Recital to be anything but ordinary

Alison Adams

Be prepared, this graduate student flute recital will be anything but ordinary. You’ll be hearing bells and whistles alike at Meghan Naxer’s performance on Sunday March 6.

Naxer, 26, is pursuing a Master of Arts and music theory as well as a Master of Music and flute performance. All graduate performance majors perform either two recitals or perform one recital and write an essay. This will be Naxer’s second recital; her first was February of last year. Because Naxer has performed standard repertoire in the past, she wanted to use her final recital as an opportunity to play something totally different.

“I really wanted to play this oddball, off the wall concerto that I found online,” Naxer said. “I just wanted to do something really fun and something that no one had heard before.”

She chose Concerto for Flutes, Op. 69 “Dances with the Winds” by Einojuhani Rautavaara, a Finnish composer. Naxer said she was drawn to the piece because it incorporates all four standard size flutes; piccolo, flute, alto flute and bass flute.

It is up to Naxer as well as her flute teacher, Diane McCloskey, associate professor of music, to decide the appropriate pieces for her recitals. She said there is a need to have a good range of time periods represented.

“It’s tricky because there is so much repertoire and the majority of really good repertoire that I enjoy as far as what’s in the flute literature is 20th century,” Naxer said. “I really like the 20th century modern and contemporary music, so to balance that I have to try and find romantic music or classical music or baroque.”

It took Naxer and McCloskey about a month to decide which pieces she will perform.

“It’s important for her [McCloskey] that you be a well rounded flutist and really know a lot of repertoire, in addition to being able to play stuff that you really want to do,” Naxer said.

After choosing her pieces, Naxer realized she needed five more minutes of material to create an appropriate recital length. A piece that her friend played when she was an undergraduate student popped into her head and she knew it was the perfect piece to conclude the first half of her recital.

“It uses all kinds of extended techniques for flutes,” Naxer said.

“The Great Train Race” is a contemporary piece composed by Ian Clarke. Techniques included are residual tone; where the flutist blows air but not loud enough to produce tone but loud enough to hear the pitches, singing and playing at the same time, multiphonics; the playing of two notes at once (which requires special fingerings), pitch bends and trills.

“It’s a really fun piece, but it’s not a real traditional piece. You wouldn’t think that you would hear something like this at a recital,” Naxer said. “The whole piece is just meant to be an effect.”

Naxer hopes that her well-rounded yet eclectic selections are enough to impress the committee assigned to decide whether or not she gave an acceptable graduate recital. On that committee are McCloskey, Ted Rounds, associate professor of percussion, who was on the committee of her last recital, and Dr. Frank Wiley, director of the KSU New Music Ensemble and KSU Orchestra, who was on the thesis committee for her theory degree. She believes that having people familiar with her previous work will provide cohesion between her degrees.

The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. in Ludwig Hall. Admission is free.

Contact Alison Adams at [email protected].