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Ever since I can remember, music has always been an important part of my life.
My father was always working on orchestrating, arranging and composing music for
various benefit concerts and would often stay up into the late hours of the
night, resulting in my always hearing the sounds of the orchestra while I slept.
From about three onwards, I was self-taught in piano, as well as voice. At
about age seven, I wanted to learn another instrument and experience playing in
an orchestra. At age nine, I was taught to play the recorder and ended up
liking it so much that I stuck with related instruments, such as the Irish tin
whistles and the fife.
At age twelve, I received a flute from an aunt. Within a week I had managed to
learn most of the notes within the lower and middle octaves and play them with a
fairly solid tone. I joined the local junior high band that year. During that
time, I was invited to play at several local talent assemblies, and began to
participate in the Solo and Ensemble competitions. Despite having taken no
lessons up to that point, I received superior marks for both the district and
regional competitions in 2000. In 2001, I was finally afforded the opportunity
to receive lessons with a young teacher and continued to merit superior marks in
Solo and Ensemble competitions. Outside my educational curriculum, I also
received superior ratings for the Utah State Flute Association competition for
the intermediate division.
In 2002, when I began high school, I continued to participate in the school
band, as well as perform in the previously mentioned competitions. I received
superior marks once again and was invited to play at yet more assemblies,
various local gatherings, and voluntary philanthropical performances.
Furthermore, I auditioned for and participated as principal flutist of the local
district youth orchestra, as well as the Utah Intermediate Youth Symphony. In
addition to preparing the flute parts, I was the sole volunteer to learn the
piccolo parts for some of the more major works. Despite having no experience
with the piccolo, I was able to learn to play the instrument, as well as prepare
both the flute and piccolo parts with very few difficulties and within a short
period of time.
In 2003-04, my lessons were revoked due to family complications. Furthermore,
my teacher had mentioned to me that she felt I was too advanced for her teaching
abilities to make any more substantial progress. I continued to play with the
high school band and youth orchestras, however, and again participated in the
Solo and Ensemble competitions, receiving superior marks in both the district
and regional rounds. For the remainder of high school, I achieved continuous
superior ratings and progressed from Regional to State.
I graduated from high school and was accepted at the University of Utah,
majoring in instrumental performance. During my second year of college (2006) I
continued music lessons with Susan Goodfellow, the flute instructor at the
University of Utah. My goal was to learn as much repertoire, theory, and
technique as possible. I since have competed in several other competitions,
including the UMTA (Utah Music Teacher’s Association) concerto competition for
2007 (first place) and the Utah State Fair (honorable mention 2007 and second
place in 2008) for the senior Winds, Brass, and Percussion division. As a
result, I have gained a substancial amount of publicity.
In November of 2008, I applied for a world-wide competition which was being
sponsored by an organization known as VSA Arts. I recorded an audition CD that
consisted of three pieces. I sent it to Lindsay Wood, the director of both the
Utah Symphony and Opera. While Ms. Wood was evaluating my audition CD, Lew
Humphreys(the head of the Human Resources department of the Utah Symphony)
passed by and chose to stay for my entire recorded audition. Mr. Humphreys
commented afterward: “She is incredible! I would like to have Bobbi audition
for the Utah Symphony.” I was fortunate to receive a personal critique from Ms.
Wood regarding my performance, dated December 19, 2008, which reads as follows:
“I was immediately impressed by the beauty of your tone, the musicality of the
phrases and the attention to detail. There is great technical proficiency here
as well as true deep-rooted musicality. The “Elegie” is absolutely stunning. I
don’t really have any suggestions except to continue on the path that you are
going down because it is working for you. Continue to deepen the refinement
that you already possess, and I think you have a great future ahead of you.”
Director of Operations
Utah Symphony/Utah Opera
My recorded audition was then forwarded to Washington, D.C. to be judged by a
number of nationally acclaimed judges. I was selected as one of four
world-wide prisewinners. We four were given an all-expense-paid trip to D.C.,
in order to participate in the winners’ concert which was held at the John F.
Kennedy Center on April 28, 2009.
In addition to the performance opportunity, we each received a$5000.00 cash
award along with the accompanying recognition by the local media. This included
several interviews for newspapers such as “The Salt Lake Tribune,” “Deseret
News,” “The Daily Chronicle” of the University of Utah, and “Washington Post.”
In addition, I was given the opportunity to participate in interviews with local
radio and television stations.
When I received word that I was to perform at the J.F.K. Center in Washington,
D.C., I was initially concerned about being provided with an accompanist whom I
had never worked with previously. I was elated to find out that my chosen
accompanist was one of the judges who had evaluated my audition CD. He was
introduced to me as Ron Chiles, and I later found out during one of our two
rehearsals that he had played for several Broadway musicals in New York. I
later understood that Ron Chiles had insisted that he be my accompanist for this
This performance was not only open to the public, but reserved for special
musical and political figures, such as Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, who was
the founder of VSA Arts (John F. Kennedy’s youngest sister); Elizabeth
McCloskey, performing arts manager for the Kennedy Center; and Kareem Dale,
special advisor to President Obama regarding disability policies. Specific
invitations were also extended to other highly influential figures to attend the
after-performance reception. I was privileged to meet and have personal
conversations with each of them. In addition, I was invited to participate in
personal interviews with Senator Orin Hatch and Congressman Jim Matheson, during
which I was able to ask questions and learn about each of their political
positions and their influence on the residents of the state of Utah.
In August of 2009, I attended the National Flute Association (NFA) annual
convention, which was held in New York City. I attended the masterclasses
taught by both Sir James and Lady Galway, as well as participated in a flute
ensemble which consisted of over 2000 students. This ensemble was conducted by
Sir James and was recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the
world’s largest flute ensemble. I also had the opportunity to play for the head
of the flute department for Juilliard School and Stony Brook University. Due to
my interest in the Celtic genre, I additionally attended a lecture which gave me
several different resources, including a workshop known as Boxwood, which takes
place annually in Nova Scotia. This workshop offers information on several
other genres involving wooden flutes, including baroque and Native American
flute, as well as recorder; however, its main focus is the Irish flute and its
In October of 2009, I participated in the National Music Teacher’s Association
(MTNA) concerto competition. Previously, I performed for Sergio Pallotelli
(another world-renowned flutist from Europe) for a critique and evaluation of my
performance abilities. In December 2009, I was surprised when, through Susan
Goodfellow, I was personally invited to the home of the Assistant Concert master
of the Utah Symphony to have a complimentary hour lesson with Sergio
Pallotelli. This request was during a world-wide tour that involved his
performing in Utah. Mr. Pallottelli did not see the need to improve my
technical abilities; instead, he focused on my musical interpretation. As
usual, I recorded the lesson in order to stay inspired and continue to enhance
my musical technique.
Most recently, I have researched and experimented with sound editing and
engineering. I have arranged several pieces of music and recorded them on my
laptop from home. I have recently purchased, with another part of my award
winnings from D.C., some professional music software so that I may take other
abilities further. I am still receiving coaching and lessons from Susan
Goodfellow, who is now retired.
My intention is to progress as much as I am able through the best possible means
I can obtain. Since actively participating in the Galway International Flute
School in 2010, I have been able to gain technical proficiency as a performer,
along with new learning strategies and inspirational ideas for teaching myself
and others. In summary, my desire is to ensure the continuation of the musical
arts, to benefit myself personally as a professional, and to enhance artistic
culture around the world.