- January 2017
- Oct 28, 2016 Why failure is as important as success Oct 28, 2016
- Sep 27, 2016 Announcing a competitive masterclass for high school flutists Sep 27, 2016
- Sep 21, 2016 What is tenure, anyway? Sep 21, 2016
- Sep 9, 2016 WTSBOA All West Junior High flute music Sep 9, 2016
- Sep 8, 2016 All West Tennessee 9-10 WTSBOA flute audition music Sep 8, 2016
- Sep 7, 2016 WTSBOA All West Tennessee 11-12 Senior Band flute music Sep 7, 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
It's the season to begin learning music for All West Tennessee Honor Band and Orchestra. I will eventually post videos and guides for every grade set of flute audition music. The first represented here is the music for grades 11-12 Senior Band.
It's important to note that there is a typo on the WTSBOA music printouts and on their website: this etude is by Joachim Andersen, not Anderson. I have included the misspelling in my video title to help students find a recording of the piece.
Since the Andersen selection is in C# minor, it's important to find a dark, beautiful color for all of your C#'s. This can be problematic for the flute. Keep the jaw dropped and the embouchure not too tight - work with a tuner on C# long tones to make sure you're not playing 30 cents sharp or flat.
Andersen has given us a beautiful melody, and we should endeavor to make long phrases while maintaining rhythmic integrity. Practice with a metronome and mark in every breath you take with a pencil. If you don't need air, don't take an unnecessary breath. For example, I play the first four measures without breathing; some students may need to breathe after the first G# in measure 2. If you take a deep enough inhalation in the eighth rest of measure 13, you should be able to make it to the end of bar 16.
Exaggerate the dynamics written in the part and always play with a beautiful sound.
One of Karg-Elert's Caprices is the other required flute piece for the WTSBOA All West Senior Band. This short piece is marked Appassionato e stretto, meaning Passionate and...what is stretto? A trip into my musical terms dictionary reveals that stretto may mean "Pressed together, narrowed; hurried." For my own performance in this video, I'm interpreting the stretto as permission to rush things a little, to include some musical rubato. While you should practice this piece first with a metronome, you should then take the next step to create a stretto feel. Vary the tempo. create a balanced and subtle way of rushing forward and then slowing down. The stretto should enhance the musical phrasing.
Be sure to begin the piece with a strong forte dynamic - if you don't start with a big sound, you will regret it when suddenly things drop down to piano in measure 22! When you arrive at this soft section at measure 22, support with your core muscles and keep your air speed very fast to achieve the high Gb's. Slow practice with emphasis on gooey intervals will pay off later.
Mark accidentals and make sure you are playing them through the measure. Don't ever hesitate to write notes in pencil in your music.
Good luck with your preparation! Leave questions in the comments and I will respond.