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NFA 2018: Orlando

Francesca Arnone | July 2018

    The 46th Annual National Flute Association convention takes place in Orlando from August 8-12 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. The event will include a wide variety of inspiring and informative activities for flutists of all levels and areas of interest. 

    Registration begins Wednesday, August 8th, at 3 PM. Get your badge and program book early and then check out the Hyatt Regency’s fantastic resort swimming area. You can download the convention app to help plan your schedule. Consider signing up to be a volunteer to help the convention run smoothly; assisting at three events of your choosing earns a voucher worth $15. 

    There are many opportunities to participate and play. Sign up to play in the Whistle While You Work Flute Orchestra (Wednesday-Thursday), conducted by Wendy Kumer, with guest conductor Uwe Grodd leading a dedication to Bernie Goldberg in Barber’s Adagio for Strings. Low flute specialists will enjoy the Low Flute Reading Session (Thursday) and can also sign up to join the Throw Down of the Low Down, performing a world premiere on the Friday Gala concert. Try out enjoyable new and favorite flute choir repertoire with reading sessions led by Sharyn Byer (Thursday), Angeleita Floyd (Friday), and Sandra Saathoff (Saturday). 

Participation-Based Workshops 
    Learn some new techniques and meet other flutists or sit in the back and take notes. Thursday’s highlighted sessions include French flutist Henri Tournier’s The Art of Variation and Improvisation in the North Indian Classical Music and the NFA Jazz Committee’s Doubler Vision, dedicated to quick development and fine-tuning of skills for those juggling many time demands (not just doublers) with Jim Walker, David Weiss, Jamie Baum, Sarpay Ozcagatay, Mark Vinci, and Bryan Kennard. Tim Hagan’s BYOC: Five Principles for Building Your Own (Classical) Cadenzas and the Historical Flute Committee’s Getting Started on Baroque Flute are both on Friday. On Saturday, Sophie Dufeutrelle’s New and Amazing Ways with Scales spices up your daily Taffanel & Gaubert, while Phillippe Barnes offers Learn to Play Irish Music on the Silver Flute. Later that day, James Brinkman oversees Musical Mosaics, where the audience creates mosaics inspired by the session’s live performances. 

Jumpstart Your Career 
    There will be a series of three morning Career Sessions. Following the Many Paths of a Musician’s Life (Thursday) shares the breadth of different career avenues and experiences with Jim Walker, Trudy Kane, James Pellerite, Nan Raphael, Jessey Andris, and Jennifer Grim. The Entrepreneurial Flutist (Friday) explores how to create new options with Greg Pattillo, Fluter Scooter, Zara Lawler, Viviana Guzman, Katherine Emeneth, Rosalind MacPhail, and Adam Workman. Adventures in Adjuncting (Saturday) discusses college teaching realities with Keith Hanlon, Nicole Riner, Elizabeth Robinson, and Ashley Shank. Also available throughout the convention are Career Checks with the Career and Artistic Development Committee to help your resume or career plan get a boost. 
Adult Amateur Events
    Master teacher Patricia Harper offers a Nuts and Bolts workshop on Thursday with expert advice on the building blocks of flute playing. Recieve tone production feedback from Alexa Still Friday morning. On Saturday morning, observe or play for the Adult Amateur Open Masterclass with Gary Schocker, who will work with as many flutists as time permits. Advanced registration is required to play in the Adult Amateur Flute Choir, conducted by Lori Akins, which performs Sunday. Purchase a ticket for the Flute Lover’s Lunch with speaker flutist-composer Valerie Coleman.
Inspiring Masterclasses 
    Jonathan Keeble’s High School Soloist Masterclass includes works by Hue, Jolivet, and Reinecke (Thursday). New this year is Friday’s Into the Music masterclass, featuring winners of a recorded competition playing works by this year’s NFA commissioned composers, Eve Beglarian, Valerie Coleman, and Augusta Reed Thomas. Those with an upcoming audition or school ensemble placement exam should take advantage of the Open Orchestral Excerpt Class with Randy Bowman (Cincinnati Symphony) on Friday. The next morning, Sharon Sparrow (Detroit Symphony flutist and author of Six Weeks to the Finals) teaches the Orchestral Excerpt Masterclass. Later that morning, Trevor Wye’s masterclass on Marcel Moyse’s Fifty Variations on the Allemande of Bach’s Sonata for Flute Alone shares insights on this fantastic pedagogical resource. Winners of the Convention Performer’s Masterclass Competition play for this year’s Lifetime Achieve-ment Award recipient, András Adorján, on Saturday, and the 1997 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Walfrid Kujala, on Sunday. 
    This convention presents musicians from near and far who share the stage in a combination platter approach to encourage maximum variety and collaboration. Playful concert themes offer category connections from the highest to the lowest note-playing members of our flute family. 
    A few concerts of particular note include the Premieres concert on Friday with a collection of world premieres, including works by the three NFA commissioned composers as well as two new piccolo works by Gary Schocker and Amanda Harberg. Each composer will briefly introduce their works and share their inspiration. Piccolo Party concert attendees will be able to arrive in time to hear the set of piccolo pieces directly following that concert. 
    On Saturday, Nancy Andrew presents a lecture-recital introducing newly-discovered short gems: Sight-reading Pieces of the Paris Conservatory. She and performers Mary Stolper, Jim Walker, Leone Buyse, Marianne Gedigian, and Carol Wincenc honor the French School, the great teachers of that tradition, and the legacy of Bernard Goldberg. On Sunday, two world music extravaganzas feature Sameer Rao, bansuri, and Adarsh Shenoy, tabla, playing North Indian Classical music, and virtuoso Andean wind instrumentalist Nathaniel Kuster (stage name Chichí Pérez) performs on the quena, siku, and quenacho, with guitarist and charango player, Jorge Segura. 

