You know that dreaded feeling when you leave the Caribbean? You wake up in the morning and it’s 80 degrees, but by the evening, when you’re back in New York City, it’s a brisk 37… You feel a combination of denial, regret and nostalgia. You begin to question your judgement and lifestyle decisions up until that point. You ask yourself, ‘Why do I live here? Why don’t I live there?‘ Well, 7 days later, I am just now re-cooperating from such feelings after returning from my week-long residency in the Dominican Republic.
Besides enjoying the wonderful climate and island-life, I had the pleasure of serving as a guest artist for this year’s Clarinetísimo, a week-long festival celebrating the clarinet at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música.
My dear friend, Darleny González (clarinetist of Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, professor of clarinet at the conservatory), served as the coordinator and thought it would be exciting to have representation of another woodwind instrument, so she invited me!
The other guest artists were two stellar clarinetists from Spain, José Cerveró and Carlos Gustavo Duarte. In addition to performing a recital of solo works and pieces for flute and clarinet, I had the opportunity to talk with conservatory students about my experience as a professional musician and share insight on career development.
Students participated in masterclasses, ensembles, yoga, and lectures. Darleny and I demonstrated techniques on blending the timbres of flute and clarinet and introduced eclectic pieces in woodwind chamber music repertoire.
The conservatory community was extremely welcoming and warm to both myself and my family. I want to give a special thank you to my wonderful friend Darleny and Prof. Roberto Medina for having me. This trip was truly unforgettable and I look forward to making more music in the Dominican Republic for years to come!
This February, Flutronix was featured artists for one of Chamber Music America’s, First Tuesday Sessions. These free seminars are live-streamed and feature professionals in the chamber music field, who share their experience, expertise and advice on various, career-related topics. Watch Flutronix’s session on “DIY Publishing: Your Work, Your Way” here.
If you haven’t figured it out already, I am a person who wears many hats. The most important of those hats would be mother to my beautiful children and wife to my wonderful husband. So I’m very excited to share that my family is featured in the March issue of Reader’s Digest! This shoot was a fun-filled morning of playing with props, trying on multiple outfits and working with a baby wrangler (what a job!). Special thanks to photographer Erin Patrice O’Brien for inviting us. Read the full piece, “Funny Family Stories” here.
It was a wonderful day, traveling up to my alma mater, Purchase College, and presenting a recital and entrepreneurial musicianship talk. To be able to come back to a place where I spent formative years and blossomed as a young artist, was very special to me. It’s funny how years can go by, your life can drastically change, the world goes through major shifts, and you can return to a place feeling like you’ve never left.
Coming directly from a morning photo-shoot, I immediately switched gears and started off my visit with a short recital of original pieces. On the program was Bit of Everything, Pray, Ambitiousand Stacked. While a student at Purchase, I never performed a composition of my own. In fact, I had hardly even composed anything while an undergraduate. So to be back in the recital hall, (where 10+ years ago I performed works by usual suspects like Prokofiev, Telemann, Bach, Piazolla…), and playing my own pieces was an exciting and other-worldly experience.
After performing, I sat down with the flute students of Dr. Tara Helen O’Connor and discussed various topics of entrepreneurial musicianship. I shared my own story and gave pointers on areas of marketing, networking, programming and more. The students were so receptive to the information and helped create an environment for open discussion, the sharing of ideas and even some role playing. It was such a rewarding feeling to have this opportunity with the same studio I came from. It truly felt full-circle and harmonious.
I want to give an extra special thanks to Dr. Tara Helen O’Connor, for bringing me back and believing in me after all these years. Thank you to Purchase College students for having me, it was a joy to chat with and get to know you all.
I’m excited to be one of the commissioned composers involved in the “Forward Music Project,” a new music and social justice initiative conceived by cellist, Amanda Gookin. From Amanda’s site:
I believe the division of social justice and arts is an invisible line. One cannot exist without the other. This program commissions* works by some of today’s most innovative composers. Each unique composition is an expression of: the composer’s personal experiences, an issue they desire to highlight, and the completely open compositional style through which they choose to do so. This program will develop hand-in-hand with organizations that encourage social change for women all over the world through outreach activities that promote empowerment for young women and girls.
The FMP goal:
+ To raise awareness of women’s issues.
+ To contribute to the evolving future of Contemporary Classical music.
+ To gain support for non-profit organizations focusing on women’s rights.
+ To support the work of living composers.
+ To discover how we are all connected through art.
+ To demonstrate the many different ways to make an impact.
+ To empower young women and provide them a platform of strength and courage to speak up and speak out.
+ To encourage the current of change.
* These 7 works will be premiered in the Fall 2016 in New York City and subsequently performed in a diverse range of venues from recital halls and clubs to Planned Parenthood offices and public schools around the country.