HMRS History

 The Hudson Mohawk Recorder Society (HMRS) is on of about 100 chapters of the American Recorder Society (ARS). Other chapters in New York state are located in Buffalo, Rochester, Westchester, New York City, and Long Island (2).  

ARS, the parent organization, was originally organized in 1939 by Suzanne Bloch, daughter of composer, Ernest Bloch. Primarily a lutenist, she was introduced to the recorder by Carl Dolmetsch and performed with him in New York City in 1935—probably the first recorder concert in America. After World War II the Society was reorganized and Erich Katz (1900-1973), a musicologist from Germany, became the driving force. His teaching was an inspiration to many American professional and amateur recorder players. Many of these pioneers and others associated with the ARS arranged and composed music for the recorder.  (ARS Information Booklet #2, revision by Constance Primus, 2008).  

Many members of HMRS are also members of ARS. ARS membership comes with a quarterly magazine and full access to the extensive ARS website (, which includes downloadable music, on-line teaching and resource links.

HRMS is one of the oldest, continuously running recorder music chapters of ARS in the Northeast United States.  Located in the Capital Region of New York, HMRS was originally composed of two separate chapters: the Northeast Chapter and the Capital District Chapter.  The Northeast Chapter was formed in 1966 and drew members not only from the greater Albany area, but from the “north country” of Saratoga Springs, Burnt Hills, and even as far north as Schroon Lake (it was occasionally referred to by outsiders as the Burnt Hills Chapter) and from neighboring Massachusetts. The Northeast Chapter also formed the first recorder music library in the area. The Capital District Chapter formed a bit later in 1976 under the guidance and leadership of Dr. Joseph Loux. 

The Northeast and Capital District chapters began joint meetings, rehearsals, consorts, and workshops in the late 1970’s. These productive joint arrangements persisted until 1991 when members voted to officially combine the chapters under the single umbrella name of Hudson Mohawk Recorder Society (HMRS). HMRS and its two foundation chapters, therefore, have a combined history of over 50 years, and almost 30 years in the form of the Hudson Mohawk Chapter of the American Recorder Society.

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