Organising a flute event

Flute events can be a great way to bring together flute-loving people in your community, or from further afield. As an organiser of several masterclasses, workshops and concerts, I thought I’d share how I usually go about organising such events, which might give you some ideas.

When I was a student at Royal Academy of Music, I often felt there weren’t enough joint ventures between all of the music colleges (except the odd game of football!), so I decided to organise a masterclass and invite players from other colleges. I gave myself plenty of time and decided on an artist that hadn’t done many classes in the UK, but was pretty well-known. His name was Emmanuel Pahud! The event was a big success and it was great to meet so many flute players from across the country, who flocked to London to hear the teaching of this wonderful musician. On the back of that, I later organised classes with Emily Beynon, Lorna McGhee and Robert Winn, and now organise my own classes and courses. Below, I will outline what I did when organising the masterclass with Mr Pahud, but this can be adapted depending on the type of event you wish to plan.

Background Research – Venues

Before inviting an artist, it is important to do some background research. For example, where will the class be held? Things to bear in mind:

  • Seating capacity. How many people will attend the class/concert? I booked Henry Wood Hall in London because I knew that it would be a very popular class, so I needed a large seating capacity.
  • Cost of hiring venues. Draw up a list of your top 3 venues in your area and compare the costs. Remember that additional costs such as piano tuning will need to be included.
  • Does the venue provide any refreshments, such as tea/coffee, snacks, lunch? The Henry Wood Hall had a lovely cafe in the crypt, which was ideal for the lunch break.
  • Is the venue convenient to get to? Is there disabled access? How close to a train station is it? Is there parking? These are important questions, as it can be a deciding factor for many people who are travelling from far away.
  • Read some reviews online and ask friends/colleagues about possible venues that they have used. Then draw up a list of 3 possibilities, because you might not be able to get your first choice for the dates/times your artist can do.
  • Make sure there is a decent piano that can be tuned and that the acoustic is nice to play in. An inspiring building like Henry Wood Hall is so nice to play in and looks great.

Invite an Artist

You might already have somebody in mind to invite, or you may be organising your own workshop. Some artists will have a managing agent and you will need to write to them. If you know the artist personally, even better, but you may still need to write to their agent since they will have more of an idea of the artist’s schedule.

When approaching an artist, be respectful and polite. Your first contact with them need not contain too many details but should be more of an enquiry as to whether your event would be of interest to them. Check their schedules online and see if they have any time available and/or are visiting your area for a concert/class (this will help reduce travel costs). When I invited Emmanuel Pahud, I knew from his website that he was giving a recital at Wigmore Hall in London and so I asked if he would be available around that time. Luckily, he was!

If you get a positive response from the artist, you will need to make sure they confirm a date and time period (e.g. 10 am to 5 pm) and a fee for their services. Draw up a simple contract (if the artist’s management hasn’t done so already) and start planning!

Give the venue or school the artist’s biography and a basic plan for the day when you write to them. For example, “A day of masterclasses with Emmanuel Pahud (principal flute of the Berlin Philharmonic) for 6 players”. Note that some venues do not allow live concerts, but they might allow a little performance at the end of a class for the invited guests.

Pick the Venue

Once the date is confirmed, approach your top choice of venue and see if they are available to host your event. Once you have confirmed your date and venue, you are ready to start advertising the event.

Pricing

You want to make sure that ticket prices are reasonable, but unless you have sponsorship that covers all costs, you will need to generate a good income from tickets. You can offer an “early-bird” discount to encourage people to register early and also discounts for students (college, school, university). Your pricing will depend on your expenses and how many you expect to attend. Set a minimum and maximum number of attendees and allow for some “on the door” tickets.

Find Sponsorship

You will likely be charging for tickets to participate and observe the event, but one shouldn’t rely on ticket sales to pay for the expenses. Approach a flute or music shop and see if they would be interested in displaying some of their merchandise/flutes in exchange for a contribution. I was lucky enough to receive the support from Just Flutes, who also kindly helped with tickets. Other sources of sponsorship would be from the artist’s record label, flute company that they work with, local businesses etc. You can ask the artist if they regularly work with a company that helps support their events and for their contact details, but one shouldn’t ask them to do any of the work. Once the artist has been invited, it is your job to make sure everything runs smoothly and everything is paid for – it is not their responsibility. Make sure to include any sponsors details/logos on all advertising material.

Advertise the Event

Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) is very useful. Create an event on Facebook and invite people that you think would be interested and advertise it in the flute pages. Use hashtags on Instagram like #flute #fluteevent etc and make some attractive pictures with a link to a website that will direct people to more details on how to register. You could use a Google form for online registration or include a PDF download link.

Print off some brochures and flyers for distribution at music shops, music colleges, music departments in schools and universities.

Participants

How you select players might be on a first-come, first-serve basis, but you might also want to include a recording submission requirement. I find this requires more time and effort, but it might be necessary in some cases. I’ve done it once just to check that people could actually play the flute to a sufficient level for the professor.

If participants will be playing a piece of music, make sure to ask them what piece they will play. Try to give each player a good amount of time, rather than squeezing in a lot of people. This will allow the artist to go into more detail and the audience will appreciate it. Perhaps 25-45 minutes per person is a good time.

Before the Event

Check in with the artist in the days leading up to the event just to make sure they have all the details that they need, where you will meet them and whatever else they may require. Give them your contact details in case of emergency/late trains etc.

Also, check with the venue to confirm the details of your booking, so there are no hitches on the day. For example, make sure that they know what time you will be arriving, how many chairs you will need, what time lunch will be, etc.

At the Event

If all preparations have been taken care of, there shouldn’t be any need to panic! Try to enjoy the day and make everyone feel welcome. Ask for help from your friends with things like photographing the event, taking tickets, checking names, etc. Give the artist a nice welcome and at the end of the day show your appreciation with a small gift/card. Little touches go a long way.

Enjoy planning your next event!

“What Should I be Practising?”

Learning the flute (or any musical instrument) is not always a smooth process of steady improvement. We all learn in different ways with our own strengths and weaknesses, so there will be times when things can get frustrating if one feels they are not improving as much as they would like. Other factors also affect our practice, such as limited time due to busy schedules (school or work), or having a lot of repertoire to learn and juggle for competitions/auditions/exams etc.

Time

Setting aside time and having an effective and efficient practice plan is a great way to make sure that you can progress and stay on top of things.

How much time you set aside is really up to your schedule, but anything between 1-4 hours a day is good. However, quality of practice is far more important than quantity, so if you only practice for 30 minutes but in a detailed, mindful way you will get a lot of benefit from that. Consistent, daily practice is key to improvement since it is our “muscle memory” that we need to train, i.e. the coordination of our body and mind to successfully execute difficult passagework or big interval leaps etc.

