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Free Cleveland Composers Concert This Sunday

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Lisa Heinrich, Alison La Rosa Montez, Tom Brown, Linda Miller, and Bonnie Svetlik perform Brian Taylor’s "Spirito Sereno" at last year’s free Cleveland Composers Connection Concert

With trips, upcoming weddings and the like, my wallet’s been strapped a bit lately.  So I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive, if not free, things to do around town.  Although I’m out of town this weekend, there’s a free concert on Sunday night that caught my attention and I figured I’d share because we all could use a cheap night out once in a while.

This Sunday at 7pm, the Greater Cleveland Flute Society is hosting their annual Cleveland Composers Connection Concert. The performance will take place at First Unitarian Church of Cleveland in Shaker Heights (21600 Shaker Blvd.)

Bonnie Svetlik, president of the Greater Cleveland Flute Society, performs at last year’s Cleveland Composers Connection Concert

I’ve attended the Flute Society’s annual concert the last couple of years and always find it to be a beautiful – and CLE-centric – way to spend a Sunday. Audiences are treated to an evening of Cleveland flutists performing pieces written by locally-based composers. (Here’s my recap of last year’s concert.)

Now in its 15th season, the Greater Cleveland Flute Society provides opportunities for flutists of all backgrounds to support and learn from one another. In addition to the Cleveland Composers Connection Concert, which is their year-end signature event, they offer recitals, lectures and masterclasses all centered around the flute.

The Cleveland Composers Connection Concert often features others musicians in addition to flutists. Here Joseph Rebman performs at last year’s concert.

For this year’s Cleveland Composers Connection Concert, the Greater Cleveland Flute Society has handpicked 9 flute compositions that were submitted for consideration by local composers:

  • Linda Allen– Flute Loops for flute and piano
  • Eric Ewazen– Sonata No. 1 for flute and piano
  • Stephen Griebling– Colorful Cordoba for flute and piano
  • Bryan Kennard– Between Three Colors for flute, oboe, and alto flute
  • Kaley Kleinman– Fantasy for Three Flutes
  • Jeffrey Mumford– An Evolving Romance for flute and piano
  • William Rayer– Night Trains for piccolo, 4 C flutes, alto, and bass
  • John H.C. Thompson– A Look from Many Sides for solo flute
  • Marshall Jones– Nuclear Placidity for 2 piccolos, 4 C flutes, alto, and bass

The group strives for a diverse sound in these concerts, so while some of the pieces are solely for the flute, others showcase how the flute can complement instruments like the piano and oboe.

In looking at the list of composers, I’m happy to see a great mix of previous years’ favorites – such as Rayer, Griebling and Kennard, as well as new additions to the series.

Last year’s composers: Brian Taylor, Jeffery Quick, William F. Rayer, David Kechley, Monica Houghton, Larry Baker and Tom Lopez

In particular, one composer to look forward to is Kaley Kleinman, a flutist from South Euclid, Ohio who is off to Notre Dame College this Fall. While I am impressed by musicians of any kind, young composers in particular astonish me because I think back to that age and how I would never have had that ability to put thoughts and emotions into music.

So if you’re looking for a pleasant evening that’s easy on your bank account this weekend, connect with composers and musicians in our own backyard and check out the Greater Cleveland Flute Society’s Cleveland Composers Connection Concert.

More information about the Greater Cleveland Flute Society:

Photos credit: Terence Wei, courtesy of Greater Cleveland Flute Society

Greater CLE Flute Society's Composers Concert is Back

Members of the Greater Cleveland Flute Society perform in last year's Composers Connection Concert. (from www.gcfs.org)

Last April, I blogged about my experience at the Greater Cleveland Flute Society’s Cleveland Composers Connection Concert.  It was a great evening showcasing not only the works of Cleveland composers, but also the talent of the flutists in the Greater Cleveland Flute Society.

I can hardly believe it’s already been a year, but the Cleveland Composers Connection Concert is back this Sunday, May 1st.

The concert, which is the final program of GCFS’s 2010-2011 season, will be held at 7 p.m. on Sunday at Christ Episcopal Church (3445 Warrensville Center Road, Shaker Heights).

This year’s free Composers Connection Concert will feature nine works, performed by members of the Greater Cleveland Flute Society.  As they did last year, the composers will introduce and discuss their works prior to each performance. This was one of my favorite aspects of last year’s concert because you got to understand the story behind the composer and their inspiration for writing.

For instance, one of the composers selected for this year’s concert is Brian K. Taylor, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. This is the first time Taylor – who typically composes big band and standard jazz instrumentations – has arranged a piece exclusively for the flute.  At Sunday’s concert, GCFS will not just perform one but two of Taylor’s flute compositions: Spirito Sereno for flute quintet and Allarme Vicino Piazza San Pietro for flute quartet.

At last year's concert, Loris Chobanian performed his composition Vivo with Bryan Kennard (who later presented his own Two Fugues). (from www.gcfs.org)

In addition to these two works, the Composers Connection Concert will include performances of:

  • When Air is Not Enough for flute and chime by Larry Baker
  • Three Songs Without Words for flute and guitar – New Moon – Spring Rain – Snow Storm by Monica Houghton
  • Available Light for flute and harp by David Kechley
  • Summer’s Passing for solo flute by David Kechley
  • Ballade for flute and piano by Jeffrey Quick
  • Pan’s Pandora for flute, alto flute, and bass flute by William F. Rayer
  • Espaces Pointillés for flute and electro-acoustic sound by Tom Lopez

Established in 1997, the Greater Cleveland Flute Society provides opportunities for flutists of all backgrounds to support and learn from one another and guest artists.  GCFS programs include recitals, masterclasses and the annual Cleveland Composers Connection concert.  Its members include students, adults, teachers, amateur and professional flutists and corporate sponsors — so you really see a diverse range of performances.

As Bonnie Svetlik, the president of GCFS, explained, “This concert is an opportunity for local composers to showcase their flute compositions to an interested audience of flutists and fans of new music. It gives us an opportunity to see firsthand what composers are doing right now, and it’s always exciting to see the varying styles of music and how these composers write a piece for this beautiful instrument.”

After how much I enjoyed last year’s compositions and performances, I’d say she’s right. I hope to see some of you there, enjoying another example of the composers and performers we have here in Cleveland.

Greater Cleveland Flute Society 411: