Highland Park Chamber Orchestra

My name is Donna Messer, and I am the founder and President of the Highland Park Recorder Society. It was founded as a chapter of the American Recorder Society.  Our mission is to cultivate an appreciation of the art, history and literature of the recorder, raise the level of proficiency in its performance, and enhance public awareness of the beauty of early music and recorder music. 

In support of this mission the society holds concerts and monthly ensemble playing sessions under highly qualified guest conductors so that members can improve their musicianship. 

In further support of this mission, we are thrilled to announce the formation and launching of the Highland Park Chamber Orchestra, created to play mostly Baroque music with mostly recorders, strings and harpsichord.  It is the only chamber orchestra of its kind that we are aware of in New Jersey, serving recorder and early music enthusiasts and welcoming string players to participate.   It just gave its first performance,  “Spring Concert of Mostly Baroque Masters” Saturday evening, May 11, 2019.   Audience members commented, “Delightfully wonderful” and found the Piazzolla “Libertango” for recorder and guitar “riveting.”

We were awarded a competitive and prestigious grant from the Middlesex County Office of Culture and Heritage.  We have raised just over $2,000 in a few days, through the generosity of donors,  but is does not cover our expenses, which are over $5,000.  We are doing crowd-funding to ask your support to help us pay for all we do to realize our mission:  to pay the talented performers at the going rate, to pay the guest conductors, to pay the conductor who conducts rehearsals and the concert, to pay for newly commissioned music that we commission each year to support talented composers who help create new music for the recorder repertoire. 

The recorder is not just a child’s instrument and not just an artifact of the past. It enjoys a rich and vibrant musical voice in the hands of contemporary composers since its revival in the last 100 years and to the present.  Music and the arts always act as a bridge in the community and it is especially gratifying when the lives of young people are touched by the beauty of the arts in our society.

The Highland Park Recorder Society is a community of people who find joy, purpose and meaning in studying and experiencing music for recorders, strings and harpsichord.  We rely on people like you, generous donors, to support the Highland Park Recorder Society so that all can continue to celebrate those who have enriched our lives and communities through recorder and early music.

Thank you in advance for your generosity. 

Donna Messer, Founder and President.
  • Benjamin Thomas Berman 
    • $36 
    • 35 mos
  • Gustine Matt 
    • $25 
    • 36 mos
  • Bonnie Markham, PhD, PsyD 
    • $25 
    • 36 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $40 
    • 36 mos
  • Derek Arthur 
    • $100 
    • 36 mos
See all


Donna Messer 
Highland Park, NJ