Sunday, June 25, 2023 at 5:00pm
19th Annual Summer Metropolitan Flute Festival Orchestra
Paige Dashner Long, Director
with Kristjan Asgeirsson and Elizabeth Kuhn MacDonald, percussion
Sunday, June 25, 2023 at 5:00pm
The Concert Hall at Groton Hill
FLORA, FAUNA, and FLUTE
Music inspired by nature
Across the Divide
Larry Tuttle (b. 1955)
Spring from The Four Seasons, RV 269 – Allegro
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Arranged for flute orchestra by Bruce Behnke
Jenny Cline and Eve-Marie Nezich – soloists
Land of Arctic Fire
Jonathan Cohen (b. 1954)
1. Just Below the Surface
4. Valley Dawn
5. Volcanics and Vikings
Symphony No. 3 in A Minor “Scottish” – Allegro vivacissimo (4th mvmt.)
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Arranged for flute orchestra by Paige Dashner Long
Paige Dashner Long (b. 1955)
Herman Beeftink (b. 1953)
Johannes Hanssen (1874-1967)
Arranged for flute orchestra by Matt Johnston
Under the Sun
Peter Senchuk (b. 1974)
Earl Grant Lawrence, bass flute soloist
Joseph Saenz, concert flute soloist
John Philip Sousa (1854-1932)
Arranged for flute orchestra by Matt Johnston
Today’s encore is:
Flight of the Bumblebee
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
Arranged for flute orchestra by Nancy Nourse
Members of the Ensemble
Paige Dashner Long, Director
Linda True Stromski
Linda True Stromski
Deborah Rebeck Ash
Judy Diez d’Aux
Earl Grant Lawrence
Jay V. Kast-Tuttle
Flute in G
Flute in C
Paige Dashner Long
About Paige Dashner Long and The Metropolitan Flute Orchestra
Paige Dashner Long is an internationally recognized flute choir director, contrabass flutist, and award winning composer. An Altus Artist, she currently directs the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra (in summer residence at Groton Hill Music Center), the Daytona State College Flute Choir, and the Florida Flute Orchestra. As an active guest flute clinician and ensemble director, she has led workshops and directed flute ensembles for music schools in France, Germany, and Mexico, as well as for universities and flute associations throughout America. She is Vice President of the International Low Flutes Society, performs with the International Flute Orchestra, serves on the Flute Clubs Committee of the National Flute Association (NFA), and is a former Chairperson of the Low Flutes Committee of the NFA, former Coordinator NFA’s Flute Choir Composition Competition, and past President of the Greater Boston Flute Association. Many of her original compositions and arrangements have won awards for newly published music.
An active performer, Paige plays flute and harpsichord with the Daytona Solisti Chamber Orchestra and the Chamber Players of Palm Coast, which she also directs. An active teacher, she is on the music faculty at Daytona State College (Daytona Beach, FL). An international ensemble performer, she has presented concerts in Japan, France, Germany, Austria, Iceland, Italy, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Malta, Greece, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Russia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Portugal, Chile, and Mexico. As a lower flute specialist, Paige has written several articles for Flute Talk Magazine as well as for flute association newsletters throughout the country. As a low flutes advocate, she has been interviewed and filmed by both local and national news organizations, including CNN’s Great Big Story. For more information please visit www.contraflute.com.
The Metropolitan Flute Orchestra, in summer residence at Groton Hill Music Center, is comprised of select conservatory/university, community adult, and professional flutists. From classical and sacred literature to jazz, folk songs, and show tunes, the ensemble has been delighting audiences since 1998. Past performances include concerts presented at New England Conservatory, appearances at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Open House, the BSO’s Symphony Café, Boston’s Faneuil Hall, and Boston’s French Library. The Metropolitan Flute Orchestra commissioned the award winning composition The Academie of Dance by Catherine McMichael. The select ensemble of the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra was selected and performed during National Flute Association Conventions in 2000 (Columbus, OH), 2006 (Pittsburgh, PA), 2009 (New York City, NY), 2011 (Charlotte, NC), and 2015 (Washington DC.) as well as presenting concert tours in France (2001), Ireland (2008), Germany, Austria, and Slovakia (2012), Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic (2014), England and Scotland (2016), Iceland (2018), and Belgium and Luxembourg (2022). While in New York City in 2009, the ensemble, one of four ensembles selected from across the U.S., performed live with Sir James Galway in Times Square for a brief FOX TV News broadcast.
Sit back and relax as the Metropolitan Flute Festival Orchestra transports you to spectacular nature scenes around the world as we present Flora, Fauna and Flute.
Across the Divide, by Larry Tuttle, is a musical bridge – spanning the gap between two contrasting elements. The first element is a bright rhythmic melody, in the manner of a reel or fiddle tune. The second element is a broad, spacious, and noble chorale. The piece starts right out of the gate with the driving melody, followed by several spunky and aggressive variations. The energy and the size of the orchestration keeps growing and building with each variation, leading eventually to the climactic moment, when the rhythmic melody and the chorale play simultaneously. The slow-moving chorale unfolds majestically, while the faster tune moves up in the register and soars over the top. A brief and reflective slow section follows, before an energetic and speedy coda pops up unexpectedly, taking us to the end. Larry Tuttle writes iconic and optimistic music with a strong sense of story and narrative arc. He is the winner of the Pittsburgh Symphony’s H.J. Heinz Company Audience of the Future Composition Competition, and his concert overture, By Steam or By Dream, won second prize at the Keuris Composers Competition in The Netherlands. Larry is also known as one of the world’s foremost composers and performers of music for the Chapman Stick.