Gala Concerts
    The list of stellar performances also includes the evening Gala Concerts. Thursday’s concert offers something for everyone. Jan de Winne shares little-known sonatas by Weidemann and an all-star cast presents a beloved Boismortier concerto on Baroque flutes. Rachel Brown plays the Boehm Grand Polonaise on an original Boehm flute, which may have been the piece he played (and perhaps even the same instrument) when he performed in London. Flute soloists with flute ensembles comprise the second half and include ZAWA!, Trudy Kane, and Shinjung Oh on works by Folio, Sleeper, Fauré, and Offermans. 
    The Friday Gala concert features inspiring selections and performers. Emma Resmini plays Uebeyashi, and Mary Kay Fink performs Beaser. Wissam Boustany and Valerie Coleman play their own works. Matthias Ziegler gives the world premiere of his own From Tone Hole to Town Hall for a newly-developed double contrabass flute. The low flute ensemble Throw Down of the Low Down performs a world premiere by Lutz (don’t forget to sign up to participate), and PROJECT Trio (with special guests) closes out the concert with a few surprises. 
    This year’s Saturday Concerto Gala promises to be a magical evening. Zart Dombourian-Eby and Carol Wincenc team up for a dazzling piccolo and flute version of the Vivaldi Concerto in E minor, and Julien Beaudiment presents a tribute to the Griffes Poem for its 100th anniversary. Also on this concert is a world premiere of Concertino by Daniel Dorff that was written for Jasmine Choi’s convention performance. Julia Bogorad-Kogan observes the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein with his moving work, Halil, and Matthias Ziegler plays “the cadenza movement” from Yusopov’s NOLA Concerto. Marianne Gedigian finishes with Ibert’s dazzling Concerto
Honoring the Best
    An important part of the conventions is honoring those who continue to inspire us. One of the first sessions pays homage to such inspiring and influential teachers as Eldred Spell, Kathryn Borst Jones, Trevor Wye, Charlie DeLaney, Geoffrey Gilbert, Bernie Goldberg, and Peter Lloyd in Thursday’s Dedicated to Our Beloved Teachers. Other programs commemorate the lives of Fenwick Smith, Dave Valentin, Robert Willoughby, and Bernard Goldberg. Also on Thursday Trevor Wye offers two special presentations demonstrating and discussing Flute History through the examination of the instruments development. The Rebecca Kleinmann Ensemble hosts and coordinates an unprecedented blowout of vibrant flutists to honor Dave Valentin, including guests Ali Ryerson, Maraca Valle, Jamie Baum, Nestor Torres, and Leszek Wisniowsky, among others, in Thursday evening’s cabaret. 
    This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are celebrated in ways that reflect their substantial contributions and innovations. In Salute to Eva Kingma (Thursday), low flutists from around the globe offer a program of musical testimonies. In Friday’s Doppler Brothers DVD with András Adorján, he presents a fascinating DVD documenting his personal exploration and research of the infamous pair. A collection of former students and friends honor Distinguished Service Award recipient George Pope on Saturday. 
Flute Choirs
    Flute choirs from around the world share exciting programs of world premieres, choir favorites, and transcriptions, including Det Norske Fløyte-ensemble, Orquesta de Flautas ILLAWARA, Orquesta de Flautas de Xalapa, and the International Superflutes Collective with the International Liaison Ensemble. Ensembles from the U.S. include the Florida Flute Orchestra, Central Washington University Flute Choir, the Baltimore Flute Choir, Appa-lachian State University Flute Ensemble, the Raleigh Flute Choir, and many others. Attend the Flute Encounters concert on Sunday to hear new ensemble pieces by LaBerge, Clearfield, Kessner, and Freire. 

    Youth Flute Days expand this year, with a Saturday afternoon session that is free to all students. Join Jim Walker as he hosts Mr. Walker’s Neighbor-hood, with exciting stop-by visits and demos by an international cast of flute stars. Spread the word to students and directors so all can hear and meet Nestor Torres, Julien Beaudiment, PROJECT Trio, Valerie Coleman, and Marianne Gedigian in the afternoon’s presentations. Sunday’s YFD events require registration but feature more in-depth sessions with many of these artists, including Marianne’s Survival of the Flutist. 
Body, Mind, and Soul 
    Many convention options focus on caring for the entire flutist, inside and out. In addition to Saturday’s ever-popular The Doctors are In session, there is Emma Shubin’s Unlocking Audience Engagement: Applications of Dalcroze Methods to Syrinx (Thursday); the Performance Health Care Committee’s session on auditory health, Do You Hear What I Hear (Friday); The Maturing Flutist (Friday), which presents ways of preventing and combating the adverse effects of time; and certified Alexander teacher Karen Sanders makes connections between key concepts of Alexander Technique and tension-free playing (Sunday). 
    Always a great way to find new repertoire, teaching inspiration, and ideas, the convention competition rounds begin Wednesday and continue to the exciting Young Artist’s final round on Sunday morning. Discover interesting innovations as the finalists for C.R.E.A.T.E. present their projects for the NFA panel of entrepreneurs (Thursday). Baroque Flute Artist, High School Soloist, Convention Performers, Graduate Research, Young Artist, Professional/Collegiate/High School Flute Choirs events also occur throughout the convention. This year also launches the Jazz Flute Artist competition with the final round on Friday.      

    The entire schedule and list of works to be performed are available online at