Flutewise in Croatia 2019

I think the biggest thing that struck me about our recent course in Croatia was the friendships that developed between the young flute players, parents and Croatian friends. It was quite heartwarming to see so many people getting on so well. We had an impressive number of social activities and I got back home with the feeling of having been at a party for 2 weeks - exhausted and exhilarated!


The course itself was very good. I think we all enjoyed the programme I had planned. The theme this year was global warming so we started the course, after a poem by Sophie, with 2 movements from Winter by Vivaldi. I was thrilled that Klaudija, who had come on courses in 2008 and 2009, had offered to come and help out on this course. Klaudija is a superb violinist, having spent 3 years studying in Zagreb, she is now going to Dublin for 3 years for her Masters Degree. It was fantastic to have her on the course, to hear the diverse sounds the violin makes is so refreshing to flute-exhausted ears! Klaudija worked with Max, Sophie and Tomoko on the first movement of the Vivaldi and Lorna Brown worked on the second movement, Rain, with most of the other flute players, while I had an exciting time working with our saxophone player, percussionist and a very young Croatian flute player.


Klaudija can be seen in the photos below from 2008 and 2009 :)

I had planned to use the poem, We are Going to See the Rabbit* by Alan Brownjohn for our creative piece, including using parts of Peter’s Tune from Prokovief’s Peter and the Wolf and Chopin’s Funeral March. We were all extremely satisfied with the result.


Creative music making performance from our Flutewise course in Croatia 2019. We are Going to See the Rabbit by Alan Brownjohn. Hints of music by Prokofiev and Chopin

Money, Money, Money by ABBA was next on our concert programme and we made the magical discovery that we had a budding conductor on our course, Paloma! I’m sorry we didn’t get a full performance, but the clips below demonstrate Paloma’s rapid development.


We also had the wonderful addition of a guitarist, Boris from Villa Soulavy and he performed Oblivion by Piazzolla with Paola.

I had found a really good book of trios with backing tracks. For the final concert we played 3 of these; We’ve Only Just Begun, Baby Elephant Walk and Eye of the Tiger. For the concert on Brac we played those three plus Moon River and Summer Time. We ended both concerts, as always in Croatia, with Walk Like This.

More videos can be found at the end of this blog.

The social side of our story was great. The whole of Villa Soulavy was full with British Flutewise families and others were staying in hotels or apartments nearby. On Tuesday evening we had a Flute and Pizza party were anyone who wanted to performed something and then we ate pizza

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Three mornings of music classes followed at the Ballet School, which is the local music school, right on the beach. We had a lovely barbecue at the Villa on Friday evening thanks to the organisation f the parents and the cooking skills of Boris. Saturday was a free day and on Sunday we all went to Brac, one of the islands. We explored Supetar, the town the ferry arrives at and most people went swimming in the crystal clear sea, the a coach took us to Park Sutivan. We enjoyed a lovely meal here, joined by one of the donkeys then played a concert on their amphitheatre. For such a small island we had an excellent audience. I’m really grateful to my friend Jadranka and her family for helping to make this happen.

Monday and Tuesday we were back at school and on Tuesday evening we had our final concert in Castle Viturri, a truly magical place to perform. Then we had another party!

Now I think we are all counting the days to next year! Join us.

This video of photos tell the story. Thanks to Aoi, Bruce and Mark

This video is about Flutewise in Croatia 2019 in photos
Klaudija, Maz, Sophie and Tomoko 1st movement of Winter from Four Seasons by Vivaldi
This is Rain by Vivaldi performed at our final concert in Castle Viturri on our Flutewise course in Croatia 2019. Directed by Lorna Brown
This video is about rehearsal of Oblivion by Piazzolla. Paola flute, Boris guitar
Oblivion by Piazzolla played by Paola flute and Boris guitar at our end of course peformance in Croatia 2019
Walk Like This by Ian Clarke - Flutewise Croatia 2019



  • The poem if you are interested:

We are going to see the rabbit.

