PtRM and Play-the-Recorder Day grew out of a one-day worldwide event on April 1, 1989, during the 50th anniversary year of the American Recorder Society. Its success caused the ARS to declare an annual celebration starting with Play-the-Recorder Day on March 28, 1992. This single day was later expanded to month-long activities plus a focus on one day, which is observed on the third Saturday in March. This is a great way to bring energy and excitement to the recorder community, and to gain new members. In 2023, it was held on March 18.
The centerpiece of the month is the commissioned piece for Play-the-Recorder Day 2023, by Dutch-born, Austin-based composer Victor Eijkhout, entitled “Quo Vadis?”. ARS members received the piece with the Winter 2022 edition of the American Recorder Magazine, and they can log in and access the piece, along with other PtRM pieces, in our PtRM Music Library.
This contemplative composition was written in the uncertain early days of the Covid pandemic, when it was indeed a big question where everything was going. The ARS is honored to present Victor's work. Born in 1959 in Arnhem, the Netherlands, and currently residing in Austin TX, USA, Victor Eijkhout is a long-time multi-instrumentalist. He has a history of playing in, and writing for, wind ensembles, jazz and pop bands, choir, and other instrument combinations. Currently he plays recorder in the early music ensemble The Austin Troubadours. Victor is a regular contributor to American Recorder as a music reviewer in CRITIQUE, has had compositions featured in the Members’ Library Editions (most recently with Closing Hour in 2019, MLE #66), and can be found in the ARS Downloadable Music Libraries with a search for “Eijkhout” as composer. In 2019 he traveled to Durham, England as a finalist in the composition contest sponsored by the UK’s Society of Recorder Players.
For Play-the-Recorder Month 2023, play-along tracks for each part of the PtRM piece are available here on the ARS website plus a 4-part accompaniment and videos, for rehearsing on your own or with friends.
On Saturday March 18 2023, Play-the-Recorder Day, many recorder players brought their your talents to share in an online, en masse orchestra “performance” hosted by the ARS. The session was recorded via Zoom. Eijkhout participated in an online discussion about this work and the inspiration behind it, followed by a Zoom group play-in of the piece with a video of Emily O'Brien performing and conducting. It was a great way to get to know the composer and play the piece with others, with no performance stress.
For spreading the word and publicizing any local PtRM events, the ARS has created helpful documents (PDFs):
Here’s wishing you all Happy Play-the-Recorder Month. Let us know how you celebrated!