I’m a flautist, though not a very practiced one at the moment. I always loved to play the flute, though I wasn’t always confident in my playing abilities despite being first chair for a lot of my High School years. I had about a year of private lessons during my high school years, and I always played in the band and the musicals. When there was a solo, I typically was the one to play it, except as a sophomore when an amazing Senior blew me out of the water. She amazed me. I really wanted to be like her. I worked hard but never seemed to progress like I had hoped. I didn’t have a mentor. I know that would have made a big difference.
After High School was over, I went to Dixie College in Southern Utah (’95-’96). I was in the middle of one of my science classes when a total stranger asked if she could speak to me in the hall. She introduced herself as Launa Whitehead. She asked if I would be interested in joining the flute choir. I was quite surprised to be recruited. I wasn’t even taking a music class at Dixie, so I had no idea how she found me. Anyway, I said I would love to join the flute choir. Boy did I feel like I was at a Junior High level again because the amazing flautists were just that…amazing! I was hesitant to even play at first, but everyone was very welcome, friendly, and loving. I learned so much from them all, and I loved every minute of it. We had a few performances in the area, and we even traveled up to Salt Lake City to perform at Abravanel Hall. Dixie College was putting together a music sampler cd that year, and the flute choir was able to participate. We all received a copy. I still have mine! (I included the two pieces that we play at the bottom of this post.) I was planning to learn the alto flute the next year. (I didn’t even know they existed until the flue choir, and there’s a bass one too though we didn’t have one in our choir). However, I didn’t go back the following year. (A story for another day…maybe.)
I moved home after a year at Dixie and married my sweetheart, David, a year later. I didn’t play my flute very often after coming home. I’d get it out a couple times a year. After having 5 kids, discovering my love of and skill for singing, and wanting to be more musical in general, I’ve decided I’ll start practicing the flute more. If anything, I hope my children find bigger love of music than I.
A month or two ago, my friend, Tamary, asked if my family would like to participate in a music program for her mother’s care center. Of course I said yes! I was planning to just sing at first. I hesitated to volunteer to play my flute, but in the end decided I had to stop hiding my talent (even if it was a little rusty). The kids and I sang the sing-along songs Tamary had planned, my kids and I sang You Are My Sunshine, and my two oldest, Ella (16) and Aurora (14), sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow. It was so gratifying to watch these sweet ladies in the care center sing along and brighten up and tap their feet. I loved that they would smile and wave to my little 7yo son, Peter, and he’d smile back. Anyway….it finally came to my turn to play my flute. I was a little nervous since I hadn’t performed in front of anyone in years. I played A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief with Tamary accompanying me. (She has a marvelous talent for playing the piano! She sight-read the music I gave her and could play it well after one practice!) They clapped, I bowed and smiled, and remembered that feeling again…the reason why I loved performing. It was for the smiles and joy it brought to people. They didn’t care that I wasn’t perfect (yeah, I messed up that one run towards the end), but I did it, and they appreciated it!
I’m hosting my book group next month, and I told Tamary that if she’ll accompany me, I’ll play my flute during our music/talent sharing portion. I better get practicing that run. :)
Enjoy these pieces.
Marriage of Figaro, Overture; by Dixie College Flute Choir; Dixie College Music Department Sampler; Released: 1996
Morning from the Peer Gynt Suite #1; by Dixie College Flute Choir; Dixie College Music Department Sampler; Released 1996