This ain’t no “Hot Cross Buns”

September 10, 2014

Every child in third grade has held one. Every adult remembers playing one. But few have made a career of one.
Meet Mark Davenport, associate professor of fine and performing arts at Regis University. His dad, LaNoue Davenport, became the first national president of the American Recorder Society in 1960, and Mark grew up playing the recorder. But for him, it became much more than “Hot Cross Buns.” 

Mark holds a doctorate and master’s in musicology and specializes in recorder music. He founded the Recorder Music Center at Regis, an international repository for recorder music and history. . Recorder playing goes back to the Middle Ages and by the 17th century it was the most popular woodwind instrument in Europe. Johann Sebastian Bach and other major composers all wrote works for the recorder and in the hands of a virtuoso, especially on the larger alto, tenor and bass recorders, it doesn’t sound anything like that little soprano many remember from elementary school.

The recorder declined in popularity in the 19th century as its delicate sound could not compete with the larger and louder symphonic orchestras of the day. The recorder was revived in the 20th century because it was a simple instrument used for teaching music to children. When played by a professional, the sound is unexpectedly beautiful. You can hear the music at an upcoming concert at Regis University’s Claver Recital Hall.

Friday, Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m. – Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado featuring recorder soloist Paul Leenhouts
Saturday, Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m. – Recorder Festival Faculty Recital

Tickets range from $10-30 and can be purchased online at regis.edu/recorderfest.