MARCH 2019


Workshop Thanks.  MPRO’s February 9 workshop was well-attended and a musical and financial success. Thanks are due to: Fred Palmer for making advance arrangements with workshop director Frances Blaker, Mary Ashley for arranging for use of the Grace Lutheran Church facilities and for producing the workshop flyer, Chantal Moser for handling registration, Laura Gonsalves and George Greenwood for distributing music, Fred Palmer, Chris Flake and Dan Chernikoff for publicity, and Ray White for providing transportation for Frances Blaker. Thanks to everyone who helped with setup and cleanup; you know who you are!

Officers. The most important functions of MPRO’s Board of Directors include planning for our annual workshops and implementing the arrangements for them. Planning for next year’s workshop (probably in late January or early February 2020) will begin during the 2018-2019 season. If you would like to be involved, please consider volunteering for one of the vacant Board offices listed at the end of this newsletter.  If you are interested, email me at the address in the MPRO membership list for more information.

Coming Events.  The next South Bay Recorder Society workshop will be held on March 20 in San Jose. The director will be Tish Berlin and the theme is Italian music of the 16th century. For more information, see the Society’s newsletter at: This year’s Marin Headlands Workshop is scheduled for May 17-19; see this link for the workshop flyer:

-Judith Unsicker



Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

        Listed below is the music for the orchestra's next three meetings.  Please note that contrabass recorders as well as bass viola da gamba and bassoon will be needed at all three meetings, great bass recorders on March 13 and April 10 and sopranino recorder and krummhorns on March 27.


March 13

Purcell:  Incidental Music to A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream

Anonymous:  O Maria, virgo davitica/O maria, maris stella/ Veritatem 

Palmer:  The Glass Elevator

March 27

Purcell:  Incidental Music to A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream

Janequin:  Il estoit une fillette

Koechlin:  Assez lent

Palmer:  The Glass Elevator

April 10

Purcell:  Incidental Music to A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream

Anonymous:  O Maria, virgo davitica/O maria, maris stella/ Veritatem 

Palmer:  The Glass Elevator

        I look forward to seeing you at these upcoming meetings.


Fred Palmer


King Ptolemy XII of Egypt, the father of the Cleopatra, was also known as Ptolemy

Auletes, “the Flute Player.”  The Greek historian Strabo used his hobby as one of the reasons for classifying him as the worst king of his dynasty. Most of these kings “being corrupted by luxurious living, have administered the affairs of government badly, but worst of all… the last, Auletes, who apart from his general licentiousness, practiced the accompaniment of choruses with the flute, and upon this he prided himself so much that he would not hesitate to celebrate contests in the royal palace, and at these contests would come forward to vie with the opposing contestants.”

This quote is from

Ptolemy’s instrument was the aulos, actually a set of two double-reed pipes played simultaneously using circular breathing. The sound has been compared to that of oboes, shawms and bagpipes. The following link includes an illustration and a summary of modern efforts to reconstruct ancient Greek music using replica instruments, the rhythms of Greek drama and poetry, and limited evidence of actual music notation. See:  A 15-minute video from Oxford University includes demonstrations of the aulos by professional pipers, and sung performances of the chorus from Euripides’ Orestes (from 408 B.C.) and a hymn to Apollo (from 127 B.C.) accompanied by the aulos; see  


Lark in the Morning is a Berkeley-based business that specializes in folk music instruments from around the world. Its website has two different pages featuring free sheet music.The main “library” includes Richard Geisler’s folk music publications and other collections of music for country dancing. The link is  The second free music library is associated with the annual “Lark Camp” folk music and dance workshop in Mendocino County.  (This year’s camp is scheduled for July 26 to August 3.) The library has links to collections and individual pieces of music played at previous workshops with sheet music and audio files. See:


Donations to MPRO are always welcome. If you plan to itemize tax deductions, checks should be made payable to the San Francisco Early Music Society (SFEMS).  Please do not mail donations for MPRO directly to SFEMS, or try to donate to MPRO online through the SFEMS webpage.  If you don't plan to itemize deductions, it is easier for us if your check is made to MPRO.  Checks should be given to Treasurer Chantal Moser at a rehearsal or mailed to her at her home address in the MPRO membership list.  Chantal will ensure that SFEMS credits the checks as donations to MPRO.

The Board: President: Judith Unsicker; Treasurers: 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:      

Past Months' Issues

MPRO Archives: