mixedrecordersThe Portland Recorder Society is a non-profit membership organization that promotes the pleasures of recorder playing. The recorder is a serious instrument with sizes and voices in every octave. Furthermore the recorder is a gateway to many forms of early to modern music and especially the delights of playing in social groups.

CGEMR 2016

We hold monthly recorder playing sessions for amateurs, publish an email newsletter, support a performance orchestra (Recorder Orchestra of Oregon) and host an annual music workshop (Columbia Gorge Early Music Retreat). Our organization brings “recorder appreciation” to all!

March 1st, 2020 Playing Session

Gayle Neuman

Gayle Neuman

I’m really looking forward to directing the PRS session on Sunday, March 1st in Room 5 at Taborspace, 5441 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215 at 2:00pm.  Please bring recorders, strings, and reed instruments (krummhorns, cornamusen, racketts, douçaines, and sordunes.)

A pupil of Andrea Gabrieli and a friend of Giovanni Gabrieli, Hans Leo Hassler brought the Venetian style across the Alps in a large varied body of work.  He was, according to Gustave Reese, “one of the most important German composers of all time.”  We’ll play his joyous 6 part Lied “Ihr Musici, frisch auf!” that invites musicians to each take their part in the festivities.  It works for recorders, strings, and reeds.

From the early renaissance to the 21st century the triad has defined the harmonic structure of western music.  Where did this practice come from?  According to the 15th century poet Martin le Franc who witnessed this change: “…G. Du Fay and Binchois…they have a new practice of making lively consonance…They took on the guise of the English…” We’ll read through the exquisite “Ave maris stella” by one of John Dunstable’s contemporaries, Leonel Power, preserved in the Old Hall manuscript.

Then take your part in the orchestra at an 18th century garden party while we play the Bourées from J.S. Bach’s Orchestral Suite no. 4, also known as “the Joyful Suite”, in a new arrangement for recorders. Hear why people have described this wonderful suite as “festive and fun” and having “the sweetest, loveliest qualities.”

We’ll travel back to the late 14th century to play the lively virelai “Alarme Alarme” by the ars subtilior composer, Grimace, that starts with the lyric “To arms, to arms, no time to waste, for my weary heart is weeping!”

We’ll finish with one of Giovanni Gabrieli’s majestic double choir pieces, “Canzon 12” from his Canzoni e sonate of 1615.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all!  Download the music!

~ Gayle

Join our Playing Sessions!

The Portland Recorder Society gathers for large ensemble playing sessions September through May.


Jacob Breedlove leads and drums the rhythm for a 4-part early music piece.

Sessions are held on SUNDAYS in the early afternoon, depending on holidays and scheduling of the annual Columbia Gorge Early Music Retreat. Each session is led by a professional musician with music you can download from this site or will be provided. All playing levels are welcomed and all sizes of recorders from contrabass to sopranino are needed. Other “recorder-friendly” instruments such as viola da gambas and soft reeds are welcomed.


TaborSpace at 5441 SE Belmont

Please bring instruments, pencil, and a music stand. Those who have Susato dance books, please bring them too. Sessions are held at TaborSpace, inside the Mt.Tabor Presbyterian Church at 5441 SE Belmont St. Portland, Oregon.

Parking at the Tabor Space is easy! Use their lot with the entrance on 54th Ave. You may enter the building on the walkway directly across from the parking lot entrance. Come in the doors on the lower level and look for the second door on the right, the “Dining Room.” No stairs required!

Portland Recorder Society 2019-2020 Playing Sessions:

Our playing sessions will be held in the TaborSpace Dining Hall* from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, except for September 8 and April 26 for our potlucks, which will be from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. The Dining Hall will be open at 1:30 and we ask that you arrive early so you are ready and set up to play at 2:00 pm. Let’s make music together!

    • September 8, 2019; 2-5 pm: Potluck and Playing:  Laura Kuhlman
    • October 6, 2019; 2-4 pm: Phil Neuman
    • November 3, 2019; 2-4 pm: Laura Kuhlman
    • December 1, 2019; 2-4 pm: Anthony Allen
    • January 5, 2020; 2-4 pm: Miyo Aoki
    • February 2, 2020; 2-4 pm: Jacob Breedlove
    • March 1, 2020; 2-4 pm: Gayle Neuman (exception: meeting is in Room 5 next to the Dining Hall)
    • April 5, 2020; 2-4 pm: Laura Kuhlman
    • April 26, 2020; 2-5 pm: Member’s Cabaret and Potluck

Click here to read biographies of our leaders.