Flute/light project: Afterword

 

flute/light recital, September 17, 2016. PC: Emma Der

Yeah, I know. It’s only been about a week since my last Flute/light project post. This is an afterword full of acknowledgements: a brief post thanking all of my wonderful colleagues who made that project (and subsequent videos!) possible.

Wayne Reich and Ben Singer, thank you for the amazing recordings, videos, and photos! You’ve been kind,  down-to-earth, patient, and generous. I’ve learned so much from the both of you.

To the composers: I love your work, and I keep pinching myself because I can’t believe I’ve had the opportunity to work with you. It’s been such an honor! My deep thanks.
Anna MeadorsKyle RowanMichael S. RothkopfStuart Saunders SmithJacob Thiede

To my fellow performers: thank you for your enthusiastic participation and support!
Alicia BachorikSarah BusmanAsher Carlson, Noah Cline, Lowell Fuchs, Sharneisha Joyner, Amy Karnes, Amanda Mitchell, Janine Naprud, Stephany Saunders, Erik SchmidtAbigail SimoneauBethany Uhler, Hyunsu Yoon

To all who assisted with lighting: thank you for your patience and generous help!
Aaron Bobeck, Drake Calo, Norman Coats, Jason Czaja, Manuel Da Silva, Noah Davis, Alyssa Eibott, Clara Freeze, Chip Haas, Jonas Hess, Evan Higgins, Katie Martin, Lisa Renkel, Joshua Selander, Katherine Ward, Ken White, UNCG School of Theater, UNCSA School of Design and Production Lighting Department

Finally, a HUGE thank you to my dissertation committee for their encouragement and guidance!
Mark Engebretson, Erika Boysen, James Douglass, Randy McMullen

Flute/light Project? Not sure what I’m talking about? Below are links to each video.

Flute/light Project Info Video
Anna Meadors
, At Daybreak
Stuart Saunders Smith, The Circle of Light
Kyle Rowan, Komorebi
Michael S. Rothkopf, I Dream of Coloured Inks
Jacob Thiede, And everything in-between

Motivating Student Practice.

As important as Aristotle’s laws of motion are to the development of modern physics, somehow, they are humorous.  Newton’s first law of motion is merely a more precise restatement of Aristotle’s ideas: an object in a particular state of motion will continue in that state of motion unless an outside force influences it.  However, Aristotle called this altered status of motion “forced” or “violent;” moreover, he believed that all objects had inherent, measurable resistance to such forced motion.  Some of what Aristotle observed is now understood to be what is indeed called resistance, friction, and drag; but Aristotle’s language creates an amusing picture of inanimate objects with wills to remain inert, resisting motion until coerced.

We could say that this picture is a rather uncanny illustration of a type of student—the type that never seems to practice, despite their teacher’s best efforts.  These are unmotivated students who come to their lessons week after week, only prepared with excuses.  If we’re honest, however, we might admit that this metaphor could be used to describe anyone (including ourselves!) in a wide variety of situations.

Over the last year, I have spent some time seeking to better understand both the stimulation of self-motivation and the teacher-student relationship as it pertains to responsibility.  For now, I have concluded:

TEACHER’S RESPONSIBILITY: To guide the student into a cycle of work and achievement (related to attribution theory in psychology).
STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY: To implement the short-term goals assigned by the teacher.

My studies resulted in a “How to Practice” Workshop at the Community Music School of UNC School of the Arts (see the video below), as well as in a list of potential motivational methods that can be directly applied to practicing.

© 2016 Krisztina Dér.  All rights reserved.

The Absent-Minded Professor

It has happened.  In September, one IMG_6611of my professors passed my name along to the Chair of the Music Department at Guilford College.  The result: I have been working as a “Part-time Lecturer of Music, Flute” this semester.  My family’s prophesies destining me as a lovable (albeit soporific) Prof. have been fulfilled!  And that’s not even counting the times I have inadvertently mismatched my socks!

Other news includes competing at the semifinals of the inaugural Raleigh Area Flute Association’s (RAFA’s) Artist Competition.  They selected six semifinalists total; I was honored to be there, learned a thing or two about my repertoire choices, and look forward to applying again next year.  Recordings from the preliminary round are forthcoming!

In the upcoming months, I’ll be competing in the final round of UNCG’s Student Artist Competition, preparing for the second of my three doctoral recitals, teaching (UNCG secondaries, UNCSA CMS, and Guilford), playing in Fayetteville, studying for comprehensive exams, researching for the dissertation (more info on my research topic coming soon!), finishing up the majority of my classwork, and (I hope) breathing.  For now at least, in the interim between semesters, there’s a bit of time to catch my breath– so stay tuned for more updates, recordings, and musings!

 

[Throwbacks.] The 41st Annual National Flute Association Convention.

I feel duty-bound to write about my time NFA Convention Bookas Assistant Program Chair for the National Flute Association.  Yes, my time has been scarce; but that is not the only reason I have put it off for over two years.  Somehow, I haven’t known how to write about such an enormous undertaking, and, frankly, I still don’t have a clue how to go about it.

kuijken playing

Barthold Kuijken, flute, and Thomas Gerber, harpsichord.

Krewe of Pan

Kris Keith and the Krewe of Pan.

