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Boston Symphony Orchestra Invites BFA Young Artist Quartet to Perform Outreach Concert

The BFA Young Artist Quartet members (Brendan Dooley, Emma Huelskamp, Elizabeth Sperry, and Jinji Zhang) were honored with an invitation to perform in a Boston Symphony Orchestra outreach concert at the Edison School in Brighton, MA, which took place on Friday, January 6, 2012.  The event was organized by BSO representative Emilio Gonzales (Manager of Curriculum Research and Development), and also featured BSO representative Cynthia Meyers (solo piccolo for the BSO).

During the concert, the Young Artist Quartet performed George McKay’s “Lyric Poem” as a quartet, plus each played solo works that demonstrated different aspects of flute technique.

Thank you to Emilio Gonzales and Cynthia Meyers for their superb organization of the event, and for their invitation to the quartet!  Also, thank you to Brendan, Emma, Elizabeth, and Jinji for volunteering their time and playing so beautifully!  It was a rewarding experience for everyone involved!

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Highlights from Conservatory Masterclass with Fenwick Smith

From left to right: Amy Lipman, Natalya Tausanovitch, Fenwick Smith, Elizabeth Sperry, and Alexandra Conza

On Saturday, December 4, 2011, retired BSO flutist and BFA faculty member Fenwick Smith coached a masterclass for the Conservatory Ensemble & Seminar class.  Student performances featured Amy Lipman playing Bloch’s Suite Modale (Mvts. 1 and 3), Natalya Tausanovitch playing Doppler’s Hungarian Pastorale Hongroise, Elizabeth Sperry playing Taffanel’s Andante Pastorale & Scherzettino, and Alexandra Conza playing J. S. Bach’s Sonata in G Minor.

Many thanks to Fenwick Smith and our BFA performers for a wonderful class!

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“From the Top” Press Release and Air Date!

From left to right: Elizabeth Sperry, Jinji Zhang, Brendan Dooley, and Emma Huelskamp

Back on October 2, BFA Young Artists Brendan Dooley, Emma Huelskamp, Elizabeth Sperry, and Jinji Zhang performed on the show taping for NPR’s “From the Top.”  Now, details have been released on when the show will be aired, locally and nationwide!  Click here for the official press release:

Massachusetts-Based Flute Quartet to Appear on NPR’s From the Top

The show will air nationwide during the week of November 28, 2011, so check your local listings here!  Boston-area residents, note that Classical New England (99.5FM) will air the show on Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 5:00pm.  Tune in to hear our Young Artist Ensemble’s beautiful performance of George McKay’s “Lyric Poem.”  Enjoy!

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Highlights from BFA "From the Top" Performance

The Young Artist Ensemble performance

On Sunday, October 2, 2011, the BFA Young Artist Ensemble played beautifully at NEC’s Jordan Hall for the taping of the NPR radio show “From the Top”!  The four members, Brendan Dooley, Emma Huelskamp, Elizabeth Sperry, and Jinji Zhang, performed “Lyric Poem,” by George McKay.  Congratulations to Brendan, Emma, Elizabeth, and Jinji on a wonderful performance, and thank you to the many BFA families, fellow students, and faculty who came to cheer them on in the audience!

Check back later for updates on when the show will air on NPR (probably late November or early December)!

From left to right: Elizabeth Sperry, Jinji Zhang, Brendan Dooley, and Emma Huelskamp
Brendan Dooley and Emma Huelskamp during the performance
Emma Huelskamp and Jinji Zhang, backstage
All of the performers having some fun outside (with Elizabeth Sperry, Jinji Zhang, and Emma Huelskamp far left and Brendan Dooley far right)
Another full group shot (see BFA students in the center)
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BFA Honorary Alum Emi Ferguson: featured soloist at NYC 9/11 memorial service

For the ten-year anniversary of 9/11/01, BFA honorary alum Emi Ferguson was selected to be one of four soloists performing in the New York City memorial service at Ground Zero.  (The other three were Yo Yo Ma, James Taylor, and Paul Simon.)  Emi’s touching, poignant performance of “Amazing Grace” reached millions of viewers worldwide.  Beautiful job, Emi–everyone at BFA is very proud of you!

