King Henry VIII had dozens of them, played them and composed for them. The Rolling Stones used one in their recording of “Ruby Tuesday.” What instrument are we talking about? Answer: the humble recorder, a wind instrument whose heyday was in Renaissance times (around 1600), but which has made a comeback over the last century.
Forget the shrieking sounds from your Grade 3 class; the recorder is capable of making real music and several recorder orchestras have evolved across North America in the last 20 years. One of these is the Okanagan Recorder Orchestra based in Kelowna and comprising 17 players from the area, plus their director Sue MacDonald.
The Orchestra with guests Kilt45 will perform Sunday, March 3 at 2 p.m. in the Lecture Theatre of the Vernon campus of Okanagan College (Building D, Room 310). Admission by donation.
In addition to the soprano instrument commonly used in elementary schools, this group uses six sizes of recorder from the tiny sopranino to the five-foot contrabass. Their repertoire ranges from early classical music through to modern blues and jazz.
Their concert on March 3 will showcase this repertoire and demonstrate just what can be achieved from the modern interpretation of this ancient instrument.
The concert will also feature Vernon’s Kilt45, an acoustic vocal group made up of members of the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band. Originally formed to perform traditional Scottish tunes at KHPB’s concerts and Burns Dinners, the group now presents Scottish, Irish and Canadian Celtic folk tunes at concerts, ceilidhs and other events, with humour and energy. Singing a cappella or using a variety of instruments and percussion, they are sure to please.