President’s Message (June 2019)
First, I wanted to point out that there was a “cut and paste” error in this seasons schedule- the June meeting is on Friday, June 14th not the 8th as listed in previous newsletters.
The Bylaws of OCRS state that at the June member meeting of each Operating Year, the members will set the OCRS membership dues that each class of membership must pay for the next Operating Year. Prior to the members’ voting on this matter, the Board must make a recommendation of the dues structure for the next year. Additionally, the members will elect the Board that is to serve during the next Operating Year. In that there were no volunteers in April for the Nominating Committee, all members of the current Board have agreed to stay on for another year. Accordingly, the slate of officers for the 2019-2020 Operating Year is as follows, but nominations are also accepted from the floor if the person being nominated has previously agreed to be considered.
President: Win Aldrich
Vice President, Membership Development: Open- need a volunteer
Vice President, Hospitality: Carlos Marques
Secretary/Newsletter: Sandy Thompson
Treasurer: Susan Mason
Win Aldrich, Coordinator
Publicist/Webmaster: Carol Jacoby
This month we will again have Ricardo Beron leading us with a wonderful selection of music for us to enjoy and learn from. The meeting will be preceded with a Prelude at 7:15 with the suite “Music to Dioclesian” by Henry Purcell, played by the Windsong Recorder Group led by Jim Forrest.
President’s Message (May 2019)
In June we will be holding elections for Board Members for the 2019-2020 Season. For OCRS to continue as an active organization, volunteers are needed to serve these important functions that provide the monthly meetings and popular annual workshop. So please stop and consider serving, a fresh perspective is always welcome. You can let any of the current Board Members know of your interest at our next meeting on Friday, May 10th with Brenda Bittner.
As the summer season for workshops approaches, I ran across an article by David Podeschi, President, ARS Board of Directors with some helpful thoughts to get the most out of this experience. These suggestions also apply to the monthly meetings as well.
Workshops are a wonderful way to meet and play with fellow recorder and early music enthusiasts and work with some of the finest recorder teachers around. The season is upon us so what better time to talk about making your workshop more successful. Here are a few suggestions from a perennial workshop participant of things we can all do to make the workshop experience worthwhile.
- Be on time for classes. So that everyone maximizes the allotted time with your instructor, have your recorders ready, your music stand up, and your music out a few minutes before the scheduled start time.
- Save your practicing for the practice room. Warming up in the few minutes leading up to the scheduled start time is a joyous and welcomed cacophony. However, once class begins the time is now the instructor’s. Pay attention to the advice being given to all parts, even if it is not yours–most likely, the advice being given will apply to you as well! If you need to practice a difficult section, run the fingerings without blowing into the recorder.
- Engage with the instructors. The instructors are why we are there and it is important to listen to what they have to say. They are imparting wisdom on technique, musicality, and how to bring out the best in our playing. Also, when they count off to start playing we need to be ready and not delay the entire class because our minds wandered off to that delicious cafeteria meal we just had.
- Forget mistakes and move forward. We all make mistakes. In the classroom setting, the best thing to do when you make one is to let it go and keep playing and not lose your place in the music. The other students aren’t looking for a break in the action because you made a mistake. You can selfidentify what went wrong and do your best to do it better the next time!
- Count rests! OK, this is more of a playing tip than advice. But rests don’t mean rest. It is an active silence. Count your rests silently and keep your place in the music.
- Count unobtrusively. Someone once asked Pablo Casals what was his secret to greatness. His answer: “you have to count!” As a listener it is natural to tap your foot to the beat, but as a player we should tap silently inside our shoes.
- Are you feeling lost? Workshops are pretty informal and the participants/instructors are relaxed. If you find yourself lost in the music, stop playing and:
- wait until a break and restart with everyone else at the place the instructor chooses;
- listen for other people playing your part and get back in when you are sure of the place;
- listen for the instructor to call out a measure number.
