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Letters to the Editor

compiled by editors | April 2018

 Flute Talk has been running a series of articles based on the question, “What would you do with an extra hour of practice for the next three months.” Three readers share how they would use this extra time. 

Sarah Nichols: I had not thought of this until I saw the first column. Because I spend most of my days teaching and coaching students from a wide spectrum, my main focus is helping them attain their goals, including auditions, recitals, and competitions. There is little time remaining in the day to explore repertoire in my personal library. I must act on this. Here are five very different sets of goals of how I could use an extra hour a day:

Part I – Repertoire
    I wish to finally learn the following repertoire, some of which has been sitting in my library for too many years:
    Cristóbal Halffter: Debla (I first heard this brilliantly performed by the late Tallon Perkes)
    André Jolivet: Cinq Incantations (My inspiration is a superb performance by Ransom Wilson in NYC)
    Ernst von Dohnányi: Passacaglia
    Jennifer Higdon: rapid♦fire
    Michael Colquhon: Charanga
    Robert Beaser: Variations for Flute and Piano
    Everything by Harvey Sollberger, Robert Dick, and Ian Clarke
    All of the works in the NFA’s 20th Anniversary Anthology of American Music 
    All of the works in Eight Visions: A New Anthology for Flute and Piano (A CD performed by Marya Martin)

Part II – Early Instruments
    I would purchase a Martin Wenner classical flute. Then I would practice and perform exclusively on it, my recorders, and my current Baroque flutes for a year. No modern flutes allowed. This is stretching the rules a bit, since it would take more than one hour per day to practice each of the flutes.

Part III – Piano Practice
    I would really hone my piano chops so I could perform sonatas by Hindemith, Piston, Martinu, Muczynski, and Liebermann with my friends. This might take longer than a year. 

Part IV – Scholarly Research
    I would spend an hour each day researching flute and chamber music on the Petrucci Music Library ( Then I would print our everything I do not currently have and compare editions, errata, etc. with works I already own. My most recent discovery is the entire contents in a piccolo player’s folder from the original Sousa Band. The possibilities are endless.
Part V – Traveling Contra
    I would adopt, care, feed, and practice a contrabass. I would also give it a cool name. I would perform from a new vantage point in flute choirs with friends and colleagues in all 50 states.
There is so much to do that I had better get practicing now. 

Elizabeth Anderson: If I had an extra hour to practice every day for three months, I might use the time for sightreading practice. Who knows what wonderful material I might find to play. When my hands have healed enough to allow me to play in church again, who knows what classical music I might find to play there! 

Betty Stone: I do have an extra hour today, since it is a school holiday. I have started on the Poulenc Sextet for winds and piano. I am inspired by this wonderful recording by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra Wind Quintet with pianist Ralf Gathóni: