August 2007 Convention
Albuquerque, NM

Convention Collage Part I

The 2007 NFA convention was attended by about 1,900 people, and felt very relaxed. There was a lot of focus on pedagogy and health. It all went somewhat deeper than playing the instrument. I heard a great lecture (with recordings) by Patricia Harper and Susan Waller about the two grande dames of the flute: Frances Blaisdell and Doriot Anthony Dwyer. Being a female musician is so much easier now.

Mia Dreese (second from left)

Mia Dreese (second from left) with, from left, Leone Buyse; convention program chair Nancy Andrew; and LAA recipient Peter Lloyd

I heard Patricia Spencer playing very beautifully a flute quartet by Ginastera. There was a lecture/presentation by Robert Bigio, editor of Pan, the member magazine for the British Flute Society, about flute inventions. Very funny, and spoken at double speed! For real flute history lovers.

Paula Robison

Paula Robison

There were many masterclasses. Paula Robison is funny, but also has great ideas for better flute playing. She said she was glad to be “old” now—and appeared as usual in her golden dress at the gala concert. Trevor Wye, as young and active as ever, taught on thinking while doing your scales. Angeleita Floyd demonstrated that she was able to bark very well; George Pope let his participants feel the rhythm; and Peter Lloyd taught a masterclass, in addition to being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award this year.

We celebrated the 200th birthday of Louis Lot with a panel discussion and a showcase. The panel emphasized playing a Lot flute in the modern way, which I thought was a bit disappointing. My experience is that you should appreciate his flutes as the new flute that appeared at a time when many flute players only knew the conical flute. All these new colours in the new French music of the beginning of 20th century!

Adrienne Greenbaum (left)

Adrienne Greenbaum (left)

Adrienne Greenbaum played old kletzmer music on five different wooden flutes, with great skill and much humor. Huascar Barradas played with his perfect band music from Venezuela. He is much more mature now than some years ago.

Denis Bouriakov, a Russian student of William Bennett’s, whom I believe to be perhaps the most promising musician, also performed. Other young and promising flutists who appeared at the convention this year were Gaspar Hoyos and Lorna McGee.

Rachel Brown gave an interesting lecture about the Telemann Fantasies—and played them all! Surely something for the Guinness book of records.

For me the most stunning performance was by Mary Kay Fink on her piccolo. The attention of the audience was pulled to her as if there had been a vacuum around her.

—Mia Dreese