Performance Competencies

Required Repertoire

The following pieces are required for all performance majors, however other choices will vary. Please see Suggested Repertoire for more ideas.

Bach Sonatas: E major, e minor, b minor, a minor Partita,
Henle or Barenreiter editions
Mozart Concerto in G Major, Barenreiter edition only
Dutilleux or Sancan Sonatine
Ibert Concerto
Nielsen Concerto
Poulenc Sonata
Hindemith Sonata
Prokofiev Sonata
Berio Sequenza or Varese Density 21.5

Orchestral Excerpts:
Beethoven – Leonore No. 3
Brahms – Symphony No. 4
Debussy – Afternoon of a Faun
Hindemith – Symphonic Metamorphoses
Ravel – Daphnes and Chloe

 

Juries

Bachelor of Music candidates whose primary instrument is flute are required to perform six juries during their eight semesters of undergraduate study. Freshmen are encouraged to skip their jury during first semester. Performance majors will be assigned a 20 minute jury, and non-performance majors will be assigned a 10 minute jury. Three faculty members from the woodwind area will serve as adjudicators. Adjudicators typically evaluate students according to their year of study and their major. Hence, a junior performance major will be evaluated differently than a freshman music education major. Students will receive written comments, a numerical score, and a grade on the performance, and their total score will equal 50% of their semester grade. (The other 50% will be given by the studio teacher based on the overall semester’s work in lessons.) Should a student receive a numerical score below 90% on their jury, they will need approval by a panel of faculty in order to be permitted to perform their required recital.

The jury will be comprised of the following:

1. Solo Repertoire must be approved by the studio teacher and must be chosen from the standard repertoire, although individual choices may vary. Repertoire may not be performed in more than one jury. The performance must be executed precisely as indicated in the score, for example accompanied pieces must include piano accompaniment. The performance should demonstrate the highest level of performing achievable by each student. Memorization is not required but is encouraged. In the jury, students (and performance majors in particular) should strive to reach a level of performing on par with a recital or competition.

2. Scales will be played fully-articulated in sixteenth notes. Freshman and sophomores will perform at a metronome marking of 88 to the quarter note, and juniors and seniors will perform at a metronome marking of 120 to the quarter note. All scales in C, C# or D will be performed in three complete octaves. You may be asked to perform any major, natural minor, melodic minor, or harmonic minor scales.

3. Sightreading is a part of each jury. Remember to look carefully at the time signature, tempo marking (whether a description like “adagio” or a metronome marking), and key signature. You will be allowed a moment to look at the score, and you will be permitted one attempt at the excerpt. You may not perform the excerpt a second time.

4. Prior to your jury, make three copies of all flute scores. It is not necessary to copy any full scores, including the piano score. Complete your green repertoire sheet, and submit this and the copies of your scores to the adjudicators when you enter the room.

Because juries occur at the end of the semester, please feel free to contact me directly with questions about your performance or results.

 

Recitals

A recital is a wonderful opportunity to share your love for music with friends and family. It is, however, also intended to show your mastery of the instrument and command of the repertoire. Only students who are well-prepared should endeavor to perform a non-required student recital. Required recitals should be the pinnacle of four years of intensive undergraduate study and should clearly demonstrate the progress that has been made.

Performance majors are required to give a half recital during junior year and a full recital during senior year, and non-performance music majors are required to give a half recital during their senior year. Non-required recitals are possible with approval at anytime, but should not exceed one per year. Non-performance music majors who wish to perform a full recital may also do so with approval. All required recitals must be given in Pierce Chapel, no exceptions. Acceptable options for non-required recitals include Barrows Auditorium, Edman 102, or sites off campus including College Church and Windsor Manor. Make sure to schedule your recital in the Spring of the prior academic year. Missing a deadline will result in not being able to give your recital.

Recital repertoire must be comprised primarily of standard repertoire commensurate with the level of ability of the performer and must be approved ahead of time by the studio teacher. A full recital will include approximately 55 minutes of repertoire, and the half recital will include approximately 25 minutes of repertoire. Half recitals will not have an intermission, but full recitals may include a pause depending on the preference of the performer. Also, with prior approval from the department chair, it may be possible to have a required recital graded in place of a jury.

