August 2016 Convention
San Diego, CA

Five Bits

(Worth Way More Than $1.25)

I love catching up with friends and colleagues at our convention. These meetings, planned and unplanned, allow me to reconnect with folks and start exciting collaborations that stretch into the year beyond. Around these conversations, I often find a few minutes to catch a little something terrific—and there was plenty of terrific to go around this year.

My first bit came Friday morning. After losing myself in this year’s vast space, I found Royal Palm 4-5-6 in time to hear a beautiful, sensitive rendition of C. P. E. Bach’s Sonata in D Major, Wq. 83, from Baroque flutist Sarah Paysnick and harpsichordist Ian Pritchard. Several impromptu conversations later, I popped into the Low Flutes Concert and Reading Session to hear Sonidos Profundos, conducted by Chris Potter. They gave an exciting account of Katherine Hoover’s Lowdown, particularly the first movement, Lots of Flamingos, the dark, uneasy tone of which recalled flamingos with sharp teeth, according to Potter.

The next bit came at the Stolen Treasures concert. I was scheduled to play last on the program with colleagues Sarah Frisof, Seth Allyn Morris, and Ben Smolen on flute and Katie Leung on piano. However, before a quick warm-up, I was able to hear two wonderful performances at the beginning: Sarah Busman played an arrangement for flute of the Dialogo from György Ligeti’s Sonata for solo cello, then teamed with Leung on arrangements of Nadia Boulanger’s Three Pieces for cello and piano. Busman’s liquid sound was enchanting throughout, and Leung provided a powerful counterpoint.

Peter Verhoyen

photo by Brian Covington

Sunday brought two more great bits. While helping to coordinate Youth Flute Day, I caught some of Peter Verhoyen’s Piccolo for Kids session. I was inspired as he coached very young students to produce beautiful tone—even above the staff—and stressed to the teachers present that they could do the same with their students.

Later, between coordinating duties, I slipped over to Flute and Friends No. 2 to see and hear the work of Erika Boysen and dancer/choreographer Jessica Post. They performed an audiovisual version of Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Etude No. 4, illuminating not only elements of dance within the music but also the sinewy shape of the melody.

Each bit may not seem like much, but they all heightened my convention experience. I am already looking forward to next year’s wonderful bits.

—Timothy Hagen