Valentine's Contest 2017



Would you like to win a pair of tickets to see Emmanuel Pahud perform on Valentine's Day in Ann Arbor?

You're in luck!


To enter, create a Flute Valentine--a Valentine with some flute love!--and submit it to us by email or Facebook message.


Designs must be submitted by Monday, January 29th at 6:30 PM. We will post the submissions to our page and the design with the most likes will win!


CONTEST RULES: Must be 18 or older to enter. You must respond within 24 hours of winning to claim your prize or we will choose another winner. Designs must be original content.

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October 2017 Newsletter

What’s New From Daniel Dorff

I’m delighted to have this chance to introduce a few recent pieces:


SERENADE for Flute and Harp 


The Sparx Duo (Joan Sparks flute and Anne Sullivan harp) was founded in 1986, and they commissioned the Liebermann Sonata to celebrate their 10th anniversary season. They recently commissioned me to write a piece for their 30th season, and the premiere was October 15, 2016 in Wilmington, DE.

Maybe because I heard their Christmas concert in a dark old church, or maybe it’s the harp’s sonority – somehow I automatically thought of the flute/harp duo conjuring the music and spirit of medieval France. This coincided perfectly with an idea I’ve had since learning about early music back in college, and particularly my fascination with the 14th-century composer Solage, a protégé of Guillaume de Machaut.

The SERENADE is in 5 movements, and Mvt 4 is an unadorned transcription of Solage’s chanson "Helas! Je voy mon cuer a fin venir" with the other movements designed to make this medieval guest fit in naturally, just as architecture sometimes takes advantage of fixed surroundings. The SERENADE blends my own voice, the music of Solage, and French medieval style. 

The five movements are:

I. ESTAMPIE was an exuberant dance of the period, the word being cognate to our "stamp" and "stomp." It was defined not by a characteristic rhythm, but rather as a series of strains (called puncta), each played twice, often with a recurring ritornello-like closing phrase common to every strain. Here’s how the suite opens:


II. MON COEUR means "my heart" and this movement is similar in spirit to medieval courtly love poetry, with its charming yet naïve melodrama.

III. MUSETTE refers both to the medieval reed instrument, and to a folk dance using a drone bass; this movement is a dance-like scherzo.

IV. "HELAS! JE VOY MON CUER A FIN VENIR" is the authentic Solage song, originally for male singer and 3 instrumental lines. It works beautifully for flute and harp, and the song’s melodic motifs pervade the other movements.

V. RONDEAU is an optimistic answer to the unrequited love of Solage’s work, and a denouement of the previous movements.


The Sparx Duo performed SERENADE at the 2017 NFA and Mid-Atlantic Conventions, and Presser’s publication won 1st Prize in the Music Publishers Association’s annual awards for Best Music Engraving.


DESERT DUSK for Alto Flute and Cello


In 2015, flutist Kimberly Reighley asked if I would write a new work for her Delaware-based ensemble Mélonamie, choosing any combination from this fascinating group whose core players are Flute, Violin, Gamba (not doubling cello), Cello (not doubling gamba), Harpsichord, and Sitar. I went with the richly evocative Alto Flute and Cello to inspire a fresh world of sonorities, using an instrumentation from their group that will remain practical for others to perform.

During the year between receiving this commission and having the opportunity to begin writing, I had the treat of being guest clarinetist in a wind quintet concert (featuring my Cape May Breezes) in the California desert valley that’s home to Palm Springs, the Coachella Festival, and many hot springs spas. While I knew the flora, fauna, and landscapes would be unfamiliar and the sunsets spectacular, I was totally surprised by the torrential winds typical of evenings in the long, thin valley when the temperature drops.

DESERT DUSK is a 10-minute tone poem inspired by these evenings. The first section is gentle and idyllic, with a few hints of a mourning dove (which in real nature sounds like an alto flute). The middle section is a fervently increasing wind storm which incrementally calms into the final section, a radiant sunset that further calms into night.

Kim Reighley and cellist Douglas McNames performed DESERT DUSK at the 2017 NFA Convention and have also given performances in their own concerts in Delaware.