Breaks

It is important to take regular breaks to make sure you are fully engaged and aware of what you are doing. I find 45-50 minutes of practice, followed by a 10-15 minutes break is good if I’m doing 2 or more hours. You could also do a bit in the morning and a bit in the evening if you have work during the day.

Schedule

What you include in your schedule can and should vary (“variety is the spice of life!”), but I would try to include the following to ensure you’re covering all bases:

Warm up

With the notion that your body is your instrument, warming up the body should be part of your practice. This might be simple stretches, some breathing exercises, or some basic flexibility exercises for the embouchure (pitch bending, crescendo/decrescendo, whistle tones, harmonics). Have fun by thinking of different exercises and also relating it to whatever piece you are learning, e.g. some pitch bending on C sharp for finding a good starting note for Debussy’s L’apres-midi, or harmonics on an E for Schubert’s Trockne Blumen.

Good books for warm ups:

Mastering the Flute with William Bennett

Melody

Play a simple melody such as Fauré’s Pavane in all registers and in different keys. Pick a melody from Moyse’s Tone Development Through Interpretation and be aware of what you are doing. Try some different dynamics and colours, listening closely to intonation, articulation and quality of sound.

Tone exercises

Developing our tone is one of the most important things we can do as flute players, like a singer develops their voice. Make sure to include some flexibility and evenness of tone exercises, such as those found in Moyse De La Sonorité. Long tones are often suggested by teachers, but it requires a great deal of imagination to make long tones interesting. Try varying them, e.g. start soft, crescendo and then get softer; add two or three notes and work on a really smooth legato between notes; add octaves or harmonics to match the sound in all registers; change the vowel shape in your mouth to work on playing with different colours (aah, ooh, eee etc). Clare Southworth’s The Expression of Colour is a great book for working on tone colours

Sequences and scales

Try not to switch to auto-pilot mode at this point! It can be very tempting to bash one’s way through all the keys, but this is not very efficient and not very rewarding. Instead, give yourself something to focus on each day in your sequences and scales (intonation, evenness of tone, fingers, dynamics etc). Slow, mindful practice of scales is very beneficial. String players often practice their scales incredibly slowly and I think this really helps build on solid foundations. Quick practice is also important, but make sure you are still listening carefully. Vary the articulation: work on getting a good sound in all variations. Remember that music is full of scales and sequences, so try to play them as musically as possible. Think of some different characters to play in (a warm sunny day, or a thunderstorm, or Mickey Mouse etc!)

Good books for sequences:

Scales:

Etude/Study

Take your technical practice a stage further. Before you start playing your study, take a look at it and find out what it is for. Articulation? Intervals? It could be more than one. You could then practice that technique first and then you’ll find you can make music more easily with the etude since technical difficulties won’t be such an obstacle. There are many etude books out there to keep you occupied!

Repertoire and orchestral excerpts

The last section of your practice could be repertoire. Having done a lot of technical work, your focus here can be on making beautiful music. Making the phrases come alive with shape and direction, telling a story and bringing out all the characters and colours with constant self-observation and feedback. Notice where you tend to tighten up and see if you can practice that particular area with more ease and freedom. Take note of the tricky areas and be sure to tackle those in your technical practice. Technique and music making are inextricably linked – a good technique will allow you to make music without restriction and imagination and playing musically will help you enjoy your technical practice.

Thanks for reading and Happy Fluting!

Tips on Andersen Etudes: Op15, No. 3

Andersen 3

This is probably everyone’s favourite étude – it is certainly the one that gets performed the most outside of the practice room. It’s a triplet tour de force without any breaks, but it also has a very beautiful melodic quality.

Find the Skeleton

If we take away all the decoration and leave the “skeleton” of the melody, this is what we get:

Andersen 3 skeleton

First work on making beautiful phrasing with the melody alone. This melody often reminds me of the 2nd subject in the first movement of Reinecke’s Undine Sonata:

Undine ex

Also, the piano’s melody after the first section and at the end of the Scherzo from Widor’s Suite Op34.

Widor ex

Phrasing

All these melodies share a common melodic shape – an upbeat followed by an appoggiatura. This is a perfect example of an “I love you” phrase. When you say “I love you”, “I” acts as preparation to “love” which is stressed and “you” which is released: I love you. Many people put an undue stress “you” when playing these kind of phrases, which doesn’t make any musical sense.  Would you say to your loved one: ” I love you!”?? This might cause them to doubt you! 😉

So when we come back to the Andersen étude, practise it with the following phrasing:

Phrasing no 3

Then apply the same phrasing when you add all the notes. You will also need to do the micro phrasing of the each triplet figure so that we don’t hear emphasis on the accompaniment (especially the low notes, which students often honk out).

micro phrasing

Notice how some micro-phrasing is over one quaver beat, and others are over two quaver beats. This tells you how to grade your diminuendo: you don’t want to come away too quickly when it is over two quaver beats, otherwise you will lose the line.

The idea is to show the melody line clearly without elongating each note. This can sound affected and can distort the rhythm. You could also help show the line by giving the melody notes more colour and play the accompaniment notes with a softer colour. If both parts have an equally strong colour and dynamic, the étude just becomes a study in playing a lot of notes, which is both boring and pointless!

If you have the chance, listen to Marcel Moyse practising this étude – he really knows how to make the flute sing. There is a box set released by the Muramatsu flute company of his recordings including his studies and various other pieces that he recorded over the years.

More blogs on the Andersen Etudes Op.15 can be found on Rod’s personal blog: rodfluteblog.wordpress.com

Order the Andersen Etudes, Op15 at Just Flutes.

How to Start a Beginner Flute Ensemble

Whether you are a novice in charge of your first flute choir, or you are a veteran and have run many ensembles, choosing music for that all-important first rehearsal is a daunting task at any level – but when planning for a beginner ensemble it is even more  important to hit the ground running.

Picking one or two pieces that will be sure to work will give the group the easiest route to success. Underestimating the standard isn’t usually a problem, depending on the dynamic of the group. Didn’t anyone tell you that you had to be a psychologist as well?! Often, the standard can vary substantially between those who are almost ready for the first exam and those who can just about produce a note, and fortunately there are books designed just for such a scenario.

