Top Flute Blogs

Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday.

Today is all about celebrating the awesome work of other flutists from around the world! I received a somewhat jarring comment on this blog a few years ago criticizing me for sharing super-secret tips about flute playing on my weekly Flute Friday posts. “Why give it away for free???” This really made me pause. Why should we keep the ins and outs of flute playing locked away from the larger global community? Are flutists like magicians with secrets that may only be revealed to the “chosen ones” in our studio practices? I personally think that music can sometimes be intimidating to others, especially when learning a complicated instrument such as the flute, and I would like to do what I can to help my fellow flutists navigate their studies regardless if they can afford to take private flute lessons or not. Keeping our community exclusive (as we may have in previous generations) does not really work anymore in today’s super connected world. I am certainly not alone in these thoughts! Are you sitting down? Mine is not the only flute blog on the internet (*gasp*). A number of other professional flutists post on a regular basis about flute-related topics, some similar to those discussed on this blog and some very different and quite interesting! In today’s blog, I will introduce a handful of my favorite flute blogs from around the internet. Check them out below!

1. Flutetune.com https://www.flutetunes.com.  Okay, I know this is not technically a standard type of flute blog, but it is a fantastic resource for your students! This site not only hosts a number or free scores, but also contains a fabulous blog series featuring a “Tune of the Day.” These posts include a PDF copy of the sheet music and a recording to play along to. How fun! I also really like that this site includes links to other flute articles (including posts on how to practice, flute harmonics, and flute vibrato), flute scale PDFs, fingerings, an online metronome, and staff paper PDFs. Everything is literally in one place!

2. Jennifer Cluff – Canadian Flutist and Teacher https://jennifercluff.blogspot.com. I have really enjoyed this blog over the years and I think have even recommended a post or two as resources on my own blog. This is a great blog that covers a number of practice tips and interesting flute topics. Her newest post, “Top Ten Secrets of Great Flute Playing,” features a really wonderful PDF for your beginning flutists (regardless of age). Practical, purposeful, and fun. Excellent flute blog!

3. Hannah B. Flute https://hannahbflute.com/blog/. This is another great blog and I particularly enjoy the way that posts are laid out visually. Hannah does a great job of posting new topics once a week and asks some of the tough questions that we are often afraid to ask (such as “Is historical performance practice necessary?” and “Do you need to take intermediate flute lessons?” I also really like her post on “9 Self Care Tips for Musicians.” There are not enough blogs out there about how to keep going when the flute playing gets tough. Thanks Hannah!

4. Practice Room Revelations Blog (Jolene Madewell) https://www.joleneharju.com/practiceroomrevelations/. Not only do I like how these blogs appear on the page (so you can see a bunch of archived posts at once), I really enjoy the recurring theme of mindful flute playing on this blog. This blog reminds us that flute playing is not just about playing the notes, but also involves musical self-discovery and a greater awareness about we, the performers, fit into the bigger picture of creating music. Although this blog has not been updated since June 2020, I still recommend checking out some of her posts on mindful teaching and practicing. My favorites include “How I Regained Confidence in my Playing (After Becoming Too Afraid to Play),” “What did you Notice? Guiding Student to their own Revelations,” and “The Power of Choosing Enjoyment Over Fear.” Check it out!

5. Doctor Flute Blog – Musings on the Flute https://doctorflute.com/blog/. I absolutely love this blog! The topics are always super practical and include some straightforward, easy to follow tips. Dr. Angela McBreatry is also very good at advertising her posts on social media to encourage a broader dialog on the subjects of the week. Some of my favorite recent posts on this blog include “5 Ways to Improve Technique,” “5 Things That Ruin Tone,” and “What is Nuance?” Awesome, practical flute blog!

6. Dr. Jessica Quinones http://jqflute.com/blog/. I really enjoy the way that this blog tackles the difficult questions about navigating tough times in our flute playing careers. Like I have mentioned on this blog before, flute playing is not always puppies and rainbows and seems to get even more difficult with advanced knowledge and experience. Some of my favorite posts include, “You are getting so much right,” “The easiest, simplest, happiest way to be a musician is this..,” and “Rough times happening? Oh look, there you are making gold out of it. Here’s 3 heartfelt observations about your playing to get you through the storm.” Thank you for your honest observations and helpful tips, Dr. Quinones!

7. The Flute Coach https://www.theflutecoach.com/blog/. This is a really great blog with a number of popular flute topics for everyone. I really like this approach to discussing new, better ways to do things rather than the same old same old. I also really like her ideas encouraging the broader use of technology in the studio environment. Some of my favorite recent blogs include topics such as, “Should We Bother Setting Goals,” “Updated for 2020: Why You Should Convert to Digital Flute Sheet Music,” and “How to Transition your Flute Studio to an Online Model and Build Resilience in Challenging Times.” Another excellent flute blog!

8. Kim Collins Flute Studio Blog https://www.kimcollinsflute.com/flute-studio-blog. Calling all fellow longer post enthusiasts (like myself)! I really enjoy the longer, more in-depth blog posts on the site. Kim Collins goes beyond surface details and basic tips to discussing the larger “why” in each topic. The writing is wonderful and the honest interpretations are a breath of fresh air in a profession that sometimes focuses too much on the “rules” and not enough on the humanity. Some of my favorite recent posts include “Unsure of Your Musical Future? You are NOT Alone,” and “Our Comfort Zone: the Ins and Outs.”

9. Marlene Metz Hartzler Blog http://marlenehartzler.com/category/flute/. What I love about this flute blog is the variety of topics. This is not just a blog for performers or a blog aimed at teachers, but a blog for all of us! I really enjoy some of the posts written during the pandemic (that we all can still use in our practices moving forward)” including “Virtual Music: Teaching Lessons Online: The Good,” “Flute in Quarantine: Pandemic Safety,” and “Teaching Generation Z.” She also discusses topics such as Music Therapy, Flute Acoustics, and Talent vs. Hard Work. Great blog with a bit of everything!

10. Bret Pimentel https://bretpimentel.com. This blog is basically the inspiration for today’s blog (thanks Bret!!). Although not exclusively a flute blog, Bret Pimentel’s woodwind blog contains fascinating posts for woodwind teachers that apply to literally all of us. Some of the more recent blogs that I have been enjoying include “Preparing a Focused Mind,” “How to Have a Good Lesson,” and “Shaping a Phrase.” What I love the most about this blog, however, is the monthly “Favorite Blog Posts” series which features the work of other woodwind bloggers from around the internet. My posts have been periodically featured here and I am always grateful to end up on his monthly favorites blog posts!


Do you have a favorite flute blogger? Do you have your own flute blog? What topics and layouts interest you the most? Are you interested in blog collaborations? Please comment below!

Happy fluting! (And blogging)


All State’s All-State Band Info

Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday.

Earlier this year, I resurrected the Practice Blueprints Series with a discussion on all-state audition preparation tips and general info for successfully navigating the all-state process in a handful of states. While writing these blog posts, I was fascinated by how differently each state varied their all-state format and required audition repertoire. This had me wanting a handy resource to quickly compare all-state requirements from, well, everywhere. Behold – the fruit of these labors. Today’s blog features general info and links to resources for all-state band auditions and festivals from all 50 states. Want a fun challenge for your studio? Ask students to prepare all-state audition material from another state and hold mock auditions during your next studio masterclass. Want to attend another state’s all-state festival to compare notes on all-state experiences and/or repertoire? Are you a band director searching for a new way to model your state’s all-state process (or at least reboot the all-state website)? This blog is for you! Hopefully, at the very least, this will be a good resource for navigating your state’s all-state processes now and in the future.



Website: https://alaband.org/all-state-festival/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: October 31-November 9, 2021 depending on district

Audition Repertoire Link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1CfVC8pqyj_UVt3r5quEFHaDmPZJW6M4H  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 6-10, 2022; Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center, Mobile, AL


Website: https://asaa.org/activities/music/music-all-state-music-festival/

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: 22-Sep-21

Audition Repertoire Link: Flute – https://asaa.org/wp-content/uploads/AS-2021-FLUTE.pdf  

 ; Piccolo – https://asaa.org/wp-content/uploads/AS-2021-PICCOLO.pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): November 18-20, 2021

West Anchorage High School, Anchorage, Alaska


Website: https://azmea.org/high-school-regional-festival/  

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: March 14, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: “same as the All-Regional auditions.” *Please see your band director for more information

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): TBD – Last Festival April 9-10, 2021, May 1, 2021


Website: https://www.asboa.org/ClinicMaterials/2020Revision/Revision2020.html

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: February 5, 2022; Arkansas State University, Jonesboro

Audition Repertoire Link: Set II – https://www.asboa.org/ClinicMaterials/2020Revision/SR%20Complete%202020%20REV.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 17-19, 2022 Hot Springs Convention Center


Website: https://cbda.org/all-state-ensembles/auditions/

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: 11:59 PM on December 1, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/13Lu3ux0sz2szYl4AY1vTkz6gCKQGpfQM  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 17-20, 2022, William Saroyan Theatre, Fresno, CA


Website: https://arts.unco.edu/music/all-state/

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: November 30, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://arts.unco.edu/music/all-state/  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 7-9, 2022, University of  Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado


Website: https://cmea.org/student-events/all-state/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: Feb 5, 2022; North Haven High School

Audition Repertoire Link: https://cmea.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/HS-WWinds-Brass-Audition-Repertoire.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 31-April 2, 2022

CT Convention Center

100 Columbus Blvd

Hartford, CT 06103


Website: https://www.delawaremea.org/20212022-allstate-info

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: January 8-15, 2022

Audition Repertoire Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bP3MXc88uPYJMNflqFz3q_6AUUsHjbceKqfgPfwM7QE/edit  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 24 – 26, 2022, Dover High School, Dover, DE


Website: https://fba.flmusiced.org/all-state/audition-requirements/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: September 18-25, 2022

Audition Repertoire Link: https://fba.flmusiced.org/media/2016/all-state-requirements-2022-symphonic-band-woodwind.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 12-15, 2022, Tampa, Florida


Website: https://www.gmea.org/asb-audition-information

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: District Auditions – December 11, 2022; Final Auditions January 8, 2022

Audition Repertoire Link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/14oSt_76SGuqU83gPYoBcBI0tkO3hHUvr  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 3-5, 2022; The Classic Center, Athens, Georgia


Website: N/A String All-State Orchestra Only


Website: https://www.idahomusiced.org/events/allstate/allstate.php

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: Audition Registration Closes – Midnight, October 15, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://idahomusiced.org/forms/allstate/AllStateAudMusic/Flute.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 2-5, 2022, Northwest Nazarene University (NNU), Nampa, Idaho


Website: https://ilmea.org/imec

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: All-State Audition Recordings Due – Friday, December 17, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://racheltaylorgeier.files.wordpress.com/2021/12/794d6-topost-2022wind26percussionall-stateauditionmaterial.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 26-29, 2022, Peoria Civic Center, Peoria, IL


Website: https://www.indianabandmasters.org/All-state/all-state.html

Audition Type: Live (Regional Sites)

Audition Deadlines: January 9, 2022 starting at 1:00 PM

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.indianabandmasters.org/All-state/audition_etudes/1_flute-piccolo.pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 11-13, 2022 at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


Website: https://ihsma.org/all-state-audition-information-2021/

Audition Type: Live (Regional Sites)

Audition Deadlines: October 23, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://ihsma.org/all-state-audition-information-2021/  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): November 18-20, 2021, Hilton Coliseum, Iowa State Center, Ames, Iowa


Website: https://ksmea.org/hsband/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: Jan. 8, 2022 – Salina-Lakewood Middle School

1135 E Lakewood Circle

Salina, KS

Audition Repertoire Link: https://ksmea.org/hsband/excerpts/  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 26, 2022 – Century II Concert Hall, Wichita, KS


Website: https://kmea.org

Audition Type: Unknown *Please see your band director for more information

Audition Deadlines:

Audition Repertoire Link: *Unknown – please see your band director for more information

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 2–5, 2022, Kentucky International Convention Center, Louisville, KY


Website: https://www.lmeamusic.org/all-state/band/

Audition Type: Live (Videotaped)

Audition Deadlines: Date, time, fees, and location for the 1st round audition are set by the District Director for his/her district; Wednesday, January 12, 2022 (midnight) – Deadline for District Directors to submit their district’s 2nd round audition videos to the Band Division Chair.

