Dale Taylor: Biography

Dale Taylor studied early performance practice at the University of Miami, where he worked under Arnold Grayson in the Collegium Musicum. He then studied recorder privately with Phil Levin and Bernard Krainis, attended the Oberlin College Baroque Performance Institute twice, and worked as Supervisor of Levin Historical Instruments for five years, building quality hand made reproductions of renaissance and baroque woodwinds including recorders, traversi, cornetti, bassoons, shawms, rankets, and clarinets. He restored early woodwinds for New York’s Center for Musical Antiquities. Subsequently he has been in demand to repair instruments on his own. In the late 1970s he ran the national office of the American Recorder Society (ARS). He is now in El Paso, Texas, where he is active in the local chapter of the ARS and as a teacher.

He has also spent considerable time working in living history museums, where he acquired a broad-based knowledge of the social history of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which he uses to inform his understanding of early musical thought. He has studied the way in which period acoustics influenced musical performance style. He was the featured woodwind turner at Southstreet Seaport Museum’s musical district tours.

Dale wrote Writer’s Digest Books’ Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in Colonial America, 1607–1783, and “Putting Recorders and their Players to the Test” which appeared in the November 2000 American Recorder. He read “Occurrences of European Double Reed Instruments in the New World to 1815: A Survey” at the 1986 annual meeting of the American Musical Instrument Society, and he wrote “A Bird Fancier’s Delight” which appeared in Early American Life in February of 1986. He recently began to self-publish a variety of music for recorders and early double reeds.

Dale has performed in the Victoria Bach Festival, Mercury Baroque, I Solisti da Camera, Capriole, the Cooke-Taylor Duo, the Governor’s Music, the Locrian Consort, Musick’s Monument, Texas Early Music Project, the Virginia Pro Musica and in ad hoc chamber ensembles with personnel from the NY Philharmonic, NJ Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Smithsonian Chamber Players, Vienna Boy’s Choir and the NY City Opera. His solo performances include numerous sonata performances, Bach’s “Fourth Brandenburg Concerto”, the solo part in Britten’s “Noye’s Fludde”, and parts in several Bach cantatas. He has appeared on Public Television, recorded a L’Oreal commercial, appeared at the Houston Revels and Texas Renaissance Festival, and been Music Director for the Virginia Shakespeare Festival.

He has taught at the “Texas Toot” and at American Recorder Society workshops in Alabama (Birmingham), Arkansas (Little Rock), Colorado (Denver “Rocky”), Florida (Gainesville), New Mexico (Rio Grande), and Rhode Island (Providence). In addition, Dale has led ARS Chapter Meetings in Arizona (Phoenix), California (Southern California), Colorado (Denver and Fort Collins), Illinois (West Suburban), Louisiana (New Orleans), New Jersey (Bergen County, Navesink, North Jersey, Princeton, and Somerset Hills), New Mexico (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Rio Grande), New York (Greater New York), Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), Texas (Austin), and Virginia (Virginia Beach and Williamsburg). He is an ARS certified teacher and has guest lectured at University of Texas, El Paso, and at Texas A&M University.