Written by Elizabeth Lowe
Jamie Mandelson, Baltimore School of Music school manager and woodwind teacher, recently attended The Flute Society of Washington’s Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention representing Baltimore School of Music. The convention is held annually and flutists from all over the country attend. It’s not only for professional flutists: there are teachers, students, studio owners, flute choirs, and beginners. No matter your skill level or your profession, there is something for everyone.
There are a few categories of things to do at the convention, including lectures, workshops, an exhibit hall and recitals. Mandelson performed a dance and flute piece with the West Virginia University flute ensemble Elev-8 at a recital during the during the convention held February 18-19 in Herndon, Va.
The recitals consisted of competition performers, flute choirs, flute studios, and professionals including Greg Patillo and the Baltimore Flute Choir, which was in attendance and gave an amazing performance. The performances covered a wide range of repertoire from Baroque and Classical to Contemporary and Romantic.
Presenters spoke on a variety of topics, including instrument repair and how to confidently teach beginners. I find that these lectures could help not only teachers, but students as well. Learning some basic repair is great for when you need an instrument tuned up on the spot. This has happened to me many times and even before a performance! “How to Teach Beginners with Confidence” gave me a lot of information that I can’t wait to try with current and future students.
The workshops were similar to the lectures, except that participants were able to bring their flutes and play. One workshop, which was great for all teachers, was called “The Best Apps for Inspired Practice and Teaching.” I found this to be particularly interesting because I teach here at Baltimore School of Music. I also thought they were great apps that my students would also enjoy using on their own. There was another workshop hosted by Greg Patillo about how to beatbox both with and without the flute. There was even a jam session at the end where people could go up and improvise in a group.
The exhibit hall was filled with flute companies from all over with different flutes, accessories, books, and much more. Anyone could go around and try the different instruments and purchase them if they wanted. There were a few composers there as well with a lot of their works. It was so cool to shake hands with composers of pieces I’ve played.