Flute choir welcomes spring with pop culture, upbeat tunes

In addition to the Easter weekend festivities, the Flute Choir at Geneseo welcomed in the spring season on Saturday April 15 with their annual concert: Flute Day. 

Every year, the choir of flautists put together a showcase of music for their friends and family, with a reception to follow. 

The concert was casual; it was more like a celebration or a gathering of friends than a formal performance. Choir member and English adolescent education major senior Catherine Blaszak kicked off the concert by saying, “Please, help yourself to some food, this isn’t formal … [We’re just going] to play a bunch of songs that we have fun playing.” 

Having fun is the main goal of the group, according to Blaszak. The nine members of the choir each have varying levels of experience; they joined the choir to play the flute in an accepting, stress-free zone. There are no auditions; all you need is a flute, some basic musical literacy and a willingness to learn.

The program was as light and upbeat as a spring day, and reflective of the group’s interests. 

“The music is a bunch of movie and Disney stuff because that’s what we like,” Blaszak said. 

They kicked off the concert with a Beauty and the Beast medley. The sound of nine flutes playing in harmony was enchanting, complemented by the sound of the light rain drizzling outside. The Beauty and the Beast tunes were followed with two companion pieces, “Enchanted Eggplant” and “Dance of the Radishes;” the first was a whimsical waltz and the second a more upbeat and springy tune. Both featured a piccolo played by mathematics and adolescent education major senior Jackie Pfaltz. 

Next came a piece that was new for the group: “I See the Light” from the Disney animated movie Tangled. The piece was filled with long, sustained notes and rocking melodies, conjuring the movie’s well-known romantic boat ride scene. The sound was impressively full and rich, despite the flute’s high register. Other popular Disney pieces were to follow, and soon the audience was mouthing the words along with the music.

In addition to songs from movie soundtracks, the group performed more classic tunes as well. One notable piece was “Jupiter,” from the famous orchestral suite “The Planets” by Gustav Holst. They also included a few Irish pieces, one of which was called “Rose Cottage,” which contained intricate moving parts under a beautiful Irish melody. The other was a medley of popular Irish songs, including “Danny Boy.” The choir ended their performance with an audience favorite, a musical medley from the Harry Potter movie series. 

After snapping a few pictures together, the audience and the choir enjoyed pizza, cookies and refreshments. As the group chatted with the audience members, Blaszak and Pfaltz talked a little more about what the Flute Choir at Geneseo is all about. It was clear that the club is more than just a choir; they’re there for each other as friends, too. 

“We’re all a good group of friends,” Blaszak said. “We had a movie day the other week, and just hung out and laughed.” 

Pfaltz agreed, saying, “I think that kind of just sums up the vibe of the club. It’s very much an inclusive and safe environment … and we just love playing the flute.”