FOLK SONG SUITE for Two Flutes


One evening at the 2014 NFA convention in Chicago, Cindy Rugolo and Cindy Anne Broz met up to plan an all-Dorff duo concert for the upcoming 2015 Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair; they’d each play sonatas with Tim Carey on piano, and alternate them with short flute duets. The programming flow and duration worked out almost fine, except they needed one more short duet. Cindy Rugolo suggested I write a new duet on the folk song Cindy for them to premiere as a planned encore ending the recital. After hearing The Two Cindys give their high-spirited premiere, I decided this setting needed to be expanded into a longer set of folk songs.  A big empty folder sat on my piano for almost two years before I could block off some time to create the collection.

At the beginning of 2017, Oh Susanna was added as a hoe-down type of first movement, Red River Valley as scherzo variations, and Shenandoah as a lullaby leading attacca into the rollicking Cindy as a grande finale. 

Ruth Washington Mayhew and Cindy Anne Broz premiered the full suite in February at a Flûtes de Salon concert in Southern California, and the same duo performed the suite at NFA 2017.



for Bass Flute and Piano


I’ve long been entranced by the exotic and mystical world that bass flute seems to evoke automatically, opening a metaphysical doorway to our interior landscape. When Peter Sheridan offered me a commission to write him a sonata for bass flute and piano, I immediately envisioned the Hudson River and its grandeur – from the upstate source down to its cosmopolitan conclusion at the Statue of Liberty. This was not to be about specific locations along the river, but a deeper evocation of the river’s flow through time, the surrounding forests, and the unspoiled region before European settlers adapted the river’s majestic body and surrounding woodlands.

The sonata is in four movements, grouped as two pairs of slow-fast, perhaps inspired by some baroque sonata forms. Not everyone has the opportunity or stamina for a 14-minute bass flute performance, so I’ve designed each pair of movements to work as a stand alone for occasions needing shorter repertoire. The movements are titled:

I. Sprawling, burbling;  II. Sparkling, glistening

III. Under Winter;  IV. Spring Spirits


Peter Sheridan will premiere the Sonata in April 2018 at the International Low Flutes Festival in Reston, VA, and it will be on Peter’s next CD.





Daniel Dorff was born in New Rochelle, NY; acclaim came at age 18 with First Prize in the Aspen Music Festival's annual composers' competition for his Fantasy, Scherzo and Nocturne for saxophone quartet. Dorff later received degrees in composition from Cornell and University of Pennsylvania; teachers included George Crumb, George Rochberg, Karel Husa, Henry Brant, Ralph Shapey, Elie Siegmeister, and Richard Wernick. He studied saxophone with Sigurd Rascher, and bass clarinet with Ronald Reuben. Dorff served from 1996 through 2015 as Composer-In-Residence for Symphony in C, in which he played bass clarinet from 1980 through 2002.

Daniel Dorff is VP of Publishing for Theodore Presser Company; a sought-after expert on music engraving and notation, he has lectured at many colleges as well as Carnegie Hall, and advises the leading notation software companies. He serves on the Boards of Directors for the Music Publishers' Association of the USA, Charles Ives Society, Vincent Persichetti Society, Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia, and has served on the Board of the National Flute Association.

Dorff's compositions have been published by Theodore Presser Company, Carl Fischer, Lauren Keiser Music (formerly MMB),  Shawnee Press, Mel Bay, and Kendor Music, and recorded on Albany, Bridge, Crystal, Azica, and many other labels.

September 2017 Newsletter

The Joy of New Beginnings
  by Amy Rever-Oberle, Band Director


Whether direct or indirect, there are many musical representations of the concept of “joy.” You can probably think of a few of either example quickly. Pieces or moments that you can’t help but smile. That raise the hair on the back of your neck. Maybe they even bring about stealthy onion chopping miscreants and you suddenly find yourself with teary eyes. Sometimes, all of these things hit you at once.

I’d like to submit another example of pure (cacophonous) musical joy though. (Not recommended for listening through headphones!) This is a combination of the very first sounds a new generation of musicians made together on their mouthpiece last week. 

These same students are the ones who listened in disbelief as I explained that the musicians playing on the orchestral pops station I had as background music on Day 1, had their very own Day 1 of playing their instrument. Those musicians had to learn that your hands face two different ways when playing flute or that the flat side of the reed matches with the flat side of the mouthpiece. It’s awfully hard to imagine yourself playing your favorite movie music or a famous theme you recognize when you don’t know how to open your case without dumping your instrument on the floor yet.

