Check out NEO Food Tours’ blog: Our recap of this week’s Shaker Square Tour is up along with a link to Cleveland food blogger Bite Buff’s review. If you want to join us on our next one, tickets are now on sale for the Gordon Square Tour on Sept. 21.
The Greater Cleveland Flute Society is getting ready to kick off their 14th season on September 11th with a “Just Us” recital. I always enjoy sharing when they have upcoming events that are open to the public because GCFS’s mission is something that hits close to home for me.
A little backstory: After ten years of lessons and competitions, I decided to stop playing piano at the end of high school. I had burned out because of the pressure I put on myself when competing in festivals. I pretty much decided to walk away from it and put it out of my mind. I know that if you sat me in front of the keys now, I would have no clue where to start. Looking back, it’s definitely something I regret.
So I get excited when I see organizations like Greater Cleveland Flute Society that provide a way for adults (professional and non-professional musicians alike) to continue their education and have an outlet for performing. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that GCFS’s performances are always good!
The “Just Us” recital on September 11 is Greater Cleveland Flute Society’s annual showcase of members’ talents. In addition to each member having the opportunity to play for up to 7 minutes, an impromptu GCFS Flute Choir will meet right before the recital, rehearse and then perform a sight-read piece.
The concert starts at 1:30 pm in the lobby of Beachwood’s Ahuja Medical Center and is open to the public. It’s part of a year-long program of master classes, meet ups and performance opportunities. Another one of their annual concerts I always recommend attending is their Cleveland Composers Connection Concert.
In addition to featuring GCFS musicians, the springtime concert spotlights composers who have a connection to the Cleveland area. This year’s concert in May was the second one I’ve been to and it featured a huge range of styles that really highlighted the versatility of the flute as well as the talent in our own backyard.
For instance, Tom Lopez’s Espaces Pointilles was a completely unexpected take on flute composition. Lopez, who teaches at Oberlin College, specializes in computer music. His electro-acoustic composition paired flutist Kelly Mollnow Wilson’s live performance with Lopez playing electronically manipulated recordings of her flute.
It was interesting because Lopez was able to digitally change the sounds of the flute to expose the audience to notes they wouldn’t normally hear — creating a piece that was simultaneously unsettling and uniquely beautiful.
As in years past, each composer introduced his or her piece. Getting this insight into their inspiration or style is one of my favorite aspects of the concert. Composer David Kechley, who had two pieces performed this year, spoke about how his first piece – AVAILABLE LIGHT: Midwinter Musings for the flute and harp — had been written for his wife Jerilee Taverniti Kechley, a gifted flutist.
This was followed by Summer’s Passing, a moving piece inspired by the tragic death of Kechley’s wife due to breast cancer. Hearing him speak about his wife was heartbreaking, but the music that was inspired by her absolutely uplifting.
My favorite performance of the evening, though, was Brian Taylor’s lively Allarme Vicino Piazza San Pietro. In addition to being a PhD candidate in CWRU’s Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Taylor also writes big band arrangements, which showed very clearly in the flute quartet’s performance.
Inspired by the incessant police sirens that kept him up one night in Italy, Allarme Vicino featured the high-pitched, rhythm of the siren which then flowed into a jazz-flavored groove that reminded me of an evening in Rome. The piece ended the concert on a very engaging note.
Of course, these compositions would not have been so enjoyable if not for the talent of the Greater Cleveland Flute Society’s members. I’ve been consistently impressed by the high quality of their performances. Recalling the difficulties of sight-reading from my days playing the piano, I’m hoping to make it to their concert on September 11th to see how they will impress next.
Greater Cleveland Flute Society 411:
(photo source: Terence Wei on Flickr)