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The semester ended at CSULB on May 9th, for me anyway. I came home after juries ended that day thinking, “Wow, I’m done, and summer is officially here. Yesss!” Funny how even though it’s not technically summer vacation for me, I still get that familiar feeling of anticipation and excitement for all of the fun summer activities that lie ahead; master classes, flute camps, summer music festivals, opera, etc.

As I sat here tonight reflecting back on the past 8 weeks, it occurred to me that summer is at it’s midway point. What a perfect time to recap what’s happened so far and look ahead to what’s coming up next.

Summer began with our final concert of the season with Oakland East Bay Symphony. We performed the massive Berlioz Requeim as a side by side event with our young, talented stars of tomorrow, the Oakland Youth Orchestra. It was an unforgettable evening and I’m so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to play this beautiful and rarely heard work.

The next day was OEBS’s first annual “Bach and Brew.” This fundraiser was a huge success. We had double the amount of anticipated guests show up to the Linden Street Brewery in Oakland. The brewers of the orchestra, of which I am a proud member, contributed by bringing special home brew that we each made especially for the event. I actually did double duty that night; in addition to the 5 gallons of “Coffee Cantata Stout” that I brewed for the guests, which by the way, took 2nd place in a friendly little competition we held, I also performed with many of my outstanding OEBS friends and colleagues! Stay tuned for more of these Bach and Brew events with OEBS – I hear another one is on tap for the fall!

The brewers of the Oakland East Bay Symphony (a.k.a. the whole low brass section and second flutist) L to R: Steve Trapani, Bruce Chrisp, Scott Choate, yours truly, and Tom Hornig.

The brewers of the Oakland East Bay Symphony (a.k.a. the whole low brass section and second flutist) L to R: Steve Trapani, Bruce Chrisp, Scott Choate, yours truly, and Tom Hornig.

Performing the Bach Suite in B Minor with members of the Oakland East Bay Symphony at our first annual "Bach and Brew"

Performing the Bach Suite in B Minor with members of the Oakland East Bay Symphony at our first annual “Bach and Brew”

June began with a very fun, very full, and very inspiring week in Iowa City, IA. I was invited to be a guest artist at the 2014 Iowa Piccolo Intensive. Talk about a great week, wow, we all had a blast! It was an honor to be a part of this extraordinary team of world class artists!

The 2014 Iowa Piccolo Intensive Team! Top to bottom: Tim Carey, Nicole Esposito, Sarah Jackson, Jim Walker, and me.

The 2014 Iowa Piccolo Intensive Team! Top to bottom: Tim Carey, Nicole Esposito, Sarah Jackson, Jim Walker, and me.

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I flew back to California just in time for a performance of The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl with live orchestra, with the Marin Symphony. What a fun gig that was!

 

L to R: Ben Smolen, me, Darrin Thaves, and Seth Morris. Not pictured, Reneé Bhatia.

L to R: Ben Smolen, me, Darrin Thaves, and Seth Morris. Not pictured, Reneé Bhatia

My teaching partner in crime, and dear friend Darrin Thaves and I enjoyed our 11th annual Long Beach Flute Institute at CSULB. Joining us this year were guest teachers Ben Smolen, Seth Morris, and Reneé Bhatia. And speaking of Ben and Seth, the three of us organized a comprehensive orchestral excerpt workshop this summer, spread out over June, July, and August. We’re having all kinds of fun each of these Sunday afternoons (Nine total), tearing apart our favorite (and most requested) orchestral excerpts from the standard repertoire. Of course, we reward ourselves handsomely with post class treats, so there’s that, too!

 

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Long Beach Flute Institute 2014

photo-21The Carmel Bach Festival began this week. I’m joining the festival this year for J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. What a piece! I’m so grateful each time I get to play this incredible work. And, I’m loving that I get to play it on my new Peter Noy boxwood head joint – the flutes use wooden heads on their modern flutes at Carmel Bach.

Sometimes as freelance musicians, we are fortunate enough that the work fits together in our schedules like pieces of a puzzle. This summer, that is the case for me. While I’m doing Carmel Bach, I am also able to play at the Festival Mozaic, in Paso Robles. The other puzzle piece that fits perfectly into place is my job with the San Francisco Opera Center Orchestra. This summer, we’re doing Don Giovanni with the remarkably talented Merola Opera program. I’m sure it will be awesome as always. I love playing opera, I love these musicians I get to play with, and I love this job! Even though we don’t have the number of services we used to have, we sure know how to make the very most of the ones we do have.

The National Flute Association’s Annual Convention will take place in Chicago this year, August 7th – 10th. My group, Alcyone Ensemble has been invited to perform our newly commissioned work, “Blister and Wow” by our friend Danny Felsensfeld. We’re so geeked out about this we can barely contain ourselves. For more info about Alcyone or this performance, check out our website. I’ll also be playing on an all piccolo concert. That’s right, you read correctly. The name of this concert is “And Then There Were Nine.” No explanation necessary – suffice to say, it’s going to be AWESOME. (p.s. if you forget your earplugs, I will have a fresh stash to hand out to the weary!)

photoIn just 7 short weeks, the fall semester will be upon us. Unlike my youth when I dreaded going back to school, I now look forward to it. Like my busy summer, the fall has much in store with collaborative chamber music concerts, a great season line up in Oakland, and… wait, it’s still summer. Let’s just bask in that a little longer, shall we?

 

 

 

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