We are going to see the rabbit.

Which rabbit, people say?

Which rabbit , ask the children?

Which rabbit?

The only rabbit,

The only rabbit in England,

Sitting behind a barbed-wire fence

Under the floodlights, neon lights,

Sodium lights,

Nibbling grass

On the only patch of grass

In England, in England

(except the grass by the hoardings

Which doesn’t count.)

We are going to see the rabbit

And we must be there on time.

First we shall go by escalator,

Then we shall go by underground,

And then we shall go by motorway,

And then by helicopterway,

And the last 10 yards we shall have to go

On foot.


And now we are going

All the way to see the rabbit,

We are nearly there,

We are longing to see it,

And so is the crowd

Which is here in thousands

With mounted policemen

And big loudspeakers

And bands and banners,

And everyone has come a long way.

But soon we shall see it

Sitting and nibbling

The blades of grass

In – but something has gone wrong!

Why is everyone so angry,

Why is everyone jostling

And slanging and complaining?


The rabbit has gone,

Yes, the rabbit has gone.

He has actually burrowed down into the earth

And made himself a warren, under the earth,

Despite all these people,

And what shall we do?


What can we do?


It is all a pity, you must be disappointed,

Go home and do something for today,

Go home again, go home for today.

For you cannot hear the rabbit, under the earth,

Remarking rather sadly to himself, by himself,

As he rests in his warren, under the earth:

‘It won’t be long, they are bound to come,

They are bound to come and find me, even here.’

Alan Brownjohn

The Purple Cow

I’ve had a lovely present, a Purple Cow! Thanks to the generosity and skill of Lorna Brown. There is a story to tell …

This video is The Purple Cow in Croatia

People who have been involved with Flutewise have probably experienced using the poem, The Purple Cow, for creative music making. The poem is:
I’ve never seen a purple cow
I never hope to see one
But I can tell you anyhow
I’d rather see than be one.

I first came across that poem when my friend Lynne who I started flute lessons with gave me a small purple cow as a birthday present and that poem was around his/her neck. I’ve never forgotten Lynne, the cow and lovely Friday afternoons playing flute duets from the Otto Langey Tutor book.

Lorna made me this cow and left him at my apartment door just before she left Croatia. That afternoon quite a number of the young people who had been on the course were cooking a meal for their parents. Somehow they managed to spill lots of milk all over the floor and the cow - I have no idea how! A mum gave him a bit of a wash but by the time I received him he was rather wet and still smelling a bit of milk. I’m pleased to say he made the journey safely home and enjoyed a wash in the washing machine, so all is well. I have a feeling this cow might get up to quite a few adventures :)

The Purple Cow enjoying the sunshine in Croatia

The Purple Cow enjoying the sunshine in Croatia

Croatia course

I’m just off to Croatia for the summer course and looking forward to seeing lots of lovely flute players there. Back at the end of August when I’ll update you on the next performance of the Flutewise Club at the Old Barn Garden Centre on Sunday 29 September - reserve it in you diary if you want to join us.

Enjoy the last couple of weeks of the summer holidays.

Flutewise at the Old Barn Garden Centre


Michelle with Lester and some of the flute players

Michelle with Lester and some of the flute players

Yesterday some of us enjoyed a really lovely day at The Old Barn Garden Centre, Horsham. We were there to perform and raise funds for a charity, Canine Partners.

The flute players who attended take part in our Flutewise Club which is held monthly in Portslade, this happens with the support from Music for All. We put together a programme of music that we hoped the general public would enjoy hearing. This is what we played:

1. When You Wish Upon a Star - everyone

2. Carmen: Bizet - Max, Sophie, Tomoko

3. In Hall of Mountain King: Grieg arranged by Jerry Randalls

4. Spring from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons arranged by Jerry Randalls

5. Autumn from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons arranged by Jerry Randalls

6. Gossec: Tambourin   - Max, Sophie, Tomoko

7. Londonderry  - Max, Sophie, Tomoko

8. Caprice: Paganini arranged by Jerry Randalls

9. Yellow Submarine

10. Over the Rainbow

Session Time - 

11. Lotus Talk

12. Memory

13. Summertime

14. Mike Mower - Folk Song Medley

We performed at 11.00 and 1.00 and our programme lasted 40 minutes. That took a lot of stamina for the young players.