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.lmeamusic.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/All-State-Band-Auditions-Set-IIe.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 13-17, 2022, Baton Rouge, LA


Website: https://mainemmea.org/boc-all-state-festival/

Audition Type: Recorded (Video)

Audition Deadlines: Please see your band director for due dates.

Audition Repertoire Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QwNfbB16Q3lVCtEiGgogAnORlyiwyRo15Tf2fS3T5h0/edit  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): TBD (2022)


Website: https://www.mdmea.org/all-state-auditions

Audition Type: Recorded (Video)

Audition Deadlines: October 27, 2021 at 11:59pm

Audition Repertoire Link: https://94f25311-6754-4534-b1d6-0b7479dbf12e.filesusr.com/ugd/793987_a1bf53cd7e464ce8b360360393664bac.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 4-6, 2022 (Virtual)


Website: http://www.massmea.org/newsevents/all-state-festival-concert/auditions

Audition Type: Recorded (Video)

Audition Deadlines: 5:00pm on Saturday, January 22, 2022

Audition Repertoire Link: http://www.massmea.org/sites/default/files/public/audition/2022/2022-All-State-Virtual-Audition-List.pdf; http://www.massmea.org/sites/default/files/public/scales/Flute.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): TBD (2022)


Website: https://www.msboa.org/Events/All-State.aspx

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: Late October (Please see schedule: https://www.msboa.org/Portals/0/2021-2022%20All-State%20Audition%20Schedule-Master_1.pdf )

Audition Repertoire Link:  Unknown

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 28, 2022 – DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI


Website: https://mmea.org/events/all-state/auditions/

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: March 11, 2022

Audition Repertoire Link: https://auditionsolos.com/state_lists/MMEA_2022.htm; https://drive.google.com/file/d/1N3DihF978iwS-Ei9O0gQ_Sl41X4JFOgJ/view  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): August (Summer Camp), February (MMEA Midwinter Clinic) (Performance) Dates TBD


Website: Marching Band All-State Auditions Only – https://www.misslionsband.org

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: November 13, 2021, call backs November 20, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.misslionsband.org/auditioninfo.htm  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): Canada: Date TBD


Website: https://missouribandmasters.org/missouri-all-state-band/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: December 5, 2022 Hickman High School, Columbia, MO

Audition Repertoire Link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1OwJGOx2Y8SlDV76k5yQDn8IC-A8qDWXL   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 26-29, 2022 – Tan-Tar-A Resort, Osage Beach MO


Website: https://www.mhsa.org/page/show/2173367-festivals

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: June 13, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://cdn4.sportngin.com/attachments/document/0153/0703/Audition_Materials-Set_B_2021_1_.pdf#_ga=2.137231344.1996054389.1639173934-774582277.1639173929   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): October 20-22, 2021, Great Falls, MT


Website: https://www.nmeanebraska.org/2021-all-state-band

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: September 25, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.nmeanebraska.org/band-audition-materials  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): November 17-19, 2021, Lincoln, Nebraska


Website: https://nmeamusic.org/nmeaevents/all-state-music-festival/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: January 24-27, 2022 (based on district area)

Audition Repertoire Link: https://nmeamusic.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2021/10/2022-Nevada-All-State-Band-Audition-Information-FINAL.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 7-9, 2022 Reno, NV (UNR)

New Hampshire

Website: https://nhmea.org/festivals/all-state-music-festival/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: November 20, 2021 at Manchester Memorial High School

Audition Repertoire Link: http://nhmea.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2021/09/2021-2022-All-State-Audition-Requirements-9-14-21.pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 7-9, 2022 Concord, NH (Concord High School, Grappone Conference Center)

New Jersey

Website: https://njmea.org/all-state/hs-band/hs-band-auditions/  

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: January 22, 2022 – J.P. Stevens High School, Edison, NJ

Audition Repertoire Link: https://mea.nafme.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2021/07/2022-All-State-Bands-Solos.png ; Scales: https://njmea.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2017/06/ASB-Scale-Requirements.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 25-26, 2022 (Rutgers University, New Jersey Performing Arts Center)

New Mexico

Website: https://www.nmmea.com/all-state/   

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: November 5, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: Unknown *Please see band director

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 15, 2022, Cleveland High School, Rio Rancho, NM

New York

Website: https://www.nyssma.org/parents-students/the-all-state-process/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: Spring 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: NYSSMA Level VI solo *Please see band director (must have score of 98 or higher)

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): December 2-5, 2021, Rochester, NY

North Carolina

Website: https://www.ncbandmasters.org/auditions  

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: March 5, 2022 Atkins High School, Winston-Salem, NC

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.ncbandmasters.org/11-12-solos-and-scales   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 29-May 1, UNC Chapel Hill

North Dakota

Website: https://www.ndallstate.org  

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: January 6-7, 2022 Bismarck State College, Bismarck, ND

Audition Repertoire Link: https://f48a7b0b-85c0-4eb5-b673-bbd8b3161235.filesusr.com/ugd/c00551_c3621b3d8ff64b6dbd3397810ad5da02.pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 24-26, 2022, Bismarck Event Center


Website: https://app.getacceptd.com/omea  

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: 31-May-21

Audition Repertoire Link: https://app.getacceptd.com/omea  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 2-5, 2022, Cleveland, OH


Website: https://okmea.org/all-state/symphonic-band-and-wind-symphony/  

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: November 6, 2021 (First Round), December 4, 2021 (Second Round) – District Sites: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1foO4tUY11IIUTfB1w0WAuVBASleRrGXf/view  

Audition Repertoire Link: (Second Round) https://drive.google.com/file/d/12lfe2B0b-ovhrk-yK7kEG2DBuiIG9r2R/view ; Scales – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X3D253xsTlPfVAJh-x4xi5nYMetGHmJ3/view  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 19-22, 2022, Cox Business Center, Tulsa, OK


Website: https://www.oregonmusic.org/All-State-Audition-Application-Info.html  

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: October 4, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.oregonmusic.org/files/All%20State/2022%20AllState%20and%20Conference/HS/SymphBandAudition_Materials-2022%20(1).pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 13-16, 2022 Eugene, OR


Website: https://www.pmea.net/pmeaall-stateinformation/  

Audition Type: Recorded (video)

Audition Deadlines: February 3, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Audition Repertoire Link: (Login Required: https://www.pmea.net/wp-login.php?redirect_to=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pmea.net%2Fat-large-excerpts%2F)

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 6-9, 2022 Kalahari Resort and Conference Center, Poconos

Rhode Island

Website: https://www.rimea.org/allstate  

Audition Type: Recorded (Video)

Audition Deadlines: November 20, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.rimea.org/pdf/member_handbook/allstate_winds_sr.pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 28, 2022, VMA Auditorium, Providence, RI

South Carolina

Website: https://www.bandlink.org/all-state-band/auditions/

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: Regional Auditions – January 2022 https://www.bandlink.org/all-state-band/site-information/  

Audition Repertoire Link: (Login Required) – https://www.bandlink.org/all-state-band/auditions/audition-requirements/  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February-March 2022 (Regional – https://www.bandlink.org/all-state-band/site-information/)

South Dakota

Website: https://www.sdhsaa.com/activity/all-state-band/  

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: January 2022 – Please see schedule at https://www.sdhsaa.com/Handbook/FA-AllStateBand.pdf  

Audition Repertoire Link: Etudes: https://www.sdhsaa.com/FineArts/ASB-AuditionEtudes.pdf; Scales: https://www.sdhsaa.com/asb-audition-scales/  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 24-26, 2022, Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center – SDSU, Brookings, SD


Website: http://www.tnmea.org/all-state *unclear from website if All-State is scheduled for 2022 convention

Audition Type:

Audition Deadlines:

Audition Repertoire Link:  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 27-30, 2022, Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Nashville, TN


Website: https://www.tmea.org/band/all-state/

Audition Type: Live (Regional Sites)

Audition Deadlines: *See band director for regional audition schedule

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.tmea.org/band/audition-material/   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 9-12, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas


Website: https://www.umea.us/all-state-band  

Audition Type: Recorded (Video)

Audition Deadlines: November, 21, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PTcXCoOf1PyiGl0HeJFxWDNOs7WkXmp8Ciq5DzxhC54/edit   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 12-14, 2022, Abravanel Hall, Salt Lake City, UT


Website: https://www.vmea.org/all-state-music-festival  

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: January 15, 2022, CVU (Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

Audition Repertoire Link: Repertoire – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fqU1_Ux7xo_tpLwITu1Gw4G7SL_p48Z6/view; Scales – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uVwWEKdKuUXa_VfkfU49FJH22lf6QhPY/view   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): May 5-7, 2022, Chittenden County


Website: https://www.vboda.org/index.php/all-virginia-band-and-orchestra.html

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: February 26, 2022 – James Madison University

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.vboda.org/documents/All-VA/Etudes/2022%20All-VA%20Wind%20Audition%20Requirements.pdf (Etudes posted February 2022)

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): April 21-23, 2022, Christopher Newport University


Website: https://wmea.org/all-state/wmea-all-state-audition-materials/

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: October 7, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://wmea.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/2022WindsPercussion.pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): February 17-20, 2022, Yakima Convention Center, Yakima, WA

West Virginia

Website: https://www.wvallstateband.com  

Audition Type: Live

Audition Deadlines: December 3, 2021 – University of Charleston (Charleston, WV); December 4, 2021 – West. Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)

Audition Repertoire Link: https://www.wvallstateband.com/requirements   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): March 3-5, 2022 Clay Center, Charleston, West Virginia


Website: https://wsmamusic.org/hs-honors/auditions/

Audition Type: Live (Regional Sites)

Audition Deadlines: February 5, 2022, Februrary 12, 2022 (see https://wsmamusic.org/hs-honors/auditions/ for regions)

Audition Repertoire Link: https://wsmamusic.org/files/2021/08/FluteHSH-.pdf   

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): June 18-21, 2022 Camp, October 27, 2022 Concert


Website: https://wyomea.org/programs-events/all-state-music-2022/  

Audition Type: Recorded

Audition Deadlines: November 6, 2021

Audition Repertoire Link: https://wyomea.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2021/09/2022-All-State-Band-Audition-FlutePiccolo.pdf  

All-State Festival Dates and Location(s): January 16-18, 2022, Rock Springs High School, Rock Springs, WY

What does the all-state process look like in your state? In what ways could you improve this process by reviewing the process in other states? How does the repertoire in your state compare to that in other states? Please comment below!