I had the good fortune to join a community based ensemble of music professionals this year. It was a great reminder of the joy to be found when sitting on the other side of a baton, but it was also a reminder of how much I needed to practice! I constantly oscillated between being thrilled to perform a few pieces I’d still never played (Hello, Suite of Old American Dances and First Suite in Eb!) and desperately not wanting to embarrass myself in front of my very talented colleagues.

Just like millions before them, these students will feel that same special joy and thrill while playing Hot Cross Buns for the first time as I did playing some of my favorites or that you have experiencing yours. They haven’t yet hit the point where they’re hypercritical of every detail of their sound though, mostly because they don’t know better. They’re just playing their instruments and having fun!

Because my start on flute was not one anybody would connect with anything joyful in relation to music, I often share my early experiences with my students. As a fourth grader, I was one of the youngest in an after school enrichment program and didn’t have band yet as a part of my regular school day. This meant that I was very behind my much more seasoned 5th and 6th grade friends and it lead to a lot of frustration and tears, including in front of said friends at practice. It was weeks before I could find the sweet spot on my flute without a mirror, individual coaching from my teacher, and many more frustrated tears. Once it clicked though, I was off and running, and when it was shared with me that band teachers get to (not have to) learn all of the instruments, I was hooked!

Though we may have different connections to music now, the fact remains that whether our joy in music comes from being a performer, teacher, enthusiast, or a combination of all of the above, we all had a Day 1. In honor of this next front of up and coming musicians, it would be wonderful to hear some of your early stories! Please share in the comments or add your story to our digital wall, and help inspire the newest generation of instrumentalists!



After earning her Bachelor’s in Music Education from Wayne State University, Amy spent seven years as the K-12 Band and Music teacher in a rural district before moving to her current position as the 6th-8th Band Teacher at Hart Middle School in Rochester Hills, MI. She earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Oakland University in 2015 and is currently in her tenth year of teaching. Amy has shared about social media and technology use at the Michigan Music and ArtsFirst! Conferences. When not teaching, talking about teaching, or learning about teaching, Amy enjoys spending time with her family and walking their two rescue mutts. She also blogs semi-regularly on her site The Noisy Room Down the Hall. You can connect with Amy on Twitter too @amylynnrever.

July 2017 Newsletter

An Interview with Jeffery Zook 

                   by Heather Neuenschwander 


On a perfect 75 degree late summer morning in Michigan, I recently had the honor of sitting down with the talented and charming Jeffery Zook, flutist and piccoloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra since 1992. I looked out upon the beautiful, perfectly manicured garden in the backyard of his home The Cambridge Conservatory, sipped a delicious cup of coffee he had so generously offered me, played with his adorable miniature pinscher Dexter, and thoroughly enjoyed some friendly conversation. Anyone who has had the privilege of spending time with this distinguished musician will speak of his friendly demeanor, sincere generosity, good-spirited humor, and most of all his passion for music. After a bit of catching up we discussed his upcoming performance at the 2017 NFA Convention in Minneapolis. 


HN: Tell me about the composition.

JZ: OK, so I guess it was a year ago I got an email from the program coordinator for the NFA asking me if I would be willing to appear at the Gala Concert on Saturday night at this convention playing this particular piece the Egil Hovland Concerto for Piccolo and String Orchestra. I had no idea what this piece was so I clicked on the YouTube link that he sent me. It’s been recorded on YouTube by this wonderful piccolo player Nadia Guenet. So I clicked on the link and I was instantly excited. I really was like “Wow, what a beautiful piece.  What a great showcase for the piccolo.” And I didn’t know it so I thought this was something I could really sink my heart in for the performance.


HN: Tell me more about the style of the piece.

JZ: It was written in 1980. When I first listened to it I thought it was very folksy and it turns out that this composer is known for a wide range of styles and this style is called Norwegian Romanticism. Which obviously means he uses a folk tune basis for the melodies and the harmonies. 


HN: Have you faced any challenges in preparing this concerto?

