Welcome to the Fall Season

Join Gene Murrow and NYRG on Thursday, October 25, 2018

Gene MurrowGene Murrow is well known to NYRG members as well as everyone in the Early Music community. Gene has been involved with early music for over 40 years. Following a music degree from Columbia with oboe studies at Juilliard, he toured with the New York Renaissance Band and the Paul Winter Consort. He has coached American Recorder Society Chapters and at early music workshops throughout the United States for over 30 years, and served as ARS President from 1994-2000. A founding member of Early Music America, he has served on the Board of Directors for two terms. Prior to founding GEMS in 2007, he served as General Manager of Early Music/New York in New York City.


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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: November 29 led by Wendy Powers, December 20 led by Deborah Booth. For 2019, January 24 led by Valerie Horst, February 28 TBD, March 28 led by Larry Lipnik, April 25 TBD, May 23 led by Rachel Begley, June 27, Gala Celebration. All meeting dates are Thursday evenings. Mark your calendar now.

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2018/19 RATES
Membership Dues: $40 for the season are now due

Early Bird Meeting Fee Savings! Members save by paying $100 for all meeting fees up front.
Meeting Fees: $12 per meeting for members $20 per meeting for non-members


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

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 


Martin Bernstein Concert
October 27 - 7:30 PM
Church of the Epiphany (East 74th Street and York Avenue)


During the Amherst Early Music Festival's 'City Recorder' workshop, the Gotham Early Music Scene will present a recital by recorder player Martin Bernstein, boston-based harpsichordist John McKean, and Salomé Gasselin from Paris on viola da gamba. The trio will explore French keyboard music, both through baroque arrangements and some of their own. The program will include music by Antoine Forqueray, Jean Philippe Rameau, Jacques Boyvin, Marin Marais, and Louis Couperin. Tickets at www.gemsny.org/events/martin-bernstein-recital or call 212-866-0468


Ensemble BREVE presents, "A Journey Across Baroque Europe"
Sunday, November 4th at 5 pm
Roerich Museum 319 W. 107 Street, NYC

Deb & Aya

An intimate recital on original instruments for Flute/Recorder, and Harpsichord will include selections from Germany, France, & Italy - harpsichord solos by Bach, Couperin, and Scarlatti, with accompanied pieces for flutes by Bach, Philidor, and Mancini. Deborah Booth, NYRG Music Director- Traverso and Recorders; Aya Hamada - Harpsichord

Admission is free, but you must register for the event!
Registration opens at noon on the Monday before the concert.
Website: roerich.org, Phone: 212-864-7752


GEMS NY Midtown Concerts Presents Martin Bernstein and Salome Gasselin
The Chapel of St. Bartholomew's Church
50th Street and Park Avenue
Thursday, November 8, 1:15 PM

Martin/SalomeSalomé Gasselin and Martin Bernstein will tell a story about an English flutist, traveling with the exiled King's musicians into France in 1651. They'll imagine her journey, in French and English, with arrangements and stories from the journey - including music from Louis Marchand, Matthew Locke, Tobias Hume, and Louis Couperin.

For more information on this concert and the entire GEMS season, visit the GEMS website: gemsny.org/midtown-concerts


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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