Happy Fluting!

Dr. G’s Flute Gift Guide

Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday.

Shopping for the holidays? Have a flutist in your life on your gift list? Want to give your loved ones some good ideas for new flute gear on your own wish list? In today’s blog, I will share a few gift ideas for the flutist in your life. These are some of my favorite things and I hope you will enjoy them as much I do! (*Please note – none of these items are sponsored. I’m just a superfan!)

1. Win-D-Fender https://win-d-fender.com/product/win-d-fender/ $50.  I have discussed this device in previous blog posts and I am forever a fan of the Win-D-Fender. If you like to practice outside in the warmer months or live in an area where air conditioners and/or heaters run constantly indoors, this is the flute add-on for you! The Win-D-Fender helps to retain sound and projection despite how the air is circulating around you. I used to love to practice outdoors in the summer when I was young and this handy, dandy contraption would have been perfect for my daily sessions.

2.  PiccPocket https://win-d-fender.com/product/piccpocket/ $75. This is a relatively new device also offered through Win-D-Fender that seems to solve the problem of trying to carry both your flute and piccolo at the same time. You’ve probably been there – trying to carefully balance both instruments on their stands in your hands while tucking your music under your arm and praying that nobody bumps into you while you walk at a glacial pace onto the stage. Wouldn’t it just be easier to put your piccolo in a sling, freeing up your hands to carry your music? I think the PiccPocket is a great alternative. I, myself, have been forever traumatized by an instance in my youth where I fell down a flight of stairs trying to carry both of these instruments to a performance. Save yourself the headache with this convenient sling.

3. Fluterscooter Flute Bags https://www.fluteworld.com/product-category/case-covers-and-bags/fluterscooter/ $120-250. I have owned a beautiful Fluterscooter bag in Spring Lilac for years and absolutely love it. Gone are the days when instrument bags only came in boring, standard black matte varieties. If you want to upgrade your gear and add a bit of personality to your flute game, I recommend purchasing one of these case covers. The Red Patent Leather Bag is one of my favorites (and can be spotted from across a room). They are much larger than you’d think, with lots of room for cleaning clothes and other flute accessories. The velcro straps inside the bag hold your case in place safely and securely while the soft insulation keeps your flute cushioned and protected.

4. Crescendo Flute Backpack https://crescendo-bags.myshopify.com/collections/the-flute-section/products/flutes-laptop-gigbag-single-compartment $262. Okay, so I did not pay for this one myself but won this bag at the NFA convention last summer. I had no idea how cool this bag actually was until it arrived in the mail! This is perfect for a college student or flutist (like myself) living in a very bike friendly community. There are super insulated pockets for both your flute and piccolo as well as a separate compartment for your laptop or ipad, and outside pockets for all of the little things. The thing I like the most, though, is that the bag is large enough to hold bigger scores or those oversized music folders we lug around for orchestra concerts. Definitely a good investment!

5. Lyricraft Engraved Instrument Stands (with Corresponding Pegs) https://www.fluteworld.com/product-category/instrument-stands/lyricraft/ (Stands: $144.95-$194.95, Pegs $24.95-39.95). I had had my eye on these for years after seeing some of my fellow flute choir members use them in rehearsals. These stands are absolutely beautiful! The engraving is stunning and adds a bit of class to your set up. The base is on the heavier side but is quite solid (nothing is knocking this stand over!). The pegs are interchangeable. Simply order the ones you need and switch them out as necessary. The pegs themselves are also very solid and feature a moisture-wicking material on the outside. I finally purchased a double-pegged version over the summer and absolutely love it! Total upgrade from the collapsible stands I was using.

6. Sempre Flute Cleaning Cloths https://www.sempreflute.store/collections/all?page=1 $18.99-23.99. I was introduced to this company over this summer when a friend gifted me with the very beautiful Rouge Artist Series cloth (that consequently coordinates in color quite well with my Flutescooter bag). I was blown away by the quality of this cloth and its ability to shine up my flute in a flash. The thicker fabric is super durable and the designs are stunning. Check them out! I am totally converted.

7. Peak Music Stand https://www.fluteworld.com/product/peak-music-stand-sms-20/ $45.95. I purchased my Peak Music Stand in 2007 and it is still in excellent condition! I love this stand. I’ve used it for everything from daily practice in my home studio, to flute choir rehearsals, to orchestra performances, to performing outdoors, and everything in between. It is light, easy to assemble, comes with a sturdy carrying case, and looks just as good as the bulkier Manhasset metal stands. I will never buy a different stand!

8. Thumbport and Thumbport II https://www.fluteworld.com/product/thumbport/ $19.95. I have always been a rebel when it comes to the placement of my right-hand thumb (much to the chagrin of my teachers and definitely at the expense of my tendons). This little device helps to give my thumb a convenient and consistent place to land. It simply clips onto your flute and can be removed and placed conveniently in your flute bag when not in use. It also comes in various colors if you’d like to add a bit of personality to your gear.

9. Music Folder https://www.fluteworld.com/product/concert-folio/ $18.95. This music folder is super durable and fits a surprising amount of music in a variety of sizes. If you like to keep all of your music organized in one folder, this is the product for you. Stylish and practical, I have used this folder for a number of years. I find that it fits better in my various carrying bags than the standard orchestral folders. I also like to keep everything in one place without seeing a clutter of scores on my stand.

10. FluteWorld Gift Certificates https://www.fluteworld.com/product-category/gift-certificates/ $5-$750. Most of us use FluteWorld at some point or another to purchase music, recordings, instruments, and various accessories. This is a great gift idea for students or if you have a flutist in your life that you know is saving up to purchase an instrument. This may help them make a dent in their savings journey. We all just like having an excuse to give our gear a makeover and FluteWorld has a great selection. Happy shopping!


What is on your flute gear wish list this holiday season? Do you have other gift ideas to recommend? What is your favorite flute accessory? Please comment below!

Happy fluting!

Top 20 Grateful List

Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday! Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving! This week I have been reflecting on some of the things I am most grateful for as a flute player, particularly over the past year as our industry has made our way through a pandemic. Today I am sharing the top 20 items on this list. I encourage you to create your own lists! We have a lot of reasons to celebrate our passion and resilience as artists. What are you grateful for? 

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com
  1. Flute Talk Magazine. It was announced a few weeks ago that Flute Talk will be discontinued. I am so very grateful for the many years this journal was in publication. Flute Talk was the inspiration for many things in my younger days (including this very blog). Thank you for all of the articles and priceless advice over the years!
  2. Win-D-Fender.  I was lucky enough to try this device out at a past flute convention and loved it! If you are an fan of practicing outside (or not a fan of trying to project through powerful air conditioners), check out this clever flute accessory: https://win-d-fender.com
  3. Flute Overhauls. I was very fortune this year to have both my flute and piccolo overhauled by the talented John Gil in Sacramento and now they both play like a dream. Thanks John!
  4. YouTube Piano Accompaniments. I know I know…nothing beats the real thing, but thanks to YouTube, we now have simple piano accompaniments for some of our standard repertoire on YouTube. This is a great resource if you are working on memorizing (or re-memorizing) the works we all know and love.
  5. Connecting with other Flutists via Social Media. I have met many wonderful flutists at conventions over the years and thanks to outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, I can stay connected to these folks every day. It is wonderful to see what my colleagues are up to (and fun to share cute pet photos!).
  6. Community Flute Societies. These are also great for meeting and connecting with flutists in and around your own community or even those in larger cities. Many of the societies, such as the Chicago Flute Club, offer regular masterclasses that can be attended online from anywhere.
  7. Flute Masks. Although not fail-safe just yet, these have helped many of us and our students return to live rehearsals and performances. What is your favorite flute mask?
  8. Stylish Flute Bags. From Fluterscooter to Crescendo, there are a number a very colorful, stylish, and useful flute bags on the market today. I, myself, have a lilac Fluterscooter bag and was fortunate this year to win a Crescendo flute backpack at the NFA convention. I love them both!
  9. The 2021 National Flute Association Virtual Convention. Although the live convention is irreplaceable, this year’s virtual convention was absolutely wonderful! I was so very happy to experience the lectures and performances online this year from the comfort of my home studio. I also really enjoyed having the ability to chat virtually with my colleagues, some of which I have not seen in years.
  10. Youth Solo Competitions. These drove me to be the best flutist I could be when I was young and the best, most supportive judge I can be as an adult. I was fortunate to judge two of these competitions virtually this year and very much enjoyed all of the performances I reviewed and adjudicated. I am constantly impressed by the young talent out there today!
  11. Electro-Acoustic Flute Pieces. One of my very favorite parts of the NFA Convention this year was the gala concert featuring new, interesting works for the flute. Some of the electro-acoustic pieces featured here were wild but very cool! I love seeing the flute featured in non-traditional ways. 
  12. The Flute View Magazine. Shameless plug here: I love writing for this online publication! The Flute View always features fabulous articles highlighting what is new in the flute world and what we can reimagine in the future. I am super proud to be one of their monthly contributors.
  13. Any Video Performance by Jasmine Choi.  Okay, I know we all have our favorite performers and nobody has exactly the same taste, but Jasmine will always be Queen to me. Her performances are #fluteplayinggoals!
  14. Flute Players who Love Astrology. I publish monthly flute horoscopes in The Flute View and I am always grateful for other flutists who reach out and share their own love of all things tarot and astrology with me. I love hearing about horoscopes that come true or how they have come to understand more about themselves as performers by studying astrology. Yay to shared interests!
  15. Flute Players who Understand the Struggle. I am so grateful to have connected this year with flute players who, like myself, have struggled to build their careers along traditional lines. We are not alone! The world needs more flutists who have the courage and tenacity to do something different with their flute lives. Playing the flute does not need to look the same to everybody.
  16. The Bond of Flute Choirs. Playing in a flute choir is fun! I was fortunate to perform with the Professional Flute Choir at an NFA convention a couple years ago and loved it!  The people I met were great and the repertoire we performed was fabulous!  I have also played in local flute choirs for several years and really respect the bonds that are formed when we just play music and have fun. Isn’t that what it is all about anyways?
  17. The Creativity Behind Cleaning Cloths. I know this sounds weird, but have you checked out all of the super fun and useful cleaning cloths on the market these days??? From Sempre Flute to Beaumont, there is a style and fabric for everyone. I love being creative with my flute gear!
  18. Fancy Wood Flute Stands. I have a confession – I had been using cheap, utilitarian, foldable instrument stands since I started playing the flute in 6th grade. I hadn’t updated my instrument stand game until last summer when I invested in one of those super fancy stands with a large wood base and interchangeable flute pegs. I love this set up! Not as light as my old system, but very solid (aka nothing is tipping this one over) and very beautiful.
  19. Free Virtual Masterclasses. I have audited so many excellent masterclasses via Zoom this year that I would have otherwise had to pay beaucoup bucks to attend in person in the days of yesteryear. From Keith Underwood to Carol Wincenc, I have soaked up so many wonderful tips from the experts that I wouldn’t otherwise have access to under normal circumstances.  I hope platforms like this continue in the future!

