Students to Perform in Virginia Flute Festival

By Ian Beabout, Contributing Writer

On Sunday, February 22nd, 2015, the West Liberty University flute choir will perform at the Mid-Atlantic Flute Festival in Reston, Virginia.  The annual festival, which attracts more than 500 flutists of all ages and skill levels, is held in the lobby of the Sheraton Reston Hotel and will be the second time the WLU flute choir has performed there.

The flute choir is lead by director Professor Wendy Kumer and consists of senior flute majors Jewlina Matthews, Sarah Millick, Kristina Lipscomb and freshmen flute majors Gabriella Saporito and Sarah Jones. WLU will be joined by two other college flute choirs – Maryland’s Frostburg University and McDaniel College – and will perform 5 pieces.  Kumer also commissioned a piece for the event, “Aleluia Braziliera,” by Ralph Manuel, which premiered at January’s PRISM concert in College Hall.

In addition to networking with other flutists the trip is also a chance for the flute students to improve their craft and perform in front of people. “When students commit to a performance a very clear goal is set and met,” Kumer said. “There is a due date when they expect to peak. This is challenging, exciting, and helps create habits that can last a lifetime. Also, the chance to perform in an intimate space with flutists from two other small universities, priceless! Connections are formed, networking happens, and our worlds expand.”

The students and Professor Kumer are very excited about the upcoming performance. “When students agree to perform in off-campus events there are many advantages, musically and personally,” Kumer stated. “There is professional growth through learning and perfecting the music, and there is personal growth as the students bond during their time together, face their performance anxieties, get a sense of the extended musical world around them, and most of all enjoy making music and memories while having fun! This is what is most exciting to me as a teacher and coach!”

The 2 day festival will also include a recital by guest artist Leone Buyose and will feature additional workshops, recitals, exhibits, and competitions. “I’m most excited to hear the guest artist,” said senior Jewlina Matthews. “A good step to take as a musician is to listen to many musicians who play your instrument.”

“I am most excited to spend time with my fellow West Liberty flutists, as well as collaborating with flutists from other schools,” freshman Gabriella Saporito said. Meanwhile, Kumar stated, “I am quite excited to take these particular flutists on tour. They represent WLU with distinction. They are talented, dedicated, committed to excellence, and ready to meet the world, flute festival style.”

The concert is free and open to the public, however an entrance fee is required for other events at the Mid-Atlantic Flute Festival.

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