[Menvi-discuss] BLINd flutist in Temple Symphony in Temple Texas
sherylgmusic at gmail.com
Sun Sep 17 01:11:46 EDT 2017
My Name is Sheryl Goodnight. I play Principle Flute with the Temple Symphony
Orchestra in Temple, Texas. I just arrived home an hour ago from playing the
first concert of the 2017-18 season. We performed Dvorak Symphony #9, the
New World, Berlioz Roman Carnival Overture, and the Beethoven Piano Concerto
#5, the "Emperor" with James Dick as soloist. I have held this position
since December 1994.
To answer some of your questions
1. I use a sighted guide going off and on the stage, especially at the
break half way through the rehearsals, but walk on stage with my cane, and
carrying my instruments(2 flutes), a bag with the flute parts in it, and my
purse and water bottle. My driver, a woman, walks behind me or beside me. My
colleague from the flute section guides me on and off during the break.
2. I learn the flute parts by having them recorded far in advance. The
Conductor and I work well together, and we have always had good repor, and
he is very considerate of my needs. When the parts are recorded, I have an
adult student record the parts, and I mark the rehearsal letters A, B, etc.
by stopping the recorder. Therefore, I can go from track to track, learning
where the various rehearsal letters are located in the context of the work.
I use an Olympus DM620 to record. I have worked on these pieces above since
May 30. My goal was to have them memorized and learned by the end of July.
Then, I could finish polishing the parts soon before the first rehearsal on
Sept. 6. We had four rehearsals prior to tonight's concert. During the
learning process, I acquired the full orchestral scores to the above pieces
from the Fine Arts Library at the University of Texas at Austin, my Alma
Mater. The scores are regular print of course, but I had my adult student,
play a couple of measures prior to each of my intrances. A conductor's pet
peve, is when one misses entrances. So, knowing what is going on before your
entrance, and what is happening at the same time that you are playing is
3. I have the person recording separate the slurs, so I will know the
beginning and endings of the slurs. Once the pieces are completed under
tempo, then we go through a second time, and they play the measures where
the dynamics and accents are indicated. They need to state what the
dynamics are and where they occur, and play where the accents occur.
4. It is very important to go to the first rehearsal being able to
play the part all the way through without stopping. To do this, i
recommendthat you play along with a professional recording. You need to go
from section to section without stopping and hesitating.
5. As far as entrances where nothing is moving rhythmically, the
conductor can give you a breath, on either the previous downbeat or upbeat.
Then, you can follow. The person sitting next to you can tap your foot
during a very slow sustained piece, and where there is a silence, or, a
sustained note before you enter. Tapping is very helpful in a rubato
situation and during various tempo changes.
I have just begun to learn to read Braille music, and it is very
interesting. Everyone always told me that I wouldn't like it because it is
too clumsy. So, since I have perfect pitch, learning by a recording under
tempo, is very easy and most time efficient. I am in my late 50's, so I
don't know how quickly I will be able to master Braille music. But I want to
be as self sufficient as possible.
I also teach flute part time for the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in
Belton, Texas, and for Temple College in Temple, Texas. Plus, I tteach some
students at a middle school and privately in my home.
I hold a Bachelor of Music degree in Applied Piano from the University of
Texas at Austin and a Performance Certificate in Flute as well. I won
several flute competitions during the 80's, and that is how my career as a
I look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. Where is Elmhurst, the town where the orchestra is
headquartered?sherylgmusic at gmail.com
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