youth playing in concert

Flute Choir Messages

Good Afternoon, Amazing Flute Choir Flutists and Families!

WOW!  Thank you so much for all your kind attention and amazing learning that went on at Marianne Gedigian’s masterclass.  MG was REALLY impressed with each and every one of our BYSO flutists! Please feel free to check Dr. Sandy’s Flute Orchestra Conductors’ Messages for more info, and BYSO will be sending out photos via social media.

PLEASE email me with what parts you’re playing on the Lobby Concert pieces (Sir Duke/Mamma/Uptown) asap.  For some reason, I cannot find the part assignments.  Thank you 🙂

Please – please! –  practice individually on your own, so you learn all of our music (practice more on just the tough spots until they are easy).  We have only a few weeks left to make a lot of progress on our pieces.  AND you must meet the following memorization goals (notes and choreography) for Dance with Me (use the video materials and backing track to help!):

  • by April 20: Beginning to Rehearsal L : be sure to make substantial changes in dynamics, as indicated – AND the pitch bends should be quite noticeable and exaggerated.
  • by April 22: Squad Leaders (FO: Ada, Stella, Gwen, Hannes, Matthew & Marcus; FC: Chloe C, Shachar, Jackie, Alice, Karthik) – have everything memorized
  • by April 29: Everyone has everything fully memorized (notes and choreography) – though it is helpful if you get things memorized sooner :).

April 20 Rehearsal Plan – please come prepared by practicing lots this week!

BRING YOUR OWN MUSIC STAND, all music (with no page turns), a pencil, and all instruments needed.

9:30 – 10:25 am   Dance with Me with Dr. Sandy

By now you should know how to produce that airy wind sound – and can produce it confidently and consistently.  If you can’t – you need to practice more and take the music to your private teacher.  It is an important feature of this piece.

  • The lack of the wind sound and lack of dynamics –  especially on the first page – is a bit disappointing after having worked on this page for many weeks. You must practice on your own and experiment to find the best way that works for you.

Additionally, we didn’t hear pitch bends on page 2.  There may be a few students who did play with dynamics, used the proper wind/airy tone, and successfully demonstrated the pitch bends in their playing.  However, since the majority did not, anyone who was doing what they were supposed to, had all their hard work erased.  Let’s do better! Let’s support each other with our best efforts!

  • We will concentrate mostly on the last 2 pages on Saturday.  Then at 10:15 am you will get a chance to demonstrate your memorization of the beginning through L.  Please practice L to the end so you are familiar with the notes and rhythms (at least).
  • Small groups will work with Dr. Frieda (5-8 minutes per group) to check that you can count Sir Duke accurately.  Please have the counting written in your music for these sections (m. 25 – 33) / (m. 54-61) / (m. 68-70) / (Rehearsal E to end).

10:25 – 10:35:  BREAK (bring a water bottle / snack)

10:35 – 11:30:  Hard Spots in all the Lobby Music with Dr. Merrie

  • Be prepared to play individually, if necessary. Everyone should have all the notes and rhythms learned for Mamma Mia and Uptown Funk so we can start working on balance / blend / intonation / dynamics / etc.  You must know when you have the melody, and when you have a supporting part.
  • Sir Duke – our 3 lobby pieces were chosen by your votes – so therefore, you chose this piece and by choosing it, you’ve agree to practice it well!  This piece needs lots of individual practice at home: woodshedding all the 16th notes until they are easy, and practicing with a metronome – while counting – so you play with accurate rhythms.
    • “Woodshedding” practice techniques include: tonguing all the notes; changing the rhythm (long-short long-short or short-long short long) instead of even 16ths. playing “backwards”:  count 4, then counts 3 and 4: then counts 2, 3 and 4; then the entire measure (1, 2, 3, 4). Slow practice leads to quicker improvement! (as long as you practice for accuracy.)   Ask your private teachers for additional help. Work in small sections – just a few beats at a time. Don’t forget to use a finger breath every now and then 🙂
    • Once you can play all the notes slowly and accurately, consistently (3 times in a row? 5 times in a row?) …. you can begin to increase the tempo.  “Chunking” individual beats (4 sixteenth notes, plus the next downbeat (so 5 note chunks) is a great method.  Set your metronome to your goal tempo (let’s say mm = 60-80 bpm).  1st play the 5 note chunk all tongued like 8th notes (1 and 2 and 3);  then repeat again as 8th notes – but all slurred (always making sure the notes are even and steady with the metronome).  Then play the same chunk again as written (slurred) and in 16th notes (1 e and uh 2).  This 2x slow / 1x fast chunking method is an excellent practice technique for increasing speed.  Practice = PERMANENT – so you must insist on accuracy.  If you are making mistakes, you are playing too fast.

April 29th – All Benaroya music (stage/lobby) must be completely learned and performance-ready.  You need to be able to play it accurately with and without a metronome.  Practice with a tuner and make sure all long notes are in tune (at least!).  Please be great, independent musicians and practice ALL YOUR MUSIC – even if we haven’t spent much time on the music in rehearsals yet.   THANK YOU!

My favorite practicing app (tuner / metronome / recorder / tone analyzer / decibel meter) is TONAL ENERGY – a must have for serious musicians 🙂

Here’s our blocking for Dance With Me:

A B C D E F G H I J
Row 4 Haeun Isabelle Hannah Matthew Crystal Arnav Suah Julinna
Row 3 (2B) Kaylyn Shiho Coco Noah Marcus Jeri Medha Pia Elizabeth Siyu
Row 2 (2A) Kayla Ada Ella Kaylee Gwen Samuel Shachar Chloe C Chloe K Rio
Row 1 Jackie Leo Carrie Karthik Hannes Alice Stella Ember

*** Please write your row number and column letter on your Dance With Me music. ***


We have 2 concert events this season – our Spring Concert at Benaroya on May 11th and also the Garden Party at Bellevue Botanical Gardens on May 18th.   ***Please make sure you save the date on your calendars for both events!***  

*** Also, please notify us of any rehearsal conflicts ASAP ***

Thank you, and keep on flutin’!

~Dr. Merrie

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