Gems for Flute Ensembles by Helen Butterworth

This gem of a book is  invaluable in this situation as the eight original little pieces are just right for starting off an inexperienced group. The keys and rhythms are mostly eas,y and there are duets, trios and a larger group piece included. The most important element is the accompaniment, which will hold everyone together and allow those less able to feel that they have made a contribution. Don’t worry if you aren’t a pianist as the CD includes the piano part, as well as complete performances of each piece. Some of the pieces have a very easy or optional part, some can be played as a round  and some are more difficult. You can also photocopy the parts. Perfect! Buy Now!

Red Hot Flute Duets Book 1 by Sarah Watts

There may be an occasion when you feel that simply doubling up two  flute parts might just  be easier. These great little pieces are perfect for the inexperienced and the popular jazz style is sure to motivate! Sarah Watts is great at using the accompaniment to make the simple flute parts sound more interesting and, as with all her books, a CD is included to make this easier. There are two speeds for each track which is invaluable! The first three numbers are written with the flutes in unison rhythm before Head in the Clouds introduces a small amount of independence.  The highest note used is first octave D which results in the second part being quite low so often the first part is a little easier to manage in the initial stages. You could double up these parts indefinitely and the music would come to no harm at all! Buy Now!

Easy Flutes Together: Music from the Classics arranged by Terry Kenny and Terry Cathrine

If you would prefer something without accompaniment the Easy Flutes Together series of arrangements by Terry Kenny and Terry Cathrine is always worth looking at as it’s designed to give starter flutes the chance to play familiar tunes along with their friends. Music from the Classics includes Papageno’s Song and Ode to Joy which might be familiar. Pachelbel’s Canon would be a good place to start from in this collection, bearing in mind that the easiest part can often be the third.  The overall level is up to grade 3, all the pieces are well-known, and the arrangements have a great deal of rhythmic unity to hold everything together. Included are three copies of each part and extras are available for purchase. You can’t buy much better for beginners than this! Buy Now!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang arranged for Four Flutes by Mel Orriss

Sometimes the best way to inspire a group is to use music that everyone will know, even if it is slightly too difficult for some. Starting with a popular tune that everyone will love gets everyone engaged immediately and they don’t come much more popular than Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!  The arrangement has to be good though, and you wouldn’t expect to find anything less from Mel Orriss. The lowest part is cleverly pitched for a novice with a winning combination of easy rhythms, a small note range and an imaginative use of percussion instruments. I’m sure you could use anything that comes to hand here if you can’t find the right ones in the cupboard. There’s interest in the other parts too and you’ll probably find your grade eights wanting to join in!  A sure-fire crowd pleaser – parents will be overjoyed to hear this at a concert! Buy Now!

Dandelions by Adolf Terschak for Four Flutes arranged by Roz Trubcher

 

Another approach would be to chose a lovely but unfamiliar piece that is simple in both style and technical challenges,

Dandelinos by Adolf Terschak ticks both boxes. Using only crotchets and quavers and a note range of low octave E to middle register A, Roz Trubcher has ensured that this has a style that is easy to work with.  The most interesting aspect here is that the parts are all rhythmically independent, aside from the  six syncopated bars where they all meet. This allows players to develop their ensemble skills through counting and gives them the chance to catch up if they fall behind. There are some note challenges too with C, G and D sharps appearing in the middle section. This is clearly a long term investment in terms of skill sets but also introduces everyone to the tuneful music of Terschak! Buy Now

Unsettled Weather for Flute Choir by Sophie Dufeutrelle

Finally something completely different! This is not strictly for beginners but if  you are needing a new approach, or you have a very mixed group of players this might be just the thing. Each of the pieces  has only an illustration and  symbols of what to play,  so there is no conventional notation. This is very flexible as the group can be divided or used as a whole. Some of the effects are easier to assimilate than others, for example jet whistles are used in Gust of Wind. This will help younger ones to find their diaphragms and extend the range of the more advanced. There are instructions for the conductor too – Curtain of Rain should be directed with an umbrella. There is plenty of scope for improvisation here and this could easily be adapted to suit beginners only. Designed to fire the imagination it’s so useful on so many levels. Do give it try! Buy Now

Running a flute ensemble is a great way to make music so I hope that you and your students enjoy these pieces. Then your audiences will love them too!

Idyll – The English Flute Unheard by James Dutton

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE REPERTOIRE

When my pianist Oliver Davies and I started researching suitable repertoire to include on our album “Idyll”, we had no idea how much of interest we would find across a huge range of styles and eras. The only proviso was that the composers had a connection with the Royal College of Music, either as a student/professor or both. As we were both alumna (Oliver was also a professor for over forty years as well as founder and head of the Department of Portraits and Performance History) it was an obvious choice. Our producer Mike Purton also urged us if possible to find works that had never been recorded before for commercial release. This we achieved almost totally – one movement of the Robin Milford Sonata had been recorded with strings in a different arrangement, some of the Armstrong Gibbs Suite had been recorded by Richard Adeney many years before, and finally perhaps most excitingly, the only existing recording of the Sonata by Stanley Bate was a version only available on subscription and with the purchase of the sheet music in Paris – by Marcel Moyse accompanied by his son Louis. Rarefied company to say the least! Sadly this is one of the works that although still in copyright is no longer in print – more research is needed to see if it could be reissued at some point.

It turned out that only three of the nine works we ended up choosing to record were still in print. Oliver’s in-depth knowledge of repertoire of all kinds across the 20th century and access to the library at the RCM as well as his own collections meant we were unearthing some wonderful pieces which had lapsed into almost complete obscurity. It was a fantastic project to breathe life back into works that very few flautists had ever played, certainly in the recent past. Now the CD has been released, it has been very pleasing that reviews have also highlighted the quality of the repertoire that we have discovered. These are works that have been unjustly neglected and are more than worthy of performance.

Here then I’ll introduce you to those works which are available from the publisher’s archives, printed on demand – though almost entirely unknown.

Robin Milford: Sonata in C major

The Sonata in C major by Robin Milford is published by Thames. Written in 1944 it is a charming work, full of invention and character that could have only come from an English composer of that period. Milford studied with Vaughan Williams, and his illustrious teacher said of him – “If I wanted to show the intelligent foreigner something that could only have come out of England, I would show him some of the work of Milford”. Perhaps a slightly un-PC turn of phrase for the 21st century, but the sentiment is nonetheless very strong!

Robin Milford was a fascinating, though ultimately tragic figure in the music industry. He was the son of Humphrey Milford, founder of the Oxford University Press. He became very well-known as a composer of songs, many of which are still popular. His musical style is very definitely “English pastoral” – he refused to be swayed by European modernism, and ultimately this became his downfall, as his writing was seen to be more and more anachronistic for the period. He suffered from depression for most of his life – and the untimely death of his young son Barnaby at the age of just five must have been almost too much to bear. Eventually he took his own life in 1959, after having received the cruellest of requests from the OUP – he was required to collect all the unsold copies of his manuscripts from their warehouse.