JZ: It’s very beautiful and melodic and very simple in a lot of ways but then all of a sudden he gets highly virtuosic just for short periods of time so I’m just slowing working up runs, making sure they’re in my fingers that kind of stuff but no it’s actually it’s a pretty straight forward piece.

I performed the first movement with pianist Rudolf Ozolins at Sharon Sparrow’s flute retreat recital a couple weeks ago. 


HN: Once you get to the convention how much time do you have to work with the string orchestra?

JZ: I think I get a rehearsal with them for an hour and a half on the first day of the convention on Thursday and then a run through maybe on the day of the performance. It’s a pickup from the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ransom Wilson.


HN: So you’ve already presented the first movement, do you have anything planned to present the other movements leading up to the final performance?

JZ: Probably while I’m on tour I’ll play it for my colleagues like Roma (Duncan, guest piccoloist from the Minnesota Orchestra and a former student). I told her I’d play it for her. So I’ll be practicing for the next three weeks in my hotel room. That’s the challenge of it is that for the next three weeks I’m going to be traveling all over Asia with the DSO, in Japan and China living in hotel rooms and I have to stay focused and concentrate on this so I’m going to be every day practicing it but like I said I will get little mini-run throughs when I can. When we’re at a hall or something like that.


HN: How does that affect preparing your music for the symphony while you’re on tour?

JZ: Oh I already know that.


HN: (Laughing) What are you playing? All pieces you’ve done many times before?

JZ: No actually because I’m playing assistant principal flute on tour so I’m playing a different part totally. For example, Roma’s playing principal piccolo part on the Copland symphony and I’m playing the second piccolo part next to her. She was my student at one point so she said it kind of feels a little weird sitting first piccolo next to me but it’s very special having her sitting next to me sounding beautiful on the solos and me supporting her from the second piccolo. So it’s kind of new for me to play that part. Other than the Copland Symphony number 3, they’re playing Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony and after having played it like a million times I don’t have to even be on stage for it!


HN: So you’re mainly playing flute on tour and then coming back and playing a piccolo concerto?

JZ: Right.


HN: Interesting. But for you that’s nothing, right?

JZ: (gesturing) Pfft. I’ve done it a million times.


HN: What are you most looking forward to at NFA this year?

JZ: One of the things I’m looking forward to is the Ervin Monroe tribute concert. I will be performing with Sharon Sparrow, Amanda Blaikie, and Brandon LePage in a quartet. We are doing a surprise piece that I found on YouTube. 

I remember my first convention I went to in 1982 when I was in high school. Ervin Monroe was the presenter at that convention. I’d never been to a convention before, It was here in Detroit. So it’s kind of cool that at this convention he’s being honored all these years later after having been my teacher and also my colleague in the orchestra for several years.


HN: Is there anything else you’re looking forward to at the convention?

JZ: I think I’ll just be practicing and getting ready for my concerto.


HN: What’s been the most enjoyable part of working up this concerto?

JZ: I am really enjoying learning a new language. You know I’m not very familiar with the music of Norway other than Edvard Grieg or something like that and I understand that this is a very coveted composer for Norway. He’s one of the most prolific composers and I’d never heard of him. So I’m really enjoying learning something new.


HN: Is there anything specifically that the audience should look for when they come to watch you play this wonderful piece of music?

JZ: I have a new suit.


HN: Ooh I’m glad I asked. Tell me about your new suit.

JZ: (Laughing) I don’t know. I still have to buy it.  That will be in that eight day period between returning from the tour and leaving for the convention. I was supposed to get to it this week but I didn’t do it.


HN: So you rush back from Asia and you’re jet-lagged and you’re going to be buying a new suit, preparing a concerto, and heading to Minnesota.

JZ: That’s all I’ve got to do. Simple.


HN: Easy… 

       So is there anything else you’d like to share about this upcoming performance?

JZ: When I got the e-mail a year ago I was really shocked and honored. I remember going to the Gala Concert in 1982 and being blown away by these great soloists. I never thought that I would be on the gala concert.


Jeffery Zook has been a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra flute section since 1992. His formal musical studies began at the Interlochen Arts Academy and continued at the University of Michigan. In 1988, he received the coveted Recitalists’ Diploma from the Royal Academy of Music in London. His teachers have included William Bennett, Trevor Wye, Judith Bentley, Jacqueline Hofto and former DSO piccoloist Clement Barone.

