Most college students have already planned their spring breaks. The lucky ones are taking a vacation to some warm, tropical place, while the rest of us are staying here or going home.
Well, if you happen to be staying in Madison this weekend, the Second Annual Madison Flute Festival is being held Saturday, March 19 at the Humanities Building. This is an event for anyone interested in flute music, but especially for all the flute players out there.
Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. The afternoon is filled with a variety of flute clinics, classes like Practice Techniques for Young Students and Injury Prevention & Long-term Fixes, workshops and many vendor exhibits, including Flute Lovers’ Emporium and Tom Green Flutes. The admission fee is only $10.
However, a gala concert is completely free to all. The gala concert features the Madison Flute Choir, guest artists — including internationally known flutist Stephanie Jutt, associate professor of flute at UW-Madison, and Dr. Mihoko Watanabe of UW-Oshkosh — followed by a finale flute-in.
The participants of the Young Artist Competition, the Solo Repertoire Master Class Competitions and the Solo and Ensemble Flute Festival Clinics have submitted applications to participate. The Young Artist Competition is open to any flutist 30 years old or younger. The Solo Repertoire Master Class Competition has two categories: the adult category is open to anyone and will be given this year by Dr. Robin Fellows of UW-Whitewater; the high school category is open only to high school flutists and will be given this year by Dr. Mihoko Watanabe of UW-Oshkosh. These are wonderful opportunities for high school students, or any flute players, to get extra practice and advice about the piece they are playing for a future competition or recital. Winners of the Young Artist Competition and high school and adult master class competitions will also receive prizes. First prize for the Young Artist Competition is $100.
The Annual Flute Festival here in Madison is sponsored and planned by our own local Madison Flute Club. The Madison Flute Club is a community non-profit organization where 15 to 25 flutists meet weekly to play in a flute choir. It is an opportunity to play flute music with other people who share an enjoyment of flute playing. Anyone of any age and skill level may join. There is a small fee to help pay for music, recital locations and a bass flute the club is buying.
The Madison Flute Choir plays as a group, or in smaller ensembles, at many events around Madison, including the Hilldale holiday concerts, Olbrich Gardens Holiday Express, Saturday farmers’ markets and several local churches, schools, nursing homes and other events. The Midvale Lutheran Church currently allows them to practice in a basement classroom every week for free.
Berlinda Lopez is the artistic director of the Madison Flute Choir. She said, “It gives you something to play … cheaper than lessons. You meet all sorts of people from all sorts of life that share your interests — flute buddies.” Other members had similar sentiments, mentioning “flutists appreciate other flutists” and they can “share experiences and learn from each other.”
If you are interested in flute music, the flute festival is a prime opportunity to enjoy some and find a variety of information about flutes in one place. If you miss the festival this year, there will be one in Madison in April next year. Information about the Annual Flute Festival and the Madison Flute Club can be found at www.madisonfluteclub.com.