Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra Newsletter

MAY 2001


This is the final issue of UPBEAT for this year, and a reminder that our SPRING CONCERT is 2:00 pm, SATURDAY, JUNE 2, at AVENIDAS SENIOR CENTER, Palo Alto, 450 Bryant St., Palo Alto. Please invite your friends, relatives and countrymen to lend their ears.

ATTENTION RECORDER TEACHERS: FINAL NOTICE! If you wish to continue receiving this newsletter next season, please notify Editor Dick Davies at daviesrm@pacbell.net. As you may recall, you've been getting information us via this medium as a courtesy of the Board of Directors. We'd be happy to continue the service, but only if you actually read it occasionally before you toss it into the recycle bin. Deadline = August 1. (Maybe you'd better do it now, before you forget.)

WHAT WE'VE DONE this past season:

1. Established a Web site, thanks to Dan Chernikoff.

2. Improved this rag, thanks to Dick Davies. (And increased our revenue a bit via the institution of ads.)

3. Begun the preliminary work to produce a video tape of the Orchestra, thanks to Mary Ashley and George Greenwood (who's normal job is to keep the consorts sorted).

4. Established a process to obtain new venues for performances and workshops.

5. And, as usual, but the best of all: We have had 21 rehearsals, given two concerts, put on two workshops (featuring Frances Blaker and Kim Pineda) and enjoyed Tish Berlin as a guest conductor. (Whew!)

THANKS - to members of the Board who have not only made things easier, but also put up with me this season. In addition to Dan, Dick and George mentioned above, Mary A., Flora and Marggie keep our name neatly before the public with graphics, computer set-up and publicity distribution; Chris manages several membership and distribution lists, thus keeping track of all of us; Anne-Marie and Kelly make sure that guest conductors are transported and housed, and that all of us get fed; Laura copies, sorts collates, and distributes our music; Mary C. keeps the books and strives mightily to keep us solvent; Sonja W. for her photographic efforts in documenting the history of MPRO.

SPECIAL THANKS - to all of you: Our advertisers and our associate members for their continuing support; our Great Omniscient Director, Fred Palmer who, along with oboist Nick Nigel and the Palo Alto Madrigal Singers, helped us to perform some beautiful music. (Bless Fred! He has the patience of Job, falling just short of blowing his cool at our only occasional incompetence!) And finally, you members of the Orchestra: Not only has our performance improved over the years under Fred's guidance, but I think I've sensed this year, a more cooperative, warmer, collegiality among us. It's a very nice feeling!

Stevie White


Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

Listed below is the music scheduled for the last two meetings in May. Please note that the meeting on May 30 is the dress rehearsal for the spring concert and will take place at Avenidas, 450 Bryant Street in Palo Alto, at 7:30 P.M. The spring concert will take place at Avenidas on June 2 at 2:00 P.M. All those who wish to take part in this concert should initial next to their names on a sign-up sheet which will be available at the orchestra's meetings through May 16.

Small ensembles are also encouraged to appear in this concert, and those groups which intend to perform on June 2 are asked to give me the following information by May 16: the title(s) of the music to be performed, the name(s) of the composer(s), the name of the ensemble (if any) and the names of the ensemble's members.

Please note that we will need the services of all the orchestra's krummhorn players at the dress rehearsal on May 30. All those who intend to take part in the concert on June 2 should plan on attending the May 30 dress rehearsal.

May 16
Handel: Overture for St. Cecilia's Day
Harrison: Serenade, Gigue en Rondeau
Binchois: Se j'eusse un seul peu d'esperanche

May 30
Dress rehersal
450 Bryant St., Palo Alto
7:30 P.M.
Lassus: Tutto lo di
Schütz: Jauchzet dem Herrn
Binchois: Se j'eusse un seul peu d'esperanche
Harrison: Serenade, Gigue en Rondeau
Handel: Overture for St. Cecilia's Day
Mozart: March of the Priests
I Want Jesus to Walk with Me

I encourage all MPRO members to take part in the performance on June 2 and to invite their family and friends to attend. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the orchestra's membership for their enthusiasm, hard work and fine playing during the 2000-2001 season as well as welcome those who recently joined MPRO. Special thanks go to the orchestra's officers for their invaluable expertise in seeing to the necessary tasks which make MPRO's programs possible, and especially to Mary Ashley for arranging for the orchestra's rehearsal facilities, as well as Stevie White who, as president, has so generously offered the orchestra the benefit of her time and talents. I wish all MPRO members the very best this summer and look forward to seeing all of you again in September when we begin our 2000-2001 season.

Fred Palmer


Meet MPRO’s Webmaster, Dan Chernikoff.. Dan received a BS degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland in 1978. He is currently a software engineer for Liberate Technologies, a maker of software platforms that runs in TV Set-Top boxes (the thing that goes between your TV and the cable coming from your Cable TV company). Dan is married and has three kids. Dan is a volunteer leader in his sons' Boy Scout troop, doing lots of camping and backpacking. He especially loves Snow Camping. Dan also like woodworking, reading, movies, going to concerts/plays.

Dan’s musical career started on piano in 1st grade, then switched to flute in 4th grade so he could play in the band. In 7th grade he switched to oboe because it looked cool, and nobody else was doing it. Dan kept up with oboe through college, playing in school and youth orchestras, and even tried to be a music minor for awhile. Dan says, "My claim to fame is that my oboe teacher in college was Joseph Robinson, who is now the principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic! But I knew him when....’ "

Dan and his best friend started playing recorders in high school, just for fun. "I played soprano and tenor, he played alto, and we saved up and bought a bass and a sopranino that neither of us could play! We talked two cute flute players into joining us and we did some 4-part recorder music with them. The recorder's fingerings are close enough to oboe that I was able to teach myself pretty quickly (with help from the Trapp Family book). I dropped oboe after college, played recorder off and on, until about 3 years ago when I was asked to play recorder for our church's Christmas services. That got me going again, and I decided to finally learn F-fingerings. So I got a plastic alto and started working on that. I subscribed to a mailing list on the net about recorders, and a guy from Sacramento on that list mentioned to me that MPRO was meeting just a mile from my house, and so I joined last season. Now thanks to MPRO, I'm taking lessons from Fred and finally learning how to play the darn things right, after all these years!"

One day Dan was assigned to a new project at work, and found he needed to learn HTTP (web-site authoring). Looking around for a page to do as a learning exercise, he thought it might be fun to do a web site for MPRO. Dan recalls, "About that time Fred asked if I would be interested in doing a web site (since he knew I was a programmer). So I figured it was fate! Since this was my first experience at doing a web site, and I wanted to learn as much about it as possible, I threw in a lot of different things like form entry, frames, fancy table formatting, etc., that probably don't really need to be there! But I learned a lot, and I'm glad that someone's able to make use of that effort."

(Photograph by MPRO Historian Sonja Wilcomer.) [Not available for web site at present]

MPRO Hospitality

Do you have a spare bedroom which our next out-of-town MPRO Workshop director might use for a weekend? (This won’t happen before next October.) If you do, please inform one of our Hospitality co-chairpersons, Anne-Marie Wiggers or Kelly Moore.


Last month we said the first ARS Summer Workshop was held in 1949. It was pointed out that some of the participants were only teen-agers then. Does anyone know the correct year?