MARCH 2020


Flauti Dolci & Amici.  The Saturday, March 7 concert in the Foothill Community Concert series (in San Jose) is the first of two concerts featuring Renaissance and Baroque music by several different Bay Area groups, including recorders and mixed ensembles. For more information, see:

South Bay Recorder Society Workshop.  Rotem Gilbert will direct the society’s annual workshop on April 25.  The theme is "Musical Settings of the Song of Songs" by composers from the 15th through 17th centuries.  More information on the music

can be found at: A registration flyer should be available later.  

Marin Headlands in Berkeley Workshop.  The East Bay Recorder Society is sponsoring a workshop on Saturday, May 16 featuring four different teachers and a choice of topics for morning and afternoon sessions.  A detailed flyer is available at:

SFEMS Events.  The San Francisco Early Music Society is offering "early bird" discounts on registration for its summer workshops through March 31. See: for more information.  Detailed information on the Berkeley Festival and Exhibition (BFX2020) is now online at:  Check out the links to Main Stage performances, the “Fringe Festival” (which involved 70 different concerts in 2018)  and Special Events, including a “Community Baroque Play Day” on June 11.



Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

        Listed below is the music for the orchestra's next three meetings.  Since I will be traveling next month, Greta Haug Hryciw will be directing the meeting on March 19 and Marion Rubinstein will be directing the meeting on April 1.  Please note that the March 19 meeting will be held on a Thursday at the usual time and location.  Please note as well that sopranino and great bass recorders as well as bass viola da gamba will be needed at all three meetings, contrabass recorder on March 11 and krummhorns on March 19 and April 1.

March 11

Dufay:  Quel fronte signorille 

Grieg:  The Last Spring

Mozart:  Ave Verum

Corelli:  Sonata Op. 4

Thursday, March 19

Binchois:  De plus en plus

Josquin:  Mille regretz

Susato:  Pavane Bittre Reue

Schein:  Suite No. 15

April 1

Josquin:  Mille regretz

Susato:  Pavane Bittre Reue

Grieg:  The Last Spring

Schein:  Suite No. 15

        I look forward to seeing you at these upcoming meetings and working on this music with you.  Sincerely, Fred Palmer


(Editor’s note: Thanks to Marion Rubinstein, whose demonstration of galliard steps at MPRO’s February 12 rehearsal inspired me to do further research!) Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630) is considered an early Baroque composer.  His only known instrumental work, Banchetto Musicale, was published in 1617. It consists of 20 dance suites. MPRO is now rehearsing Suite No. 15. Each suite includes a pavane-galliard pair, a courante, and an allemande-tripla.  These dances originated during the 16th century but persisted as Baroque music forms after the dances themselves went out of fashion.  Schein’s suites were probably composed as “dinner music” for the courts where he served, and may have originally been played on viols.

The pavane was a slow processional dance that became slower over time.  There are two theories about the name.  One is that it means a “dance from Padua” (an alternate

name is “paduana”).  The other is that it means “peacock,” from the Spanish word “pavon.” The latter theory is supported by dance movements similar to the strutting of a peacock and the sweeping of its tail.  The galliard was a much more energetic dance involving choreographed patterns of steps and leaping, jumping, and hopping.  The “la volta” step, included in some galliards, had the man lift the woman and swing her. It was considered inappropriate by some dancing masters because of the intimate contact. A courtier of Queen Elizabeth I noted that in 1589, when she was in her mid-fifties, she danced six or seven galliards as part of her “ordinary exercise” in the morning.  For more information on these dances, search online for the Wikipedia articles on “Pavane” and “Galliard.” Also see Schein’s Wikipedia biography.

YouTube searches lead to several video performances of pavanes and galliards by costumed dancers.  This one includes a slow pavane to Dowland’s Lachrimae Antique, beginning at about 2.00 minutes into the video, and a galliard to Arbeau’s Joyssans at about 4.10 minutes:

This is another pavane with a faster tempo and a recorder accompaniment:

This performance includes another Renaissance dance, the tourdion, and illustrates the “la volta” step:

-Judith Unsicker


and March 21 is  “Play the Recorder Day.” The American Recorder Society encourages its members and affiliates to play recorders in public during March “to illustrate the versatility and beauty of this wonderful instrument.”  ARS sponsors a special original composition every year as part of this program. This year’s composition, titled Rain and Ice and Snow, is by the Bay Area’s Frances Blaker.  ARS members can access the score, parts, and an MP3 recording through links at:

The Board: President: Judith Unsicker; Treasurers: Chantal Moser and Mary Ashley; Recording Secretary: vacant; Membership: Chris Flake and Tom Granvold; 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.  MPRO website:      

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