Not the happiest of personal lives then, but his music radiates sunshine, albeit tinged with melancholy at moments. The Sonata in C is in three movements, the first full of sparkling motifs, a gloriously melodic and singing second movement (this also exists as a standalone work called Interlude,  arranged for flute and strings).

The final movement might give the illusion of being like a jig, but it actually demands a much more measured approach to fully appreciate the details of the harmonies and invention. In Milford’s obituary one critic noted “his emotional range was limited”, though one rather more percipient observer wrote “his music is fresh – and it will come fresh to those of a future age”. I hope that age is now!

Cecil Armstrong Gibbs: Suite in A major

Probably the most well-known of the composers that we chose was C. Armstrong Gibbs. The “C” stands for Cecil, though he hated the name and variously switched between just using his two surnames or adding the initial. He enjoyed the patronage of Adrian Boult who encouraged him to attend the Royal College of Music where he studied with Vaughan Williams, later joining him as a fellow composition professor. Like Milford he wrote a huge number of songs, as well as some very popular instrumental works. The most famous is probably “Dusk”, for piano or small orchestra, and proved extremely well-loved. It was even requested to be played at the future Queen Elizabeth the Second’s 18th birthday party at Buckingham Palace.

Again like Milford, Armstrong Gibbs did not embrace the sweep of modernism and new composition styles emerging from Europe. His Suite in A  (published Oxford University Press) dating from 1956 seems wildly out of touch with other works from that era, but it has a craft and approachability all its own. Written in five movements – Prelude, Minuet, Sarabande,  Gavotte and Quick Dance it blends the baroque feeling of the Suite form with popular music, and even a hint of the Last Night of the Proms in the final movement!

It is not a technically demanding work, but even so there are many details and nuances within all the movements that demand serious thought. Appoggiaturas abound, ready to trap the unwary! The Sarabande is a truly gorgeous little movement – just a couple of minutes but full of stately beauty and sombre reflection – a lot of emotional content for something that seems superficially straightforward. This work was a lot of fun to put together, and at around 13 minutes it’s a nice solid recital piece that deserves to be heard more often!

Cyril Bradley Rootham: Suite in Three Movements

The Suite in Three Movements by Cyril Bradley Rootham was written in 1921 – one of the two works dedicated to Louis Fleury on the CD. I believe this is truly a masterpiece in miniature and without doubt one of my favourite works on the recording. Rootham was a highly regarded teacher – among his pupils were Arthur Bliss and Armstrong Gibbs (though he was for organ, not composition)

Published by Chester it is not a long work at only nine minutes, but it is possessed of some truly wonderful writing for the flute and piano. The style is rather modal, shot through with hints of Holst and Vaughan Williams. Again the overall appearance may be of simplicity, but to capture the true essence one has to delve deeper. The opening Passacaglia is particularly haunting, and to bring out the varying textures of each iteration of the theme demands much concentration in  balance between the instruments in their different registers. I was really taken by the last section in which Rootham splits the theme between flute and piano – it has the feeling of wisps of smoke blowing on the wind, and to seamlessly blend the line together takes real thought and refined duo playing. The Saraband is fantastically expressive with swooping lines from the flute and great interplay between the instruments. The Jig which follows is surprisingly complex – when one just looks at the flute part alone, it’s hard to see what the fuss is all about – but this illustrates exactly how important it is to analyse what’s going on underneath as well – the piano part has a minefield of details: changing harmony, different voicing of chords, subtle changes of direction that give the whole a really satisfying feeling in just about a 90-second movement! I really loved working on this piece.

Richard Henry Walthew: Idyll

The title track “Idyll” was written by Richard Henry Walthew in 1907, and dedicated to the pre-eminent English flautist of the day Eli Hudson. It was first performed by Albert Fransella on September 5th of that year at the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts.

There was a real personal connection with this work for me – Walthew’s great-grandson David is the former principal clarinet of the Band of the Scots Guards, where I have been principal flute for over twenty years, though soon to be retiring! Oliver has been a friend of the Walthew family for many years, and his knowledge of the work’s existence led us to finding it in the British Library. The original publishers, Stainer & Bell, was co-founded by Richard Walthew. The work is still in copyright though out of print, but dialogue is underway to potentially bring the work back to a wider audience. It was recently chosen to be broadcast on Classic FM alongside one of the movements from the Armstrong Gibbs Suite – I was very proud that it was included in their playlist, and hope that this will persuade the publishers that it will be worth bringing back to life in score form as well as on the recording. I would love other flautists to get to know all these pieces and consider programming them in their own recitals.

Now available!

The basis for this article was originally published in Pan Magazine (Journal of the British Flute Society) in March 2018, and permission for this version has been kindly given by Carla Rees, editor of the magazine.

 

James Dutton

jamesduttonflute.com

 

 

 

“Heavenly – an enchanting album….a great British flautist” – Classic FM June 2018

“Beautifully played…these are two instinctive musicians with sensitivity and intelligence” – Pan Magazine March 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flute Tutor Books – Recommendations 2018

September 2018 is almost upon us and we all hope that there are many would-be flute students out there who are really excited to start learning the flute!  With that in mind I have edited my Tutor Book Recommendations blog from last year to help you get started. There has been very little activity in this area of the catalogue in the last year and so these three books are still the most interesting around today. All three have been extremely popular and have all made the initial stages of learning just that little bit easier.

The market for flute tutor books is crowded and often bewildering. There is almost too much choice, with different approaches, starting notes, rates of progress, type of repertoire and even the basic quality of the publication all jostling for our attention. Here I’ve picked out three lovely books which are aimed at the younger end of the market, and all are written by flute players. They may just help!

Flute Perfect by Doris da Costa and Anastasia Arnold

Buy now at Just Flutes

Flute Perfect - CoverThis really good tutor book has proved to be very popular over the last year. It is written by two experts who are passionate about the whole flute teaching process and it really shows.  At its heart is a clear desire to encourage and nurture young players, keeping the development of a good musician to the fore throughout. They are astute enough to price it well too, so it’s excellent value for money.

Advantages

This book has several major advantages. Firstly the layout is relatively simple and uncluttered with no gimmicks. The black and white illustrations are usually pertinent, and if they are decorative they add to the page rather than detract from it. There are no photos to illustrate posture – that is left to the discretion of the teacher.

