Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra Newsletter



Grace and Liz As we enter into our forth year of "co-presidenting", we look forward to another season of non-dissonance. Upon previewing the fall selections, however, we note that Handel and Bach are looming on the horizon. It appears the bar is rising! Therefore, in our quest for the Holy Grail we offer this message from our past prolific president, Tony Jackson...Thank you, Tony, and welcome back!

Grace and Liz (Co-Presidents)

Positive Preparation For Practice

We, as members of MPRO, have generally been referring to our gathering every two weeks as "meetings". It appears to me that it would be more appropriate to call them "practice sessions" since that is our real reason for coming together. MPRO is a performing musical organization that normally gives a concert in the Fall and a concert in the Spring. When we correctly identify our purpose and our goals it takes on a different meaning, and that is practicing to give performances.

Let me share with you some thoughts I am lifting from an article entitled "Positive Preparation For Practice" written by Katherine Borst Jones, Flute Professor at The Ohio State University since 1985 and Christopher Weait, Professor of Bassoon at Ohio State University since 1984. These two music teachers have spent many years with music students and have several observations:



We, as members of MPRO, are lucky; at our practice sessions we do not need to play the role of a teacher or give ourselves directions. We do, however, need to be good students to benefit from the directions and goals given to us by the Conductor. We need to objectively evaluate our mistakes and incorrect playing procedures so that we can make progress.

It is not unusual for us at MPRO to receive new music that we will need to learn or unfamiliar music that we need to review. Since we all should carry out positive preparations for "Practice Sessions", the article that I have been referring to gave the following practice strategy for unfamiliar or new music:

Yogi Berra, the Baseball Hall of Famer, is well known for his philosophical quotations. In regard to seeing, Yogi has been cited as saying "You know you can see a lot if you just look". If I am permitted to borrow the pattern of Yogi, I would say "You know we can hear and learn a lot about music if we just listen". Amateur musicians have been noted to do what they do for music, simply for the love of it.

Tony Jackson

(Tony was MPRO President of MPRO from September, 2003, to June 2006. He wrote this article for the March, 2005, issue of UpBeat.)


Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

Welcome back as MPRO begins its forty-seventh season. Here are some of the highlights for 2009-2010. The holiday concert will include the Réjouissance from Johann Sebastian Bach?s Orchestral Suite No. 4, a medley of three pieces from the vibrant tradition of New York?s Lower East Side during the beginning of the last century, the Andante from Handel?s Oboe Concerto in B Flat Major with Nicholas Vigil, soloist, and a six-part Passameze from Michael Praetorius?s Terpsichorie of 1612 set for recorders, krummhorns and continuo. There will also be encore performances of the Allegro ma non troppo from the Symphony No. 5 by William Boyce, the Ballade by Guillaume de Machaut, Innsbruck, Ich muss dich lassen by Heinrich Isaac and O Welt, Ich muss dich lassen by Johannes Brahms. Joining the orchestra for these performances and once again back by popular acclaim will be Gwen Freeman on keyboard and Jeffrey Bellamy, better known as Paco, on timpani.

Listed below is the music for the first three meetings of the orchestra. Music can be purchased at these meetings for those who did not download and print it from the PDF files sent to the orchestra?s membership in August. Those returning from last season can use their music for the selections by Boyce, Machaut, Isaac and Brahms. Please note that contrabass recorders will be needed at all three meetings, great bass recorders on September 23 and krummhorns and dulcien on September 9 and October 7.

September 9 MPRO Rehearsal
Boyce: Allegro ma non troppo from the Symphony No. 5
Bach: Réjouissance
Handel: Andante from the Oboe Concerto in B Flat Major
Praetorius: Passameze
September 23 MPRO Rehearsal
Machaut: Ballade
Isaac: Innsbruck, Ich muss dich lassen
Brahms: O Welt, Ich muss dich lassen
Rosenfeld: Mayn Rue Plats
Ellis Island
October 7 MPRO Rehearsal
Boyce: Allegro ma non troppo from the Symphony No. 5
Bach: Réjouissance
Handel: Andante from the Oboe Concerto in B Flat Major
Praetorius: Passameze

I look forward to working with you again in September and encourage you to let any of your friends who play early instruments know about the orchestra's activities this season and invite them to attend our upcoming meetings, workshops and concerts.