The first movement of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, “Spring,” is often described as the most famous of this prolific composer’s works. The music is based upon a sonnet that reads: “Spring has arrived, and joyfully the birds greet her with glad song, while at Zephyr’s breath the streams flow forth with a sweet murmur. Her chosen heralds, thunder and lightning, come to envelope the air in a black cloak; once they have fallen silent, the little birds return anew to their melodious songs.” This sonnet, possibly written by Vivaldi himself, gives a description of what the listener will hear. The famous bird calls are accompanied by murmuring streams, with interruptions of thunder and lightning.
MET contrabass flutist and award winning composer, Jonathan Cohen, wrote Land of Arctic Fire after he completed a concert tour to Iceland with the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra in 2018. Each movement offers impressions of Iceland: Just Below the Surface – water, steam and lava fulminate and explode through the thin crust; Glacier – vast, timeless, cold; Cascade – hundreds of thousands of tiny rivers cascade down hills and mountains into valleys and plains; Valley Dawn – green riparian valleys are breathtaking; Volcanics and Vikings – grand, energetic, determined, old and new. The Metropolitan Flute Orchestra is very fortunate that Jon is part of our mighty contra section. With a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, he has worked as a researcher in information retrieval and visualization, optical and signal processing, and related fields, for four decades. His resulting trophies include more than a dozen patents and a bald head.
On July 30, 1829, while visiting Scotland, 20 year old Felix Mendelssohn was inspired to compose what is now known as Symphony No 3 in A Minor, “Scottish.” He wrote home to his family: “In darkening twilight today, we went to the Palace [of Holyrood] where Queen Mary lived and loved. The chapel beside it has lost its roof and is overgrown with grass and ivy, and at that broken altar Mary was crowned Queen of Scotland. Everything there is ruined, decayed and open to the clear sky. I believe that I have found there today the beginning of my Scotch Symphony.” Mendelssohn’s fascination with Mary Queen of Scots and Scottish history are important factors in understanding his Scottish Symphony. At the beginning of the 4th movement that will be performed today, Allegro vivacissimo, the listener will hear battle calls in reference to a poem written by family friend Karl Klingemann, that mentions the Battle of Killiecrankie of 1689 and the Jacobite uprising in 1745. The music of the last movement of the symphony, originally marked Allegro Guerriero, is fast and warlike, suggesting a battle, with syncopated rhythms in the upper voices with an underlying soldiers march from the lower instruments. Musical passages conjure up the chaos of combat until later in the movement when the music almost halts. A new theme emerges from the lower voices, in A major, and gradually rises up, as if going to the tops of the Scottish Highlands, celebrating victory in a triumphal finish.
One of Paige Dashner Long’s newer compositions, Flutenado is a flutistic meterological musical wonder, inspired by Florida storms and beautiful beaches. One has heard of ‘Sharknado’ and is familiar with ‘tornado,’ so Flutenado is a flutey combination of both. At the beginning you will hear sounds of the ocean, complete with bird calls. A calm, lazy day at the beach soon changes as storm clouds roll in, with gusts of wind subsiding into moments of calm. Then, the storm breaks loose into a flurry of rain, wind, and waves. With relief, the storm ends quickly, just as the daily Florida summer thunderstorms pop up and then pass through quickly.
Squirrels, by Herman Beeftink, is an energetic, delightful piece that musically features squirrels scampering around your background. Listen to them artfully jumping from tree to tree, wildly changing directions in an instant. Beeftink is a Dutch-American composer born in the Netherlands. Immigrating to the United States in 1982, he lives in southern California where he has worked as a studio musician and now composes for film and television. He has played keyboards for many popular TV shows including Cheers, five seasons of Roseanne, and all episodes of Home Improvement.
Composer Johannes Hanssen began writing Valdres March in 1901. The title suggests both geographic and musical connotations. Valdres is a beautiful scenic region between Bergen and Oslo, Norway, that is home to the Valdres Battalion in the Valdres valley. The opening march theme is a bugle call from the Valdres Battalion. Next you will hear an old tune for hardanger fiddle, which is considered to be the national instrument of Norway. The trio section is a pentatonic tune based upon Norwegian folk music, which is played above a drone bass line. Although it was his first composition, Hanssen considered Valdres one of his best compositions.
Peter Senchuk’s Under the Sun is a jazzy samba, full of syncopation and musical surprises. Bass flutes and contrabass flutes begin with a driving theme, soon to be joined by the alto flutes. The sun erupts with the bright entry of the concert flutes and piccolo. During the middle section, two MET flutists and jazz musicians, Earl Grant Lawrence and Joseph Saenz, are featured performing their own improvisations over the rhythm section. Just as with the beginning, the ending section is led by the low flutes, before trilling concert flutes and rhythmic piccolo bring the piece to a thrilling end.
Legendary composer and conductor, John Philip Sousa’s The Thunderer march was dedicated in 1889 to the Columbia Commandery No. 2, Knights of Templar, of Washington, DC, a philanthropic order affiliated with Freemasonry. Also known as the March King, Sousa was “knighted” by the Columbia Commandery three years earlier. Of the 136 marches that Sousa composed, The Thunderer was Mrs. Sousa’s favorite march. During his time, the composer was a pop star of national and international fame.
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee quickly made this flying bug the most famous musical insect. Based on a fairy tale opera, The Tale of the Tsar Sultan, the libretto was written by Vladimir Belsky and was based on a poem by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin. Although the opera has long been forgotten, the Flight of the Bumblee lives on as a celebrated virtuoso showpiece in its many different transcriptions for solo instruments ranging all the way from piccolo to tuba. In today’s performance for flute orchestra, the flashy chromatic lines are shared among all of the players from piccolo through double contrabass flute.