Hello everyone! I am back from an amazing trip to the National Flute Association convention in Washington, D.C….I feel so energized and excited about the work that I do! It was wonderful meeting with so many educators, performers, salespeople, and everything in between. I wanted to share some of the highlights of my experience, so enjoy!

Thursday was an absolute whirlwind that started off with a panel on music advocacy, especially in our schools. For those of you who follow us and Paige’s Music on Facebook, you know by now that we are all about this! For those of you who did not get a chance to watch the quick video that I posted on the work that the Baltimore Youth Orchestra is doing for their area youth, check it out here. I also had the distinct pleasure of hearing a lunchtime concert with the fabulous Mimi Stillman…some of you remember her clinic here at Paige’s a couple months ago! I also attended one of several presentations that highlighted the importance of fitness, movement, and breathing related to the flute, which you know by now that I am very interested in! Zara Lawler, a dancer and performer based in New York City, led us through some movement exercises, followed by her amazingly coreographed rendition of Berlioz’s Sequenza…upside down! You have to see it to believe it!!

Friday brought more presentations on flute and the body: using the Alexander technique, incorporating movement through Orff and Dalcroze-based learning, and a full-on yoga session…aaaah! Probably my favorite part of Friday, though, was seeing and hearing some of the original performances of the celebrated “Stars and Stripes Forever,” including the piccolo used in the premiere of the piece!! Check out the pictures here. I also had the honor of visiting John Philip Sousa’s grave, which was a very moving experience for me. I also got a very thorough history lesson the development of the flute from the fife-like, non-keyed instruments of the early 1820s to the modern instruments we know today, which evolved to that point, more or less, by 1870. Saturday gave me a chance to play some new instruments showcased by my vendors, more stretching exercises, and a performance of Suzuki-based learning methods.

Whew!! I still feel like I’m in a whirlwind of flute greatness! Perhaps the highlight for me was having the honor of meeting undoubtedly one of the best and most famous flute players of all time, Sir James Galway. I remember (and this will date me a bit) receiving cassette tapes of his performances when I started playing flute at age 9. Never did I think that one day I would be shaking his hand! Be sure to take a look at the IFS Facebook page for a full album of my trip…enjoy!