2017 Recorder Festival

Saturday, February 4 @ 7:30PM

Settlement Music School
Mary Louise Curtis Branch
416 Queen Lane, Philadelphia



Recorder music in schools has come a long way since “Hot Cross Buns.”

Piffaro’s 2017 Recorder Festival will feature ensembles of young students and accomplished finalists from Piffaro’s National Recorder Competition for Young Players. Joan Kimball, artistic co-director of Piffaro, says this free community event will show the many possibilities and wide repertoire for the recorder.

Winners of the 2016 National Recorder Competition, Middle School Division, will each perform a solo, and then play 4 pieces together.

  •  Alexis Van Tassel (age 11, from Endicott NY, student of Barbara Kaufman)
  • Sridhar Shenoy (age 12, from Merion Station PA, student of Rainer Beckmann)
  • Robert Dorsey (age 11, from Colonia NJ, student of Paul Dorsey)

Ms. Van Tassel is an aspiring composer and will play an unaccompanied solo of her own creation. Mr. Shenoy will perform 17th century variations on the popular tune “Greensleeves.” Mr. Dorsey’s selection will come from the modern age of video games: “Megalovania,” composed by Toby Fox for his game Undertale.

Ensembles of students from area schools will also participate, and the evening will culminate with a mass ensemble performing simple Renaissance dances followed by a light reception.

  • Fountain Woods Elementary School Recorder Sinfonia (Burlington, NJ), Directed by Miriam Arbelo
  • The School in Rose Valley Recorder Ensemble (Rose Valley, PA), Directed by Jodie Levine Brown
  • The Hope Partnership School Recorder Ensemble (Philadelphia, PA), Directed by Lourdes Cossich
  • The Fairmount Trio (Philadelphia, PA), Directed by Joan Kimball
  • Francis Scott Key Elementary Recorder Club (Philadelphia, PA), Directed by Kimberly Yocum

Fountain Woods’ teacher Miriam Arbelo says, “Even after more than 20 years teaching, my students inspire me. When I am tired and out of ideas, I look at my students and their eagerness and love of learning propels me forward. When I see and hear my students performing the music I taught them, and they are enjoying it, I remember why I got into this gig.”

Miriams kids Fountain Woods Recorder Sinfonia at the 2013 Recorder Competition, photo Bill DiCecca