Hone your playing skills in a workshop

Workshops for recorder players and other early music enthusiasts offer the opportunity to get acquainted with the repertoire of music written for recorder and to advance participants’ ability on their instrument. Under the expert direction of Vicki Boeckman, the Seattle Recorder Society is well known for producing two important workshops for recorder players, the Port Townsend Early Music Workshop and the Fall Fipple Flute Forum. Additionally, the SRS-sponsored Recorder Orchestra of Puget Sound typically brings experienced players together twice a year to rehearse selected pieces and present a concert.

Neptune imageThe Port Townsend Early Music Workshop

Founded by Music Director Emeritus Peter Seibert in 1983, this workshop initially took place at Fort Worden in Port Townsend. It now occurs in July of odd-numbered years in Tacoma, WA, on the campus of the University of Puget Sound.

This week-long workshop combines comfortable accommodations and delicious meals in a beautiful setting to create a space where musicians can eliminate distractions as they dive into music and camaraderie. It offers an exciting week-long opportunity for players of recorder, viol, early winds, percussion as well as singers to immerse themselves in music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, French Baroque, Contemporary, Brazilian and African, and much, much more. Most classes are geared towards players with reliable technique and reading skills, but there is always a place for those who feel they are less experienced.

Mark your calendars!  The next Port Townsend Early Music Workshop will be held July 9-15, 2023.  We will be back in person at the lovely University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.  This will be the 40th anniversary year of the founding of the Port Townsend Early Music Workshop.  Our splendid faculty will include renowned Dutch recorder virtuosa Eva Legene, Brazilian energy ball Cléa Galhano, the scholarly and handsome Mark Davenport, beloved Seattle departees Miyo Aoki and Jonathan Oddie, long time viol favorite David Morris, and multi-talented viol and  renaissance double reed player Malachai Bandy, whose name may be new to some, but not for long!  Check back here in the spring of 2023 for further details and information about signing up.

The Fall Fipple Flute Forum

In even-numbered years, the Fall Fipple Flute Forum offers a weekend of classes and concerts for recorder players, with ample opportunities for players at all levels from less experienced to advanced. This smaller workshop features a Friday night faculty concert, two days of classes and a “tutti” session where everyone participates.

This year’s event was held at Bellevue College on Sept. 17-18, 2022.  It featured Laura Kuhlman, Gayle Stuwe Neuman and Phil Neuman from Oregon, Vicki Boeckman from Seattle and Miyo Aoki from Bloomington, Indiana. The theme and inspiration focused on the Feminine, with class offering ranging from works written by women, works dedicated to or about women, works inspired by women, works based on poetry by a woman, etc…!

Recorder Orchestra of Puget Sound (ROPS)

Originally founded in 2005 by long-time SRS Music Director and composer Peter Seibert, the Recorder Orchestra of Puget Sound last gathered to present a concert in the spring of 2019, prior to the Covid pandemic. It will resume playing sessions when public health considerations once again allow for safety. The orchestra is directed by Vicki Boeckman and Charles Coldwell.

ROPS membership of 20+ advanced amateur recorder players perform on recorders ranging in size from sopranino to contrabass. Membership is by invitation.  The ensemble’s repertoire includes 20th- and 21st-century compositions specifically written for recorder orchestra, Renaissance and Baroque pieces for large ensembles, and arrangements of music originally for orchestra or other large ensembles. Fees for participation in ROPS cover the cost of rehearsal and concert space, music purchases and copying, and conductor compensation.

Other workshop opportunities

There are workshops offered across the country, by organizations including the Portland Recorder Society, the San Francisco Early Music Society, Amherst Early Music, and several others. Additional information about these workshops can be found in our Recorder Notes Section and on the American Recorder Society website.