A prizewinner in many competitions, including the National Flute Association Young Artists Competition and William Byrd National Concerto Competition in Flint, Michigan, Mr. Zook has also been awarded of a grant from the National Endowment for the Advancement of the Arts. In August 2012, Mr. Zook performed and taught at the National Flute Association’s annual convention in Las Vegas.

Mr. Zook lives in Pleasant Ridge with his partner David Assemany and miniature pinscher Dexter. They have named their renovated Dutch Colonial home The Cambridge Conservatory a venue which has hosted recitals, workshops, musical feasts and fundraisers.




Heather Neuenschwander has a Master’s Degree in Flute Performance from Oakland University and a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Wayne State University. Before beginning her degree at Oakland, she taught middle school and high school band, choir and music appreciation in Michigan and Illinois for five years. She has performed with the Oakland Symphony Orchestra directed by Dr. Gregory Cunningham and the Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Nan Washburn. She has also performed in masterclasses for Marina Piccinini, Laurie Sokoloff, Nicola Mazzanti, Jennifer Clippert, Sharon Sparrow, and Jeffery Zook. In February 2015, Heather performed the Ibert Concerto with the Oakland Symphony Orchestra as a winner of the David Daniels Young Artist Concerto Competition. She also received the Matilda Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Instrumental Performance in 2015. Heather currently resides in Royal Oak with her husband Josh and her sons Alex and Zach.

June 2017 Newsletter



A Flutist’s Summer Reading List


By David Buck


Principal Flute, Detroit Symphony Orchestra




There’s nothing better than relaxing with a good book on a lazy summer afternoon. As an avid reader, I look forward to the summer every year because I know I’ll finally have time for the books I’ve missed out on during the busy winter season. I have met many musicians who enjoy reading as much as I do, but surprisingly few who go out of their way to read books about music. The great conductor James DePriest summed up the attitude of many performing musicians towards the field of musicology when he said, “Writing about music is a little like dancing about architecture.” In other words, it doesn’t really make that much sense. 


For performance majors at colleges and conservatories, having enough time to practice is so important that reading assignments from music theory and history classes often seem to be not only irrelevant, but an actual hindrance. Like many of my classmates, I struggled to understand the importance of the courses I had to take as an undergrad for my own goals as an aspiring orchestral musician. I wanted to find a job, and in reality, you don’t need to know very much about music history or theory in order to win an audition. “You’ve played an impressive final round and we’d love to offer you a position with the orchestra, but first, could you please discuss the liturgical reforms made at the Council of Trent in 1545?” There aren’t many certainties in life, but I can guarantee that you will never hear these words at a professional audition. 


So why am I telling you to spend the summer reading a bunch of books when you could be spending those valuable hours practicing instead? There is no question that practicing is the single biggest factor in determining your success as a musician. However, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned since graduating from music school is that artistic success and professional success are not the same things. In the long run, striving for artistic growth will take you much further than pursuing professional achievement. Why? Because becoming an artist is a project for your entire life, and it demands far more than the task of finding employment.


One of the most critical ingredients for artistic growth is the ability to question the assumptions that we make every day as performers – assumptions about how to practice, how to use the advice of our teachers, and why we even play music in the first place. Practicing can be quite useless if it’s done without thought. To achieve artistic growth, it’s crucial for our minds to be engaged when we’re in the practice room. Thoughtful practice requires a nuanced understanding of the composer’s intentions, a clear vision of our own artistic goals, and a detailed plan to solve the technical challenges of the work at hand. This is no small task. Bringing a musical composition to life requires a great deal of knowledge, exploration, and creativity, and that is why reading about music is uniquely important: it will help you to broaden your perspective as an interpreter and to discover musical possibilities you could never have imagined on your own.


To that end, I have compiled a summer reading list with the flutist in mind. This list is admittedly eclectic, but that is exactly the point. The goal is to encourage flutists to improve their musicianship by learning from great artists of the past, from musicians who play other instruments, from literature and history more broadly—and to find ways of relating the challenges we face in the practice room to larger artistic issues. Each of these works has been important for my own development as a musician, and my hope is that these volumes will help readers to find new inspirations and solutions, both this summer and beyond.