Secondly, progress is steady. Each chapter introduces a single note and each tune or exercise has a clear purpose. Some pieces use practice bars to help with the learning, and encouraging downward scales at such an early stage is extremely useful. Playing from memory, experimenting with articulation with evaluation of the results, improvisation and  basic writing skills will all stretch the imagination of a young player and make the learning process much more varied. The anticipated grade at the end of the book is Grade 1.

Flute Perfect - Sample

Thirdly, and most importantly, rhythm,  making a good sound and aural awareness are given a very high priority throughout, ensuring that the core aim of musical development never gets lost.  This makes total sense but is quite often missing in the dash for learning ever more notes faster.

Supporting Teacher’s Book

Flute Perfect Teacher's Book- CoverA further plus is that this book is designed for both individual and group tuition. This is supported by the excellent Flute Perfect Teacher’s Book which is  a great resource for all of us but is especially useful for new teachers and those for whom the flute is not their main instrument. It’s multi-tasking with comprehensive teaching notes, ensemble parts and piano accompaniments all included. There are tips and suggestions to help with each  chapter including group activities such as warm-ups and improvisation. These are clearly outlined and can give a welcome structure to a lesson as well as providing material that can be used elsewhere. As the main focus here is on learning through ensemble playing  it’s really helpful that the arrangements are flexible and that all the parts can all be photocopied. Piano accompaniments are included too and can also be purchased separately.

At the very least you will find these books a useful addition to your teaching bag and they may end up as the only tutors in it!

Get Set! Flute by Hattie Jolly and Ali Steynor

Buy now at Just Flutes

Get Set! Flute - CoverThis is the most modest of the three books but the only one to include a backing tracks CD with printable piano accompaniments. It’s marketed as suitable preparation for the Prep Test and pre-Grade 1 so it’s great to see a curved head flute included in the opening photos. There are some lovely illustrations throughout and the book is quite colourful generally.  Picture signs signal Listen up! games, Rhythm Time activities and Find, Say and Play games which are designed to help accomplish various tricky tasks such as the difference between B natural and B flat, or memorising a simple piece.

Starts Simply

The first things the beginner meets in this book are pulse and breathing, before it moves on to some quite extensive work for headjoint only. There is nothing ground-breaking here but everything is explained clearly with an emphasis on rhythm skills, listening skills and tonguing. Basic theory is covered also using the headjoint, so that blowing and reading are already in place before the topics of putting the flute together, holding and cleaning the flute, and posture and balance are introduced. There are more clear instructions here and even parents will be able to see whether or not these elements are being put into practice!

Colour-Coded

Get Set Flute! Sample PageNotes are introduced using diagrams, with different colours used for each hand – blue for the left and red for the right.  The material used is almost all original and extremely well written, and each skill or musical point covered is logically laid out.  There are plenty of written activities too and these will deliver theory by the back door. Inevitably the pages appear busier as the music becomes more complex but as the range reached at the end is only one octave from low to middle D this is not too much of a problem.

Supporting Book

Supplementary repertoire is available in Get Set! Flute Pieces Book 1 which has a printed piano accompaniment and another backing track CD. Although not directly linked to the tutor, running both together will provide a really thorough work-out!

Overall these are lovely books for enthusiastic little ones and it won’t break the bank!

Fluting Stars Book 1 and Fluting Stars Book 2 by Ana Kavcic and Blaž Pucihar

Buy Book 1 at Just Flutes | Buy Book 2 at Just Flutes

Fluting Stars CoverThis is the top end of the market price wise, so what do you get for your money? A first rate composer in Blaz Puciher for a start and most of the material is original. You are also paying for very high quality books that are beautifully produced in full colour. The illustrations are sumptuous and any young player will surely love looking at them! The scope in terms of notes covered is wider although progress is made via musical complexity in Book 2,  the third octave being left for another day. Piano accompaniments to all the tunes are available as a download.

Clear and Attractive Diagrams

This book is also aimed at the younger pupil so curved head flutes take their place alongside the straight head ones. The drawings and photos are really clear, making assembling and blowing very easy to follow. Breathing and embouchure set-up are covered in detail and here the colourful illustrations really help lift this information off the page. The extensive headjoint section in this book includes the use of the Pnuemo Pro blowing device which is interesting if you haven’t seen it in action before – again there are some lovely photos. Tone quality is right at the heart of the first section of Book 1. A radical departure from the norm is the introduction of singing and playing, single, double and triple tonging, and vibrato before the use of the whole flute. Now that really is interesting! Another unique feature is the initial lack of notation. The first note learned is middle register D followed by low and middle G, A and B. This is done together with a box for naming objects starting with those letters. It is only then that ‘How do we write music?’ is broached.

Kep Leaps

The rest of the books are laid out in Key Leap sections:

Key Leap score sample Each of these introduces new notes, and contains a variety of other items such as theory, finger fitness exercises, dance forms and chamber music. These sections are also supplemented by:

  • The Fluting Star Magazine for more music theory
  • Treasure Chest of Sparkly Tones for tone development
  • Ear Detective for aural awareness,
  • Notes in a Minute and Finger Fitness for technique
  • Cherry on Top which sets a new challeng
  • Stellar Student which uses puzzles to master the theory

This is really quite comprehensive! The format of the second book is the same except that there are more notes and fewer illustrations.

These are impressive books written by committed educationalists who have a great deal of experience of the flute and a wealth of knowledge of teaching. It’s an investment purchase  but they really are quite beautiful!

All these excellent books will make any young student really happy. That also means happy teachers, not to mention parents. Have fun deciding which one to go for – all three perhaps?

Browse all Flute Tutor Books at Just Flutes

NFA 2018 Newly Published Flute Music Competition Winners

The results of the 2018 National Flute Association Newly Published Music Competition are in! Here’s the run-down of the winning titles by category.

Flute and Piano

Winner

Georg Philipp Telemann – Sonata for Flute and Basso Continuo, TWV 41:h4 (Wiener Urtext Edition)

Telemann Sonata for Flute and Continuo, Wiener Urtext Edition

Telemann Sonata for Flute and Continuo, Wiener Urtext Edition

Telemann’s Sonata (Solo) for transverse flute and basso continuo comes from his ‘Tafelmusik’ published in 1733, one of the most important instrumental cycles of the late Baroque period. The prominent themes of the Sonata seem to have impressed G. Fr. Handel so much that he took them up in his Organ Concerto No. 15 in D minor. Buy Now

Finalists

Honorable Mentions

Flute and Piano Arrangements

Winner

Traditional American, arranged by Marietta Simpson & Evelyn Simpson-Curenton – Three Sprituals for Flute and Piano (Theodore Presser)

