me in the back of the room.




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Menlo Park composer Henry Cowell (1897-1965) was featured in concerts by the Ives Quartet in Palo Alto and San Francisco. MPRO will perform different Cowell pieces in its May 31 concert. 


South Bay Recorder Society (SBRS) will present its annual workshop entitled "From Franco- Flemish to French: an exploration of repertoire from medieval to Baroque" on March 8 in San Jose. For details, see


March is “Play the Recorder Month.” The American Recorder Society (ARS) recognizes the recorder each year in March, encouraging chapters to plan special activities. In celebration of the the 75th anniversary of ARS, March 15 has been designated as “Recorder Day.” Accordingly, ARS suggests playing the “Arrival” movement of  “A Day in the Park” by LaNoue Davenport. The four-part music is available in the Winter issue of American Recorder magazine in the center spread, pages 23-25. For additional information see  




The Board: President: Dana Wagner; Treasurer: Leslie Pont; Recording Secretary: Helen Shamble; Membership: Chris Flake; Publicity: TBD; Graphics: Mary Ashley; Newsletter Editor: Mary Ann Field; Workshop Coordinator: Laura Gonsalves, Stuart Elliott; Hospitality: Judith Unsicker; Music Sales: Laura Gonsalves; Historian: vacant; Webmaster: Dan Chernikoff; Facilities Mgr: Grace Butler; Consort Coordinator: vacant; Historian: vacant; Music Director: Fred Palmer. MPRO website: < >     











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