1) Kincaidiana: A Flute Player’s Notebook by John C. Krell

William Kincaid was the Philadelphia Orchestra’s brilliant principal flutist for forty years. A founding faculty member at the Curtis Institute of Music, almost every American flutist can trace his or her lineage back to Kincaid. His students include luminaries like Julius Baker, Doriot Anthony Dwyer, Joseph Mariano, and former Detroit Symphony Orchestra flutists Albert Tipton, Clement Barone, and Robert Patrick. John Krell used his notes from lessons with Kincaid as the basis for this comprehensive treatise about the essentials of good flute playing.


2) Casals and The Art of Interpretation by David Blum

Many people are surprised to learn that I have a secret past as a cellist. I don’t play the cello anymore, but I learned a great deal from the recordings and repertoire I discovered during ten years of cello lessons. One thing I will never forget is hearing Pablo Casals play Bach for the first time. Grainy though the recording quality may be, his 1936-39 performances of Bach’s six Cello Suites capture something essential about music’s ability to communicate emotion. David Blum’s thoughtful summary of the great cellist’s approach to musicianship and phrasing is indispensible. 


3) The Early Flute: A Practical Guide by Rachel Brown

Rachel Brown is one of the world’s foremost Baroque flute experts. The Early Flute is an ideal companion for modern flutists interested in developing historically informed interpretations of Baroque and Classical repertoire. Brown draws on a wide range of treatises by Quantz, Hotteterre, Devienne, and many others in this accessible and essential work.


4) Sound in Motion by David McGill

David McGill has had the rare distinction of holding principal bassoon positions with both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra. McGill was strongly influenced by the pedagogy of Marcel Tabuteau, often regarded as the father of American oboe playing. In Sound in Motion, he delves into Tabuteau’s philosophy of music and his often misunderstood “number” system. A wonderful introduction to the art of phrasing, McGill’s erudition is evident on every page. 


5) On Playing the Flute by Johann Joachim Quantz.  

Perhaps the greatest flutist of the 18th century, Quantz worked alongside C.P.E. Bach for twenty-six years at the court of Frederick the Great. A critical resource for musicologists, there is no better primary source for flutists hoping to gain insight into the musical language of the Baroque. 


6) A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

I first studied the Scherzo from Mendelssohn’s Incidental Music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream in high school with my wonderful teacher, David Cramer. After I was finally able to negotiate the technical difficulties of the solo, David asked me to imagine being in a forest, with twigs and leaves underfoot, and to find a tone color and crispness of articulation that would give listeners the sense of being lost in the woods in the middle of Shakespeare’s play. There is no question that reading Shakespeare’s masterpiece will enhance your appreciation of Mendelssohn’s music—and vice versa!


7) Daphnis and Chloe by Longus

Every flutist knows the colorful Pantomime solo from Maurice Ravel’s ballet Daphnis and Chloe. The original Daphnis and Chloe, however, is an ancient Greek poem about the romance between an innocent young shepherd and shepherdess. A humorous and touching coming-of-age story, this work is immensely helpful for understanding the inspiration and context of Ravel’s ballet. (Note: Daphnis and Chloe deals with adult subject matter and is not appropriate for younger readers.)


8) Salome by Oscar Wilde 

Salome is one of the most iconic femme fatales in all of opera, and the sultry flute solo from her “Dance of the Seven Vails” has become famous in its own right. Richard Strauss based Salome on a short play by the Irish writer Oscar Wilde, which was based in turn on the biblical story of the death of John the Baptist. Although these events are mentioned only briefly in the New Testament, Wilde’s play is a grotesque psychological drama that plumbs the darkest reaches of the human psyche. Perhaps it’s not the best book to read right before bed. (Note: Salome deals with violent and disturbing subject matter, and it too is not appropriate for younger readers.)


9) Mozart: A Life by Maynard Solomon

There are so many terrific biographies of composers that the genre really deserves a reading list of its own, but I couldn’t resist including Maynard Solomon’s masterful biography of Mozart on my list. This deeply honest portrait explores the composer’s complex relationship with his father and the challenges he faced as he struggled to make his way in the world.


