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


October 2015

October Meeting
Glen Shannon will be returning to South Bay to direct our chapter meeting at 7:30 PM on Friday, October 2nd , in the Choir Room of San Jose Congregational Church. Glen’s love of straightforward, approachable music for the recorder has garnered him several prizes in composition contests since 1997. He publishes his music under his own name at, and has also had works published by Moeck Verlag, PRB Productions, and the American Recorder Society. His works have also appeared in the UK magazine Recorder, as well as the Dutch-language magazine Blokfluitist in Belgium and the Netherlands. Just this summer 2015 he was commissioned by members of the Flanders Recorder Quartet to write a piece for “Recorder Chamber Orchestra”, an 11-part British standard ensemble size, for a 1-to-a-part workshop series they run in the UK and Europe called “Air-Force”. In 2013 he was First Prize winner in the composition contest sponsored by the Washington (DC) Recorder Society (we’ll be taking a look at that piece). In 2007 he was a prize winner in two composition contests — one sponsored by the Chicago Recorder Society, and the other jointly sponsored by the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet and the American Recorder Society. Performances of some of his works can be found on YouTube at

Glen is active in the national ARS as editor of the semiannual Members' Library Editions, a series introducing new recorder music to the worldwide membership. In 2011 he was also selected by the ARS to compose the piece to be played worldwide for their annual Play the Recorder Month celebration.

Glen writes, “For the October meeting I have some Renaissance and faux-Renaissance pieces that are fun, sound great and flow nicely. English madrigals work very nicely on recorders, so I've prepared two that we will enjoy, full of beautiful melodies, great lyrics and lush harmonies- "Amour et la beauté" by Philippe Rogier (ca. 1561-1596) and the ever popular "Weep, O mine eyes" by John Bennet (ca. 1570-1610). Also slated are two other early pieces from the 16th century - the 4-part canzona "La Bastina" by Gioseffo Guami (ca. 1540-1611), and an amazing piece I have loved and performed for a long time, by Ludwig Senfl (ca. 1486-1542), which combines two different popular melodies of the time, one sacred and one secular, as competing cantus firmi: the chant "Helena, desiderio plena" and the pop tune "Fortuna desperata". We've seen Fortuna Desperata before, because it was a very popular tune for composers of the period, but this combination with the surrounding filigree of fun Renaissance rhythms is simply fascinating to study and a blast to play. Finally, in the style of the English Fantasia (paired with a German fugue), we will play my "Federal Fantasia & Fugue", first prize winner in the Washington (DC) Recorder Society's 50th Anniversary composition contest in 2013.”

President’s Message
Our September meeting with Louise Carslake was delightful. As described in the newsletter a number of pieces were especially harmonious and light- hearted including the "Ce sont gallants" by composer Janquin and the Crecquillon and Lassus and Dufay pieces. A number of people played crumhorns on the Pavane and Gaillarde by Gervaise. We ended the evening with more lively dances by Marais. Thank you for introducing us to a variety of nice French music. See you on October 2nd to play with Glen Shannon.
Liz Brownell, President

Treasurer’s Message
We're off to a good start! Fifteen members have already renewed, out of 29 at the end of last year. I hope to hear from the rest of you soon. And we have five new members! Alexandra Romanoff of Scotts Valley and Ron and Lorrie Emery of Santa Cruz were already known to some of us, but Ken Newton and Anne Mahler of Santa Clara just showed up. I'll profile all of them, starting with Alexandra in this issue.
Anne Ng,

Thank you for the overwhelming amount of goodies people brought for the September meeting. Special mentions are George, Anne, Laura, Liz, Bob. Reminder to Tobi and Marcia that you volunteered to bring finger food for the October meeting. Questions to or call at (408)246-0771.

ean Ridley, Hospitality. (

New Members
Alexandra Romanoff was born in New York, but moved with her parents to Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco in time to start nursery school there at age 3. As part of the school's Tiny Tots Band, a rhythm band, she found music to be a "portal to joy" which has helped guide the rest of her life. Before starting piano lessons at age 8, she'd already gotten herself started on the family piano. About then she was introduced to recorder in school, and stuck with it instead of moving on to other instruments as intended. In high school, she was distracted by the folk music scene at the San Francisco Folk Music Club and took up guitar. She also discovered Early Music via a performance of New York Pro Musica in Berkeley, and joined the Haight-Ashbury Renaissance Choir.

At a series of colleges Alexandra pursued and eventually earned a BA in music and holistic health. She then pursued an M.A. at JFK University, studying psychology of consciousness and music for healing, but never finished after a promised job there fell through. She taught guitar in the East Bay, and was a choir director in Boulder Creek.

By then she was in Santa Cruz, and went to work teaching piano at Barbee School of Music- -just before the earthquake of '89, which shook things up in Santa Cruz both literally and figuratively. Within a year, Laura Barbee's students were hers. Since then, she's studied harp at Sacramento State University. Her school has become the Piano and Harp Academy, with two studios in Santa Cruz and one in San Jose, and Alexandra as the sole teacher. She's still passionate about holistic health, and has had off-and-on marketing jobs in that field.

She found Monterey Bay Recorder Society in Santa Cruz in 1987, while South Bay Recorder Society was still a gleam in the eyes of a few South Bay recorder players who journeyed over the hill to join them, so Alexandra knew some of the founders of SBRS before there was an SBRS. Now that MBRS has sadly faded away, Alexandra has joined us. Welcome, Alexandra!

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