The Penn State Flute Choir will prove flutists don’t have to be confined behind their music stands when they perform a choreographed program with Penn State dance students at the National Flute Association’s Annual Convention in Washington, D.C., August 13–16.
Naomi Seidman, assistant professor and director of the Flute Choir, became interested in collaborating with dancers after meeting Elisha Clark Halpin, head of Penn State’s dance program, in fall 2012. After Seidman’s students introduced her to Lindsey Stirling, a violinist who dances while she plays, she was inspired to combine music and dance in a performance. She and Halpin began working together last summer, developing a 30-minute program featuring elements of dance and motion that “allows performers to break down the ‘behind the stand’ barrier and engage more directly with their audience.”
Seidman submitted an audition CD in November 2014 and received the invitation to perform in February 2015. The Penn State students will perform on August 16 as one of the featured events for Youth Flute Day, when flutists of all levels and backgrounds attend the convention.
The Flute Choir’s program, “Sound in Motion,” is performed entirely by memory and features a diverse selection of music, including “Japanese Folk Suite,” a collection of Irish tunes and the first movement of the beat-boxing quartet “Loops.” The program ends with “Bumble Boogie,” a jazzy version of the famous flute melody from “Flight of the Bumble Bee.” The dancers move among the flutists throughout the program.
According to Seidman, performing at the convention will benefit the students both culturally and academically. “The choir will represent Penn State at the highest level, and the students’ attendance at the convention will expose them to a wide range of musical experiences and possibilities. It will also give them a unique opportunity to pursue professional and career networking.”