Utah Valley Symphony Sunday in the Park

The Utah Valley Symphony is performing a free outdoor concert on Sunday, July 18th, 2021, at 7:30 pm. We will be set up on the east side of the Spanish Fork Library, 49 South Main Street, Spanish Fork, Utah.

Here is the official news release:

This year, Legacy House is proud to present Utah Valley Symphony as the Sunday in the Park entertainment. Utah Valley Symphony is the longest established community orchestra in the Valley. The Utah Valley Symphony was organized in 1959 as a non-profit organization.  Its purpose was to give the talented local musicians an opportunity to use their talents and to provide the community with symphony music.

They will be performing popular classics including Star Spangled Banner; ET: Journey to the Stars; Over the Rainbow; American Salute (This is Morton Gould’s arrangement of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”); Moon River; Fiddler on the Roof Medley ; Harry Potter, Wondrous World; The Battle Hymn of the Republic; and more!

Some seating is provided, but you may also bring chairs or blankets for your comfort. Bring the family for a wonderful evening of fun, and inspiring music!

Food vendors will not be available during this event so please feel free to bring your own drinks and snacks.

What Have You Learned?

It’s great to finally start having some things return back to “normal” after the pandemic. We’ve all learned a lot during this past year. If each person made a list, and we compared them side by side, perhaps there might be some things that are similar but for the most part, I’ll bet each one would be different.

Keeping yourself and your family safe became the number one priority, no matter the costs. Having three “high risk individuals” living in my home at the time, we took the virus very seriously. The pandemic helped remind us what’s truly important in life and what things are nice, but not critical. Our schedules suddenly became free from all extra curricular events for a time.

I remember when I saw an empty parking lot at a chain of retail stores in the middle of the day and how strange it seemed. This was another reminder of what’s critical such as food and medication and other household items, like toilet paper, right? We all had to get used to wearing masks and it became a natural part of getting out of the car to go into a business. Yet, now it seems strange to see so many people without masks.

What did I learn as a musician?

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Together Again

After more than 14 months, the Utah Valley Symphony finally came together again last week for a rehearsal. Even though this picture isn’t a rehearsal, we can look forward to performing together soon. It sure has been a long empty year of no symphony. I can’t express how wonderful it was to play music again as a large ensemble.

We are preparing for two outdoor summer concerts. The concerts will consist of movie themed and patriotic music including Over the Rainbow, Moon River, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Harry Potter, American Salute, and others. It will be fun!

Mark June 28th and July 18th on your calendars and come hear the Utah Valley Symphony again or come hear us for the first time. Details are on the sidebar under Upcoming Events.

Summer Practicing

Hooray for Summer! Who doesn’t love a change of pace, the warm summer sun, lemonade, swimming pools, ice cream and vacations?

With all the fun and extra events that summer brings, how do you stay motivated to practice during the summer? Commit to keep playing, especially if you are not taking lessons during the summer.

Sight read anything. Pull out old books you’ve previously gone through, flip randomly to a page and see what you can still play.

Go to flutetunes.com and try the Tune of the Day. They have an audio recording along with it.

Summer can be a great time to strengthen your scales and put them to memory.

Play popular music or folk tunes. All local music stores always have popular music or Broadway or Disney music favorites or Irish tunes or folk songs for flute. Try a new one each day as you continue to work on proper breaths, accurate tonguing, solid tone and vibrato.

If you find it hard to motivate yourself to practice, at the very least, listen to exceptional flute players. Maybe that will motivate you to practice.

In any case, enjoy summer and keep music a part of it in some way.

Memorization Tips

Some festivals or competitions require memorization. Naturally, there are pros and cons to being required to perform from memory. While some people memorize naturally after playing a piece enough times, others have to actively memorize. Here are some tips to improve your music memorization skills.

MAP out a plan. When do you have to have it memorized by? Then aim for 2-3 weeks prior to that date. Divide your music into sections and assign how ever many measures or lines by weeks you have. Then you have those 2-3 weeks to build your confidence by playing from memory.

SET daily memorization goals. Take your weekly goal and divide that into daily goals. It can be overwhelming to memorize a long piece, but if you take it in small steps, it will be much easier. Most of the time you only need to memorize a small portion each day. I’m a strong believer in setting goals.

KNOW your scales, thirds, and arpeggios. (Go watch the 1970 Disney movie called The Aristocats. There is a cute scene where the cats are practicing their scales and arpeggios.) One reason I emphasize a strong technique is because it makes everything easier, especially memorizing. If you know your fundamentals, you can find those in your music. Once you have discovered them, you don’t have to “read” every single note, you can see it as one idea, so to speak. Compare it to reading. At first you sound out each letter as in C-A-T. Then you see it as one word instead of 3 letters.

IDENTIFY patterns or notes that are almost patterns. I like to label scales or technical passages that are not readily recognizable It’s been handy when I pull my music out years later and I have those already marked in my music. Look for sequences or identify the musical form.

Labeling Scales
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