Three Spirituals - Theodore Presser

Three Spirituals – Theodore Presser

The original publication from July, 2015 of the spiritual Calvary (114-41726) as arranged by the Simpsons proved that their grasp of the material translated wonderfully into a highly musical, highly enjoyable, and somewhat challenging performance piece for an accomplished duo. We are pleased to add Calvary to their arrangements of Git on Board and Li’l David to present Three Spirituals for flute and piano. For advanced performers. Buy Now

Finalists

Honorable Mentions

Flute Quartets

Winner

Roger Derongé: Fanfaflut (Digital Music Print)

Roger Derongé - Fanfaflut (Digital Music Print)

Roger Derongé – Fanfaflut (Digital Music Print)

Fanfaflut is a flute quartet by Belgian composer, Roger Derongé, featuring a variety of styles, from baroque to modern, utilizing a variety of extended techniques, including singing while playing and beatboxing. Part 1 (Flute & Piccolo), Part 2 (Flute & Alto Flute), Part 3 (Alto Flute), Part 4 (Bass Flute & Flute) Buy Now

Finalists

Honorable Mentions

Mixed Ensembles

Winners

Ned McGowan: Garden of Iniquitous Creatures (Donemus)

P. Brent Register: Bedtime Stories (Jeanne Music Publications)

Finalists

Gerado Dirie: Overwintering (Cayambis Music Press)

Stephen Lias: Forever Alive, Forever Forward (Alias Press) 

http://Buy now

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, arranged M Ackroyd: Valse (Wonderful Winds)

Honourable Mention

Spillville Variations on a Theme by Dvorak: 16 commissioned Iowa composers (Alry)

Wind Quintets

Winner

Eric Ewazen: Reverie (Theodore Presser)

Eric Ewazen: Reverie (Theodore Presser)

Eric Ewazen: Reverie (Theodore Presser)

Reverie celebrates the wonderfully lyrical voices of the “traditional” wind quintet – blending together as five singers, yet remaining distinct as individual voices. The work opens and closes as the voices float individual melodic lines amid the sparkling colors of the higher instruments and the rich resonance of the lower instruments, while the middle section is intense and bold. Commissioned by the Monmouth Winds, this quintet is a true reverie – sweet, pastoral, and dream-like. Buy Now

Finalist

Two Flutes and Piano

Winners

Robert Russel Bennett, edited by Janet and Paul Somers: Six Souvenirs (Maurice River Press)

Six Souvenirs for Two Flutes and One Piano were written in 1948 for, and premiered by John Wummer (1899-1977) and his wife Mildred Hunt Wummer with Bennett at the piano in the Chamber Music Hall, City Center, New York. In it he honors his flute-playing friends, who just happen to be some of the most distinguished flutists of the twentieth century. Buy Now

Scott Joplin arranged by David Gilliland: Four Joplin Rags (Theodore Presser Comp

Scott Joplin’s ragtime gems are American classics, equally suitable for the recital stage or less formal occasions. David Gilliland’s transcriptions for two flutes and piano may be presented either as a suite or individually. Gilliland has crafted the collection so flute duos may share the joy of performing Joplin together, while the pianist provides the big “stride” accompaniments. Buy Now

Finalist

Honourable Mention

Solo Flute

Winner

Timothy Hagen: Pop for Solo Flute (Owl Glass Music)

Nuno Peixoto de Pinho: #5 Letters to Wolfgang (Scherzo Editions)

Finalist

Honourable Mention

Low Flutes

Winners

Greg Lutz: The Continuing Adventures of  Dexter the Danger Donkey (Alry Publications)

A vibrant conga, playable by a quartet of low flutes with many optional parts available to join the party! The title says it all!Buy Now

Sergei Rachmaninoff/Gabriel Faure/Maurice Ravel, arranged by Christine Potter: Three Vocalises (Falls House Press)

Buy Now

Flute Duets and Trios

Winners

Sadiel Cuentas: Five Duets (Cayambis Music Press)

Ricardo Matosinhos: Trio Op.65 for Flute, Alto Flute and Bass Flute (Scherzo Editions)

Finalists

Honourable Mentions

Solo Flute and Orchestra

Winners

Sarah Bassingthwaighte: House of Doors (Alry Publications)

From the composer: “The title, House of Doors, comes from a meditation exercise in which you imagine walking through a hallway full of doors, choosing one, and exploring what’s inside. The exercise is designed to increase creativity and the ability to make positive changes. To me, this meditation is fun, like being in a dream where I can make some choices. The starting point for the Concerto came from three different “rooms” I encountered, and each is translated into sound. The piece is divided into two continuous movements.” Buy Now

Eugene Magalif: Concerto for Flute (Alry Publications)

The Concerto for Flute by Eugene Magalif was completed in 2015. In February 2016, it was recorded for the CD album “Colibri” by soloist Patrick Dillery, flute (USA) and Dnipro Symphony Orchestra (Ukraine), and a few days later, in March, the World Premiere took place in Dnipro Philharmonic Hall. It consists of three movements: Allegretto – Andante – Allegro, and the form is close to similar works of the 18th century. The first and third movements are written in the rondo-variation form, while the second movement is a three-part fugue with a freely-floating flute obbligato, each combining styles of 18th-19th century classical music with modern popular music. Buy Now

Honourable Mention

Solo Flute and Flute Choir

Winners

Ricky Lombardo: Tango Time (LMP)

This is an original composition featuring a “C” flute soloist with flute choir accompaniment. There is an opportunity for improvising if desired. Should the soloist prefer to read the solo, there is one written. In addition to being expandable for the flutes, optional sting bass and percussion parts are included. Light in nature, the beautiful melodies will captivate your audience and musicians. Buy Now

Jules Mouquet arranged by Matt Johnston: Pan et les Bergers (Alry Publications)

This arrangement features a colorful, yet light accompaniment to this delightful flute solo. A great piece to feature your first chair player or a visiting soloist. Buy Now

Finalists

Honourable Mentions

Trios with Other Instruments

Winner

Blaz Pucihar: Full Moon Trio for flute, cello and piano (Pucihar Music)

Buy Now

Finalists

Honourable Mentions

Duets with Other Instruments

Winners

Tom Febiano: Alma for alto flute or flute and guitar or piano (Forton Music)

Alma, a suite for alto flute (or flute) and guitar, was written in January of 2010. A pensive and tonal work infused with Iberian textures, its five movements are: Alma, Soneto 1, Lisbon, Soneto 2 and Alma. Performance time is about 19 minutes, and an additional piano part is included to substitute for the guitar accompaniment. The piano part can be used with either alto flute or flute. Buy Now

Antonio Grevasoni: Il Giardino della Costa (Cayambis Music Press)

