February Playing Session

Welcome Susan Hellauer on February 28, 2019


Susan HellauerSusan Hellauer is a native of the beautiful Bronx, New York, where she grew up rooting for the Yankees. While earning a B.A. in music as a trumpet player from Queens College (City University of New York), an increasing fascination with medieval and Renaissance vocal music led her to convert to singing, and to pursue advanced degrees in musicology from Queens College and Columbia University. Susan handles Anonymous 4's medieval music research, and is an adjunct Assistant Professor of Music at Queens College, CUNY, where she directs the Collegium Musicum. She has appeared as a vocal soloist with the Harp Consort, Parthenia, and the 2006 U.S. Fes Festival of World Sacred Music. Susan leads Chant Camp workshops throughout the U.S., and is proud to be a volunteer EMT and ambulance driver with the Nyack Community Ambulance Corps.

* * *

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 2019 schedule is: February 28 Susan Hellauer, March 28 Larry Lipnik, April 25 David Hurd, May 23 Rachel Begley, June 20, Gala Celebration. All meeting dates are Thursday evenings. Mark your calendar now.

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

* * *

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.


Spring Workshop Season

A wonderful schedule of workshops at various metropolitan area ARS Chapters is open to NYRG members. Visit our Workshops page for dates and registration information.

* * *

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, contact our music director, Deborah Booth, at: deborah@flute-recorder-deborahbooth.com 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.  


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.

Friday, March 8 at 8PM
Daphna Mor and Friends

Daphna & Friends

Vivace! Masters of the Italian, English, German, and French Baroque

Daphna Mor, recorders Martha McGaughey, viola da gamba, Arthur Haas, harpsichord, Daniel S. Lee, violin

A note from Daphna: "For quite some time I have longed to create a recital of my favorite Baroque sonatas. These sonatas, with their exquisite melodies and thrilling virtuosity have been my companions since childhood. Some were originally written for recorder and others have been transcribed from flute or violin. I missed playing these sonatas and decided to create such a program, along with my friends Arthur and Martha, two of the finest continuo players. We performed this concert earlier this season at Stony Brook University and we are delighted to bring it to New York with one extra special friend, the wonderful Daniel Lee on violin. We invite you for an evening among friends of sweet comfort, excitement and elegance. Music by Bach, Handel, Telemann, Corelli and more.

Church of the Transfiguration ("Little Church Around the Corner")
1 East 29th Street (between Madison and Fifth Avenues) Manhattan
Front seating ~ $45 General seating ~ $30 Students (with ID) ~ $10

For mor information or to purchase tickets: https://gemsny.org/events/daphna-mor (15% discount code: DMFB2019) or call 212-866-0468

* * *

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 


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??

Second in a series of Recorder Topics by Judith Wink, NYRG Board Member


Just as one rotten apple can spoil the barrel, one rotten recorder player can spoil a consort.  Tom rushes.  Dick drags.  Harry’s sharp.  April’s flat.  May knocks her stand over whenever she tries to turn a page.  June mixes up her music.  They all get lost, and they all ask those questions that chill the blood:  “Where are we starting?”  “Did you mean the very beginning?”  “Were we supposed to repeat?”  “What piece are we on?”  Most groups have one of these treasures.  Groups with exceptionally bad karma have two or three.

If it takes that little to wreck a group — and it does, believe me it does — why do we bother?  Why come to meetings?  Why go to workshops?  Why play in a group at all?

Because when things go right, they’re extraordinary.

Some day Tom will have a cold,  Dick will be out of town on business,  Harry  will be minding the children for a change,  April will be meeting with her lawyer,  May will be trying to talk her daughter out of divorcing her husband,  and June will be having root canal.  Those who are left won’t be world-class musicians, but with luck they’ll at least be competent.  With that as a starting point, good things can happen.

The first time through a new piece you’re not likely to do much listening because you’re too busy figuring out your own part.  But the next few times, if you have any aptitude at all for consort playing, you’ll start to hear things.  Now and then the soprano line copies your tenor part.  Let’s agree on phrasing and articulation.  The alto’s got the tune here, so everybody else, let’s pipe down and let it stand out.  Here, in the middle of this fantasia, is a little galliard.  Let’s play a little shorter and make it sound like a dance.  Here’s a grand pause.  Let’s look up and make sure we start together. 

In fact, let’s make sure we’re doing everything together.  That’s the whole point of consort playing.  You’re not a soloist, you’re part of a whole, and the whole is a lot more than the sum of its parts.  One veteran teacher used to arrange a class in a circle and then point to the center: “That’s where you should hear the sound.” 

Recently, I heard the Boreas Quartet Bremen, four gifted young women playing recorder music from four centuries.  The pieces had hot licks for everybody, and the players made the most of them, but in the middle of even the most intricate passages they kept looking up at each other, making sure that this was a group project instead of four solos.  The best accompanist I ever saw was a young guitarist named Robin Polseno.  Onstage with four singers, two on each side of him, he kept looking up at them like a border collie keeping track of his flock.

At its best, a recorder consort sounds like an organ, with one mind in control.   Of course the sound isn’t a lot of undifferentiated mush, you can certainly hear individual lines, but there’s a sense of common conception and purpose.  The tuning’s locked in, everybody’s phrasing the same way, the dynamics rise and fall together.  It’s like watching the four cygnets in Swan Lake or a beautifully executed football play.  It’s a miraculous thing to be part of.

Judith's previous article Joy Awaits You is on our Archive Page


Facebook     Click here to follow us

ars logoThe New York Recorder Guild is a member of the American Recorder Society