Big and Bright
Composed by Timothy Hagen
for Flute Choir
Published by Owl Glass Music
Includes score and parts
Alto Flute (or optional C Flute)
Bass Flute (or optional C Flute)
About the Piece:
Texas is the crown jewel of public school music education in the United States, thanks to hundreds of extraordinary private instrumental teachers across the state, of whom flutists Kimberly Clark and Clair Johnson exemplify the very best. Their stewardship of Floot Fire is proof of this.
Over the course of 25 summers, Floot Fire has become one of the most successful flute workshops in America for middle- and high-school students. Kim, a highly respected flutist, Andover Educator, and Alexander Technique teacher, now heads the organization as Executive Director, and under her leadership, the organization is celebrating 2018 with sessions not only throughout the state of Texas but across the country, from California to Massachusetts. Kim's work furthers the legacy of Claire, a Texas flute legend and founder of Floot Fire (where she still teaches at the Dallas workshops), the Texas Flute Festival, and the Myrna Brown Competition. It would not surprise me if Floot Fire one day has workshops in all 50 states, and the state of American flute playing would be all the better for it.
Given that the organization has much to celebrate, I was thrilled when Kim commissioned me to write a brief, celebratory work for flute choir, to be played by students at each of Floot Fire's 2018 workshops. It immediately occurred to me that anything I wrote needed to pay tribute to the organization's founder, Claire. The opening of the piece does just that by using pitches to spell out Claire's name – and, since they share many letters Kim's name is there as well.
Furthermore, upon doing a little research, I discovered that the popular song “Deep in the Heart of Texas” was written the same year that Claire started learning the flute, a fact too good not to use. The final work harvests not only all of its thematic material from the song but also its title, Big and Bright, which describes the state of flute playing in Texas and the future of Floot Fire.
Big and Bright was written to be accessible to high schoolers and is therefore pretty straightforward. It should be played with radiancy, bouyance, and beauty. There is one extended technique, indicated by a hollow notehead with a slash through it, which directs the players to play with residual sound (air only, no tone), using indicated syllables.
Included in the set of parts are alternate C flute parts for alto flute and bass flute. Since they differ from the original parts only by way of some octave transpositions, they have been left out of the score for simplicity's sake.
– Timothy Hagen