Finalists

Honourable Mentions

Flute Ensemble

Winners

Adrienne Albert: Across the C’s (Falls House Press)

Across the C’s is an original work by the celebrated American composer Adrienne Albert. This 7-minute work was commissioned by the Norwegian quintet “5 pa Tvers/5 Across” who traveled across the seas to premiere the work at the 2015 NFA convention. In addition to the beautiful flowing feel of an ocean crossing, the music begins and ends with a special sonority of winds blowing on the open sea. Across the C’s may be performed by professional as well as advanced student ensembles. Buy Now

Nicole Chamberlain: Chivy (Spotted Rocket)

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines chivy as a method to tease or annoy with persistent petty attacks. Buy Now

Peter Senchuk: North Star Overture (Forest Glade)

North Star Overture portrays the feeling of looking into the night sky on a cold crisp evening to find the North Star. The piece opens with a sparse opening that builds in intensity, just like the stars coming out as night descends. The flutes give us the sound of the night breeze with wind sounds on the held notes. As it progresses the music increases in tempo and becomes an energetic piece with joyful flourishes for all the flutes. Buy Now

Finalist

Honourable Mentions

Exploring the new ABRSM 2018 Flute Syllabus: Grade 8

Grade 8: The Penultimate Grade

With the introduction of the ARSM diploma, grade 8 isn’t quite the pinnacle it once was, and the repertoire used here looks as if it has been set with half an eye on this new exam   Old favourites remain and old favourites return, and I will leave you to ponder the riches of the core flute repertoire at leisure. However, here are some great new pieces that might come in handy over the next 3 years.

List A:

A.E. Muller: 3rd movement from Concerto in E minor Op. 19

This is wonderful alternative to Mozart! The whole concerto is a joy and this lovely movement takes the form of a sprightly theme and seven variations. The style is as elegant as Mozart but the technical demands less so, especially as the tricky 4th variation should be omitted. Starting in E minor, the speed increases through each variation until the slow fifth emerges in E major. The composer then returns the music to E minor for the difficult sixth variation before rounding off the whole work with an elegant 6/8. Thinking about ARSM, this is great preparation for the Chopin Variations on a Theme of Rossini which is so popular at diploma level.

John Ranish: 1st and 2nd movements from Sonata in B minor

You could consider this a less challenging  option. A lovely Adagio opens the work and has already been sensitively edited to avoid complex rhythms or fussy ornamentation. The Allegro has a small note range so there are no really big leaps to negotiate. It’s also lovely!

Now for 2 pieces at the top end of the range:

Galli:Divertimento Una Follia a Roma di F. Ricci from 19th Century Italian Music for Flute and Piano

A  great introduction to the fantasy format that is so prevalent in our repertoire, this is a virtuoso piece that will easily make the transition to ARSM. Every part of flute technique is needed here, together with an advanced level of musicality which will help carry the form. You also have to be supremely confident!

Rossini: Andante and Polonaise from Romantic Miniatures Book 2

This is another show-off piece, although easier to learn than the Galli and much shorter. The opening dramatic theme should be paced imaginatively but establishing the Polonaise dance rhythms should be more straightforward. It would be great to be able to triple tongue too but even at a slightly statelier speed this is a very good choice for a good player.

List B:

Albeniz arranged Hedges: Sevilla

In a list full of notes, this has less than some. Knowing this familiar tune will help  with the both the rhythms and the six changes of key. I did say less notes – not no notes! Mixtures of 5s, and 7s, and other fast runs are logical though, and scale based. This is a fun piece that many will find attractive, especially as it looks easier on the page than it actually is to play!

Paul Lewis: Serenade Populaire

This capricious and well-written piece is also a little less daunting than some of the core repertoire. Easy on the eye and with a simple rhythmic structure, much of the interest is added by the piano harmonies. The expressive introduction gives scope for those with a great sound to shine before a tricky little Allegretto has to be negotiated before the opening returns. The Allegro spirituoso is has a catchy rhythm and uses scale passages to create the excitement. Trick fingerings for the end will allow your virtuosity to bring the house down!

Edward Gregson: Fertility Dance from Aztec Dances.

This is at the other end of the musical spectrum and another great ARSM option. It will really appeal to those confident enough to tackle the challenges posed by the frequent changes of time, lip bends and flutter tonguing which define the style although these new techniques are not needed for the grade 8 exam.  A nifty set of fingers will also help, even if there are pieces with more notes available on the syllabus for those who need them! Fertility Dance is a wonderfully exciting movement and a brilliant choice for the right student!

List C:

Christopher Ball: Pan Overheard from Invocations of Pan

This is dedicated to Adam Walker – no pressure then!  It’s best played by someone with great imagination and flair. Not terrifyingly difficult (although it looks it) but flexibility in tonal colour and  dynamic together with  good intonation throughout will be the way to a successful performance. The score is peppered with arrows indicating the rubato required which is really helpful! Another good ARSM choice.

These next 2 pieces are for the rhythmic only!

Rob Buckland: Changing Times from Changing Times for Solo Flute

This is ideal for someone with a great sense of rhythm – the funky style is brilliant! It’s based on a pentatonic scale with repetitive note patterns which become progressively more difficult. However the challenge is all in the complex rhythms. Buckland says that if you count in quavers you should be fine. I’m not so sure! This is definitely another ARSM possibility.

[youtubehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnQ-RSP38KU]

Hilary Taggart: Kerry from Pictures

I have long been a fan of Hilary’s pieces, nearly all of which clearly state the technical purpose for which they were written. The direction here is Idiom and this is about coupling a wistful Irish melody with an Irish jig.
A free Lento section appears 3 times, each time sounding like a different improvisation. The Allegro focuses on alternating metre 3+2, giving the jig a lop-sided feel. Like the Buckland, this needs a player with a keenly developed rhythmic pulse. The style is completely different though, so again there’s plenty of choice.

And finally:

Furstenau: Valse de Schubert “Beethoven’s Sehnsucht’s-Waltzer from Articulation for Flute by Robert Winn.

The inclusion of this book on the list is fantastic but this should be the culmination of practice from it, rather than the starting point.  It’s great to use as most of the work is done through studies and arrangements of all sort of tunes, keeping the actual exercises to a minimum. This workout by Furstenau is from the section ‘Advanced Articulation’ which tests mixed articulation linked to technical virtuosity – this is difficult and a test of stamina! The theme and variation form will help to focus practice though, which is just as well as this has everything – lyrical playing, articulation patterns, a short cadenza and a virtuoso finale! You’ll certainly be ready to take ARSM if you can play this!

There is so much variety in this list both in terms of style and difficulty. Exploring these riches will be a joy – hooray!