- How to handle when the instructor calls out a measure number. Sometimes the instructor will notice that some folks are lost and they’ll call out a measure number. In my experience they call it out on beat one of that measure. For example, she calls out “33” in a piece in 4/4. When that happens, immediately start counting “33-2-3-4, 34-2-3-4,” etc. When you are able to find that measure, you’ll know exactly where to start playing.
- Mixed level classes. Most workshops offer classes for players of different levels, and it is a good idea to try to choose your classes to match your ability. However, sometimes new players are thrown into the fray with more experienced players. When this happens, keep in mind that workshops are an individual learning process, not a competition. Do your best to keep up and challenge yourself.
President’s Message (Apil 2019)
OCRS is truly a volunteer organization whose existence depends on the shared responsibility of its members to operate and continue to coordinate and plan the monthly meetings, schedule that we have refreshments at each meeting, help find new members, maintain accurate financial records, prepare and send out our newsletter, provide a useful and informative web page and to coordinate and plan our annual recorder workshop. As we draw to a close of the 2018-2019 Season, there are several items that need to be attended to as per our by-laws. At the June meeting the members elect the Board that is to serve during the next Operating Year. And pursuant to that, the members elect a Nominating Committee, which consists of three members elected at the April meeting by the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast on the matter. The Nominating Committee works to select a slate of candidates and nominates the slate at the June meeting. So now is your opportunity to give back to OCRS and ensure that we have a strong, viable ARS Chapter providing shared enjoyment and learning to recorder players at all levels. Please consider how you can serve.
This month we will have Inga Funck back for another wonderful evening of music, and we have a rare treat with Jeff Holt and Matt Ross playing Concerto RV 442 by Antonio Vivaldi for the Prelude at 7:15 pm.
I look forward to seeing you all there next Friday the 12th.
President’s Message (March, 2019)
It was nice to see so many OCRS members at our workshop two weeks ago- there were 25 of you along with 15 more people from Southern California Recorder Society, San Diego County Recorder Society, Central Coast Recorder Society, Inland Recorder Society as well as several people from the Bay Area. The value of attending a workshop is multi-faceted – it provides an opportunity to play beautiful music in an extended, focused, and supportive environment; it provides the opportunity to play with others of varying ability giving one both a sense of confidence and where you are on the spectrum of skills, and it is just plain fun to gather with so many like-minded recorder players. Spring and Summer are traditionally the time for recorder workshops and The American Recorder Society’s Spring issue lists 37 such workshops around the country. (You are an ARS member aren’t you? As a new member for only $25 you can receive their quarterly magazine filled with interesting articles and information and a host of other benefits. https://americanrecorder.org/join_or renew_now.php )
On the more local level there are several workshops coming up that you may be interested in:
Our sister group SCRS is hosting Alex Opsahl on Sunday March 17th for a halfday workshop entitled “Stolen Goods” – “Learn how airflow and articulation can be used to mimic a variety of instruments whose repertoire the recorder often ‘steals’. From English viol music and Italian brass canzoni, to organ fugues and choral works, we will celebrate the wide variety of music a recorder ensemble can perform”. For information and registration go to: https://www.socalrecorders.com/scrsspring- workshop-2019
Also, the Central Coast Recorder Society is sponsoring a two day workshop on April 6-7 in Goleta with Tish Berlin and Frances Blaker entitled “Music in Nature,” the workshop will include classes in technique and celebrations of nature in Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music. For information and registration go to: centralcoastrecorders.org/workshop
May 17-19, the East Bay Recorder Society is hosting their “Marin Headlands Workshop for Recorders and Other Instruments” with Derek Tam, Frances Feldon, Phil and Gayle Neuman, Tish Berlin, Frances Blaker, and Tom Bickley as faculty. http://www.symbolicsolutions.com/ebrsweb2015/
And for weeklong workshops there are: Seattle Recorder Society’s Port Townsend Early Music Workshop July 7-13 featuring 14 outstanding faculty and a wide selection of classes in Tacoma, WA. http://www.seattlerecorder. org/workshop/
And last but not least is San Francisco Early Music Society’s Recorder Workshops: Week I, July 7-13 “Heaven and Earth” , and Week II July 14-20 “ Shadows and Light” both with outstanding international faculty at St Albert’s Priory in Oakland. http://sfems.org/?page_id=620
This month we are fortunate to have Alexa Haynes-Pilon leading us Friday, March 8th–hope to see you there.
