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NYRG Holiday Playing Session

holly

Celebrate the season with music and joy

Led by Deborah Booth, NYRG Music Director

Thursday, December 20th

Deborah Booth

Deborah is well known to all NYRG members and guests. Joining us for the first time? Read Deborah's amazing background and committment to the recorder on our Board page.

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All monthly sessions are held at 6:30 PM at All Souls Unitarian Church, 1157 Lexington Avenue, at the corner of 80th St. Doors open at 6:30 PM.  Downbeat is at 6:45 PM SHARP.

Bring a music stand and pencil to all playing sessions.

The 2018 schedule is: December 20 led by Deborah Booth. For 2019, January 24 led by Valerie Horst, February 28 Susan Hellauer, March 28 led by Larry Lipnik, April 25 David Hurd, May 23 led by Rachel Begley, June 27, Gala Celebration. All meeting dates are Thursday evenings. Mark your calendar now.

Visit our Events page for photos of recent playing session and events.

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2018/19 RATES
Meeting Fees: $12 per meeting for members $20 per meeting for non-members

Consider making a donation to further the work and success of the NYRG. The New York Recorder Guild is a 501(c)(3) organization, and all donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the tax code.

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Consort Finder

The board and music director are pleased that you are attending New York Recorder Guild sessions to play with and meet other recorder players.  It is certainly a great place for this! You may also wish to enjoy playing recorders in a consort or smaller group setting, but it is often difficult to get the right players together for levels, geography, and temperaments.  

If you are interested in being matched with other players, write to our music director, Deborah Booth, explaining your thoughts, wishes, level, location, and years of experience.  Coaching is also available if desired. Deborah will attempt to put you in touch with others who match your skills. NYRG has had success with this program in starting consorts meeting in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Give it a chance and you may be pleasantly surprised. Contact Deborah Booth at: deborah@flute-recorder-deborahbooth.com

 

Upcoming New York Music Events

GemsGOTHAM EARLY MUSIC SCENE (GEMS) is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of early music in New York City and serves professional and amateur performers and ensembles, church organizations, audiences and enthusiasts. Get on their mailing list and receive On the Scene which features current New York performances of early music. Call: 212-866-0468 or E-mail info@gemsny.org.

Musica Viva NY

Musica VivaMusica Viva NY is a chamber choir driven by a desire to share the transcendent power of choral and instrumental music. All concerts are hosted byAll Souls Church, the organization which graciously provides our meeting space. Their first event of the season is Sunday September 23rd at 5:00 PM. For program information and performance dates, visit their website at http://musicaviva.org 

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Subscribe to the New York Recorder Guild Mailing List and get the latest news on NYRG happenings as well as keeping up to date on the Metro New York Recorder scene. Contact: newyorkrecorders@gmail.com

Visit our Events page for photos of recent playing meetings as well as listings of playing sessions of other local ARS Chapters, concerts and other early music and recorder events..

Visit our Archives Page to keep up with all of the music played at our Monthly Meetings. Music listings of workshops and other events will be added as they occur.

Our Workshops page has all the information on Recorder and Early Music Workshops taking place in the area.

Recorders need repairs; looking for music downloads? Visit our Resources page for information on everything recorder-related.

Recorder Myths??

Joy Awaits You
Here Are The Facts by Judith Wink

The recorder has been around since the Middle Ages.  You’d think something that venerable would get some respect.  But no.  Too many people out there think it’s just a folk instrument, or a starter instrument for school kids, or a pocket-sized pipe with a shrill, obnoxious sound.  Even Anthony Baines, who wrote or edited dozens of articles and books about music and instruments, dismissed the recorder as “easy to play and cheap to buy,” perfect for the musician who is both lazy and tight-fisted.

Sure, in some cultures recorder-type instruments are used for folk music — Israel, for instance, which produced those abysmal Gill recorders that were made of balsa wood and left splinters in your mouth.  But in Western Europe, throughout the Renaissance and Baroque periods (and that’s a long time, let me tell you), the recorder was used for art music.  Recorder consorts entertained Henry VIII.  Bach wrote some of the solo parts in the Brandenburg concertos with recorders in mind.  In the Baroque period, the recorder was one of the premiere solo instruments, right up there with the violin.  There’s a ton of serious music just from this era. Telemann alone will keep you busy for decades with his sonatas and duets.

Sure, the recorder is a great starter instruments for kids.  You don’t have to struggle to get a sound out of it, as you do with the flute; you don’t have to futz with reeds, as you do with the clarinet and the saxophone and the oboe; and the finger holes on the soprano are easy for small hands to reach.  But don’t stop there!  The instrument may be easy to learn, but you can spend a lifetime mastering it, as any professional player will tell you.  And once you start exploring articulation and alternate fingerings, you will find that the recorder is as sophisticated as any orchestral instrument.  It may not have the range or the dynamics, but boy, is it expressive!  And no matter how good you get, there will always be another piece that’s just beyond your technique.  Like any other instrument worth playing, the recorder is inexhaustible.

As to the shrill and obnoxious sound people complain of, that’s the soprano you’re talking about, and a badly-played one at that.  The soprano has a lot of big brothers, down to the F contrabass.  Six feet tall, this monster has bottom notes that sound like the QEII setting sail.  Now and then an instrument maker with time on his hands and trees at his disposal will make something bigger. Victor Mahillon, onetime director of the Brussels Museum of Musical Instruments, copied a Renaissance extended great bass in C.  This thing is about eight feet long and virtually unplayable, but what serious musician doesn’t love a challenge?  A low consort — tenor, bass, great bass and contrabass — has the richness and sonority of an organ, and a lot more flexibility.

Is the recorder useless except for old music?  Absolutely not.  In Philadelphia jazz clubs, customers would laugh when Joel Levine got up to play his soprano recorder.  They stopped laughing after the first few licks.  Go on You Tube to hear a recorder quintet play “Purple Haze,” the Jimi Hendrix classic.  Go to Europe and hear conservatory-trained musicians play new works for the recorder.  Adventurous composers have discovered that there’s more to this instrument than a sweet sound and nimble articulation, and they’re making the most of it.

For most amateurs, though, the recorder means the Handel sonatas and Josquin motets.  And that’s fine.  Just work on style and technique, and buy some big instruments.  Joy awaits you.

 

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