Friday, May 29, 2015

Artist Teaching Profile - Christina Jennings

This week, Powell artist Christina Jennings welcomed flutists to her annual Panoramic Flutist residential seminar at the University of Colorado Bolder.  The seminar focuses on creating a sense of community among flutists and presents a series of sessions and workshops targeting the whole musician ("mind, body, and artistry") through a series of sessions on practice, performance, and study. This year, she welcomed guest artists Paula Robison, Lisa Garner Santa, and Jennifer Kenney.

Ms. Jennings hosts the seminar at the Univeristy of Colorado Boulder, where she is currently Associate Professor of Flute. For those interested in undergraduate or graudate studies with Ms. Jennings, her personal website ( includes a page dedicated specifically to her flute studio.  You can find this page by clicking the "teaching" heading in the top horizontal menu bar. She shares a brief overview of the studio and includes a link to the full studio page on the UCBolder website.  The studio website is incredibly engaging, with terrific images and very thorough information for prospective undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to degree program information, Ms. Jennings shares the following perspectives on the learning environment:
The flute studio is a supportive yet intense group of musicians who are passionate about the flute!
CU is dedicated to developing the whole musician. Students are expected to balance academic and instrumental excellence, and have the opportunity to participate in a range of diverse programs, such as the Entrepreneurship Center for Music, classes in the Alexander Technique through our Musicians’ Wellness Initiative, or participate in one of the many world music ensembles including the West African Highlife Ensemble. For a complete look at these diverse programs, please explore the College of Music site. In addition, the world-class courses offered through the University provide students with a well-rounded education. Many studio members have double majored or minored in other areas including: Business, Engineering, English and French.
For additional information on Christina Jennings, visit the following pages:
Powell Artist Profile 
Panoramic Flutist 

Teach Flute Blog Posts:

Friday, May 22, 2015

Intervals 2 with Paul Edmund-Davies

In the latest video lesson on his Simply Flute website, Powell artist Paul Edmund-Davies tackles the topic of intervals. Although intervals may seem tedious to practice alone, Paul points out that they certainly demand attention as they will undoubtedly appear within quick passages, often times bringing us to a halt.  We can probably all identify with the following quote from the beginning of his lesson:
When we play pieces or studies, we are understandably eager to perform them at a good speed and with flow. Then, all of a sudden, a few beats or bars of intervals emerge from the page and that flow is instantly interrupted. We stumble our way through in a mild blind panic and once we can see daylight again, wipe the perspiration from our furrowed brows!
In a creative and practical approach to intervals, Paul composed a few short studies to train us to be both mentally and physically prepared for these large leaps within the context of various passages. These studies incorporate a simple melody and rhythmic variations that are perfect for working toward the goal of performing intervals smoothly.  His lesson begins with a video demonstration followed by text and downloadable sheet music. Follow this link to view the full lesson on Paul's Simply Flute website.

Sample exercise from the lesson.  Click here to download the complete set from his video lesson.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Successful Path with Demarre McGill

By Rebecca Weissman
Communications Director, Verne Q. Powell Flutes, Inc.

I can honestly say that I have never been as inspired after hearing anyone speak than I was after listening to Powell artist Demarre McGill address a group of twelve to fourteen-year-old students in Buffalo, New York.  I happened to find a video clip of his speech online, and I encourage everyone to set aside an hour to watch this video. The age of the students he addresses is certainly a critical one in our development into adulthood.  At that age, it can be confusing to think about which direction to take toward not only a profession,  but also your social network.  Of course, as musicians, it is often times especially difficult for us to follow our passion as our chosen career path.  When asked by one student if he had ever considered a different profession, Demarre emphasized the value of believing in yourself and your own abilities.  Speaking particularly to music as his profession, he shared, "I do this, and I love doing this -- because I have something to say."  Watch the clip.  I guarantee you will find inspiration whether you are a student, teacher, parent, or professional in any line of work.

Demarre was selected to speak to the students as part of the Success Looks Like Me Role Model Project® funded by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo's Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative.  The program connects low-income students of color with successful multi-cultural and multi-ethnic professionals, demonstrating that success and greatness know no cultural or ethic boundaries.  Follow this link to read more about the program on the Community Foundation for Great Buffalo's website.

Success Looks Like Me - Demarre McGill from WNYMedia Services on Vimeo.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Articulation and Releases

By Cynthia Ellis

Your expressive vocabulary for music depends on every nuance you can find, and many opportunities exist within the realm of articulation. There are many different kinds of accents for example: ones that rely more heavily on a more round sound and vibrato for the accent, (adding weight to the note) versus accents that are sharp and most decidedly handled by the tongue on the attack (adding more point to the note). Releases can have many shapes: they can be square and sharply cut off (think 20th century music) or elegantly tapered (more Mozartian and 18th century). Listen to the beginning of each note and try several different attacks on for size as you practice...interpret the symbols for accents, staccato and legato in several different ways. You will be able to arrive at a creative solution that sounds beautiful. Same idea with releases...and always take care not to go flat on the ends of tapered notes.

*Note - This article first appeared on the "Teaching Tips" section of Cindy Ellis's website.

For more on Cindy, visit her Powell artist profile page, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Stephanie Mortimore

Photo Courtesy of

Powell artist Stephanie Mortimore has held the position of Principal Piccolo with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 2000. During the 2008-09 season, she served as Acting Principal Flute.  Her two part series on piccolo intonation can be viewed by clicking on the titles to the two posts below:
Taming the Beast - Revolutionize Your Piccolo Intonation: Part I
Taming the Beast - Revolutionize Your Piccolo Intonation: Part II
Ms. Mortimore has won numerous distinctions, including first prize in the  Myrna Brown Competition, the James Pappoutsakis Competition and the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Competition. She can be heard on two Grammy Award winning recordings with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

An active recitalist and sought-after teacher, Ms. Mortimore has given concerts and masterclasses in New York, Chicago, Boston, Dallas and in her native state of Wisconsin.  She gave her debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in 2007.

She has performed as a soloist with the Dallas Chamber Orchestra and will be giving the world premiere of Daniel Felsenfeld's double piccolo concerto in Spring, 2014 with Ensemble 212. She spends her summers performing with the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming.

Ms. Mortimore received her Master of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music and her Bachelor of Music from DePaul University. She also spent a year studying in Switzerland at the Conservatoire de Genève. Her teachers have included Geralyn Coticone, Paula Robison, Fenwick Smith, Mary Stolper and Keith Underwood.

View Stephanie Mortimore's website at