Over sixty flutists attending the annual SAGWA Flute Institute July 2-6, 2012 in Alexandria, VA had the rare opportunity to study with master teacher and founder of the Suzuki Flute School, Mr. Toshio Takahashi, during one of his two stops on his recent visit from Japan. Students received detailed instruction in a master class setting from Mr. Takahashi on tone production, musical phrasing and group performance. Mr. Takahashi also led daily group rehearsals and conducted the Institute’s final concert on Friday, July 6th. Teacher trainees met several times with Mr. Takahashi to review key pedagogy points for the Suzuki Flute method including group exercises in dynamic contrasts, and tone production.
Mr. Takahashi presented his famous Opera Class, which featured a brief discussion on the origin of Tone Production by Interpretation by Marcel Moyse, followed by a recording of Maria Callas singing an aria from Samson and Delilah by Saint-Saëns. Flutists then heard a live performance of the aria by mezzo soprano Heather Craw accompanied by pianist Trevor Manor. Following that beautiful performance, Mr. Takahashi led flutists through his levels of learning for developing musical expression culminating in a group play through of the aria and a memorable evening.
Master teacher and highly accomplished flutist, Takaeki Miyamae, accompanied by pianist Trevor Manor, presented a recital Tuesday, July 3rd, featuring a diverse program of standard flute repertoire that included the Fantasie by Gabriel Faure, Sonata in G by Georg Philipp Telemann, Canzone by Samuel Barber, Piece by Jacques Ibert, Andante et Scherzo by Louis Ganne, Suite by Charles-Marie Widor, and the charming composition by Louis Moyse, All About Tea. Mr. Miyamae also conducted student masterclasses during the week for Institute participants.
Visiting faculty teacher trainers Rebecca Paluzzi, Laura Larson, and Deborah Kemper taught teacher training for books two, four, and seven respectively and also had a full schedule of student masterclasses. Resident faculty Charlotte Brown Day, Joyce Bennett, Rebecca Turchi Collaros, Jeanne Crowley, Anne Smith and Betsy Trimber taught Tone and Technique classes, flute choir, and Music Mind Games. Pianist Rosalind Kerns accompanied students on daily recitals and for the final group concert.
Other Institute activities included Orff and singing and crafts. Steve Day designed and produced purple t-shirts with special embroidered graphics for each Institute participant making the final “T-shirt day” of the Institute very colorful. Special thanks to The Old Presbyterian Meeting House for use of their facilities and Clermont Elementary School for use of the Orff instruments.
SAGWA extends its appreciation to Flute Institute board members Joyce Bennett, Charlotte Brown Day, Marge Smith, Anne Smith, Rebecca Turchi Collaros and Betsy Trimber for bringing Mr. Takahashi to Alexandria, VA and for a fabulous week of flute learning and fun. It was the perfect way to beat the intense summer heat and celebrate the July 4th holiday week!