One of the best parts of my job is the opportunity to collaborate with all types of musicians on different projects. Recently, I’ve had the good fortune to work with players here on my home campus, in the community, and in the region.
My first collaboration this academic year was with my dear friends from Western Kentucky University. Composer and bass singer Michael Kallstrom, flutist Heidi Alvarez, and pianist Don Speer visited South Dakota State University; I enjoyed performing and spending some time with them. We gave a recital of works by Michael for various combinations of flutes, piano, bass voice, and electronics. One of those works was a world premiere, which is always a fun experience. These are some of my favorite people to make music with, and I hope to work with them again very soon.
I performed in a faculty trio several times so far this semester, and it reminded me how fortunate I am to be here on the faculty of SDSU. Mike Walsh, Nate Jorgensen, and I worked on the Divertissement by Aubert Lemeland, and we presented it at an SDSU event and on both Mike’s and Nate’s faculty recitals. They are really sensitive musicians, and working with them is a treat.
In September, I gave a benefit recital for the South Dakota chapter of the March of Dimes. I worked with pianist Mary Walker, on faculty at SDSU, who is a talented collaborator. We were able to get off-campus and give a performance in the community, spread awareness of the mission of the March of Dimes, and raise a little bit of money for them. This is the second year I have been able to make some small contribution to the important work of this organization since the premature births and deaths of my niece and nephew, and it is my intention to regularly give recitals to benefit the March of Dimes.
I gave a couple of recitals and flute masterclasses to students at University of Wisconsin-Stout and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in October. I was able to reconnect with a classmate from my DMA studies at University of Georgia, Dr. Aaron Durst, who is Director of Instrumental Music at UW-Stout. I also had the good fortune of meeting the flute professor at UW-Eau Claire, Dr. Tim Lane. I had a great time working with high school and college students in Wisconsin and enjoyed presenting two different recital programs on that trip. I particularly enjoyed collaborating with Aaron Durst on a couple of works for flute and saxophone; one work was written by a professor at University of Georgia, Dr. Roger Vogel, which was a fun connection to make.
I performed with a student on his junior recital here at SDSU. I’m perfectly happy to work with students on their performances because I think it’s an important part of the learning process, and it’s an honor to be asked.
I’m looking forward to one more performance this semester. I’ll be performing at North Dakota State University with Jenny Poehls, who is the flute instructor there. We are working a program of flute duets and works for two flutes and piano. It includes some traditional flute repertoire as well as some contemporary pieces. It has been nice to work with a flutist who is relatively nearby on an ambitious program. I’m also looking forward to giving a flute masterclass while I’m there. We’ll be presenting the same recital here at SDSU at a later date.
December should be a nice break, and then I’m excited to start another series of performances starting in January. If you’re interested in collaborating, let’s talk!