And finally…..

  • Our industry has survived a pandemic! I know – We aren’t out of the COVID woods quite yet, but isn’t it inspiring to see the ways we have come together to do things differently and survive a very difficult, unpredictable set of circumstances? I am very proud to be part of the global flute community and hope that we can take some of the lessons we have learned during this time into the future.

What are you grateful for in your flute life? Do any of the above resonate with you? Please comment below!

Happy Fluting!

What’s the Frequency, Fido?

Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday.

Today’s blog is inspired by my precious English Bulldog, Patty. My husband and I adopted Miss Patty about a year ago. As first-time dog owners, we have been a bit overprotective when it comes to our pup (what she eats, what noises she makes and why, etc.). Prior to adopting Patty, I typically practiced my flute and piccolo in my home office with the door shut, as to not disturb the rest of the household. One Friday a few weeks ago, I moved my practice session to the living room (which has a much higher ceiling and significantly better resonance) while Patty slept in her favorite green chair across the room. As I was belting out a few high C#s, I started to wonder if the sound and frequency of my playing could potentially hurt my pup’s ears. If so, how will I know if she experiences any pain or hearing loss? In today’s blog, I will discuss the connection between the flute and hearing sensitivity in dogs. Disclaimer: I am so not a veterinarian – just an overprotective dog mom. If you are reading this and know something animal sciencey that I don’t, please comment below! A lot of us flutists are proud puppy owners and would love to know more about updated hearing data.

So, first thing’s first – There is not very much research on the impact of loud noises on dog’s ears. Bummer! Most of our understanding is based on comparisons with human hearing thresholds as the structure of our ears is similar (outer ear – pinna – ear cannel – eardrum). One of the most significant differences, however, is that a dog’s ear canal is longer and deeper than a human’s, allowing dogs to funnel sound more efficiently than humans. Loud noises may effect dogs in two ways – physical pain and/or hearing loss. As we will see below, is it unlikely that flute music (or piccolo music) will cause a dog physical pain, but hearing loss is a different story. It is important to carefully monitor your dog’s behavior if you are practicing in close proximity. Are they hiding? Are they covering their ears? Are they howling? Dogs experiencing pain will most likely run away from the sound, hide, or cover their heads. If you notice this, you should move your practice behind closed doors ASAP or plan to move your daily sessions off-site. If your dog is howling along to your playing, you may have more than just an adoring fan. The modern dog’s ancestor, the wolf, howls to other wolves in the wild to communicate to other pack members where they are or to warn off other animals from moving into their territory. They also howl to assemble the pack (Patty joins in a similar howl chain when the neighborhood dogs start yipping in the backyard). This behavior is ingrained in a dog’s genetic code. They may be trying to communicate with a sound from what they perceive to be another pack member. Or they may be howling along to something that you can’t even hear as dogs can pick up higher frequencies than the human ear (overtones, perhaps?). Dogs also surprisingly have a sense of pitch and may howl in a different pitch to individualize their own howl against the cacophony of other sounds. If your dog is howling along to Ibert, you are probably okay. If they are covering their ears or cowering in the corner, they are likely experiencing pain. Poor pups! Time to move your practice elsewhere ASAP.

And now for some science – Sound is generally measured by loudness/intensity and frequency (or pitch). Sound intensity refers to the number of decibels a sound emits. A dog barking is roughly 60 decibels while fireworks are around 140-150 decibels. According to the article, Piccolo Playing and Noise Inducted Hearing Loss by Kelly Wilson, The Noisy Planet website (National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders) states that any sound over 85 decibels can damage hearing in humans. Again, we don’t have much research on where dogs fall on this spectrum, but it is safe to assume that if it can hurt our ears, it can hurt theirs as well. A sound registering 90 decibels over an 8-hour time period can cause serious damage while sounds at 140 decibels or higher can cause pain and immediate hearing damage. When it comes to sound frequency, according to Pet Dog Owner, humans can hear sounds from 64-20,000 Hz while dogs can hear from 67-45,000 Hz. Sounds can become uncomfortable for dogs around 25,000 Hz. The rule of thumb is the higher the frequency and the louder the noise (or higher the decibel), the more discomfort it will cause your pup.

When it comes to the flute, Kelly Wilson outlines in her article that the flute ranges from 92-103 decibels and the piccolo from 90-106 decibels. Elsewhere on the interwebs (particularly from hearnet.com), this can also range from 85-111 decibels for the flute and 95-112 for the piccolo. These are both above the 85 decibel threshold for potential hearing damage. As far as frequency, the flute ranges from 262 Hz to 2096 while the piccolo can reach up to 4096 Hz. Although these are not comfortable frequencies for humans, they are within the comfortable ranges for dogs.

All dogs are different. The science suggests that our flute/piccolo playing is unlikely to cause physical pain to dogs but the decibel level may eventually lead to hearing damage. Some dogs may also have behavior or emotional sensitivity to certain sounds. Again, it is important to monitor your dog if you practice in the same room or nearby. If they are experiencing pain, stop your practice immediately and relocate to another safer location (possibly off-site). If they seem cool, you are not necessarily in the clear as they may eventually experience a degree of hearing loss. Protect your pet if possible, and practice in another room. If they howl along to your sweet flute tunes, don’t panic – It’s just in their nature to sort out pitches and differentiate their voice from Bach’s. An after-practice treat is also a good idea (Patty’s note).


Do you practice in close proximity to your pet? Does your pet howl along to your playing? What other behavior does your pet exhibit while you practice? Please comment below.

Happy fluting!

Rampal’s Astrological Chart

Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday!

In honor of Halloween, today’s blog will be a departure from the normal discussions of the shoulds and should-nots of flute playing (or if either of those things are even necessary anymore). We are going to have some fun with astrology! As many of you may know, I publish a monthly flute horoscope column for The Flute View (check out your horoscopes here if you are curious what the stars have in store for you:  https://thefluteview.com/sections/dr-gs-flute-horoscopes/). I find astrology to be fascinating and, at times, somewhat comforting (particularly if the world is spinning in directions that I do not understand). I always like to remind my readers (and my tarot clients) that I am not a witch or Voldemort, so please keep this in mind as you read today’s post. This is all for entertainment purposes only! I use astrology and tarot merely as a tool to understand people, places, things, and circumstances a bit better while also seeking creative solutions to problems I may have not yet considered. Okay, disclaimer over. Now upward into the stars!

Today we will be discussing Jean Pierre Rampal’s astrological chart.

Jean Pierre Rampal was a legendary flutist and teacher, inspiring generations of flutists not just on traditional French flute playing techniques, but on how to truly be an international flutist icon. Rampal was, has, and will always be #fluteplayinggoals (as the kids say). He began life as the son of flute teacher (Joseph Rampal) and was somewhat of a prodigy. He began playing the flute at the age of 12, eventually studying the Altes Method at the Marseille Conservatoire where he would go on to win first prize in the school’s annual competition in 1937 at the age of 16. Although quite talented at an early age, Rampal was encouraged by his parents to attend the Marseille Medical School to become a doctor or a surgeon (aka professions with a bit more stability than music). That was short-lived, however, as he was drafted for forced labour in Germany during the Nazi Occupation of France in 1943. He instead fled to Paris where he avoided detection by frequently changing his lodgings. While in Paris, he studied flute at the Paris Conservatorie with Gaston Crunelle, winning the coveted first prize in the conservatorie’s annual flute competition in a short four months (1944). Rampal received his big break in 1945 following the liberation of Paris, when he was invited by composer Henri Tomasi, conductor of the Orchestre National de France, to perform the Ibert Flute Concerto on French National Radio. In 1945 terms, Rampal essentially went viral! Thus began a series of performances, first in France in 1947, then in Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. He joined the Vichy Opéra orchestra in 1947 and later served as principal flute at the Paris Opéra (1956-62). He joined the faculty at the Paris Conservatorie in 1968 (and needless to say the flute-playing world has not been the same since!). On the chamber music scene, Rampal founded the French Wind Quintet in 1945 and the Baroque Ensemble of Paris in 1953. Some may suggest that his popularity was in large part due to his expansive list of recordings (like a YouTube superstar before the days of the interwebs). Rampal was also well-regarded for his authentic interpretation of 18th-century music, editing several works by Baroque composers. His autobiography, Music, My Love: An Autobiography was published in 1989. Rampal died of heart failure on May 20, 2000 in Paris, France at the age of 78. French President Jacques Chirac led the tributes, saying “his flute spoke to the heart. A light in the musical world has just flickered out.” Flautist Eugenia Zukerman observed: “He played with such a rich palette of color in a way that few people had done before and no one since. He had an ability to imbue sound with texture and clarity and emotional content. He was a dazzling virtuoso, but more than anything he was a supreme poet.”

He was to many of us (myself included) the penultimate master of flute playing!

So, astrologically speaking, was there anything written in the stars that suggested he would be the best flutist in the World? Let’s look a bit deeper into some of his placements to answer this question.

For my fellow astrology experts, here is what Rampal’s natal chart looks like:

And what some of his primary placements are:

Let’s start with some of the basics:

Rampal’s Sun Sign was Capricorn. The Sun represents who a person is at the very core of their personality. Capricorns are extremely hard-working and realistic. They have the ability to act on their ambitions with the fire of an Aries but stick to it with the persistence of a Virgo or a Taurus. Capricorns get things done correctly and on time. They demand recognition for a job well-done and do not spend a lot of time on things they may find frivolous. They like to pare things down and often take pleasures in the simple things in life but appreciate quality rather than quantity when it comes to their surroundings. They may be a bit stubborn sometimes, but it is usually with a personal goal or good cause in mind (some may call this “strong-willed.”). Dependable, honest, responsible, and a very hard worker. Rampal clearly meets all of these Capricorn bench-marks just by looking at his long and successful career. When he was interested in something (such as Baroque music), he worked incredibly hard to edit the score and perform all of the details with the sensitivity of a master craftsman. That takes a degree of grit and persistency that often alludes other signs.

Rampal’s Moon Sign was Aries. The Moon represents how we deal with emotions. I sometimes like to think about the Moon as the personification of the whispers we hear in our own heads at night. How do we deal with the way we feel? A Moon placement in Aries suggests that Rampal may have loved to live in the moment. Whenever there was something he wanted, he would likely make it happen ASAP. Efficiency and speed are two very important values to people with this Moon placement (which we can hear just by listening to his 16th notes!). These folks do not waste time and do not like to wait for things to happen. They are quite independent but rarely sulk if they do not get their way. They just move on to the next thing!