The timing of the recital and its preparations are important to consider when scheduling a recital. Performers’ recitals should feature repertoire that will be performed for graduate school auditions or competitions, where appropriate, and should be scheduled approximately 2 to 3 months prior to these events. All other recitals should be scheduled during second semester. Also, scheduling the recitals away from Finals Week will alleviate stress and encourage more attendees. Please note that all flute majors are required to attend all flute recitals. An excused absence is possible with prior approval.

Prior to scheduling a recital, the student must consult with the studio teacher to ensure that the teacher will be available for rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and the performance. Immediately after the recital has been scheduled, the student should get to work writing program notes featuring a brief essay about each piece performed. These essays should include the birth and death dates of the composer, a brief history of his or her life, and a brief background on the piece itself. This should be submitted to your studio teacher 6 weeks prior to the recital for approval. Likewise the program should be printed and approved at that time. The recital program should include the composers’ full names and birth and death dates, the exact titles of all pieces, and the titles of individual movements. Translating titles and movements to English is optional, but should be consistent throughout the program.

Students should plan to accommodate as many rehearsals with their accompanists or chamber groups as necessary, and should also expect to bring these ensembles to lessons two or more times prior to the dress rehearsal. Dress rehearsals may take place as studio class performances, if this would be more convenient. Please schedule this well ahead of time, so not to inconvenience other student performers. Also, plan to perform all baroque repertoire with harpsichord and not with piano.

 

Practicing and Preparing Repertoire

The indisputable truth is that time in the practice room corresponds directly to success on stage. There is no way to improve as a musician without disciplined practicing and careful study of scores and recordings. Flute studio performance majors are expected to practice a minimum of 3 hours a day, and non-performers are expected to practice a minimum of 1 hour a day.

An important phase of preparation occurs outside the practice room: studying the score and listening to recordings. I cannot overstate the importance of this and how much time it will save in the long run. The first step in learning any new piece of music should include numbering all measures in all scores (solo and accompaniment) and translating any texts or descriptive words. Students should also spend a significant amount of time studying the full scores and understanding how the piece is put together. Theoretical analysis is useful, but at minimum, students should understand where larger sections and phrases fall and how the individual parts intertwine. Some students may find it helpful to create a copy of their full scores that can be marked up heavily, and then transfer the most important markings carefully in pencil to the performance score. Additionally, students should take the time to fix problems in the scores like poor page turns or errors.

Historical research will provide interesting anecdotes on the composer and the piece as well as a cultural context to help fuel interpretation. Finally, after the score has been adequately prepared and researched, the flutist can begin practicing the piece. Once a basic knowledge of the piece is achieved, it is always useful to find three or more recordings and begin to study them carefully. This will help performers understand the intricacies of the score and how the voices fit together, and it will also give a clearer sense of what is considered standard interpretation. It is not advisable to rely upon only one recording, no matter how famous the player, nor is it recommended to begin studying with a recording. It is always best to establish a connection with a piece before hearing another flutist’s version of it.

An effective practice routine must include disciplined technical work, including careful study and practice of tone (vibrato, focus, projection), articulation (clarity and speed), dexterity, and virtuosity. It also includes a keen understanding and ability to execute complex rhythms. Taffanel-Gaubert #4 provides the foundation for all technical work. In addition to this, students are expected to complete Andersen Etude books, Op 33 and 15 and others, as well as an assigned set of arpeggios and scales in all major and minor keys. Students work on tone using Moyse’s Tone and Development through Interpretation and 20 Exercises on Trills & Slurs for Flute.

Dividing practice time into two parts, half technique and half repertoire, works well to keep skills improving while learning repertoire. A metronome is an indispensable tool to learn consistency and stability of rhythm. When the demands of schoolwork, competitions, and/or auditions are looming, it is tempting to drop the technical side of practicing to cram repertoire. However, students should avoid this approach, and remain disciplined about completing technical work daily. Also, and most importantly, students should spend much of their time working through all etudes and repertoire under tempo, slowly increasing tempo in small increments, so that all details may be processed and learned thoroughly. If an excerpt is fraught with errors, it is being played far too fast. If an excerpt is manageable and virtually error-free, it is being played at a correct tempo. Further practice strategies will be discussed in depth in lessons.