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1. Why was NAVRS started?

The NAVRS was started to address three specific circumstances.  Covid has impacted all of our lives and changed how we interact and socialize, at least temporarily.  As Chapters open up some people may still be hesitant to gather together and the NAVRS provides them an opportunity to be with a recorder community.  Others don’t have access to a local chapter and some may just want more time to play their recorder with a group of likeminded people.

2. Can I be a member of a local chapter as well as NAVRS?

Absolutely.  As mentioned above, this is one of the benefits of the virtual Chapter, allowing those who are interested to have a dual membership.

3. Who run the NAVRS chapter?

An executive board, elected by the membership guides the chapter. The initial Board was appointed by the ARS. This group consists of a president (Mike Richart), secretary (Liz Yenetchi), treasurer (Keith Griffith) and Music Director (Rachel Begley). The Music Director is a standing position (not elected) on the board.

4. What is my dues money used for?

The dues are used to pay for our website and our Zoom account, to give a modest honorarium to the Music Director, to ensure payment of fees for the guest leaders of each Saturday playing meeting, and to cover any other operating expenses that arise as we pursue our activities throughout the year.

5. When does my membership expire?

NAVRS memberships are valid for one (1) calendar year (January through December).  All memberships expire December 31.

6. Is there a fee for each session as well as a membership fee? Why?

The NAVRS decided to have an annual membership fee ($20) and a fee for each playing meeting ($15) to provide members flexibility.  The NAVRS will have 12 sessions a year and this allows members to decide which sessions they would like to attend.

7. Is it okay if I don’t play all the recorders (soprano, alto, tenor and bass)?

Yes. We have members who play only the alto, for instance. We encourage all of our members to branch out and learn to play other recorders, but it’s okay if you don’t right now. The person leading the playing meeting will ensure there will be music for your instrument.  And the more instruments you play, the more fun you will have!

8. What kind of music will we play during the monthly meetings?

In our first season, our focus is on music for recorder ensemble, and within that, on providing a wide range of playing experiences for our members. Sometimes the sessions will have a theme (eg. Music of Elizabethan England, Music celebrating Spring etc), and at others there will be no particular unifying feature. Some teachers will do a deep dive into the music, while others will have a broader approach.  To be sure, each session will be a very different experience!

9. Who will the playing session leaders be?

Our playing meetings will be led by a variety of experienced recorder professionals currently based in North America.  Our Music Director selects these leaders to provide a wide range of playing experiences for our members during the course of the year. There will be teachers from both the East and West Coasts of the US, from Canada and/or Mexico, and from the Central and/or Mountain States. 

Our roster for 2022 includes our Music Director Rachel Begley (Recorder Society of Long Island) from New York, along with Gwyn Roberts (Peabody Conservatory) from Pennsylvania and Vicki Boeckman (Seattle Recorder Society) from Washington.

10. Do I have to let anyone know I am coming to the Saturday meeting?

Yes, members interested in attending the Saturday sessions are asked to RSVP on the NAVRS website ( and then register with payment via PayPal or some other means before the meeting. This helps us plan the sessions and ensure the Zoom sessions can accommodate the attendees. 

11. What is the format of the Saturday meeting?

The virtual “doors” of our Zoom meeting will open at 1:30 PM EST, with playing to start around 2pm.  We will use this time to get to know each other, and to build our community.  A few minutes before the playing starts, the President or other board member will welcome new members, cover any chapter business and introduce the leader of the session.  Then: MUSIC!

12. Will I get the music ahead of time? When?

Yes!  Music will be emailed as an attachment about a week in advance of the playing meeting to those who have signed up for the session.

13. How will the session be structured?

The sessions will be held using Zoom. The playing meeting leader will generally have selected a number of pieces for the session.  For each piece, they will share information about the music, use a play-along recording in order to rehearse the piece, give suggestions on how to approach playing it and perfecting it (eg. choosing an appropriate part, technical advice, other tips and tricks), then finally allow the members to give a “performance” (a complete, much improved run-through) with the recording. Each leader will have a different style and focus; some will cover more music with less detail, while other will spend more time on fewer pieces.  Players are muted throughout the session (except to ask questions), allowing everyone the opportunity to feel comfortable and perhaps even take risks they might not take in person (eg. Playing a less familiar instrument or clef, putting in ornaments and so on).

14. Do I have to have Zoom or be proficient in it to be in a playing session?

You do not have to have a Zoom account to participate.  A link to the Zoom session will be provided with the music.  Zoom is easy to use, but if anyone needs help, we can supply written materials as well as suggest videos to help you get set up.  You should certainly try it out ahead of the meeting – not right beforehand!  If it’s still not working for you, we can provide support in advance of the playing meeting.

15. I missed the playing meeting.  Do I get a refund?

NAVRS records every playing meeting, so that even if you miss the event live, you can still watch a recording of it (and play along just as you would in real time) for a week or so afterwards.  All who have signed up for the playing meeting, whether they attend or not, will be sent a link to the recording within a day or so after the event, along with a file containing the music for the session.  Because we offer the opportunity to watch the recording on-demand for a limited period after the event, NAVRS does not issue refunds.

16. Apart from the monthly playing meetings, will there be other activities for members?

Yes.  We are hoping to add some workshops on more specific topics (eg. Dance music from the Renaissance, Ornamentation etc), for certain playing levels (eg. Advanced, Novice etc), and on certain aspects of technique (eg. Bass recorder technique, Breathing etc).  These will be smaller sessions, allowing for more interaction between the teacher and the participants, and may include solo music or chamber music selections.  In addition, we hope to include a non-playing presentation or two of a more generalized nature (eg. Recorder repertoire, Instrument care etc). We might even hold some "Open Mic" sessions for those who want to perform for a supportive audience!

17. When I joined the NAVRS chapter, did I also become a member of the American Recorder Society?

No. The ARS has lent support to establish NAVRS and works for the benefit of recorder playing and players.  While we are a chapter of the larger organization, membership in the American Recorder Society is separate. You can join by sending $25 to American Recorder Society, PO Box 480054, Charlotte, NC 28269-5300. You will receive their publication, American Recorder, and have access to their website. This is a special half price rate for first time or lapsed members; otherwise, it’s $50 to join. The application can be found here:

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