August 2017 Convention
Minneapolis, MN

First Time Attendee: Concerto in one Page


photo by Brian Covington

In years past, other life events always took precedent over attending the NFA Annual Convention, something that seemed to be a self indulgence. But finally, at the age of 51, I attended my first NFA convention in Minneapolis.

Since I wanted to make the most of the event, I signed up to play with the opening flute orchestra. It was a wonderful experience playing with more than 250 other flutists including some playing contrabass and many from all over the world. Pamela Youngblood directed a varied and ambitious program.

From there the rest of the convention seemed to fly by. I was greatly overwhelmed by all the possibilities and choices. In spite of studying the schedule beforehand, I still struggled to make choices.

I found myself sampling a lot of recitals, presentations, concerts, and exhibitor showcases. I was sure to make time for the big Gala concerts on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. Fatigue led me to forgo the cabaret performances except for Friday’s performance by Art Webb. (Fabulous!)


photo by Brian Covington

The exhibit hall drew me in every day, for different reasons. I play tested everything from a Louis Lot flute to a D-flat piccolo made by Christopherson to a just-completed Di Zhao professional flute and a Nagahara Mini. Sheet music for all needs, accessories for all tastes, and gadgets galore kept me in a flute trance for hours. In particular I enjoyed talking to many different people at all the different tables. For once, I was not the only flute nerd in the room!

I have determined that I must attend another convention soon so that I can do all the things I missed at this first one. I have a feeling I’ll say that at the end of every convention I attend.

—Darlene Fick