Fred Palmer

NOTE: MPRO is not having a workshop this fall.

Membership Dues raised to $90.00 per year

The MPRO Board met on May 6, 2009 to review budget and consider changes for the next year. For the past several years our expenses have exceeded our income, and we have had to dip into our fund reserve. In addition it was felt we should raise the stipend paid to our music director. It was moved, seconded and accepted that the yearly dues for Participating Members be raised to $90, and the yearly dues for Associate Members be raised to $25. This allows for an increase in the music director's stipend and help keep our budget balanced. The Board also agreed that no one should be turned away from participation in MPRO due to hardship. Scholarships will be available. Members are encouraged to make a tax free donation to MPRO. For further information please feel free to contact co-presidents Liz Brownell and Grace Butler.

Receive UpBeat by e-mail

You can now access UpBeat over the internet. Chris Flake, our Membership Chairman, will send you an e-mail when the new month?s issue is available. His e-mail message will provide a link to access the newsletter. You will need the Adobe Reader application to read pdf files (www.adobe.com).

We encourage you send an e-mail message to Chris, stating that you don?t want to receive the paper copy of UpBeat any longer. Doing this will save paper and the expense (MPRO?s) of copying and mailing this newsletter. Also you can read the newsletter before the rehearsal.

Christopher Flake

Donation to MPRO

A donation of $200 has been given to MPRO from a recorder player who bought a new tenor recorder given in memory of Phyllis Reisner.

When former MPRO member Phyllis Reisner died last March she left all of her paraphernalia to our mutual friend Marge Kneedler of Phoenix and to me. Just weeks before Phyllis died she bought a bent neck Yamaha plastic tenor--with all keys. Marge and I decided to "sell" it to a student of Margaret Moore. The price was a nice contribution to the MPRO treasury.

In the next several weeks I will be bringing some of Phyllis' music to MPRO practice sessions for members to "purchase". The money will also go to MPRO. I think Phyllis would have liked that.

Lois Ario

I've An Earwig in My Fipple.

You are invited to be our guest at the next meeting of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra.
Bring your instruments and a music stand or just come and listen.

The Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra 2009-2010 season rehearsals begin on Wednesday, September 9 from 8:00 to 10:00 P.M. at Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School, Room 060; 480 East Meadow Dr., Palo Alto. The orchestra is open without audition to recorder, early wind or early string players who are able to read and play the music provided at meetings.

2008-2009 meetings will be held on the following dates:
Sept. 9, 23; Oct. 7, 21, 28; Nov. 18
Jan. 6, 20; Feb. 3, 17, 24; Mar. 17, 31; Apr. 7, 21; May 12, 26
Dress Rehearsals will take place during the first week of December 2009 and the first week of June 2010.

Concerts to take place in December, 2009 and June, 2010.Concerts in December, 2007 and May 31, 2008.

For further information please contact: Music Director Frederic Palmer (650) 591-3648, Co-Presidents Grace Butler (650) 493-1965, Liz Brownell (408) 358-0878, or visit our web site at www.sfems.org/mpro.

MPRO is an affiliate of the San Francisco Early Music Society


A reminder that your dues for the 2009-2010 season is due: $90.00 for Participating Member, $25.00 for Associate Member. Make your check to MPRO and give to Chris at the September 9 meeting, or mail to Christopher Flake.

Please enclose an updated application form with your payment. (See the Joining MPRO page of this website.) If the info hasn't changed from last year, just write your name. Be sure Chris has your latest e-mail address. Please do fill in any consort requests and your preferred instrument choices.