Rampal’s Mercury was in Capricorn. Mercury represents the way that we communicate. For musicians, this could even be tied to the way that we communication non-verbally through our music. We have already discussed many of the general characteristics of a Capricorn, but when it comes to this Mercury placement, it suggests that Rampal appreciated structure and order in his communications (and in his music – which would explain his interest in editing Baroque compositions). Folks with Mercury in Capricorn are resourceful, reflective, and deep thinkers – they notice everything! Although this placement may lead to some skepticism and sarcasm, they do still possess a very sharp sense of humor (even when explaining the flute to Miss Piggy on the Muppet’s Show – Still one of my favorite clips of all time).

Rampal’s Venus was also in Capricorn. Rampal had a lot of Capricorn in his chart! This explains so much – always hardworking, reliable, dependable, and prolific. But at the core a flutist with clear convictions. Venus represents how we love. A person with Venus in Capricorn wins us all over by showing us their responsible side. We can trust them no matter what! They are goal-oriented, witty (I dare you to find a masterclass video where he was not witty!), savvy, and self-controlled. Nobody can get the best of them. They may not be all puppies and rainbows all the time like a Cancer, but rather enjoy to win others over by showing them how practical and realistic they can be when it matters the most.

Rampal’s Mars was in Scorpio. Mars represents how we take action (or how we get things done). As a Scorpio Sun myself, I can spot another Scorpio from a mile away! Scorpios like to get to the bottom of whatever it is that interests them. They throw themselves into activities with concentrated energy and incredible willpower. Tell us that something cannot be done and we will find a way to prove you wrong! We will research tirelessly for hours, or in Rampal’s case practice all of the things until they are completely transformed into something better, but will do so quietly and away from others. You will never see us sweat – we are calm and collected to the outside world. Didn’t Rampal prove to his parents that he could not only thrive as a musician (rather than a doctor) but indeed become the best flutist on Earth? Very Scorpio in Mars!

And Finally,

Rampal’s Jupiter was in Libra. This is a beautiful placement. Jupiter represents luck and grace. Someone with Jupiter in Libra attracts good fortune by being fair-minded. They treat others with equality and are fantastic promotors and mediators. They value relationships and find it comforting to relate to others. They use charm and grace to achieve all of their goals. This speaks to Rampal’s approach as a teacher. Generous and altruistic, he was a sensitive teacher that knew how to listen to others. A dreamer with a fantastic imagination – This is how he will continue to inspire generations of flutists now and in the future.


Do you enjoy these astrology-based blogs? Is there another composer or performer that you would like me to discuss? Are there other ways that you believe Rampal embodied his astrological placements? Please comment below.

Happy fluting and Happy Halloween!

Don’t Throw your Tart in the Bin – 10 Lessons on Competition Recordings

Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday. Apologies for my absence (thanks a lot, Mercury retrograde!).

Today’s blog will be a bit more reflective than instructive, but there are a number of important lessons to be learned for those of you in similar circumstances. My husband and I have recently been binge-watching The Great British Baking Championship (thanks to Netflix). In the first season of the show, contestants were required to make their own creative interpretations of a Baked Alaska, which is a dessert that features cake covered in a layer of ice cream. One contestant was struggling to keep the ice cream layer on his Baked Alaska from melting under the heat of the tent, so he placed his creation in the freezer and hoped for the best. Unbeknownst to him, another contestant accidentally removed his work-in-progress from the freezer and left it on the counter to melt. When it was discovered, the Baked Alaska had turned into soup. The contestant was understandably enraged. Rather than trying to salvage what he could of his cake to present to the judges, he tossed his entire dessert in the trash bin and stormed out of the tent. Needless to say, he was eliminated from the competition.

Wait a minute – this is a flute blog! Why am I talking about a baking show?

Well, I had a similar experience recently while preparing a competition recording. There were only two required pieces for this competition, one of which I had performed in a previous life, and the other was a new piece that I rather enjoyed practicing behind the scenes. I prepped both pieces over the course of about a month and was feeling quite confident about making the required videos. Unfortunately, my poor planning and overconfidence led me to procrastinate recording videos well in advance of the competition deadline. I only gave myself three days (which were also packed with a number of other responsibilities). The videos were not as easy as I thought they would be and my own perfectionism made it impossible to get through entire takes without stopping and scrapping them. I was frustrated with myself and discouraged by my playing.

I wanted to toss my Baked Alaska (aka competition videos) in the trash bin and give up just like the contestant did on The Great British Baking Competition. 

But I didn’t. I kept pushing onward. I kept recording my takes, no matter how disappointed I was with my not-so-perfect playing. I uploaded the best ones I could find, even though I knew they weren’t perfect and a far cry from the music I had been creating in the practice room in previous weeks. I put out what I could and entered the contest against the wishes of my inner critic. I did not advance to the next round, but learned a few very valuable lessons:

  1.  Give yourself a lot of time to record. Although you may not be performing these works for a live audience, your fight/flight instinct will be activated simply by pressing the “record” button. Make sure you have more than enough time to record as many takes as reasonably possible.
  2. Learn from each take (no matter how “good” or “bad”). Rather than stopping a take in the first few seconds because the beginning is not perfect (a cracked note here, an iffy articulation there, etc.), play the piece all the way through and reassess afterwards. What went well? Keep doing that! What could be improved? Mark it in your part!
  3. Be patient with mistakes. I am super guilty of angry practicing between takes when I make a mistake. What does it usually accomplish? Nothing. Just more frustration. Instead, try breaking down your mistake. Practice it slowly. Practice it in chunks. Change the way you think about note groupings. Transpose it to a number of different keys. Use your mistakes as opportunities to think about the music differently. With that being said, also…
  4. Take more time between takes. This will help you think calmly yet critically about what to change in the next take. I think one of my biggest mistakes was to immediately begin the next take after chucking the previous one over an attack I wasn’t quite happy with or other minor imperfection, restarting the video already frustrated with myself. Use the time between takes to reflect and refresh. Grab a glass of water and practice a few meditative breaths or meridian tapping sequences.
  5. Target tricky bits by listening carefully to others. YouTube is a great resource for videos and recordings of flute pieces by a number of performers. Listen very carefully to any technical bits you may be struggling with. How do other performers approach these parts? Do they take strategic breaths? Use rubato to help them over difficult fingerings? There may be an easier way to approach sections that are likely to throw you for a loop on recording days.
  6. Take a number of complete takes each day, but rank your top 3 from each session. More takes requires more review at the end of your recording project in order to select the right one to use for the competition. Be confident with your cuts. Second guessing your instincts will send you spiraling on the path of “what ifs.” Life is too short to live in “what ifs.”
  7. Location. Location. Location. Select a variety of locations to record in (if at all possible). Is there a recital hall at your school that you may use after hours? A church that remains quiet during the day? A studio space in your home with great acoustics. Experiment with any space available to you.
  8. Don’t forget about fundamentals. Remember to keep working on harmonics, long tones, scales, and articulation exercises while prepping your recordings. It is easy to become so focused on your recording project that you forget about the important fundamentals of flute playing. These fundamentals are often what separates the good flute players from the great ones.
  9. Give yourself a reasonable recording schedule and stick to your time blocks. Recording is intense! It is easy to keep saying “5 more minutes,” thinking that the perfect take is just around the corner, only to find yourself frustrated hours later with not much to show for it. Your sanity, health, and well-being are worth far more than the “perfect” recording.
  10. Finally, don’t throw your tart in the bin. No matter what, don’t give up. You may feel that your recordings aren’t perfect. You may also think that someone else out there will be “better” than you. These are misleading messages from your inner critic! Tune them out. So what if you do not win the competition? The work you have put in to creating your recordings, reviewing and thinking creatively about your playing, and trying (and trying again) is worth more than any prize or accolade. Remember that while submitting your application with pride! You did it (and nobody can take that away from you)! Think ahead to your next competition with all of the lessons you learned from this one.

Do you have your own tales from past recording projects? What have you learned through the recording process? Do any of the above lessons resonate with you? Share your stories below!

Keep performing. Keep recording. Keep competing. And above all keep fluting, no matter what!

Happy fluting!

Practice Blueprints: All-State Auditions (Blog #6: California)

Greetings and welcome to another Flute Friday. Happy first week of Fall!

I will be continuing the Practice Blueprints All-State Audition series this week with my home state of California. California is indeed a huge state with a couple of hotbeds for creative musical talent – San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The musical culture in this state is creative and forward-thinking. That does not mean that competition for spots in All-State ensembles will be any less fierce! There are numerous talented young musicians in California with unique backgrounds, world-class teachers, and superior skills and talents. I had the opportunity recently to serve as a judge for the San Francisco Flute Society’s Young Artist’s competition where I reviewed videos from high school students around the Bay Area. I was shocked by the mastery that some of these students already had over the flute! If this is any indication of the skill level required for placement in All-State ensembles, the adjudicators are going to have their work cut out for them. What I find most interesting about the audition process here in California is that everybody auditioning on flute will play the same piece, Chaminade’s Concertino, which is a very standard piece in flute repertoire. The piccolo audition seems a bit more complicated, with Lowell Liebermann’s Eight Pieces on the audition list, a piece not as well-known and full of rather complicated piccolo writing. Piccolo players – put your game faces on! Flutists – Add something new to a piece loved and performed by flutists young and old. Creative and courageous playing will earn you a ticket to All-State in the great state of California this year.

