August 2005 Convention
San Diego, CA

Gala Concert: New Music with Sheridon Stokes

Sunday, August 14

Following the traditional mass audience performance of J.S. Bach’s Air, conducted by NFA President Sue Ann Kahn, the 2005 NFA Convention officially ended. However, one final event remained—a concert by veteran Hollywood contract musician Sheridan Stokes. Earlier in the week, Stokes had received the NFA Lifetime Achievement Award for his extensive work as an artist, composer, orchestral musician, and featured flutist on thousands of movie and TV scores.

Sheridan Stokes

Sheridan Stokes

A specialist in contemporary music, Stokes began his concert with several of his own compositions, including a world premiere of Timeline, written for the 2005 NFA Convention. Even though performed with great artistry, the audience seemed to have a difficult time grasping the meaning of this work, containing mostly non-melodic elements. His composition Laisse Le Voler was accompanied by the LA Flute Quartet. The audience seemed to connect most with his Soulscapes, particularly in the soaring, lyrical alto flute solo in the second movement. This work is also available for flute and marimba.

The next section of the concert was a definite audience pleaser, as Stokes played some of the flute solos he performed in major movies and TV shows, including Out of Africa, Mission Impossible (accompanied by rhythm instruments played by his immediate family sitting on the front row), ET, Kung Fu, The Fox, Ghosts, and a delightful penny whistle solo from Titanic that he had performed at the Academy Awards. This collection of familiar tunes provided a refreshing change of pace in the program, and was masterfully accompanied by pianist Michael Zearott.

The concert ended with a couple of flute/guitar/cello works by Christopher Caliendo. Guitarist Caliendo joined Stokes, along with cellist Sebastian Toettcher, in these highly energetic tangos to bring the convention to a rousing finale.

—Rosene Rohrer