For those who have been in the recorder world for awhile, we are sad to report Ken Sherman’s passing on January 31. He was a leader in the Southern California Recorder and Early Music world as well as the world of Jazz, Classical, and Renaissance music.
Biography of Ken Sherman
KEN SHERMAN has been playing jazz for well over 50 years on saxophones, clarinet and flutes. Presently, he is playing lead tenor sax and flute with the Johnny Kleker Big Band and plays Lead Alto sax and flute with the Liz Holmes Big Band. He also directs and plays Tenor sax with his own 17-piece BIG BAND EXPRESS.
Ken started playing music at the age of 5, and studied clarinet and sax at the Wurlitzer School in NYC. Later he studied with Sammy Musiker, who was the reed player in the original Steve Allen Tonight Show combo and also was with the Gene Krupa Orchestra. Through Sammy, Ken met and was inspired by Lee Konitz. While still in high school, Ken played at many Catskill Mountain resorts in New York (the “Borscht Belt”) behind many well-known singers and comedians performing there. More recently, he played in a big-band led by Llew Matthews behind Nancy Wilson, at a concert in Palm Springs. He has appeared at many big-name venues, and is in much demand on all the saxes and flutes, for studio and soundtrack work. A charter member of the National Flute Association, he performed in August 2007 with Holly Hoffman, Ali Ryerson, and others in a jazz concert at the NFA convention in Albuquerque. He was declared a 2011 winner in the NFA’s Jazz Big Band Competition and again performed with them in August 2011 in Charlotte, N.C. This amazing ensemble again performed at the Jazz Educators’ Network Conference in San Diego, CA on January 9th 2015. Again a competition winner in 2015, he performed with this ensemble again in August, 2015, in Washington D.C.
Ken is equally at home with Classical, Renaissance and Baroque music and has performed it on period instruments. He is a past President of the SCRS (Southern California Recorder Society), and co-founder of the Malibu Early Music Weekend Workshop, which he directed for 15 years. He was a co-director of the Pacific Broken Consort, an ensemble that performed Early Music at many university campuses, along with live concerts at the Doheny Mansion and the County Museum of Art, both in Los Angeles.
His (classical) CD, SUMMER MUSIC, is available, as well as DIRECTIONS, a jazz CD of the Ken Sherman Trio and Quartet, released in 2012. Also released in May, 2014, is a CD of the Claude Bolling Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio, plus other jazz selections.
Meet the Conductors for our Workshop
The conductors for our 2019 Spring Workshop on February 16 were Jennifer Carpenter and Mark Davenport. Learn more about them.
President’s Message (February 2019)
Why is so difficult for me to practice? And yet, when I do, I find it rewarding and fun, it provides an escape from everyday concerns, and I feel that I have accomplished something. Does anyone else have this problem?
So how do I motivate myself? It certainly helps that I have a recorder and music out on a music stand ready to play, but I need something more to motivate me. I need a goal, and I need more than just scales and intervals to play- as important as they are for improvement. Beautiful music helps in that regard. Two collections that I keep coming back to are:
The Baroque Solo Book, by Bernard Thomas, and The Charlton Method for the Recorder, by Andrew Charlton. Both are available at Honeysuckle Music: http://www.honeysucklemusic.com. Another book that is extremely helpful is Frances Blaker’s Opening Measures- A Compendium of Practice Techniques available from the American Recorder Society: https://americanrecorder.org/opening_measures_by_frances_bl.php
The Baroque Solo Book is a collection of beautiful music from the first half of the 18thcentury for the alto that provides a basic technical and musical foundation, and many pieces provide a number of increasingly more difficult variations. The Charlton Method for the Recorderincludes basic exercises, interval studies, arpeggio studies, a number of solo and duo works from Bach and others, but is unique in providing studies for both “C” and “F” fingering instruments as well as studies for the bass recorder.