General Information (What you need to know):

  • The 2022 CASMEC All-State Convention will take place February 17-20, 2022 in Fresno, California. Concerts will be held at the William Saroyan Theater (730 M Street) and will be free and open to the public.
  • All All-State auditions must be submitted online by December 1st. Please plan to submit your recordings to your band director for upload by mid-November.
  • Make sure you read the 7 tips on how not to get DISQUALIFIED: https://cbda.org/all-state-ensembles/auditions/
    • Talking or coaching is heard during the recording
    • Digitally altering a recording (ex: the use of auto-tuning, etc.)
    • Wrong solo or excerpt is played
    • Wrong scales are played
    • Solo is missing sections requested
    • A metronome is heard during the scales or solo
    • Track/Recording Blank
  • All All-State Band auditions are uploaded online through the CBDA Digital Audition System. Please see your band director for more information.
  • For the 2022 California All-State Ensembles, all students are required to be fully vaccinated. If parents wish to apply for an exemption to this requirement, please complete this form: https://forms.gle/E9zNAu1p2BV6D1iB7 
  • To be eligible to submit All-State auditions, your band director must be a member of CBDA, www.cbda.org
  • Directors will submit their electronic signature, certifying the integrity of the audition as they submit each audition to CBDA for adjudication through the Digital Audition System.  Parents and students will be sent emails through DocuSign, so they can sign the audition agreement.  Director: Please verify that you have accurate email addresses for students and their parents.  Once the audition is created by the director, the DocuSign emails to students and parents will be initiated when the “Upload Audio” page is visited.  The form emails are not sent until you visit the “upload audio” page for the audition.  If they do not see the email, please have them check their spam folder.  Here is a walkthrough of the signature process:  Student Signature Form DocuSign Walkthrough
  • Student Fee – $55 per student audition – Can be paid by credit card by the parent from the student account or it can still be added to your cart from each student’s audition record on your Auditions Home page. 
  • The CASMEC All-State Leadership is requesting parent / student preferences for housing to help the team plan for the 2022 event.  Your students will need to provide you with their choice.  You will need to enter this information before you can submit your student’s audition.  We understand that information regarding COVID-19 protocols change regularly, but we need this information for contracting facilities for the event. The choice is editable until the audition is submitted. Unfortunately, you will not be able to change the selection after the audition is submitted. Self-Housed: If accepted to All-State, I will provide my own housing, meals outside of the rehearsal times, transportation to and from rehearsals/hotels/concerts, and chaperone during the entire event, understanding that these expenses are my responsibility, in addition to the All-State participation fee. CASMEC Housed: If accepted to All-State, I will be under the care of CASMEC, which includes housing, meals, chaperone, and transportation during the event. I will stay in the room block provided by CASMEC, understanding that everyone is required to be vaccinated and I will be placed in a room with 3 other students. I also understand that paying the cost of this option, which includes the All-State participation fee, is my responsibility. Housing is limited. Fees will be posted soon on this page ​​https://cbda.org/all-state-ensembles/faq/, and on https://casmec.org
  • CBDA All-State Student Information Form can be found here: https://cbda.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/2022_CBDA_All-State_Student_Info_Form_fs.pdf Please submit these completed forms to your Band Director
  • All music files will be uploaded to the CBDA audition website. No CDs will be accepted.
  • Your director will need to create an audition account (new applicants) and / or audition record (applicants from previous years) for your 2022 audition at cbda.org.
  • The only approved recording format for upload is MP3.
  • Record all listed scales as separate tracks.  Missing scales will result in disqualification.
  • Solo excerpts, while they can be recorded in any order, need to be assembled in the correct order as noted on the solo list, and uploaded as one track with 3-5 seconds in between passages. Excerpts missing passages may be disqualified with no refund offered
  • DO NOT RECORD ANY SPOKEN WORDS ON YOUR TRACKS. Listening will be done “blind”.
  • Once you’ve uploaded all of your files and checked them, click “Check My Progress” and then “Submit for Director Approval”.  Your Director will need to review your files and submit them for judging.  Please check in with your director
  • All Piccolo, English Horn, Eb Clarinet players must record the additional audition material.  Be sure your second recording has correct scales.  There is no additional fee for Piccolo, English Horn, or Eb Clarinet auditions.
  • DO NOT use piano accompaniment.
  • Play passages as near the specified tempos as possible, using the preferred performance practice for that piece. 
  • Omit long rests.
  • Do not digitally alter tempo, pitch, rhythm or dynamics.  Do not digitally splice within phrases.  Excerpts not following these guidelines may be disqualified with no refund offered.
  • Your audition is not submitted for judging unless the status states “Submitted for CBDA Review” or “Submitted for CAJ Review”.  If you are uploading your own audition files, you must still submit them to your director for review.  Your director is the only one who can finish the submission process.  This process must be completed by 11:59 PM on December 1st.  There are no exceptions


Practice Tips:

Scales (Ab Major, F Melodic Minor, E Major, C# Melodic Minor)

  • My best piece of advice for all of these scales is to memorize them. This will increase your confidence, particularly in the high register. Memorizing will also be a valuable exercise that will last well beyond All-State auditions.
  • Place air in your cheek as you ascend into the high register. This will give your high notes a bit more resonance.
  • To keep your tempo even, place small breath kicks on the sixteenth notes falling on the downbeat (a breath kick may take the form of additional vibrato, a very small accent, or holding the note a split second longer than the surrounding notes).
  • Remember to use standard fingerings. Although it may be tempting to use a trill fingering here or there, the committee will be listening closely to tone on each note.
  • Keep your metronome on silent while you record each scale. There are many apps that will give you visual cues to show you the beat. This will help you retain the marked tempo throughout.

Chromatic Scale:

  • Start practicing your scale slowly to make sure your fingerings are correct and your 16th notes are even. Start with a tempo of dotted quarter note = 60 (or below) and work your way up slowly to dotted quarter note = 96. Try not to exceed this tempo in the practice room. You will likely be a bit nervous on recording day, making it very easy to rush the tempo. Your brain may decide that day that it prefers the faster tempo! Sorry brain, you are wrong today.
  • The high register turnaround point to the high C requires fingering gymnastics. Keep your finger transitions from note to note “snappy.” I sometimes refer to this as “robot fingers” with my students. Of course, do not actually play like a robot! Just keep your finger movements quick and deliberate from one note to the next.
  • Don’t forget about that gizmo key on the high C! The gizmo is your friend.
  • The goal, if you can swing it, is to play the excerpt in one breath. I know – scary, but it can be done. Memorize your scale and practice! Use it as part of your warm-up routine in band rehearsals or at the beginning of each practice session. Alter your dynamics so that you are using less air but still retaining a center to your sound. A mp-mf should work nicely, staying on the mp-side if at all possible. If playing this in one breath is just not an option, take a quick breath after the third C (C3) on your way back down the scale.
  • If I haven’t driven this home yet, keeping the tempo steady is very important. Another great way to accomplish this is by placing small breath kicks on the first 8th note of each beat. A breath kick may take the form of a very small accent or a small bit of vibrato on the downbeat.
  • To keep your tempo consistent on recording day, program your metronome to dotted quarter note = 96 and keep it on silent while you play. This works best if you have memorized your chromatic scale. And finally..
  • Memorize your scale! Memorizing your chromatic scale will help you well beyond All-State auditions.

Chaminade Concertino – Beginning through Rehearsal C

  • The opening of this solo is all about two primary things: 1. Big sound! 2. Solid technique. Let’s start by discussing sound. Veer toward the louder edge of each dynamic and play out with your very best sound. Use your widest, most dramatic vibrato for any passages marked with a forte (f) or beyond. In my (very) old score to this piece, I have the words “BIG SOUND” and “JAMES GALWAY” marked in all caps. That says it all!
  • Now for technique.. Two measures before letter B is where the swirling sixteenths begin and where you must be very calm, cool, and collected when it comes to the beat. It is easy to rush these lines, but you must resist. Why? Because the grouping are deliberately outlined in 6s and 7s therefore if you are not even with your notes and clearly outline where the downbeat falls, all your audience will hear is a cacophony of notes meandering toward rehearsal B rather than a swirling line deliberately climbing back to the melody. There are a couple of ways to do this. The first is to bracket how your smaller grouping within each beat are organized. For example, are you thinking of the groups of 7s as 4+3 or 3+4? Write these brackets in your music. The next thing is to practice with a metronome, fitting all of your notes as bracketed within each beat. Start slowly and gradually increase the beat until you can easily fit all notes within each beat (and in one breath). Finally, add some breath kicks to the notes falling on the downbeats. This will help keep your technique grounded when the metronome is not on and will make it clear to your listener where your beats fall.
  • There are a number of moving scales in this excerpt that extend from the mid/high registers to the very depths of the low register and back again (8 measures before Rehearsal C is a great example). This will take an incredible amount of embrochure flexibility to maintain the quality of sound throughout each register. A great way to practice embrochure flexibility is to add Flexibility Exercise #1 from Trevor Wye’s Practice Book on Tone to your daily warm-ups. Work on maintaining the dynamic level and tonal resonance as you move into the low register and back.
  • Another good way to maintain volume of sound in the fast-moving lines is to move your right shoulder slightly closer to your flute as you descend into the lower register and back again when ascending into the middle register. This will open your sound up in the depths of the range.
  • Those triplet sixteenths can be maddening after Rehearsal B. Try to use the standard fingerings here, but if needed you may sneak in a trill fingering here and there.
  • A word on the grace notes – These are not your super elegant, Bach-style grace notes but also not your Stravinsky-style super quick grace notes. You must find the grey area between these two extremes. They must still be graceful, ornamental, and forward moving. Do not let the grace notes take attention away from the primary melody. They are like fireflies that briefly make the streetlight flicker but do not disturb the beam falling to the street.
  • There are a number of dynamic changes in this opening excerpt. Make sure to circle each dynamic change with a different colored pencil to draw your attention to where the sound and tonal character will change. There is a different character in the beginning to that at Rehearsal A. Make sure your audience can hear changes in your performance.
  • Most of this excerpt is slurred, however 5 measures after Rehearsal B includes repeated staccato notes, outside the character of the opening. Keep these staccatos light and leading forward to the next slurred line. It is very easy to drag this measure with the addition of articulated notes. A great way to practice this section is with a “tut” or a “tut-kut” articulation. Make sure not to hold that quarter note B too long – you will still need to keep these notes even.
  • Dare to be a diva in 7 measures before letter C. The piano is holding a chord in this measure, waiting for you, the virtuoso, to lead the line majestically back to the melody. You may use a slight bit of rubato here to hold the first B in the middle register and the lowest C# a bit longer than the surrounding notes. How would Beyonce sing this line? Do that!
  • The last reiteration of the melody, 6 measures before Rehearsal C, is in the higher register and will naturally be sharp (particularly with a fortissimo dynamic). Keep a tuner on your music stand while you play this excerpt and drop your jaw slightly to lower the pitch. Remember to keep air in your cheek during this passage, which will both increase resonance and bring the pitch out of the stratosphere.

Chaminade Concertino – 1 bar after G to 1 bar after J

  • This excerpt is all about technical fireworks. Keep your finger movements “snappy,” moving your fingers swiftly between each note. I sometimes refer to this technique as “robot” fingers with my students (but don’t actually play like a robot!). You want your technique to be as solid as a rock in the passage.
  • Use trill fingerings on the triplet sixteenth notes. These notes move so quickly that using standard fingerings will be an impediment.
  • There are several different articulations on various sixteenth notes in this passage. For example, there are accents at the beginning of slurred triplet passages, staccatos on standard sixteenth notes in addition to staccatos with tenuto marks over them. Each one of these types of articulations will need to be performed differently. Circle these with a red colored pencil to draw your attention to these passages. Make sure you clearly show the difference between staccato sixteenths (ex. one measure before H) and staccato/tenuto sixteenths (6 measures after H).
  • Simplify chromatic passages. The slurred passages 4 measures before Rehearsal H are primarily chromatic with a few interrupting arpeggios. To simplify these passages, bracket any arpeggios and write “chromatic” above the notes that fall in the chromatic scale. If your chromatic scale is solid, these passages will be very easy to play, shifting your attention to making a huge crescendo and descrescendo to the piano (p) trill.
  • You may be asking yourself, “Why is the C on the first beat of the measure before rehearsal letter H written as disconnected from the subsequent 3 sixteenths?” Because this is a great place to take a breath! Often in French music, breath marks are placed after the first note in the next phrase. Make sure to cut this note a bit short to take a quick breath before the articulated passage.
  • Speaking of articulation, the remainder of this passage will require gymnastics in double-tonguing. A great way to practice evening out your double-tonguing in these passages is to practice using a “coo” articulation on each note. This will help strengthen the back of your tongue. When you return to double-tonguing these passages, your articulation will be more even and lighter.
  • Always keep your articulation light (no matter how it changes). It is easy to get bogged down in these passages with heavy articulation or too sharp staccatos. Try experimenting with a “tut-kut” articulation here to keep things light. These syllables give each note a clear front and end the note with the tongue set in place for the next note.
  • Remember that there are dynamic changes hiding under the technical somersaults in the staff. A great way to plan out these sound and character changes to keep a sound spectrum above each line. Assign a color to each dynamic and/or character change and write a spectrum above the notes in colored pencils. This will give you a tone plan.
  • The last two measures of this excerpt must be dramatic! Remember to keep using those breath kicks to keep your beat clear and prevent your notes from rushing. Also, make your crescendo gradual yet super dramatic. Use a very intense vibrato on the final 4 notes. This is one of the most dramatic moments in the piece. Show your tonal range, your dynamic range, and your interpretive range in this final phrase.

