It's almost that time of year again, that heady mix of excitement, neurosis, and classmate reunion that is the National Flute Association convention. I know I've shared a lot of this advice before, but it still holds true, and I am particularly hoping my UW students will read it before we caravan out to Salt Lake City next week! Whether you're going this year or not, I encourage you to make it happen at least occasionally (I know it's expensive, but it truly is like nothing else in our profession). If you've never been, some words of wisdom:
- Bring (healthy) snacks that can act as meal substitutes to save money and avoid missing out over the lunch hour.
- Dinner breaks are usually (sort of) built in to the schedule, and if you've never attended NFA, the Myrna Brown Dine-Around is a great orientation. You can learn more about it here.
- Bring layers. Sitting in a heavily air conditioned convention center all day for four days is painfully cold!
- Don't be shy. Approach performers to congratulate them. We like that, and we won't bite.
- Make new friends. Check out prospective teachers in performance and see if you can take a lesson. This is a great networking opportunity.
- Maybe don't buy a new instrument there? The exhibit hall is too chaotic to really get to know anything. But do try instruments and gather a list of what you'd like to try in the calm and quiet of your living room after you get home. (Students: play everything for your teacher before purchasing!!)
- It is most customary to arrive late and leave early for events because everything is always double- and triple-booked. Anywhere else it's rude, but at NFA it's mandatory to breeze in and out for maximum exposure. Don't worry, we won't get mad.
- You cannot possibly see/hear everything, so don't stress about what you're missing out. Just go to the things that compel you most. Try to buddy up with someone who wants to go to different events and share notes over dinner afterward. But do go to something every hour if possible!
I'll be doing some performing and some talking again this year, and here are the details:
August 1-4: National Flute Association Convention at Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City UT
August 1 @ 10:30am: Joseph Hallman's Four Pieces for flute and piano on "Fresh Voices"Check out this amazing piece, which won the the Flute New Music Consortium's Competition last fall! Each movement is dedicated to a different composer or artist: Jolivet, Nico Muhly, David Lynch, and Poulenc, respectively. I'll be performing with Katie Leung on piano.
August 2 @ 1pm: "Using Social Media to Grow Your Studio"I'll be moderating this panel discussion featuring Jolene Madewell (Practice Room Revelations), Kallie Snyder (The Sound Musician), Jessica Banks (bachnbaseball on Instagram), and Brittany Trotter (brittanyflute on Instagram).
University of Wyoming students, alumni, and fans, we'll be gathering for a UW dinner together (Dutch treat) on Saturday, August 3 at 5:30pm. To join us, just meet us at the registration table.
And if you're partial to the contemporary world of flute repertoire, come see me at Flute New Music Consortium's annual NFA dinner Friday, August 2 at 5:30pm. We'll meet at the registration table for this one, as well.