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The Maple Grove Leaflet

The Blog of Diane Whitacre, Composer


The Dayton Dream To Be Performed at Iowa State University

  Next Wednesday, Oct 23rd, 2019, The Dayton Dream by Indiana composer Diane Whitacre will be performed by the Ceres Flute Quartet as part of their year-long "HERioc" Concert Series.   

   Sonja Giles, D.M.A., flute professor at Iowa State University leads the Ceres Quartet, an ensemble staffed from Iowa college flute instructors. The ensemble will be giving several concerts around Iowa this academic year. Their "HERioc" Series features women composers of flute literature. 

    As part of these performances, each composer has submitted a video introducing themselves and giving background on their piece. 

   The Dayton Dream was commissioned by Kathryn Blocki, an accomplished flutist from the Pittsburgh area and premiered at the 2015 NFA Convention in Washington D.C. The five-movement work is based on a story about 4 young flute players who visit the the Dayton C. Miller Rare Flute Exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum on a field trip, then have a dream about the beautiful glass and gold flutes coming to life and playing through the museum's rooms.  

   WATCH Dayton Dream Premiere at NFA 2015; Click On Video Link


Summer- Break?? 

    It's been a busy summer here at dianewhitacremusic, as I am sure most of you can say about your own summer as well.  It always seems like August arrives in such a hurry! 

    In June I was contacted by Dr. Daniel Tembras, Purdue University/Ft. Wayne Director of Bands, to program A Child's Storybook at the upcoming University of Wisconsin/Madison Summer Music Camp. Dr. Tembras was the clinician for the Senior High Band.  I am deeply grateful to Dr. Tembras for this opportunity.  It was Dr. Tembras' Wind Ensemble who made the initial recording of the piece for me, which led to its premiere by the SEDBA North Carolina Bandmasters Honor Band with Eugene Cottrell directing. 

    In August Dr. David K. Smith, Conductor of the Genevans Choir from Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA, will be featuring O Come, Let Us Sing for Joy to the Lord, (Psalm 95), at the "Bring You Song" Session at the ACDA-PA Summer Conference.  The reading will be part of the August 6th activities from 1:30 to 2:45.  About 50 choral directors will sing through the piece.  I wish I could be a fly on the wall for that event!  The setting of Psalm 95: 1-7 was the 80th Anniversary commission piece for the Genevans.  It was performed on their 2019 Spring Concert Tour, and also in Europe this past summer. 

Soundfile- Psalm 95, Psalm 98 performed back to back by Genevans 

    And all the while I have been working on a musical based on my grandmother's Chautauqua touring days in the early 1920's, which has been a delightful diversion - but that is a topic for a future post.  

   So yes, it has been a busy summer and no, it has not felt like a break, which is, from this composer's point of view, a great blessing.  


A Child's Storybook Premiered at SEDBA 9/10 All District Honor Band

  On January 27th, 2018 Diane Whitacre's Concert Band piece, A Child's Storybook was premiered at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.  It was performed by the SEDBA 9/10 All District Honor Band under the direction of Eugene Cottrell.  Mr. Cottrell, Director of Bands at Pinecrest High School, was the clinician for the 9/10 Honor Band.  My husband Chris and I were so impressed by the technical ability and maturity of sound of the young musicians, as well as their focus in rehearsals.  It was such an honor and privilege to have the piece premiered at this event, and was such a nice road trip for us to North Carolina.  

Below is a link to my Linked In post on the event.




Upcoming Premiere at SEDBDA

 January 2018


    The end of this month one of Diane's concert band pieces, A Child's Storybook, will be premiered in North Carolina SEDBDA Event.  The piece was written in 2016 and a preliminary recording was made this past May by the Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ. Fort Wayne  Wind Ensemble, Dr. Dan Tembras, Conductor.   Diane will be going to North Carolina to work with the honor band in a rehearsal and to be there for the premiere.  We are looking forward to the exposure and excited about the opportunity.

   The back story on this event took place in 2016.  While serving as interim band director at Bishop Dwenger H.S. in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Diane received an email from Eugene Cottrell, Director of Bands at Pinecrest High School in North Carolina.  He had found Rumor Mill (published through TRN Music Publisheron their state's MPA List and wanted her to come and talk to the students and rehearse them on the piece.  Unfortunately, with Diane's duties at Bishop Dwenger and the distance, the trip didn't work out. It was very disappointing, but we were happy that the band had enjoyed the piece so much and also that it had made a state Bandmasters required list.   But God had another chapter for this story, and when Mr. Cottrell heard the IPFW recording of the score, he had just been named the clinician for their honor band event this year. 

   We are very excited and will let our readers know how it all goes, with video and pictures, and lots of show and tell.   


Hot Off The Press For NFA 2017


      Each summer season seems to overflow with lots of activity, tag-teaming between my desk and the great outdoors, travel and home.  Thankfully I was able to get some new flute music written for NFA this year; Maple Grove Rag and Flight of the Superhero.  They are quite different in their style, but quite similar in that they are both available in flute quartet and flute choir versions.  The rag swings and the superhero piece flies (unless performed under tempo, of course).

   As some background, I have been doing some preliminary research on my grandmother's lyceum musical tours in the 1920's, and in the midst of this, often a ragtime or 1920's style theme has come to mind.  I have ended up with several melodies as a result, and one of these became the Maple Grove Rag.  As far as the superhero piece, as I sat up in bed one morning last June I was frantically reaching for paper and pencil to jot down the theme that was bouncing around in my head.  Often the clarity of these 'coming out of sleep' ideas floats away faster than I can get them jotted down, but this one decided to stick around for a bit.  Such a relief!  It reminded me of music to accompany a superhero, thus the title.  

   I hope both pieces will be a blessing for flutists, fun to practice and perform.  They were fun to write! 

  Both pieces will be available at Kathy Blocki's NFA booth, Blocki Pedagogical Products/Kinderflute at the August convention in Minneapolis, and also are available on