10) The Inextinguishable Symphony by Martin Goldsmith

The Inextinguishable Symphony is the true story of two young musicians who grew up in Germany during the dark years before the outbreak of WWII. Gunther, a flutist, and Rosalie, a violist, were both members of the so-called Jüdischer Kulturbund, an orchestra of Jewish musicians that performed at the whim of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels during the 1930s. After unspeakable hardships, the two ultimately make their way to safety in the United States. A tragic yet inspiring testament to the power of music and love.



Praised by The Oregonian for his "supple tone, rhythmic dynamism and technical agility,” David Buck joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as Principal Flute in 2012. He previously held positions with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Oregon Symphony, and has made guest principal appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony.

As a soloist, Mr. Buck has performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings and the Oregon Symphony, collaborating with conductors including Leonard Slatkin, John Storgårds, Paul Watkins and H. Robert Reynolds. In 2014, he recorded John Williams' rarely heard Concerto for Flute and Orchestra with Maestro Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony for Naxos Records.

During the summer months, Mr. Buck has appeared at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, Colorado Music Festival, Tanglewood, Kent/Blossom, Spoleto Festival del Due Monde in Spoleto, Italy and the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. He is a member of the Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings and a former member of the LA Phil New Music Group.

David Buck is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he earned his Bachelor of Music degree and Graduate Diploma. His primary teachers have been Robert Langevin, Jeffrey Khaner, Jeanne Baxtresser and David Cramer. A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Buck lives in Royal Oak, Michigan with his wife, flutist Jung-Wan Kang.

May 2017 Newsletter

Volunteer at the NFA Annual Convention

By Kate Blair


The NFA is looking for volunteers to help out at the 45th Annual NFA Convention. In case you’re not familiar with the convention, it’s a four-day event packed with everything flute, including performances, workshops, masterclasses, presentations, a flute industry trade show, and much more. It’s an inspiring event that leaves attendees invigorated and ready to put all their new knowledge to work in performance, teaching, or whatever their passion may be. This year, the event takes place August 10-13 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, and we are very excited about it!

For months now, we’ve been gearing up for the convention, finalizing events and tweaking the schedule, but we could really use your help to make sure things run as smoothly as possible on the ground. Volunteers can help us out with crucial tasks that ensure the convention runs smoothly and that everyone is having a good time. Even taking on one shift can go a long way in helping us make the convention a fantastic experience that everyone can enjoy! 

It’s not all about us, though. There’s plenty in it for you if you volunteer! Interested? Read on! 


Why volunteer for the convention? 

You get a chance to give back to the NFA and see firsthand what goes on behind the scenes at the largest and most anticipated annual flute event in the world! On top of that, convention attendees can also receive cash vouchers to help offset convention costs. For every three events you volunteer, the NFA will thank you with a voucher redeemable for $10. Plus, you’ll have a chance to meet other volunteers who are equally passionate about supporting the flute community! 

How does it work?

The volunteering schedule registration takes place online to provide maximum flexibility and convenience. You get to choose when and for which events you volunteer! There’s no limit to the number of events you can take on, and you can sign up for as many (or as few) shifts as you’d like. As a volunteer, you will still have plenty of time to attend concerts and workshops, visit the exhibit hall, or simply enjoy the city!  

What positions are available?

There are many options, including door monitors, page turners, stage crew assistants, and competition runners. Since a significant number of attendees are international visitors, the NFA is also looking for volunteers that can provide language interpretation services. If you are fluent in Spanish or an East Asian language, we could especially use your help! Let us know what your abilities are, and we’ll be in touch. 

Who can volunteer?

Anyone can volunteer! You don’t even need to be a flutist as long as you’re enthusiastic about helping out. Your non-flutist friends and/or significant others are welcome to volunteer as well! (Visit the volunteering page on the NFA website to read a Q&A with veteran volunteer Sam Louke, a trombonist who has become a familiar face at NFA conventions). However, only those registered for the convention are eligible to receive cash vouchers. 

How to Get Started

You can indicate your interest in volunteering by checking the appropriate box during your convention registration, and we will follow up with you soon with more details. 

