August 2007 Convention
Albuquerque, NM

Professional Flute Choir Concert

This concert by the Professional Flute Choir is always a highlight for me, as I look forward to hearing new and challenging flute choir works performed at a high level. Conducted by Angeleita Floyd, this year’s choir of 22 flutists looked splendid in their black outfits accessorized with colorful wide scarves worn in creative ways.

The concert opened with a composition dedicated to the memory of Albuquerque flutist Frayda Osten. Titled Concertante Dragon Court to honor Osten’s longtime association with Brannen Brothers Flutemakers, the piece was conducted by composer Katherine Hoover. The first and final movements incorporate jazzy, syncopated rhythms and chords that support solos featuring piccolo, E-flat, concert C, and alto flute. The middle movement’s continuously shifting chords eventually give way to gently rolling 16th-note lines on top. The movement rises in intensity near the end before fading out to a final piccolo flourish.

Dag Wiren’s Serenade for Flutes, Op. 11 is a wonderful addition to the flute choir library of 20th-century transcriptions. Lovely soaring lines mark the first movement, while the second movement features repeated rhythmic chordal patterns throughout, sometimes accompanying a melodic solo line. The energetic third movement includes staccato, repeated rhythmic figures.

Another favorite is Peter Schickele’s “Monochrome V for Eight Flutes,” a masterful work that’s as fun to play as it is to listen to. Flashy tremolo effects and runs eventually evolve to overlapping solo motifs and a tender piccolo duet before returning to the tremolo effects at the end.

Next up on the program was a world premiere by Robert Kyr. The composer traveled from Oregon to rehearse the choir the week of the convention. “Winds of Dawn” opens with an alto and bass duet, quickly shifting to full, lush chords by the full choir. The work alternates between unison playing with short rhythmic and melodic figures that are passed from section to section.

The concert closed with four short Latino pieces (all unpublished) based on folk music from Ecuador, Argentina, Costa Rica, and Brazil. What fun!

—Rosene Rohrer