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Davis, California

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Whistling in on the flute

This weekend, the UC Davis music department will celebrate a staple instrument: The flute.

The UC Davis Flute Festival starts today at noon at 115 Music. Performances will continue Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Studio Theatre Cabaret. Tickets are $18 general admission and $9 with a student ID. Featuring prominent musicians of the flute world, the festival will also offer workshops for students interested in flutes and musical performance.

Music department applied faculty member Tod Brody is director of the upcoming festival, as well as a devoted flute player. He cited guest lecturer Robert Dick as one of his biggest inspirations.

“[Dick] has really reinvented the instrument to include all kinds of other sounds,Brody said. “You really have to hear it it doesn’t do it justice to put it into words.

UC Davis alumna Caitlin Roddy, who is among the list of performers at the festival, also lists Dick as a major influence on her as a flutist.

“I saw him perform live when I was in high school,Roddy said.The experience stuck with me and caused me to become increasingly interested in learning extended techniques on the flute and playing 20th and 21st century flute music.

Dick, who teaches at New York University, is famous among many for his revolutionary approach to music. One of the most interesting examples of this is his invention of the Glissando Headjoint. This new instrument allows the notes of the flute to bebended,which allows for more breadth in musical range, similar to the pitch-bending effects from a guitar’s whammy bar.

Dick will demonstrate this customized instrument as well as other types of flutes at the festival, and students will have the opportunity to volunteer to play with him.

The festival also delves into the internal process of performance. Performance anxiety coach Helen Spielman will address the problem of stage fright with the workshopsTalking to Yourself Means You’re Sane and ConfidentandHallucinating Means You’re in Control of Your Performances. Designed for performers of any kind, the seminars will include strategies on how to get through high-pressure situations and creative visualization.

“Performance anxiety is something that everyone has to deal with in terms of public speaking,Roddy said.

For more information about the UC Davis Flute Festival, visit music.ucdavis.edu.


JULIA McCANDLESS can be reached at arts@theaggie.org. 



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