Just before I headed out to my new home in Colorado, I attended the National Flute Association’s annual convention, held in Charlotte, NC this year.
I attended numerous masterclasses and competitions, and a number of educational classes that featured topics ranging from correct breathing to beginning lessons on a Baroque flute. I was particularly inspired by William Westney’s class “How can a wrong note be perfect”. His premise is that music should be fun, but the way we tend to teach music leads students to aspire for perfection rather than playing their instrument with life and expression. At the exhibits, I got to try out different flutes including Celtic flutes, Chinese flutes, and contrabass flutes.
I also saw a number of concerts including several flute and cello concerts, a French music concert, and a concert given by the Charlotte Symphony Flutists that used fascinating modern techniques to create unique sounds. One of my favorite concerts was Trevor Wye’s “50 Variations on the Carnival of Venice for 60 flutes and piano” where he showed us how to make a flute out of a carrot, played a flute made out of a human bone, and played on his own creations that lit up in humorous ways as he played.
The day following the convention, I attended an inspiring masterclass given by Jean Ferrandis, who focused on playing the flute with a relaxed and natural posture as if you were saying “hello” to a friend. The convention was inspiring and refreshing and I’m glad I took time to attend even though I was busy with the move.