Raoul the Urbane
Raoul at San Bernardino Renaissance Festival 1977
Per bend sinister purpure and azure, a bend sinister counterchanged, upon the lines of division three German flutes bendwise sinister throughout argent, each pierced of seven holes sable.
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Member of House Markheim
Condensed from the [[House Markheim|Markheim] News, AS IV:
"Uncle Ralph" as he is affectionately called, is perhaps the most distinguished member of the household in mundane terms, having a PhD in music, a national reputation in flute and piccolo circles; he has taught on many campuses, been a member of more than a few symphony orchestras, and has done music critic spots and features on radio and TV.
He joined the SCA after being dragged to a Dreiburgen council meeting on 12 December X (1975). From the first he has used his musical abilities in the service of the SCA, with trumpet fanfares at demonstrations, music written for processions, autocrating meistersings, teaching at Ithra, recorder lessons, etc. Raoul has been Dean of Music for the University of Ithra since September XII (1977) and was Master of Music for the Kingdom of the West from January XII (1978) through June XIII (1978. He is also Master of Music for the household and head of the Markheim Consort, having taught recorder sessions in both Dreiburgen and St Andrew.
His lady is Francesca Topalina, herself a fine recorder player and an hautboist, sometimes known as "Miss Mouse." He is also known as the Master of the Royal Woozle.
Offices & Positions
- Founder, Dreiburgen Consort, 10/29/1977
- Founder, Markheim Consort, Registered on May 1980 via Kingdom of the West
Projects & Publications
I knew Master Raoul the Urbane as "Uncle Ralph." His name was mentioned in the "Queen Carol's Guide" published by Duchess Carol of Bellatrix of the West Kingdom. Outside the SCA he was an internationally recognized flautist. He described the SCA as an organization built on "Food, Fighting, and Folderol." He was friendly, a little goofy, but extremely serious when it came to music. He intentionally used music to bring together different personalities - some of whom could not otherwise stand each other. Master Raoul understood that, but didn't accept it as an inevitability. He started the Markheim Consort (named after our first Dreiburgen Baron and Baroness) and he wanted it to be a place where people (despite their differences) could come together and play music with other - creating harmony and unity. He always had a bag of recorders and he could create a consortium out of people who had never played a note in their lives. He did this by showing the inexperienced a single fingering on the recorder, and had them play to a beat as drones. Those with a little more experience he had play a repeating melody. For those with more experience, he led them into whatever they could fancy. The result was always surprisingly rich. If Raoul was at an event, there was going to be music. I am told that Raoul composed the original Caidan fanfares, but that was before my time and I never heard them. I was also told that many of the common dances used in Caid in those days were period pieces simplified by Raoul, but I'm not a musical historian so I really don't know. But he was a great friend and I never saw him show anything but kindness to anyone.
Markheim Consort Badge: Azure, on a saltire patty throughout purpure fimbriated two recorders in saltire argent; Registered by Raoul the Urbane