Piccolo Audition; Eight Pieces, Op. 59 by Lowell Liebermann (8. March)

  • This short movement will require tonal courage, finger agility, and a clear, powerful lower register. Let’s begin with the tonal courage part first. There are melodic passages in the third register written in a mezzo-forte dynamic (measure 4 is a great example). You will need to be confident enough to play out on these notes but not overblow them into a louder dynamic. Control will be key and to have control you will need to make sure you have plenty of air support. Remember also to vibrate on these passages – remind your committee how beautiful the piccolo can sound in the high register!
  • Practice your key clicks. These will naturally be softer on the piccolo than on the flute or the alto flute. Make sure you can hear the changing notes on these key clicks. You may also want to circle all notes marked as key clicks with a green colored pencil in your score as a visual reminder (it is easy to forget!).
  • There are a few instances of the quarter, dotted eighth-sixteenth repeated motive in this short movement. Make sure these notes are all connected but slightly increase vibrato on each note to create forward momentum to the next figure.
  • Try not to panic on the 32nd note arpeggios beginning in line 7. To simplify these lines, write the chord names above each grouping. For example, line 4 begins with a Db minor arpeggio, followed by an Eb ascending arpeggio, then a D major descending, and C major ascending arpeggio. If you know your arpeggios, this will make these figures super easy to play. If you do not know your arpeggios very well, this would be a good excuse to add arpeggio studies (such as Taffanel and Gaubert’s Exercise #12 from the 17 Daily Studies) to your daily routine.
  • There is a Bolero-esque dotted eighth note-triplet 32nd note figure beginning in line 5 in the low register. This is quite a “tubby” register on the piccolo. Make sure to play out as much as possible on these notes and keep the articulations a bit on the short side so your audience can hear the separation of each note.
  • Accents do not make an appearance until the last three lines. Bring these out! Circle all accents with a red colored pencil to bring them to your attention. These indicate the climax of this short piece. Like with the Bolero figure, keep accepts shorter and separated in the low register to avoid the natural tubbiness. Play out!
  • The last line is a gradual diminuendo to the final 2 key clicks. Make sure not to slow the tempo as you get softer and the character changes. Keep vibrato slower and a bit dolce as you close out the excerpt.

Final Thoughts/Recommendations

  • Record yourself playing all of the excerpts. Review your recordings and mark down anything that could be improved. Avoid being a perfectionist! Mark it down, work on it, and trust in your ability.
  • Hydrate! This is one of the first things we forget when we are nervous. On the day of the final recording, make sure to bring a bottle of water.
  • Avoid comparing your playing to other flutists. I know – easier said than done, especially when you are stressed. Do not become intimidated by a senior with more experience. Instead, ask them for advice. Collaborate more than compete and you will create allies.
  • Have fun! Auditioning should be a fun, challenging experiment. You never know what exactly the judges are looking for or if they will find it in your playing. Play your best, put it out there, and wait patiently for the next steps.


Are you auditioning for the California All-State Band program? What are your best preparation strategies? What do you find the most challenging about the audition repertoire? What questions do you have about the audition or the All-State performance experience? Please comment below and share these tips with your California flute friends (and band/orchestra directors)!

Practice Blueprints: All-State Auditions (Blog #5: Oregon)

Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday. We will again be continuing our Practice Blueprints-All State Auditions series this week with Oregon. Oregon has a special place in my heart as my husband and I were married in Yachats, Oregon 10 years ago and still visit at least once a year. We also briefly owned a beach house along the Oregon Coast where I taught young flute students and participated in the Oregon Music Education Association (OMEA). Oregon has a very unique All-State Symphonic Band and All-State Wind Ensemble format that enables smaller schools to audition for the All-State Symphonic Band program separately using different audition materials than students from larger schools who are required to audition for the All-State Wind Ensemble. Any student from a larger school who does not make it into the Wind Ensemble is eligible for placement in the Symphonic Band after the smaller school participants have been ranked and placed. This model provides more opportunities for students from smaller schools to gain priceless experience at the state level. Auditions for both the All-State Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band opened on September 1st and will continue through October 4th. For those of you still considering submitting an application, or for teachers with students interested in submitting audition recordings, today’s blog will help make the audition and application process a bit less intimidating. Participating in All-State programs was a very valuable part of my own experience. I also came from a smaller school and know first-hand that the very best talent is often found within the quieter, simpler parts of the world, hidden until it is given the sunlight it needs to thrive. If you are one of these young musicians, I say throw caution to the wind and apply! Seize all of the enriching experiences possible as you grow into fantastic young musicians.

General Information (What You Need to Know)

  • Students must work with their music teacher/band director to complete recordings (separate files for each required excerpt).
  • The cost to submit an audition for high school students is $20.
  • Teachers must be current members of NAfME/OMEA to submit nominations and auditions through OpusEvent.com.
  • Teachers and families are notified of audition results by mid-October via the email address entered into OpusEvent.com.
  • Students must complete audition forms and give these to their music teacher/band director. These can be found here: https://www.oregonmusic.org/files/All%20State/2022%20AllState%20and%20Conference/AllStateInfo&AppPacket2022.pdf
  • The student must perform each exercise with the correct pitch, rhythms, quality tone, articulations, and steady tempo (see tempo markings on each exercise).
  • Each audition track should be a separate audio file (mp3, wav, etc.).
  • Teachers and students may not electronically or otherwise enhance any recordings.
  • The OMEA All-State Festival will be held over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend in Eugene, Oregon. Parents/Guardians must supply or arrange transportation to and from Eugene. Some schools might provide transportation to the event. Please see your band director for further information.
  • The audition period opens on September 1st on OpusEvent.com and runs through October 4th.
  • Registration and participation fees for accepted high school students is $334.00.
  • High School Symphonic Band Info
    • Conductor = Marcellus Brown
    • Rehearsals will take place from Friday, January 14 – Sunday, January 16, 2022 at the Lane Events Center.
    • The performance will take place at the First Baptist Church.
    • Students will be staying at The Graduate Hotel Eugene.
    • Auditions are open to students in schools with an OSAA classification of 1A-4A (please see your band director to determine if your school falls in this category).
    • Students from 5A and 6A high schools may not use Symphonic Band audition materials.
  • High School Wind Ensemble Info
    • Conductor = Dr. Rebecca Phillips
    • Rehearsals will take place from Friday, January 14 – Sunday, January 16, 2022 at the University of Oregon School of Music.
    • The performance will take place at the First Baptist Church.
    • Students will be staying at The Graduate Hotel Eugene.
    • Students from 5A and 6A schools MUST submit using the Wind Ensemble/Orchestra audition material. If smaller school students wish to submit using the Wind Ensemble/Orchestra material, they are welcome to do so; however, students can only submit one band audition.
    • All students that submit using the Wind Ensemble/Orchestra material that are not selected for the Orchestra or Wind Ensemble, will be considered for positions in the Symphonic Band.
  • 5A-6A students will be selected to fill out the band after all of the small school students who met the minimum audition scores are accepted into the Symphonic Band.
  • The approximate size of the Wind Ensemble is 90 players and the Symphonic Band is 150, depending on the pool of applicants and the needs of the literature.
  • Audition screening is “blind” – Judges do not know the students’ name or school information.
  • Screeners will listen to each track and assign a score from 1-100. After all auditions are scored, each student will end up with an overall score and then will be ranked.
  • Screeners are instructed that any student who is unable to perform a track successfully are to be marked “unacceptable.” That means that any wrong notes/pitches, wrong rhythms, poor tone quality and inaccurate or poorly executed articulations will disqualify a student.


Practice Tips

Oregon All-State Wind Ensemble Audition Repertoire

Excerpt #1 – Chromatic Scale

  • Start practicing your scale slowly to make sure your fingerings are correct and your 16th notes are even. Start with a tempo of quarter note = 60 (or below) and work your way up slowly to quarter note = 72. Try not to exceed this tempo in the practice room. You will likely be a bit nervous on recording day, making it very easy to rush the tempo. Your brain may decide that day that it prefers the faster tempo! Sorry brain, you are wrong today.
  • The high register turnaround point to the high C requires fingering gymnastics. Keep your finger transitions from note to note “snappy.” I sometimes refer to this as “robot fingers” with my students. Of course, do not actually play like a robot! Just keep your finger movements quick and deliberate from one note to the next.
  • Don’t forget about that gizmo key on the high C! The gizmo is your friend.
  • The goal, if you can swing it, is to play the excerpt in one breath. I know – scary, but it can be done. Memorize your scale and practice! Use it as part of your warm-up routine in band rehearsals or at the beginning of each practice session. Alter your dynamics so that you are using less air but still retaining a center to your sound. A mp-mf should work nicely, staying on the mp-side if at all possible. If playing this in one breath is just not an option, take a quick breath after the third C (C3) on your way back down the scale.
  • If I haven’t driven this home yet, keeping the tempo steady is very important. Another great way to accomplish this is by placing small breath kicks on the first 16th note of each beat. A breath kick may take the form of a very small accent or a small bit of vibrato on the downbeat.
  • To keep your tempo consistent on recording day, program your metronome to quarter note = 72 and keep it on silent while you play. This works best if you have memorized your chromatic scale. And finally..
  • Memorize your scale! Memorizing your chromatic scale will help you well beyond All-State auditions.