Opening Measures is a collection of the 42 extremely helpful and informative articles that Frances wrote for the American Recorder magazine over 20 years under the column Opening Measures.
“It is a gathering of topics, some about techniques specific to the recorder, others concerning various musical skills that are pertinent to musicians of all sorts. My goal with these articles is to help recorder players of all levels to move forward in their own playing.” – Frances Blaker
The other motivation is attending a workshop where skilled players/teachers lead one through a concentrated day, days, or a week of learning and playing in a supportive environment. Of course, this leads me to our OCRS Recorder Workshop with Jennifer Carpenter and Mark Davenport on Saturday, February 16th. Have you signed up yet? There is still time.
This month we are again fortunate to have Rotem Gilbert who with Adam have been so instrumental (pun intended) in expanding Early Music in Southern California, and well beyond, lead us. Hope to see you there.
President’s Message (January, 2019)
As we start 2019, I first want to wish you all a Happy New Year with Best Wishes for productive, safe, and positive year in these times of turmoil. Jennifer Carpenter who along with Mark Davenport will be leading our Recorder Workshop on February 16th recently wrote a piece for the American Recorder Society’s ARS Nova e-Mag entitled “Transforming the Music-Rethinking our Approach to Practicing” – https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Transforming-the-Music–Rethinking- Practicing.html?soid=1102285871582&aid=iwIOl30pvRU
In this article she emphasizes the following points as one progresses in their learning to play well- a message we have heard frequently at our monthly meetings from a number of our conductors: “The Power of the Pulse Zander zeros in on one important aspect of keeping our audiences listening and keeping us as performers engaged: pulse . Think about your journey in learning to read and play music on the recorder. Perhaps it looks something like this:
• Stage 1: Pulse/emphasis on every note in a phrase. Perhaps uneven in presentation, not very musical, but you’ve accomplished learning the notes!
• Stage 2: Pulse/emphasis on every other note in a phrase. You’re getting more comfortable with the music; you’re not deathly afraid of playing a wrong note; you’re beginning to relax.
• Stage 3: Pulse/emphasis on every 4 notes in a phrase. A continuation of the journey from stage 2. You’re getting closer! •
Stage 4: Pulse/emphasis on every 8 notes in a phrase. Now you’re beginning to understand how the phrasing works and where the notes are leading.
• Stage 5: Pulse/emphasis on 1 note in the phrase. You understand where the phrase is leading and the relationship between the notes in the phrase. You’re making music! When we reach stage 5, we are now armed with the tools to keep ourselves and our listeners engaged throughout the piece. How do we get there? By understanding that every note either comes from somewhere or goes somewhere. We find the pulse, the note worth emphasizing. Having some familiarity with the fundamentals of music theory is important. Your teacher may help you with this, or perhaps enrolling in one of several free online theory courses can spur your journey (look into MOOCs*). Listen often to music and performers you love. Start to think about their phrasing. Listen to where they are leading the phrases and in turn, you. Start to analyze your pieces: mark phrases, cadences, musical gestures. Determine if they fall on strong or weak beats in the measure. Think about the ways our particular instrument can emphasize the pulse.”
Keep on playing and I hope to see you at our next meeting with Malachai Bandy on Friday, January 11th.
President’s Message (December 2018)
I hope that you will attend our meeting on the 14thwith Sally Price who always brings fun, a sense of humor, and beautiful music to play. She will again be accompanied by the other members of Music Ficta who will play the Prelude at 7:15 pm – always a treat, plus it sounds like we will have some delicious goodies again this year.
Work is moving along on the details of the OCRS Recorder Workshop on Saturday, February 16th. This year we are again fortunate to have two highly respected professionals in the recorder world – Jennifer Carpenter and Mark Davenport- both from Colorado.
Their detailed bios are now up on the OCRS web site at:<https://www.ocrecorders.org/ocrs-workshop-2019/>.
Jennifer and Mark have been discussing and planning the music for the workshop and the theme this season will be:
The Grand Tour
A regular feature of 17th- and 18th-century aristocratic education, “The Grand Tour” offered young noblemen and women an opportunity to travel throughout Europe, exposing them to their cultural legacies. Prepare your passports and travel with us to Germany, Spain, England, and the Low Countries where we will experience glimpses of our own musical heritage.