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Special Feature on Young Artist Brendan Dooley in Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Worcester Telegram & Gazette – – Young Worcester flutist to open for pioneering trio.

Click on the link above for the full article on Brendan, which was published leading up to BFA’s PROJECT Trio concert!

Brendan Dooley and Emma Huelskamp opening for PROJECT Trio in concert
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Young Artist Ensemble to Perform on "From the Top"

Past and present members of the Young Artist Ensemble, from spring 2011

The members of the Young Artist Ensemble–Brendan Dooley, Emma Huelskamp, Elizabeth Sperry, and Jinji Zhang–were selected to perform on “From the Top,” NPR’s radio show featuring the nation’s top young musicians!  They will be playing George McKay’s “Lyric Poem,” which they had previously performed in spring 2011 along with the now-recent graduates of the Young Artist Program.

They will be taped in a live performance in Jordan Hall, at the New England Conservatory, on October 2, 2011.  The air date is still TBA, but will most likely be in November 2011.  Congratulations to Brendan, Emma, Elizabeth, and Jinji on this incredible honor!

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2 finalists for 2011 NFA Competition

Brendan DooleyBFA is proud to announce that 2 of our students, Brendan Dooley and Emma Huelskamp, are among the 8 finalists selected nationwide for the 2011 National Flute Association High School Soloist Competition!  They will both compete on August 11, 2011 at the annual NFA convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Congratulations and good luck to both Brendan and Emma!

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BFA Gala Concert, Featuring Premiere of "Mayflower Suite"

Heather Kent conducting everyone in "Mayflower Suite"
Graduating seniors
Judy and Deborah with the graduating seniors (L-R: Jiweon Ryu, Catherine Jones, Judy Grant, Deborah DeWolf Emery, Mayuko Akimoto, and Madeline Aiken)

On Saturday, May 14, 2011, BFA hosted a special end-of-season Gala Concert Celebration.  The program featured the Young Artist Ensemble, the Repertory Ensemble, and the new Adult Ensemble.  In addition, the 4 graduating seniors from BFA’s Young Artist program performed solo works: Jiweon Ryu played Bela Bartok’s “Suite Paysanne Hongroise,” Madeline Aiken played Franz Doppler’s “Hungarian Pastorale Fantasie,” Catherine Jones played Ian Clarke’s “Great Train Race,” and Mayuko Akimoto played Franz Schubert’s “Variations on ‘Trockne Blumen.'”

In addition, the Young Artist Ensemble, Repertory Ensemble, and Adult Ensemble members combined together to perform the premiere of Catherine McMichael’s “The Mayflower Suite,” a newly-commissioned work for flute ensemble.  Dedicated to the students and faculty of the BFA, it is inspired by the founding of Plimouth Plantation in 1620.  The first movement, “Plimouth Landing,” evokes the excitement, apprehension, anticipation, and fears of those first European settlers in the New England area.  The musical letters B- F#-A (the Boston Flute Academy monogram) generate the themes in the opening and closing sections.  The contrapuntal form, common to the early Baroque period, is reminiscent of the type of music the settlers might have been familiar with.  The middle section is a rolling serenade, evoking the ocean crossing.

The second movement, “The Pilgrim,” is a portrait in courage, strength, and suffering.  The rising line suggests hope, and the minor key evokes the struggles and challenges.

The third movement, “1620,” is more joyful, also set in ne0-Baroque contrapuntal style.  The theme is tossed from flute to flute, from low to high, right-side-up and upside-down.

The overall structure of the piece was inspired by the Gigue from the French Suite in G Major by J. S. Bach.  Although Bach wrote that at least 100 years after the Pilgrims’ landing, it was chosen as a blueprint because the architecture of the piece is a culmination of the best of the Baroque period, which is when the Pilgrims lived.

Catherine McMichael is a pianist, composer, performer, arranger, and teacher in Saginaw, Michigan.