Thirty-one flute students from five studios in the Denver area performed on the February 7, 2009 program with Denver Pops Orchestra. Accompanied by the orchestra, the students performed two J.S. Bach Minuets, #15 G major from Suzuki Flute Book 1 and G minor Minuet from Suzuki Flute Book 2; the A minor Minuet by Telemann from the Suite in A minor; portions of the Carnival of Venice by P.A. Genin as found in Suzuki Flute Books 2 & 7; and then joined the orchestra in an arrangement of Ravel’s Bolero for the closing number. The students ranged in age from 7 to 19 and study with the following teachers: Isabella Ubertone, Gail Seay, Margaret Peterson, Elizabeth Nelms, and Brenda Reinicke.

To prepare for this concert, the students learned their pieces with their teachers ahead of time and then participated in two rehearsals with a pianist prior to a first rehearsal with the orchestra. Then Kenichi Ueda came to Denver to help with final coaching of the students in advance of the dress rehearsal and concert. Both orchestra members and audience were very impressed with the students’ good tone quality, intonation and ability to perform as a cohesive group with the orchestra. Five students were chosen to play a short section of the cadenza in the Carnival of Venice. This was a first opportunity for each of them to play a solo in front of a large audience. Hopefully, this experience will build their confidence for future opportunities.

To participate, students needed to know at least one portion of the program, the Book 1 Minuet 15 by JS Bach, but were not required to play all the selections. With this minimal requirement, the group included students from Suzuki Books 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Several participants had participated in similar concerts with Denver Pops in 2003 and 2005. Denver Pops Orchestra is a community orchestra that seeks to provide performance options and programming that include a wide segment of the Denver audience.

Submitted by Elizabeth Nelms, NCTM; principal flute with Denver Pops Orchestra