It will be a day filled with beautiful music, learning, and enjoyment in playing together. The informational/registration flyer should be in your hands shortly if you have not already received it. What a great Holiday gift to yourself or a recorder playing friend.
As December approaches, I want to wish you all a peaceful, relaxing, and safe Holiday Season filled with gratitude in these tumultuous and stressful times.
President’s Message (November, 2018)
The availability for Early Music performances in Southern California seems to be exploding the last few years. And it is interesting how many of the recent groups all have performer connections with the Early Music Program at USC led by Rotem and Adam Gilbert who have changed the face of Early Music. To name a few:
- Tesserae Baroque < https://tesseraebaroque.org>,
- Delirium Musicum < http://deliriummusicum.com>,
- Kontrapunctus < https://www.kontrapunktus.com>,
- Los Angeles Baroque < https://www.losangelesbaroque.org>,
- Colburn Baroque Ensemble <https://www.colburnschool.edu/calendar/>
- and L.A. Camerata < https://www.losangelescamerata.org>
These coupled with other more mature organizations such as:
- USC’s Early Music Program’s USC Collegium Workshop/USC Thornton Baroque Sinfonia <https://music.usc.edu/events/>
- The Baroque Music Festival – Corona del Mar <http://www.bmf-cdm.org/welcome/default.php>
- Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra <https://www.musicaangelica.org>
- Jouyssance Early Music Ensemble <http://www.jouyssance.org>
- Los Angeles Master Chorale <http://www.lamasterchorale.org>
all provide an incredible selection of performances for the 2018-2019 Season. Check out the listings at Southern California Early Music Society’s Calendar at <https://www.earlymusicla.org/calendar> and consider joining and supporting SCEMS. Peace and enjoy the upcoming Holiday Season.
President’s Message (October, 2018)
It is perhaps worth reflecting how fortunate we are in OCRS to have so many wonderful, talented conductors to lead us for each of our monthly meetings. Most ARS Chapters around the country have the same music director each month. This Season we will have 8 long-time favorites and 2 new, young, exciting Early Music professionals to lead us. This is all possible only if we have sufficient dues-paying members to support us. If you have not already paid your dues, be sure to complete the Membership Application so that we can send you the newsletter and notification of the music availability for the monthly meetings. And if you know of someone who plays recorder, why not bring them to the next meeting to introduce them to the joys of playing beautiful music together. Also, remember to save the date for our Recorder Workshop on Saturday, February 16th with Mark Davenport and Jennifer Carpenter.
Welcome (September, 2018)
Welcome to the 2018-2019 season of the Orange County Recorder Society.
We have ten exciting meetings planned for you, with a different professional conductor at each one. We are also planning a workshop for the spring. This is always a popular full-day event, drawing players from all over Southern California. See below. We’ll keep you posted as plans firm up.
If you’re new, you may attend one meeting for free and then we hope you will join. Returning members, please remember to pay your dues. The application is here.
Time to pay your dues!
A membership application is included here. Please pay your dues before or at the September meeting. Please include a completed membership application with your dues payment in order to provide OCRS with your up-to-date contact information and your election whether to print your own sheet music. If you intend to pay your dues in cash at the meeting, please complete the membership application and place it in an envelope with your money, write your name on the outside of the envelope, and then seal the envelope before giving it to the Treasurer. If paying by check at the meeting, please paper-clip or staple your check to your completed application. Alternatively, you may mail your dues check and completed application to the Treasurer at the address shown on the application. —Susan Mason, Treasurer
Save The Date
OCRS Recorder Workshop Saturday, February 16, 2019
We are pleased to announce that the OCRS Recorder Workshop will be held Saturday, February 16, 2019 again at The Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 Canal Street, Orange, CA. We are fortunate to have two well-known and respected faculty – Jennifer Carpenter and Mark Davenport. Mark your calendars, more details and registration information will be coming shortly.