Looking Ahead to 2018

Not attending the convention this year? It’s never too soon to start thinking about the 46th Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida! If you’re a student, you may also want to consider applying for a convention internship next year. Convention interns work hands on with the Equipment Chair, Convention Director, and Membership Manager and will receive a behind-the-scenes perspective of convention operations and planning. It’s a great way to gain workplace skills and make new connections! 


Please contact Volunteer Coordinator Townes Osborn Miller with any questions or visit the volunteering page on the NFA website learn more. We hope you’ll consider lending a hand this summer, but either way, we look forward to seeing you in Minneapolis (or a future convention)!


We hope you’ll consider lending a hand at the convention this summer, but either way, we look forward to seeing you in Minneapolis! 

Easter Egg Hunt 2017

Spring 2017 Newsletter

Native Flutes and Extended Techniques


By Alberto Almarza


"Music is the sum total of scattered forces… it has been turned into a speculative song! I much prefer the notes coming from the flute of an Egyptian shepherd: he contributes to the landscape and hears harmonies ignored by our treatises…"

Claude Debussy, 1901


The flute is one of the most varied and widespread instruments in the world, going back tens of thousands of years in many societies. As a result of the multiple types of flutes and the diversity of their musical and social role throughout the world, an amazing repertoire of timbres and playing techniques have been developed, preserved by flute players of native cultures. Many of these techniques arose from the desire to evoke nature, imitating birdsongs, wind and water. Others came into being as an attempt to produce sounds that would have healing powers and communicate with sacred spirits.

The following is a list of some of the most common extended techniques and examples of their use in world flute music.


Circular pan flute, Thailand Ritualdouble recorder, Mexico



  Multiphonics: technique that allows the flutist to produce several          sounds simultaneously. The fascination with multiple sounds is as old as the flute itself. From double to sextuple flutes, they can be found everywhere.

  This circular pan flute from Thailand and a double recorder from Mexico are good examples of instruments designed to produce chords.





      Circular Breathing: breathing and blowing at the same time. A technique which is thousands of years old and common throughout the world, it has only recently been introduced to Western music. In addition to the flute, it is used by many other wind instruments.


Bansuri,  India




Microtones: refers to the use of intervals smaller than a half step. With the exception of the Western modern flute, every other flute in the world is designed as a non-tempered instrument and uses microtonal intervals for tuning and playing.


An elegant example is the Indian transverse flute Bansuri. The player uses the middle segment of his fingers to cover the holes, rotating the fingers to bend the pitch.







Ceremonial vessel flute, Mexico






Whistle Tones: produced by blowing extremely slow air into the flute. Again, we find many instruments that were especially made to create very soft, high-pitched notes.

A notable example is this ceremonial flute/sculpture from Mexico.







Ney , Iran





Color Variation: includes “airy tone,” “white sound,” “reed sound,” singing and playing, etc. All of these sounds and techniques can be found in many different traditions of flute playing.

The Persian Ney, one of the oldest known flutes, is one example of an instrument designed to produce a remarkable array of different colors.






To summarize, most of what we refer to as "extended techniques" in Western flute music have been part of traditional music from around the world for thousands of years. It is only recently that we have begun to acknowledge the enormous influence of world music on our own Classical tradition. As we explore the relationship between music of the world and contemporary Western music, we discover that we are not isolated; rather, our music has been enriched by that of other cultures. Flutists and composers today are enhancing our musical experience by drawing from this remarkable palette of sounds and techniques and, in the process, demonstrate that the power of musical experience is universal.




Alberto AlmarzaAlberto Almarza is Professor of Flute and Head of the Flute Department at Carnegie Mellon University, and former Principal Flute with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Chile. He has performed and taught in the US, Latin America, Korea and Europe, and has recorded for New Albion, Elán, Albany, Centaur, and Naxos Records. He has appeared as soloist with Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Memphis Symphony, BachFest Chamber Orchestra, and the Philharmonic, National Symphony and National Chamber Orchestras of Chile, and the Arianna String Quartet among others. Most recently, he performed at a TED TALK Conference, and was featured on the PBS program Horizons.

He is the co-founder with Jeanne Baxtresser of The Consummate Flutist, and currently serves as its Artistic Director.