Excerpt #1 – Joachim Anderson, 24 Etudes for Flute, Op. 15, No. 24

  • This excerpt opens with a huge register jump from a low D to and third octave F in a fortissimo dynamic with the words “con impeto” (“with force”) below the staff. Whoa! Two notes in and the musical drama is already lit, setting the stage for the entire excerpt! A good way to prepare for this crazy jump is to add harmonics to your daily practice routine. This will train your embrochure to reach for the high F rather than overusing your air. A good place to find harmonic exercises in on page 6 of the Trever Wye Practice Book on Tone. This is a staple in my own practice routine and works wonders to improve the resonance of my lower register as well as the ease of my octave jumps. Try it out!
  • Let’s talk more about that opening low D. It is not easy to start on this note with a fortissimo dynamic. Add a gentle finger slap on your low G key to help this note speak. Also, begin the excerpt with your right shoulder angled closer to your flute. This will help open up your sound in the lower register. Make sure to move your shoulder back for the high F for the best resonance in the high register.
  • Now, let’s talk about that high F. This is an excellent note to practice putting air in your cheek and using your best, most beautifully intense vibrato. You are essentially introducing your listener to your sound with the first two notes. Give them all you’ve got!
  • This excerpt is an exercise in arpeggio somersaults. A great complement to add to your daily scale routine is Taffanel and Gaubert’s Exercise #12 from the 17 Daily Exercises, which covers any and all types of arpeggios throughout the range of the flute. You may also find it helpful to mark the chord name that the arpeggios are highlighting above the staff. For example, in measure 3, we find a D minor arpeggio that moves into a (strange) G# diminished seventh chord, followed in the next measure by an A major chord. If you know your arpeggios well enough, this will save you a lot of time looking at the notes and simply playing the broken chords.
  • There are a number of juxtapositions against opposites in this excerpt. Articulation is a great example. Measure 2 requires very short staccatos followed in measure 3 by sweeping slurred lines that make their way back to short staccatos in measure 4. Understanding this concept is half the battle! Make sure to keep your staccatos short yet “bouncy.” Using a “tut” syllable here will help you have a clean, clear attack on each note while preparing the tongue for the next note. On the slurs, keep your notes smooth and connected while using “snappy” fingers to move from each fingering to the next.
  • The rests in this excerpt are here to help you! Take nice, long, deliberate breaths on the rests to help you get through the longer lines. You may also take short “catch” breaths in measures 13-14 to help you power through until the end of the excerpt (Rampal was infamous for using small “catch” breaths in his Mozart concerti).
  • Another juxtaposition of opposites can be found in the dynamics. Although the excerpt begins in fortissimo (with another fortissimo reiterated in measure 5), a piano (p) dynamic makes its way into the texture in measure 9. Make sure you clearly show the difference in both sound and character here. Remember to transition back to a forte in measure 13, which should not be as boisterous as the opening dynamic but still fairly loud. Make a clear diminuendo in the final two measures to an easy, breezy, clear and calm mezzo-forte.
  • Measures 10 and 12 may be a bit tricky as an F# in the previous measure morphs back into an F natural. Make sure to mark this in your part so you do not forget.

Excerpt #3 – Johann Sebastian Bach, Sonata in Eb BWV 1031 (Siciliano)

  • The good thing about this excerpt is that it has been recorded and performed by flutists young and old on both modern and period instruments. The very best thing you can do before even practicing this piece is to listen to a bunch of different versions of the work by a range of artists. Many of these recordings can be found on YouTube. Find a few samples featuring performances on both modern flutes and baroque flutes. One of my favorite videos is by Jasmine Choi https://youtu.be/kM39vMjIULM, who finds a unique beauty and sound for each note.
  • To better understand the character of this excerpt, it is important to know exactly what a Siciliano is (no, it is not just a fancy tempo word that the Italians made up or a type of pizza). A Siciliano, according to Merriam-Webster, is a “graceful Sicilian rustic dance in which the partners are joined with handkerchiefs.” There is a graceful connectivity to this piece. Nothing jumps to high or too low (not possible if you and connected to your dance partner via handkerchief). Keep this idea as you are performing this excerpt: graceful connectivity.
  • Remember to aim your air toward the higher note on the limited jumps that appear in this excerpt (measures 3 and 5 are good examples). Think of your air as a type of gas pedal when making your way from a lower to a higher note. A great exercise to add to your practice routine to work on this concept is from Trevor Wye’s Practice Book on Tone, “The Middle Register – II” on page 17. These lines feature a jump that will require the same “gas pedal” of air to reach the higher note. Try it out!
  • You may notice that there is something very strange missing from this passage: dynamics. That doesn’t necessarily mean you may play one dynamic. Mr. Bach left a lot of performance elements open to interpretation by performers, including articulations, ornamentation, and dynamics. A rule of thumb when it comes to baroque dynamics is to use contrasting dynamics whenever possible on repeating lines. A good time to experiment with this appears in measures 17-18 and again in 19-20. Play the first repetition of the repeating motive with a forte dynamic and the second with a piano dynamic and again for the next set of repetitions. This keeps the melody a bit more mysterious and multidimensional.
  • Although the tempo is marked in 8th notes, perform this excerpt with a larger dotted quarter note emphasis. It is a dance, after all. The steps will occur not on the eighth notes but on the dotted quarter. I like to watch period dramas such as Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility from the BBC to really capture the idea of this dance as there are often dance sequences that feature baroque tunes.

Piccolo Excerpt – Percy Grainger, Molly on the Shore

  • Do not be deceived by the easy-seeming tempo marking at the beginning – This excerpt flies by pretty quickly! Start working on this slowly to make sure your technique is consistently rockin’ and rollin’ before speeding up.
  • This excerpt takes courage! The high register playing is not for the faint of heart. My best piece of advice is to belt.it.out. Give your band director a set of earplugs while you are recording and pretend that you are the Slash of the flute. Slash plays his guitar as if he doesn’t care who hears him – Play your piccolo as if you don’t care who hears you. Rock it!
  • The triplet figures in this excerpt are more akin to ornaments in the melody than true triplets. You will still want to make sure these are supported by your air and the sound rings out but keep these as ornamental to the primary melody.
  • The style in the first two lines is very much contrasting to the rest of the excerpt. Be sure to bring out this character difference by starting the excerpt in a calm mezzo-forte with sweetly sounding vibrato. Turn up the intensity in measure 6 with short, yet lightly articulated notes.
  • You may get tired from all of the articulation. Remember to use a light “tut” syllable to keep attacks clean and your tongue poised for the next note. A great way to practice this excerpt is in chirps (or tiny puffs of air). This will help train your air to do some of the heavy lifting, giving your “tut” a much-needed break.
  • There are accents! Make sure to circle these with a red-colored pencil in your part so you do not forget to bring them out of the texture. These accents are important as they correspond to what is happening in the rest of the ensemble.
  • The last 3 lines feature a series of crescendos and decrescendos. Makes sure you are bringing these out of the texture. Start these passages off slightly softer than they are marked to make more of a difference in the line. Most of these follow the natural dynamic tendencies of the line.

Symphonic Band Audition Repertoire

If you are in a smaller school, you may be eligible to audition for the All-State Symphonic Band. This will be less competitive and guarantees more opportunities for musicians from smaller school to participate in All-State programs. As a young flutist from a smaller school, I would have loved having more opportunities like this! You will perform with fellow musicians from around the state in programs similar to your own, make new friends, and create priceless new memorizes. The repertoire for this group is a bit easier than that of the Wind Ensemble, but you may instead audition with the Wind Ensemble repertoire if you so choose. Up to you!

Exercise #1 – Chromatic Scale

  • Many of the tips below are similar to those for the Wind Ensemble audition. My two best pieces of advice are to stick to the written tempo of quarter note = 60 and to try to play this excerpt in one breath with good sound.
  • Keep your finger transitions from note to note “snappy.” I sometimes refer to this as “robot fingers” with my students. Of course, do not actually play like a robot! Just keep your finger movements quick and deliberate from one note to the next.
  • Alter your dynamics so that you are using less air but still retaining a center to your sound. A mp-mf should work nicely, staying on the mp-side if at all possible.
  • To keep your tempo consistent on recording day, program your metronome to quarter note = 60 and keep it on silent while you play. This works best if you have memorized your chromatic scale. And finally..
  • Memorize your scale! Memorizing your chromatic scale will help you well beyond All-State auditions.

Exercise #2 – Etude Espressivo

  • This is a great excerpt to practice varying the speed of your vibrato to match the character of the melody and dynamics. The excerpt begins quietly, requiring a sweet, almost dolce tone. Build up to a mezzo-forte at the end of the first line and speed up your vibrato ever so slightly. At the climax in line 2, play out on the forte and speed up your vibrato again so that the line is boisterous and intense. Play out here!
  • The unique thing about this excerpt is that it features a number of different types of articulations. For example, just looking at the 2nd and 3rd measures, there are slurs, staccatos, accents, and tenuto markings within the span of 2 measures. Make sure to bring out the difference in all of these types of articulations.
  • The name of the game is to be as expressive as possible in this short selection. Something that really helps me, as well as my students, is to create a story behind the music. Listen to yourself playing the entire excerpt. What comes to mind? Does the music make you think of different types of colors? Does it make you think of people? Animals? Is there a story behind the notes or a dialogue being sung between the voices? Write it down! Imagine your story every time you play this excerpt.

Exercise #3 – Etude Technical

  • Practice with your metronome set to quarter note = 120 and then practice with your metronome again, and again until the tempo is ingrained in your head. If this tempo is too fast, go ahead and dial it back while you are learning the notes, speeding up gradually every day until you can play at quarter note = 120. Record yourself playing without the metronome. How close is your internal tempo to the written tempo? Remember not to rush on the day of the recording. It is a good idea to bring your metronome with you and remind yourself of the tempo before your band director hits the “record” button.
  • This entire excerpt is articulated and most of it is staccato. A great way to practice your staccatos is by using a “tut” syllable on the single-tongued notes, and a tut-kut combination on your double-tongued passages. Another good idea is to practice in chirps (or small puffs of un-articulated air). This will help train your air to do the heavy lifting, freeing up your tongue to lighten your articulation.
  • Remember to place some vibrato on the quarter notes marked with tenuto lines. You’ll want to remind your committee of your awesome sound!
  • There are a number of dynamic changes in this excerpt starting in the second line and continuing until the end of the excerpt. Remember to clearly show the difference between all of these dynamic changes. Sometimes it helps to think of dynamics as different colors. If this works for you, you might add a spectrum with these colors above your music as a visual reminder to change your sound in these sections.
  • There is only one accent in the entire excerpt! This falls on the 3rd beat of the second to last measure. Circle this with a red colored pencil so you do not forget to make this note different from all of the notes that comes before it. This is the false ending. Your listener may think the excerpt is over, but lo and behold, there are still a few notes! Gotcha.

Final Thoughts/Recommendations

  • Record yourself playing all of the excerpts. Review your recordings and mark down anything that could be improved. Avoid being a perfectionist! Mark it down, work on it, and trust in your ability.
  • Hydrate! This is one of the first things we forget when we are nervous. On the day of the final recording, make sure to bring a bottle of water.
  • Avoid comparing your playing to other flutists. I know – easier said than done, especially when you are stressed. Do not become intimidated by a senior with more experience. Instead, ask them for advice. Collaborate more than compete and you will create allies.
  • Have fun! Auditioning should be a fun, challenging experiment. You never know what exactly the judges are looking for or if they will find it in your playing. Play your best, put it out there, and wait patiently for the next steps.


Are you auditioning for the Oregon All-State Wind Ensemble or Symphonic Band? What are your best preparation strategies? What do you find the most challenging about the audition repertoire? What questions do you have about the audition or the All-State performance experience? Please comment below and share these tips with your Oregon flute friends (and band/orchestra directors)!

Happy Fluting! (and auditioning)