What a wonderful experience it is to perform on the stage of the Stevens Center to a packed house and even better as a solo flutist performing alongside a choir. One of my favorite performance opportunities is playing the flute part written to enhance a choral piece. To hear many voices come together to create such magic in music and to be standing right next to these voices playing a flute part that was written to enhance the harmonies…. words can’t describe!
Two weekends ago I had this very privilege, I was asked to perform the flute parts for the Winston-Salem youth chorus’s 20th anniversary performance at the Stevens Center, directed by Barbara C. Beattie, and the place was packed! One of the pieces I was asked to play, was for a premier performance of the piece “The Playful Rainbow” composed by Dan Locklair. The piece was written to text by poet Fred Chappell and if words were meant to have harmonies, Dan captured the essence of these harmonies. I remember thinking, after playing the first run through of this piece in rehearsal, that this was a well written piece. The words and harmonies alone was enough to give you chills but I must add that he really knew how to write for the flute! Better yet, if I had a list of composers that have ever written a perfect flute part, he is now on that list. I have to say well done Dan Locklair, what a privilege this was! And of course I must mention how impressed I was with the young singers of the Winston-Salem youth chorus, under the direction of Barbara C. Beattie and of course their wonderful accompanist Lauren Winkelman.
Dan Locklair is Composer-in-Residence and Professor of Music at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His website is www.locklair.com
Fred Chappell is an acclaimed poet and novelist his bio can be found at http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/fred-chappell
The music for “The Playful Rainbow” is available at JWPepper. http://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/search.jsp?keywords=the+playful+rainbow