Continuing with our private teacher spotlight series, this month I’m featuring local performer, teacher, and composer Jenna Page!
1. When did you start playing flute? Did you always know you wanted to play an instrument, and what drew you to the flute?
I started playing the flute like most students do – in my sixth grade band class. I went to my school’s instrument “petting zoo” to try out various instruments. I gravitated towards the flute and the saxophone, but when it came to finally choosing, it was actually my parent’s choice. My dad took me to the music store one afternoon and surprised me with a flute. Music has always been a big part of my family and growing up. My mom gave me piano lessons. I sang in choir in elementary school. Joining the school band was just a natural extension of my musical education.
2. What made you decide to pursue music as a career?
When choosing a college major, I was torn between elementary education and music performance. I decided that if I wanted a shot at a music career, I needed to pursue that first. If it didn’t work out or if I didn’t like it, I could always change my major. While being a freelance musician is hard work, I was and still am attracted to the diversity and flexibility the freelancing lifestyle allows. I can be creative in how I design my career.
3. Tell me about your education career: early school experiences, college, graduate school, etc.
I became more serious about my flute studies in high school. I was a member of the Indianapolis Youth Orchestras (formerly the New World Youth Orchestras) and performed in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Side by Side program. I attended the University of Indianapolis for my undergraduate degree in flute performance, and then studied with Karen Moratz, principal flute with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, at Butler University for a Masters in flute performance. I have also studied at various summer music festivals and masterclasses. I spent several summers at The MasterWorks Festival for the Christian Performing Artist, attended the Crescendo Summer Institute in Hungary, and performed numerous times for William Bennett at the William Bennett Summer Flute Academy in Tennessee.
4. What are you involved in now? What is your main job, and what side gigs do you have if any?
As a freelancer, I do a variety of things. I am an adjunct professor of music at IUPUI, Marian University, and the University of Indianapolis. I perform regularly with various orchestras and ensembles in the greater Indianapolis area, including the Indianapolis Symphony. I teach private flute lessons and sectionals at local schools. I am a Music Unites Artist with Classical Music Indy. I am a new music enthusiast and a founding member of Forward Motion, Indy’s premier new music ensemble. Freelancing allows me to have regular gigs (like teaching college courses) that pay the bills as well as pursue projects that are artistically satisfying for me personally.
5. Tell me any other interesting things about yourself. Something musical, as well as anything non-musical that you are interested in!
I love being outside and being active. I love hiking and hammocking, running and riding my bike. Over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten into rock climbing, and my climbing, outdoorsy friends have become like family to me. I love taking my flute on hikes and playing out in nature, so I composed a piece for solo flute specifically to be performed on the top of Grays Peak. I premiered the piece on the summit of Grays on July 28, 2020 to an audience of random hikers, beautiful blue skies, and endless mountain peaks.
You can view a performance of “…And then we returned…” at the link below!