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This piece was written for Dr. Catherine (Kate) Bergman from Emporia State University KS. The biggest problem I had in writing this piece was that Kate is so NICE that there seemed to be almost nothing to write about! So I decided to write a piece about being “nice” and what it is like to be really “nice”, especially for a flute player, the flute being such a “nice” instrument in the first place.
The first two movements, “A Cheerful Heart” and “Kindness” are, I think, fairly obvious, but I decided to do something different in the third movement and allow Kate (and our player) to have a little temper tantrum and lose her prevalent composure. In the third movement we hear the teacher instructing patiently and persistently yet growing, over time, increasingly impatient and frustrated. By the end she has lost much of her “niceness” and stamping her foot and has a minor fit of temper, still a large step for someone who started out where she did at the beginning of the piece.
I always enjoy, even in my most serious or traditional music, having a little sense of humor lest we all take ourselves too seriously.
Barbara York (1949-2020) worked in both Canada and the U.S. for over 45 years as a concert accompanist, choral and theatrical music director and composer. Her score and lyrics for the Canadian musical Colette won a Dora Mavor Moore Award (Canada’s version of a Tony) in 1981. She has received commissions from two Canadian symphony orchestras (Mississauga and Saskatoon), the Boise State University Symphonic Winds and the Boise State Symphony Orchestra, plus numerous private groups and soloists in both the US and Canada. She has presented compositions at three World Saxophone Congresses and at the 2003 International Double Reed Symposium. Her 50-minute scripted, children’s piece, A Butterfly in Time was nominated for a Canadian “Juno Award” for recordings in 2006 and is available through Amazon.com and elsewhere on the Children’s Group label. Her first tuba piece, Sea Dreams, was on the required repertoire list for the International Tuba Euphonium Association’s 2004 Young Artists Competition in Budapest. In 2006, Barbara, won the Harvey Phillips Award for Euphonium in Chamber Music at the International Tuba Euphonium Congress. Her Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra was recorded by Tim Buzbee with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and is available internationally through Albany Records. As an accompanist, Barbara played regularly at school, university and professional concert venues throughout the United States and Canada, has recorded for CBC Radio and has premiered numerous works for other composers at International congresses. Barbara lived in Pittsburg, KS where she worked part-time as a staff accompanist at Pittsburg State University.