 

 

Exploring the new ABRSM flute syllabus 2018: Grade 7

Whisper it quietly but this might be time to invest in whole pieces or compilation books, rather than buy the ABRSM book itself!

List A:

This is another strong list with a more diverse range of periods than often.

The Rabboni Sonata in D major is particularly tuneful and highly recommended, especially for those less likely to be at home in the Baroque period.

For those who are, the Telemann Sonata in G major is a strong choice. Gluck’s Che faro senza Euridice arranged by Boehm is an absolutely wonderful piece published in the ABRSM book but it’s also available in Romantic Miniatures Volume 2 which you could then use for grade 8!

 

Less familiar are:

Frederick the Great: Allegro from Sonata in B flat Spitta No 76.

If you splashed out on the complete volume of these sonatas for grade 5 this one is a great option here. It’s also available separately and is well worth the money as the whole sonata is delightful.

The movement set is a lovely and sprightly fast movement which could be  tricky for the fingers. If you can sort out the tonguing to suit yourself you will be rewarded with a happy piece that will bring joy to everyone!

Serini: Andantino grazioso and Allegro assai from Sonata No 1 in D major

The beautiful slow movement which is quite Romantic in character is followed by a very lively Allegro assai. This is fiddly rather than difficult with the editorial trills making the writing very intricate.  It’s a challenge, as it should be at this level, but refreshingly different.

 

 

List B:

Again, the supporting pieces are strong. You may not need to look any further than the Poulenc, Faure, Berkeley or Tea for Two but there are other really interesting options available to explore too!

Edward German: Intermezzo

This is a lovely Intermezzo with a rather rambling rhapsodic format that is charming .It will need work to cement the ensemble as a result, especially as there are several changes of speed. Definitely worth a look though, especially if you liked the Saltarello from the last syllabus.

Moszkowski: Spanish Dance from 300 Years of Flute Music.

This will be valuable if you are looking for slightly less daunting. The Spanish style is one that everyone knows and there is plenty of character in the writing to help with interpretation. Blessed with a straightforward structure, this is definitely not as technically demanding as some of the other pieces. You may also have this book already so it makes sense to play something completely different from it!

Paul Wachs: La Flute de Pan from Romantic Miniatures Volume 1

This is another great French flute piece that has a lot in common with the  Mel Bonis that is published in the ABRSM book. It’s a little more straightforward in harmonic style though. It has a charming rhythmic simplicity, and if you have a student with a supple tone, good breathing and decent intonation, this is perfect!

List C:

There are some most interesting studies set for this grade which includes both core repertoire and the opportunity to leave your comfort zone! You might have already introduced your student to the Telemann Fantasias, or the  CPE Bach Unaccompanied Sonata so you’re instantly ahead of the game! However, be sure not to miss the expressive Prill Study in D minor from More Graded Studies Book 2 which is a tone colour challenge, and there is  the Toreador’s Song from The Bizet Notebook if you need something very well-known.  As ever though, there is always room for something different!

Alicia Hart: Scats from Scatadoodle

This book features at grades 4 and 5 (good value again!) and introduces the concept of the scat-singing technique used by jazz players. It’s a great choice if your accompanied pieces are more traditional. This piece has a natural swing rhythm which should be quite easy to learn as the patterns are quite repetitive. It’s technically fairly demanding with some big leaps around the flute but it’s is very well written with plenty of places to breathe. Playing this from memory would be relatively easy for any player used to doing this and would be very impressive in the exam!

There is just so much quality in the music set for this grade that you could quite easily never repeat the same set of pieces – even over 3 years!

 

 

Exploring the new ABRSM flute syllabus 2018: Grade 6

The choice of repertoire in all three lists is very wide and there is quite a variation in standard. Programme planning is a must now  and there is so much to choose from  – an embarrassment of riches!

List A:

All the greats are represented on this list so you may feel that Bach, Handel and Telemann are all you need to complement the repertoire from the ABRSM grade 6 book. This would mean you miss out on these gems though!

Drouet: Allegro Moderato from Sonata in A minor from Three Little Sonatas for Flute and Piano

This is the first movement of the Sonata which has been used at grades 4 and 5 so you can complete the set. Not the most difficult piece on the list but utterly lovely!

 

Giuseppe Rabboni: Sonata No 8 in C major from Sonatas for Flute and Piano

If you didn’t include the Sonata in A minor for grade 5 then perhaps now is your chance to explore these wonderful sonatas. This rather expensive book comes with a beautiful performance and play-along CD – great for de-stressing in a traffic jam!

This slow, one movement piece is completely charming, and once you have stopped worrying about how black it looks on the page, relatively straightforward technically.  You do need a great sound though, and immaculate intonation would be an added bonus! You’ll love it!

Vivaldi:  Allegro from Concerto in D major RV783

This energetic movement will provide a serious technical workout. You  need to play all those notes through the tutti passages too so stamina will be an issue. It’s easy style-wise though so if you can play it, it plays itself!

 List B:

The two block-buster pieces on this list  are the Gaubert Madrigal and Andy Scott’s And Everything is Still. Start with these and you can’t go wrong! However, there are 2 new pieces by English composers that might be of interest at some point. Both have the same wistful character:

John Frith: Arabesque

This slow, lilting waltz is really appealing. It has good structure which underpins the elusive harmonies and a lovely short cadenza passage. Played with conviction it will sound gorgeous!

 Paul Lewis: Lullaby for Laura from Pictures of Childhood

The same applies to this piece too, but here the style is a little more accessible. The 6/8 rhythms hold the melody together and despite a little technical section in the middle, this is the easier of the two to play successfully.

List C:

The general listing is full of books you might already have. Highlights from them are:

Entr’acte from A Bizet Notebook arranged Simon Hunt 

This is the Entra’cte to Act 4 so it’s full of energy and colour and you get to play both the famous oboe melody as well as the semiquaver flute passages. It works really well as a solo piece and is a great way to get to know yet another of those wonderful Bizet pieces!

Cavallini: Theme and Variation from More Graded Studies for Flute Book 2

More Romantic writing here with a beautiful theme for showing off breathing and tonal flexibility followed by a triplet variation. Quite a workout!

 

Oliver Ledbury: Imaginings from Flute Salad.

If you think you know this book but haven’t looked at the last page please think again.

To play this interesting study you really will need imagination, as it is possible that it’s the first time your student will have encountered this kind of writing. Although not technically difficult, it needs really good pacing and flexibility of both sound and rhythm to capture the meaning of the title. It’s a wonderful piece though and great one to make a good contrast in your programme.

Have fun with all these  – everyone will be happy with whatever you choose!