The London Flute Day on Sunday 7th November 2010
I went along to The London Flute Day last Sunday which was organised and run by Claire Overbury and Ruth Sunderland. I had a 2 hour journey from Birmingham to get to the venue, The Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls in Elstree. It was worth it as I gained so much.
It was a very full day and we each got a personalised timetable which was very helpful. The day started with a warm up then we were split into ensemble groups based on our abilities. In my group we worked on a 4 part arrangement of the Blue Danube and my favourite a four part piece called Flute Rag which was full of Jazzy rhythms and articulation. YEAH!
I had a half hour one to one session with Ruth (which I had previously asked for along with a session with the pianist on my application form). I was able to show her vividly, by playing 'Insensitive' by Antonio Carlos Jobim, issues I was having especially with the middle register. She said I was overblowing too much and we worked at the mirror, listening to my sound and did little exercises based on the G major scale. When I came back to the piece I had played for her at the start, I couldn't believe the difference in sound by just being gentle but focussed with the air. I am so glad I recorded the lesson as I have something to continue to work on in my practice. I returned from my lesson in time for flute choir where all the groups joined together to work on some simple Medieval type pieces.
It was then time for my accompanist session. I had brought a jazz standard with me 'Centerpiece' with a written out piano part as I wasn't sure if the pianist was used to reading a Jazz chart. We had a good time and I felt confident about performing this later at the concert. Lunch, time to have a look at the Just Flutes shop, then back to ensembles group to work on (in my case) the Flute Rag for the concert. The day wound up with Ian McLauchlan from Just Flutes talking about head joints, different materials, differences, etc and showing us some of his beautiful joints. (I WANT ONE!)
Finally, the day ended with a concert. Claire and Ruth played a stunning duet by Ian Clarke called 'Maier' I think (any help on this name?) Then some of us played our solos including myself as well as performances from the different ensembles.
I had a wonderful time. I left feeling very inspired. I loved having the opportunity to play with other flute players as i love playing in bands, etc as well as the opportunity to share my love of Jazz.
Well that's enough of my musings. Were there any other Flutewise members there last Sunday? Have any Flutewise folk been on any inspiring courses or days recently? What did you think?