Yuliya Cheung accompanied her son, Julin Cheung, to the 2023 NFA Convention in Phoenix, AZ as he competed in the High School Soloist Competition. In this blog post, she reflects on their experience as first-time convention-goers.
Pictured: The finalists of the 2023 High School Soloist Competition, including Julin Cheung (fourth from left). They are joined by NFA President Rebecca Johnson (right) and Competition Coordinator Amy (I-Yun) Tu (left).As first-time NFA convention attendees, my son and I must admit the convention totally exceeded our expectations in every aspect. From the moment we stepped into the hotel, which appeared to be transformed into a conservatory for the occasion, we were whisked into a whirlwind of captivating events that showcased great talent and dedication of the participants from around the world. The events started in early morning and continued into late night, and ranged from masterclasses and seminars to competition runs and magnificent performances. We had a wonderful time reconnecting with old friends and making new ones - it seemed every time we turned a corner or stepped into an elevator, we'd run into a flute virtuoso or an aspiring rising star!
The exhibit hall was a fun playground for all enthusiasts. Even as a non-flute player, I was astonished by the variety of instruments, accessories, and even fashion trinkets presented, while my son took full advantage of exploring a diverse collection of flutes, piccolos, and traversos, all in one amazingly cacaphonic room.
The competitions added an edge of flair and drama to every evening when the results were announced, and we were most excited to hear many renditions of the beloved classics and emerging new pieces commissioned by the NFA. The evening concerts were simply a delight – filled with humor and camaraderie, pushing the artistic boundaries, and bringing the community together through promoting musical creativity and innovation. It was evident that everyone present, whether on stage or in the audience, shared a genuine passion for the flute and a deep appreciation for its artistic and stylistic reach.
At the end of each day, our only regret was that we could not be in many places at once. The NFA convention was an unmatched resource and an incredibly inspirational journey, and we could not recommend it more for the flute players and enthusiasts of all levels and ages.
Pictured: Julin tries out a traverso in the Convention's Exhibit Hall
Each August, thousands of flutists and flute-lovers gather at the NFA Convention for four days of performances, workshops, masterclasses, and competitions. We invite everyone in the flute community to join us in San Antonio, TX from Aug 1 - 4, 2024. Learn more about the Convention here.