SBRS News and Announcements


Newsletter of the South Bay Recorder Society

A Chapter of the American Recorder Society

An Affiliate of the San Francisco Early Music Society


January 2015

January Meeting
Joyce Johnson Hamilton will be making her first visit to South Bay to direct our January 9th Chapter meeting at 7:30 PM in the Choir Room of San Jose Congregational Church. Joyce earned Bachelor and Masters Degrees in music from the University of Nebraska and has done doctoral study in historical performance practice and conducting at Stanford. She has performed on cornetto and baroque trumpet with The Whole Noyse, the Women’s Antique Vocal Ensemble, the Albion Consort, Ave, the Bach Collegium, the Carmel Bach Festival, the Northwest Chorale, the Washington (D.C.) Sackbut and Cornett Ensemble, and the Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra. She has been a frequent guest conductor and trumpet soloist with the Seoul Philharmonic and has served as principal trumpet of the Oregon, Oakland, and San Jose Symphonies as well as principal trumpet of the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. In 2011, Johnson Hamilton retired from 31 years as the conductor of the Diablo Symphony. In 2014 she retired from her position as a lecturer in trumpet at Stanford University. She currently serves on the board of directors of the San Francisco Early Music Society.

Notes on Music
"In the Bleak Midwinter" is a Christmas carol based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti written before 1872 in response to a request from the magazine Scribner's Monthly for a Christmas poem. It was published posthumously in Rossetti's Poetic Works in 1904. The poem became a Christmas carol after it appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906 with a setting by Gustav Holst.

Harold Darke's anthem setting of 1909 is more complex and was named the best Christmas carol in a poll of some of the world's leading choirmasters and choral experts in 2008.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas – (A Merry Christmas) traditional; arr. by Arthur Warrell; orchestrated for recorders by Joyce Johnson Hamilton.

Spiritual – by Joyce Johnson Hamilton. Original composed for brass sextet as the
middle movement of a work titled: “Three Pieces for 6 Brass”.

“Jeering Song” from “27 Two and Three-part Choruses for unaccompanied women’s or children’s choir” (1935-36) by Belá Bartok (1881-1945)
Bartok’s volume of music for women’s or children’s choir is his only large-scale vocal work for children. Bartok set folk texts, rather than folksongs; he writes in a folk-like melodic idiom. Bartok’s late-period distillation of harmony is seen nowhere more clearly than in the pared-down bareness of these settings.

Sonata a 7 Flauti by Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (1623-1680)
In a marriage document dated in 1643, Schmelzer is referred to as a cornettist at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna. By 1649 he was appointed court violinist at the Habsburg court and achieved renown as a virtuoso violinist. Schmelzer enjoyed a close relationship with Emperor Leopold I which smoothed the way for Schmelzer’s elevation to the ranks of nobility. He eventually rose to the post of Kapellmeister but died of plague after only 1 year in that position. The sonata for seven recorders and bass is the only known example of a piece of old music composed for this combination. The only existing copy of this piece is in the Royal University Library at Uppsala, Sweden.

Un Sarao de la Chacona – a la vida bona by Juan Arañés; arr. by Joyce Johnson Hamilton for recorder orchestra.
Juan Arañés, or in Catalan Joan Araniés (c.1580 – c.1650), was a Spanish Baroque composer. His tonos and villancicos follow the style of those preserved in the Cancionero of Kraków (PL-Kj Mus. Ms. 40163). Arañés was born in Catalonia in the last quarter of the 16th century, although the exact date is unknown. After studies in Alcalá de Henares, he was maestro di cappella at the Spanish embassy in Rome, where in 1624 he published his Libro Segundo de tonos y villancicos. Although surely there was a first book, as indicated by the title of the surviving volume, it is lost. The Libro Segundo collection contains 12 pieces for one, two and three voices, tonos humanos and villancicos; the final being a vocal chaconne for four voices, A la vida bona. The collection is notable for its guitar accompaniment in Italian notation.

President’s Message
Hi All,
I wish you a Happy New Year! As many of you know I am working on providing for my husband Rick’s changes due to his stroke and other life style needs. He will no longer be my car pool dummy. I will try to join you for some of the meetings but will turn over the church keys to others for the moment. We have a wonderful SBRS Board who will continue to keep things moving.
Liz Brownell, President

If anyone can bring cookies, breads, fruit or finger food in general for the next meeting, please let me know as I have no volunteers set up for our January meeting. It really helps me if you just tell me “yes, I’ll bring something”. Contact me at or phone at (408)246-0771.
Jean Ridley, Hospitality. (

Chapter News
New member Tobi Nielsen was born in Palo Alto, CA. Her family moved to Fairfield, IA, when she was three, where she grew up surrounded by music. Both her parents sang to her growing up. She has particularly fond memories of their lullabies and of learning folk songs from her mom. Tobi returned to the Bay Area in 2004, after graduating from college. She continued to sing on her own, in church, and to the children she cared for as a nanny. In 2010, Tobi became a volunteer music docent through Music for Minors, a local non-profit that brings music to children in the public schools of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. In 2013, she was hired by Music for Minors as a paid professional educator. She is now in her second year of teaching music to over 500 students in grades 2-5. Tobi teaches 3 days a week in schools in the Redwood City and San Jose Unified School Districts. She is also currently a student at SJSU in their teaching credential program.

Singing was part of Tobi's life at home and in school from the beginning. She started piano lessons at age five, and was first introduced to recorder at school in fourth grade. She continued to play piano through high school, participated in musical theater in her teens, and taught herself to play ukulele and guitar in collage. Music for Minors introduced her to the Orff Schulwerk style of music education, which uses recorders as well as singing and pitched and unpitched percussion. Wishing to become more proficient on recorder, she asked Annette Bauer, who taught a summer Orff workshop, for advice, and thereby discovered SBRS. Welcome, Tobi!
Anne Ng, Treasurer/Membership

Music Opportunities
January 31st - MPRO Workshop - Adam Gilbert directs. 330 Ravenswood Avenue (at Laurel Street) in Menlo Park. Find directions here.
March 28th SBRS Annual Workshop - Glen Shannon directs.

Schedule of SBRS DIRECTORS for 2014 - 2015
12 September -Shira Kamen             
3 October – Claudia Gantivar            
14 November - Andrew Levy         
9 January - Joyce Johnson-Hamilton   
13 February - David Hogan-Smith

13 March – Members’ Night
28 March – Workshop – Glen Shannon
April – Judy Linsenberg
May – Greta Haug-Hyrciw

Newsletter Editor: Laura Gonsalves
4946 Manitoba Drive, San Jose, CA 95130
website: //