Michelle, who has a dog, Lester, came along from Canine Partners. It’s a great small charity that provides helping dogs for disabled people. Michelle told us how Lester can answer the door, fill and empty the washing machine, pick things up she needs, help with the shopping and even understands cash withdrawal machines! As well as his amazing skills he is the most gorgeous dog. We raised £90.15! We are hoping to repeat our performance next term and hope we can raise more, especially as one of our very original Flutewise members, Carla, is on the list to have a dog.

I’m really impressed and thrilled with our flute players who worked so hard and gave their time to do this (and their parents who supported) and I’m grateful to the Old Barn Garden Centre. All of the staff we came across were so lovely.

At the end of our performances we had a look around the garden centre and we were thrilled to find an owl display - we found our Flutewise owl, Flutey! If you click on the photos, lots of different ones will come up.

There is also a short video, below. Maybe you would like to be involved in something similar. Let me know.

July News

Flutewise Clubs

We’ve really been enjoying our Flutewise Clubs over the last few months and I’m really delighted we are having the opportunity to perform at the Old Barn Garden Centre in Horsham on 10 August. If you would like to join us can you please let me know as soon as possible? It is very exciting as a dog, Lester, from Canine Partners will be joining us for the performances at 11.00 and 1.00 - maybe if you can’t come and play you can come and support us.
For next term I’ve decided to change the dates to Sundays rather than Saturdays to see if it helps more people to attend. The workshops will be at the usual place, South Portslade Community Centre. There will be two meetings in November as we have another performance at the Old Barn Garden Centre.

It would be really helpful if you could book a place, you don’t have to come to every session, but if I have an idea in advance who is coming I can organise guest artists to come and join us.

22 September (Sunday) 2.00 pm until 4.00 pm.

13 October (Sunday) 2.00 pm until 4.00 pm.

17 November (Sunday) 2.00 pm until 4.00 pm.

24 November (Sunday) 2.00 pm until 4.00 pm.- for our performance on 27th November (Wednesday) starting 5.30 pm at the Old Barn Garden Centre, Horsham

15 December (Sunday) 2.00 pm until 4.00 pm. - Christmas party!

New music from last month.

I was really amazed by the response to this, so many people wanting music! I’ll look at all the entries over the weekend and decide how to give the books out. Thanks to everyone who got in touch.

Croatia

If you still haven’t got your summer holiday sorted there is still time to come to our fantastic course in Croatia. It’s from 21 to 27 August. There is plenty of information on your website but please give me a ring if you are thinking of coming - 01273 702367

Enjoy the summer!

New Music

I’ve had a few new interesting books arrive over the last few weeks. I’m always respectful of any work that gets into print, especially these days, it demonstrates a hug amount of work and confidence for all the people involved. I’m particularly impressed with A Dictionary for the Modern Flutist, second edition by Susan J Maclagan, it is over 400 pages long! This is a publication for you if you love books and want to know everything about the flute.

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CITYSNAPSHOTS by James Rae is for one or two flutes with piano or CD accompaniment and is published by Universal Edition. Lovely straightforward pieces for flute players in their early days of learning. The illustrations throughout the book are great, for example in Montmarte Waltz (Paris, France) there are cats dancing in pairs while another paints.

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From Scott there are two books by the Ukrainian composer, Kapustin, Sonata for flute and piano and Trio for flute, cello and piano. For the advanced flute player, these are really worth looking at.

