On Wednesday evening, Dec 6, The Eastern Michigan Emerald Flutes from the School of Music and Dance put on a performance at the Alexander Recital Hall. It was clear that every student put their passion, time, and a great amount of effort into the recital. The Emerald Flutes are taught by Dr. Julie Stone, and a few will occasionally be taught by Dr. Penelope Fischer, who was a member of the Ann Arbor Symphony. This recital was put together and directed by Dr. Stone.
“We’ve been very successful. We were actually invited to perform in Chicago by the National Flute Association on more than one occasion,” said Stone. There website states, “The Emerald Flutes present concerts each semester on campus and performs a wide array of music from medieval to contemporary to jazz,” so be looking forward to another performance by the end of the next semester.
All of the performers at the concert Wednesday were flute majors, ranging in focuses from performance, music education and even music therapy. The Eastern Echo had a moment to speak with one of the freshman performers, Rebecca Sims.
“I’ve been playing since the 6th grade. I love music and I stuck with my flute all throughout high school and I decided my junior year to go into music as my career. I want to teach high school students because I really love marching band and jazz band,” said Sims.
The Eastern Echo also sat down to chat with one of the senior performers, Josh, 24. He has also performed outside of class at small weddings and festivals.
“My degree is in music performance. Eventually I want to do what Dr. Stone does and teach at a University level and open my own studio. I have been playing flute since the 4th grade. As far as practicing goes, music performance majors like me are supposed to practice for 4 hours a day,” said Josh.
The recital was very impressive. There were well over 10 ensembles, each performing more than one song. They began with Victoria Horne on the flute with Jerome Thiebault on the piano, playing Orange Dawn written by Ian Clarke circa 1964. They could not have picked a better opening piece, it was nearly tear-jerking.
The next three songs were performed by a quartet of flutists, Kayla Cieslak, Jessica DuBois, Julie Kastelan, Michael Riffe, and Rebecca Sims. The trio of songs could be described as something you would expect to hear at a garden party, very elegant. They were all written by Joseph Bodin de Boismorteir circa 1689-1755.
One performance that stood out from the rest, and very much deserves to be highlighted, was by Erica Hurst on the flute. Hurst’s two songs were performed as beatboxing on her flute. The performance was original, unique, and nothing like I’ve ever heard before. Hurst could be on America’s Got Talent, she was that impressive.
The rest of the show was filled with emotional performances. The songs ranged from lovely tunes plucked straight from a Cinderella moment, to heart-touching, gripping melodies that could be pulled from a movie soundtrack. Every song was intricately performed, not a mix up or mistake made even once.
The recital was wrapped up beautifully when the whole ensemble of the Emerald Flutes came onstage for their grand finale, conducted and written by student, Timothy Mullins. The song was titled Night Under the Starry Sky.
It began slowly and as it progressed each member began to play until soon everyone was in harmony. Then they began to play in fits of turns, as well as the pianist taking a solo in the middle of the song. The piece ended with each flutist coming together slowly, growing louder until every member could be heard at once, and then it faded. The conductor, Mullins, turned around to take a bow and extend his arms to the Emerald Flutes in appreciation.
You can find more information on the Emerald Flutes on their website at www.emuflutestudio.weebly.com. They also accept donations towards scholarships, development of the band, and for more opportunities to perform. You can donate at www.emufoundation.org.