The San Francisco Early Music Society (SFEMS) has announced “Arc II” of its fall virtual sessions, including three "mini-series" of five classes each between early November and mid-December, and two "one off" classes. See this link for Arc II class descriptions and enrollment information: Fall Virtual Sessions.  

The "Events" section on the main page of the American Recorder Society's website,

https://americanrecorder.org/, has links to detailed information on several upcoming virtual classes and workshops. These include:

Coming Events, continued:

East Bay Recorder Society Workshop. The EBRS will hold a special 1.5 hour virtual workshop with Shira Kammen beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 24, 2020. The theme is "Early Music Between the Worlds.” The registration flyer is available at: http://www.eastbayrecorders.org/pdf-items/Shira-2020-workshop.pdf. Registration for the EBRS workshop is requested by October 23.

The Santa Cruz Baroque Festival  is continuing to host online performances on Saturdays and Sundays. The program for October 24-25 is "Northern Worlds: Swedish Folk and Baroque" featuring the nyckelharpa, a traditional fiddle-like instrument. “The Broadcasts” link on the website www.scbaroque.org leads to full length videos of past concerts, including Claudia Gantivar on recorder.


(Thanks to Tom Granvold for the following information and link! As Acting Newsletter Editor, I encourage MPRO members to submit announcements, articles, web links, and ideas for "music trivia" items for future issues to my personal email address, judith.unsicker@gmail.com. )  Calefax, a reed quintet from the Netherlands, is making sheet music and MP3 recordings available online for “play along” use by wind instrumentalists.  Calefax is celebrating its 35th anniversary and has a new album, Musical Offerings, including J.S. Bach’s Ricercar from Musikalisches Opfer. The group made six separate recordings of this piece with one of the parts missing. These recordings, and sheet music for the missing parts, are available on the Calefax website.  The version with the oboe part missing may be the most appropriate for playing on a recorder, it should fall within the range of an alto recorder. There is also a bassoon part.  The MP3s and sheet music can be found at:

https://calefax.nl/en/projects/play-along-with-calefax/?noredirect=en_US,  Various recordings by Calefax are also available on YouTube.



Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

        During the current health emergency, many recorder organizations have been holding virtual meetings using the Zoom application as a way to continue member participation within their groups.  I believe it is time for MPRO to consider doing this as well given that current restrictions on large in-person gatherings are likely to continue for the foreseeable future.  In order for the orchestra’s membership to come to a decision regarding the desirability of initiating virtual MPRO meetings, I would like to briefly describe what is and what is not possible when using Zoom.

        In a Zoom meeting, all those participating will be playing their instruments along with a recording that is streamed to the attendees.  Participants cannot hear each other nor can the music director hosting the meeting hear them.  The director, however, can make general comments regarding the music presented and participants can text questions or comments using the chat feature on Zoom.  A score of the music for each selection scheduled can appear on screen as the recording of that music is played.  Participants can either read from the screen or from a hard copy they have downloaded prior to the meeting.  In order to fully participate in a virtual meeting you must have a computer with an operating system new enough to handle the application. System requirements for Zoom can be found using the following link:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362023.  This site includes system requirements for Windows, macOS, and Linux.  

It is also possible to attend a Zoom meeting using a telephone, but this method does not allow for video or chat.  Finally, while relatively user friendly, those participating in a virtual meeting will need to feel comfortable navigating Zoom on their

computers, and it is perfectly understandable that some will find this a challenge.  That is why I will send a message to all MPRO members containing the information I

have given above along with how to log into a Zoom meeting so that each member

can decide whether or not they want to proceed with virtual MPRO meetings.  The feedback I receive will determine how the orchestra goes forward with this proposal.

        The next new selection I will be sending out for you to work on is an Offertorium by the early 17th-century composer, Mikolaj Zielenski.  Zielenski’s music has been held in such high regard that he has been called the “Polish Palestrina.”  You will be receiving the music for this selection along with a midi practice file very soon.  I think you will find this sublime piece for two antiphonal choirs a welcome addition to the orchestra’s current repertoire.

        As a reminder, some members of the orchestra have requested that midi practice files be available in mp3 format.  Ray White has agreed to provide mp3 practice files to those who request them after the midi files with instructions have been sent out.  All of the music scheduled for the second half of the orchestra’s 2019-2020 season will be available in mp3 format as well as any new music sent out subsequently.  If you would like mp3 files in place of midi files please contact Ray at rayhwhite@yahoo.com  .

        Here is an updated list of music I would like you to continue working on.

Anonymous:  Rex

Corelli:  Sonata Op. 4

Dufay:  Quel fronte signorille

Grieg:  The Last Spring

Josquin:  Mille regretz

Mesomedes:  Hymn to the Sun

Mozart:  Ave Verum

Schein:  Suite No. 15

Susato: Pavane Bittre Reue

Telemann:  Rondeau and Gigue

Zielenski:  Offertorium

        I hope all of the orchestra’s members are doing well despite the current health emergency and wish you all the best during this difficult time. -Sincerely, Fred Palmer


In the last issue of Upbeat, I noted that virtual concerts involve players recording themselves individually, with editing to create a combined performance. The South Bay Philharmonic was scheduled to perform as part of the Foothill Community Concert series last spring. When the season was canceled due to the pandemic, the orchestra decided on virtual recordings of the pieces it had rehearsed, including a Scherzo from Beethoven's Fourth Symphony, and Vaughan Williams' English Folk Song Suite. These recordings are available on the orchestra's website http://www.southbayphilharmonic.org/,  together with an excerpt from the Horn Concerto No. 1 by Richard Strauss.  The website also includes a detailed summary by Director George Yefchak of the steps involved in editing the recordings. In comments on a YouTube version of the Scherzo, Yefchak said that he used over 20 gigabytes of individual video recordings, and the editing for this one piece took 30 hours.


MPRO members can appreciate the differences in acoustics among the different places where we rehearse and perform. Two Stanford University researchers have recreated the acoustics inside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, using the echo from a balloon pop and computer modeling. The podcast at the following link compares the sound of a 13th century Byzantine chant performed in an American studio with the recreated sound as it would have been heard by medieval listeners in Hagia Sophia:  Listen: The Sound Of The Hagia Sophia, More Than 500 Years Ago.


Betsy Wallace, a former member of MPRO, died from complications of COVID-19 on October 6, 2020 at the age of 89.  She played with the “Friday Friends” consort as recently as 2002, but was unable to continue as a member when she lost her sight.  The following is a link to a detailed obituary: Obituary of Elizabeth Wallace. It includes a "Tribute Wall" link for sharing memories or sending condolences to the family.

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: http://www.mpro-online.org   


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