The NFA was what I lived and breathed for fifteen months. Somehow, I managed to get Christmas Day off.  Otherwise, I spent many hours a week staring at excel files and word docs, answering emails–and that was only the beginning.  There was mail to sort and organize.  An anonymous proposal-ranking panel needed to be managed; we listened to demos and read bios for hours. Thousands of notification emails were sent and questions were answered.  There were conference calls and diplomatic phone calls.  There was a speech to give first-time convention attenders.  A convention schedule needed to be created and, later, checked through at least a million times.  There were event descriptions to write and organize.  There were convention grids to be made for the convention managers and works performed lists to be compiled.  Magazine articles needed to be brainstormed, and someone needed to manage both the NFA Facebook and Twitter accounts.  Would anyone believe me if I dared claim this poor paragraph only described the tip of the iceberg?

jazz 2

From left to right: Hubert Laws, Orlando “Maraca” Valle, and Jim Walker, jazzing up a storm.

coelho and balint

With two of my favorite teachers, Dr. Tadeu Coelho (left) and János Bálint (right).

In the fifteen months of life I gave to the NFA, I think I most enjoyed little
blessings that popped up unexpectedly along the way: like joking with Program Chair Tadeu Coelho about possible event titles.  At the convention itself, it was unreal to watch our schedule come to life.  I was excited to have János Bálint, my teacher from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, attend and perform at the 2013 convention [check out a video here].  He is one of my favorite flutists, and one of the best teachers and mentors I’ve ever had.  There was a moment at the convention where, in explaining Hungarian folk music, he quickly
demonstrated by sweeping me up in a csárdás.  In the end, though I was responsible for helping make sure the events were running smoothly, the events weren’t what made the convention for me.  It was talking with Barthold Kuijken about Flemish politics, being remembered by Gary Schocker, conversing with Hubert Laws about cooking, working out an event room change with Marianne Gedigian, supplying Dr. Coelho with Cliff Bars, and other such memorable minutiae.

No, I may not have lived much those fifteen months; but I learned a mind-blowing amount in that time.  I may be crazy, but there is no way I can perfectly express how very thankful I am for the experience of being an NFA Assistant PC, not to mention how thankful I am to Dr. Coelho for his mentorship.

mississippi river

[Throwbacks.] Tercets

Lago MaggioreBack in 2011, I had just come state-side from six months of study abroad in Budapest when I up and headed back across the Atlantic for a music festival in bella Italia: SoundSCAPE in Maccagno.  [I’ve mentioned SoundSCAPE before, in my post about Jane Rigler’s Two Seamingbut I don’t think I expressed just how beautiful Lago Maggiore is or how inspiring SoundSCAPE was.  If you like new music, don’t hesitate; just go!]

At any rate, I recently found a recording that resulted from a SoundSCAPE collaboration: the world premiere of Kyle Rowan‘s Tercets, expanding.  It was an exhilarating, hold-on-to-your-hats work to perform, and my colleagues Gleb Kanasevich and Joseph Tomasso were amazing musicians.  Kyle did such a fascinating job playing with textures between flute, clarinet, and alto saxophone; I love the way this piece simmers and percolates.  For a listen, check out Kyle’s SoundCloud here.

Tercets, expanding

Premiering Tercets, Expanding with Gleb and Joseph at SoundSCAPE, 2011.

A Seasoned Musician?

Amadeus

Wolfgang and his powdered wig conducting the FSO.

June has arrived, and my first season with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra has
come to a close.  Puns aside, it has been such a blast!  I have learned so much from my incredibly friendly woodwind and brass colleagues and have gotten to play amazing repertoire, to boot.  Some season highlights include: being part of a live production of
Amadeus
 in collaboration with the Cape Fear Regional Theatre, playing piccolo in Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, and my first ever performance of John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever–on Sousa’s 160th birthday.  For a little peek into what this year was like, check out this flattering review of our Season finale in April: “This performance [of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique] ranked among the best, live or on record.”  Wow!  In short, I feel incredibly blessed.

IMG_6213Meanwhile, in March, I was blessed to begin work at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ Community Music School.  My little studio has
taught me so very much in the last three months; I can’t wait to continue working with the students very soon!

Of course, my first year as a DMA student has also ended.  The end of the semester brought me two exciting multimedia experiences.  The first: performances of MAX patches written by members of the Greensboro Laptop Orkestra (GLOrk).

Second, Dr. Michael S. Rothkopf (composer of Coloured Inks) asked me to perform an excerpt of his work Gitanjali with three lovely dancers at UNCSA’s M3 Spree.  Flute, computer, and dance–what an incredible experience!

IMG_6148

“Of the Energies,” by Kate McFalls, at UNCSA’s M3 Spree.

Hired! and other updates.

IMG_5695Time sure does seem to fly when you’re having fun, and the last months have been quite the whirlwind!  I auditioned for the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra‘s second flute opening in May 2014 and still am wildly ecstatic to have been selected for the job.   I played my first concert with the FSO in September, beginning my professional orchestra career with good old Beethoven 5.  While this year is still a probational period for me, it has been such an honor and privilege to perform with such fine musicians!  Check out my profile with the symphony here.

After three amazing weeks in China over the summer, I came back to compete at the Rosen-Schaffel competition in Boone, NC, where I finally proved to myself that I can play from memory.

In November, my good friend Elizabeth Milligan and I performed I Dream of Coloured Inks on a recital featuring compositions by Michael S. Rothkopf at UNCSA’s Watson Hall.  It was amazing to be on a program with some of my former professors.

And now?  I’m working hard at learning Max/MSP, not to mention researching potential dissertation topics.

Remember that time Sir James Galway came to hear a few UNC School of the Arts students play in a masterclass?  I found out, much later, he mentioned us in his blog!  “…the students play to a very high level.”  What a compliment!