I have just returned from NFA 2018, I must say that it was quite successful! There were so many wonderful artists, incredible concerts, and new experiences for so many people. This was my eleventh NFA in a row and over these past eleven years I have made many new friends—my flute family now extends around the globe. Each one of these conventions has been loaded with new experiences as well as familiar faces, and every year brings new opportunities and new challenges. This year was no different, and in some ways has been the best NFA for me to date!
First of all, I had the wonderful pleasure of performing with Christine Beard on the Friday concert “Piccolo Party!” Anyone who knows Christie, knows that she is not only a fabulous person but also an incredible piccolo player. While I have known her for many years now, this was my first performance with her. As always, NFA provides challenges in finding rehearsal times and spaces. Although our rehearsal time was exceptionally limited, the performance was so much fun and I completely enjoyed my time working with her. We both have agreed that we must work together again in the future. The concert itself was filled with some incredible music for piccolo.
Every piece was so different and each performer brought so much energy to their performance.
While a recital of only piccolo music might seem nothing short of nightmarish, the concert was filled with virtuosity and just plain fun. There were many new works for piccolo performed in total this year and I found plenty of new works among the music stacks in the exhibit hall. I also spent way more money on sheet music than I had planned…can you blame me?
On Saturday morning, I had an opportunity to participate in the panel discussion, “Adventures in Adjuncting.” Having been an adjunct professor of music for around fifteen years now, it was nice to be able to share some of my trials and tribulations with around thirty people who came to hear what we had to say. The panel could not have contained a more diverse group of individuals, with varied adjunct experiences. I always enjoy the opportunity to meet with colleagues and discuss experiences because it makes me feel more connected to what I do.
The life of an adjunct is not easy but it can be very rewarding in many ways. As many people know, I have juggled adjunct gigs for years and my goal has been to be a full time college professor. I finished the DMA, applied for jobs, and was even a finalist for a couple.
This brings me to another first.
I recently accepted a position working for a flute company as a sales representative and repair technician. This is a bit of a side step from my original career objective, but in many ways, it is even more in line with my professional goals. As a sales representative, I get to know many of those rock star flutists that we all look up to. There is nothing more exciting and flattering than to have one of them stop and say hello, especially if they call you by name. I still have moments where I can’t believe that Mr. or Mrs. Flute Player actually knows my name and asks me about my husband and my dog. I also have the opportunity to go out and do clinics as an artist for one of my brands.
In one week, I can easily work with and potentially profoundly influence 150-200 flutists and their playing. On the repair side of things, I get to work with incredibly talented technicians, share techniques, and learn even more about how the flute is constructed and how to keep them playing. Not to mention the opportunities to talk to makers and the potential ability to influence flute construction. This new path that my career is on is both exciting and overwhelming when I think of all of the potential it has for me. I am still a performer, a technician, a teacher, and a student. No one ever told me that I could be all these things! In my younger years I thought I could either teach or perform, but now I know that there are so many facets to a career in music and that this path is one that will allow me to shine even brighter.