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Three books have arrived from the French publisher, Lemoine. The easiest, for players around grade 3/4 standard is Couleurs Caraibe for tow flutes and piano by Valerie Rousse. Also by the same composer and under the same title is Couleurs Caraibe for flute, clarinet and piano, players need to be around grade 5 standard. For slightly more advanced players is a book by Sergio Arriagada, 6 Etudes for flute and piano. All great fun to play.

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From Tim Knight is a beautiful piece for flute and piano, Waterscapes. For a player of grade 6 or above this would make a lovely recital item. This pieces is distributed by Spartan Press.

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Hurrah if you’ve read this far! Would you like one of these books? I’m willing to give them away, all you need do is send me an email telling me which one you would like and why. Use the contact form

June News

If you haven’t booked yet there is still time to join us and have lots of flute playing fun at our Flutewise Club on Saturday 15th June. Simon Williams, Lorna Brown and Carrie Hensel will be joining us.

I’ve got some very exciting news to share. We have been invited to perform at a Garden Centre in the summer and for Christmas! If you live within travelling distance, are a keen flute player and can come along to our Flutewise Clubs, you are very welcome to join us. The details are:

Venue: The Old Barn Garden Centre, A24 Worthing Road, Dial Post, Horsham RH13 8NR.

Summer date: Saturday 10th August 2019 from 11.00 am

Christmas: Wednesday 27th November 2019 from 5.30 pm to c8.00 pm

Rehearsals for the summer performance will be on Friday 9th August in the Chapel at South Portslade Community Centre, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

There will be two Flutewise Club meetings leading up to the November performance on Saturday 16th and 23rd November 2019 at South Portslade Community Centre, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

I’m really grateful to the Garden Centre for giving us these opportunities to perform and as well as spreading the word about Flutewise, I hope we can support another very good charity, Canine Partners and raise some funds for this very good cause.

If you would like to be involved please let me know as soon as you can so I can organise suitable music for us to play - the music will be suitable for all standards of players.

As the summer months are very busy for most people I am postponing the Flutewise Club on the Saturdays in July and August.

If you are still wondering how to spend your summer holiday, there is still time to come and join us in Croatia for a really fun, imaginative course with the opportunity to combine it with a family summer holiday. The course is from 21st to 27th August 2019 and includes a day trip to a beautiful island and a performance in a magical castle. Please get in touch very soon if you would like to come and haven’t booked already. 


Kastel Vitturi, where we have our concert at the end of the course. It’s a really magical place.

Kastel Vitturi, where we have our concert at the end of the course. It’s a really magical place.

News Round Up May

Flutewise Club

May is proving to be quite busy. We had a really pleasant Flutewise Club on 18 May when we explored some excellent new arrangements. We sight read through them all, changing parts after each one. They are ideal arrangements for a little plan we are hatching for Flutewise Club soon :)

JJ approves of ‘Simply Tchaikovsky are by Mel Orriss, published by Wonderful Winds

New Music

JJ also approves of two exciting new books which arrived in the post this week.

Flute Reboot - A complete workbook for flute players, published by astute music by Clare Southworth should prove very popular especially adults who haven’t played for awhile and flute players who’ve had a break during GCSEs and A levels. Clare is an extremely experienced teacher and offers us this series of lessons in her workbook that will get rid of cobwebs and inspire lovely flute playing. As well as great advice and stimulating exercises, there is some lovely music which we all want to play. Highly recommended.

Flute Reboot by Clare Southworth has a ‘paws up’ from JJ.

Fit in 15 Minutes by Elisabeth Weinzierl and Edmund Wächter published by Schott Music could make a great companion to Clare’s book. We should all warm up at the beginning of our practice sessions - do you?! - it’s good to have some fresh ideas of what to do and if you followed this book you would cover all the basic flute technique to make you a better player.

JJ thinks he is fit enough already but flute players could all use this book.

