June and August meetings are directed by chapter members here at SFRS. Any member is welcome to try their hand at it, we would love to have you bring your favorite selections to conduct. Contact Greta to volunteer!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
SFEMS Executive Director Derek Tam will present in September
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Derek Tam will conduct this month
Our conductor for September 15, . DEREK TAM. wears many and varied musical hats. In demand as a conductor and historical keyboardist, he performs regularly in the Bay Area and even internationally. He is perhaps best well-known to us in the recorder community as the executive director of the San Francisco Early Music Society, which produces Summer Workshops (Recorder, Baroque, and MedRen). He also serves as the artistic director of the biennial Berkeley Festival & Exhibition, due to return in June, 2022.
A real catch for our conductor lineup this year, he has been praised for his "deft" conducting (San Francisco Chronicle ). Derek appears frequently with choral and orchestral ensembles. He is a specialist on historical keyboards, and has been called "a master of [the harpsichord]" (San Francisco Classical Voice) and "the fortepianist of the beguiling fingers" (Bloomington Herald-Times). Recent concerto appearances include performances with Elevate Ensemble, Modesto Symphony, Chamber Music Silicon Valley, and the Hong Kong Early Music Society.
Locally he has performed with leading period ensembles such as Voices of Music and Musica Pacifica, and has served as principal keyboardist for most of the professional symphonies in Northern and Central California.
Derek currently serves as the Director of Music at First Church Berkeley (First Congregational) and produces Resonance, the church's critically-lauded performance series. He is also the Artistic Director of the Vallejo Choral Society, the oldest community choir in California, as well as being the president of the Early Music America’s Board of Directors. On top of all that, he’s just a really nice guy, and we’re so grateful that he’s made the time to lead our chapter playing session.
Our in-person meetings have been suspended since March of 2020 due to the pandemic (see our News & Eventspage). Most of us are getting pretty tired of simply playing along over our electronic devices, no matter how well we've adapted to the technology. We had so hoped to be able to meet in person in August or September, but with the aggressive Delta and Lambda variants, our best bet is to continue to play it safe and not risk anyone's health and safety. Our host venue, Christ Church Lutheran, has begun holding limited services in person and is eager to welcome us back as soon as possible. We may try a 'hybrid' Zoom/in-person meeting soon via the Zoom Conferencing platform. Since June of 2020, players from other chapters have been invited to join our meetings, and last September we joined forces with the Sacramento Recorder Society to present excellent online meetings and will continue to do so whenever we meet online. We've had the pleasure of being directed by teachers in every time zone and have had an attendance of between 35 and 50 recorder players, resulting in an SFRS record of 55 paid memberships. We are SO grateful for the support and enthusiasm shown by so many outside of our local area.
We've been very fortunate to have such a wealth of talented arrangers and presenters lead us in such interesting and varied repertoire through these online meetings. Our special thanks to members Ray White (EBRS, Berkeley) and James Chaudoir (MARS, Oshkosh, WI) for volunteering to bring us gorgeous music from Escorial B and an assortment of Fortuna Desperata settings (respectively). The work they put into the scores and the recordings is significant, and brilliantly done.
This month, Derek Tam will lead us in Cipriano de Rore's famous madrigal, Ancor che col partire, one of the most popular madrigals of the 16th century, and the basis of many (virtuosic) variations. We will also play an interesting response piece to de Rore's masterpiece in Alessandro Striggio's Ancor ch'io possa dire, and two variations prepared especially for SFRS and SRS. Players will have an opportunity to present snippets of their own variations / divisions by playing along with recordings for the group by either playing them directly from their computer or from another audio device.
NOTE: Be sure to keep your Zoom account up to date (now at version 5.7.6) for the best online musical experience. Click HERE for a PDF sheet of tips to help you with settings for the best results for playing of and listening to recorders on Zoom. Most of these tips - all of the ones pertinent to our needs - are still applicable to the latest Zoom version, although the document was created a while back.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Although we really miss playing together in person, most of us are either used to attending online music playing events or suffering 'Zoom Fatige.' We had hoped to begin in-person meetings iin September but the Delta variant had other plans. As soon as it is possible to meet and play unmasked indoors we will return to meeting at our home Christ Church Lutheran in San Francisco, with a possible hybrid live/streamed format.
We look forward to next season when we hope to play together again in person and have another brilliant slate of professional musicians direct us. Meanwhile, we will do our very best to stay well and keep up our enthusiasm for playing our beloved recorders while staying well ... get vaccinated if you haven't yet and wear your masks to protect yourselves and others.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Pied Piper illustration - the top of an old model Mollenhauer recorder box
The San Francisco Recorder Society▪PO Box 370069, Montara, CA 94037