Events - Wonderful Winds

You might be interested in this event if you live within travelling distance:

Following the great success of our Wonderful Winds’ Flute Days! around the country, we are delighted to be bringing the event to Peterborough in August 2019. 

Flute Days! presents a unique opportunity for players of all ages and abilities to get together for a day or two of fluting. The emphasis is very much on having fun with the flute and the events are designed to build confidence and improve on the flute, in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. 
Saturday 10th August, 10am - 6pm
Suitable for novice/intermediate players and rusty returners! (Approx. Grade 1-5)
Sunday 11th August, 10am - 6pm 
Suitable for more confident/advanced players (Approx Grade 5-Diploma) 
Intermediate players are welcome to attend both days, as are advanced players who would like to support the novice players.
Venue – The Peterborough School, Thorpe Road, Peterborough PE3 6AP

Each day includes:
Warm-ups 
Sound workshop
Meet the big flutes! 
Massed flute choir
Chamber Music 
Informal concert

The event is coached by myself and my longstanding flute colleague and friend, Joss Campbell.  Joss and I have been leading flute choir workshops together across the country for many years, and our shared enthusiasm for all things ‘flute’ will guarantee a  lively weekend of music making. The music for the weekend will be drawn from the Wonderful Windscatalogue of flute music. We will be using this resource for the massed flute choir sessions, and making the full library of some 300 pieces available for the smaller chamber music sessions. If you’ve had first-hand experience of using or playing pieces from our catalogue, you will appreciate how much players enjoy them; we are very excited to be able to share this resource more widely!
There will also be a Wonderful Winds pop-up shop in case you are inspired to take some music home.  

You can find more details, including prices, bursary opportunities, teacher discounts, timetables and application forms (for Adults and Under 18s) on the Wonderful Winds website here. Discounted Early-Bird booking is now open (until 10th June), and places are limited, so early booking is recommended.  

•••••••••••

This information might be of interest which I received in an email from Amy Yuan:

The 2nd New Talent British International Youth Music Competition

‘I am a violin alumna of Royal Academy of Music and leader of NYOGB in 2007 and now run my own music academy. The academy builds platforms for young musicians both in Britain and China, part of what we do, is an International youth music competition which we run in association with British Music Society. 

Building on the success of the 1st New Talent British International Youth Music Competition last August, we are running the Competition for its 2nd year this August at Harrow School. This year we are open to Strings, Piano, Voice, Woodwind and Brass, Speech, age 4-24 at all levels. We have 7 jurors on the panel including professors from Royal Academy of Music on the Jury Panel such as Head of Strings - Jo Cole. Every candidate receives a hand-written feedback from a member of the Jury Panel. There are Opening Concert and Award Winners’ Concert (at the beautiful Harrow School Old Speech Room), top prize winners are invited to perform by British Embassy Beijing to perform at the Expo 2019 Beijing, so lots of performing opportunities!

I was wondering if you could be so kind to spread the word about this year's Competition to your students. We also have printed brochures, would it be useful to post some to you? The entry fee is £50/instrument which includes official accompanist and a run-through with the accompanist. 

Detailed information can be found:
Website: http://www.ayacademy.net/en/competition/
Online Brochure: http://www.ayacademy.net/en/competition/2019-competition-online-brochure/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/newtalentyouthmusic/ 
I would be most grateful if you could please help us share.’ 

Enjoy the rest of May!

Youtube and copyright

I’m not sure why I’ve had an email from YouTube about a copyright claim from a Flutewise video from a course way back in 2010. The young flute players play Sumer is a cumin in (which no one has any idea how old it is or who wrote it and the other piece is Greensleeves performed by Matej Zupan - it’s lovely playing, you should listen. Both of these pieces are in the public domain and these editions are from our Flutewise publications. I’m confused.

Flutewise members made short video clips about different aspects of our course. In this clip we see the chapel at Abbotsholme School where we do most of our work when we are in a large group. There is a wonderful grand piano in this beautiful room.