Lorna McGhee Guest Masterclass

I am very pleased to announce that Lorna McGhee will be our guest in this coming UVic ‘open-to-the-flute-community’ masterclass (130-220 pacific time Weds 18 November ).  She will be performing a couple short solo works, talking about what inspires her, and working with a current UVic flute student. An inspirational (and jam packed) 50 min! đŸ™‚
Hope to see you there! Please use the link below to join us, and be sure to connect after 120 and prior to 130 Pacific time.
Best Wishes,

Topic: UVic flute MCTime:
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Recordings featured in new Film

Several of my recordings are now featured in a new promotional film for a graphic novel Holocaust education project. The novel tells the story of two young Dutch children who survived in hiding in the Netherlands. I am really pleased with how well the music fits aesthetically and contextually within the film (the music was written by composers persecuted under Nazi occupation), and happy to support this incredible overall project led by Dr. Charlotte SchalliĂ© of UVic’s Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies. See http://holocaustgraphicnovels.org/thirteen-secrets-film/

Kristallnacht commemoration

Hello everyone

I am proud to have participated as a guest speaker in a beautiful (online) commemorative event remembering the terrible events of Kristallnacht (“Night of Broken Glass, “a pogrom of organised violence against German, Austrian and Czech Jews on 9-10 November 1938). For the past decade or so my musical research has focussed on “Suppressed Music.” Although suppression unfortunately happens in endless situations and historical times, much of the music I’ve been particularly focussed on performing and studying was created by Jewish composers suppressed under the Third Reich. Some of my performances of this music was included in this online presentation, which can be viewed here:

Guest Masterclasses in Fall term 2020

We recently enjoyed two guest artist visits (via zoom) from two wonderful artists. First we enjoyed hearing early flute specialist Soile Stratkauskas, who is a founder of the Victoria Baroque ensemble. She played a bit on several early instruments so we could hear the colour and tonal differences between them. She then shared important insights regarding building a career in music (this has been the theme of masterclass for the past year). Today we were joined in our masterclass by David Cramer, who recently retired from the Philadelphia Orchestra after an astounding 37 year career as an orchestral flutist. I had the good fortune of being able to work with David in Philadelphia for several years, after completing my MMus degree (with Julius Baker). He coached a fourth year performance major student (on the famed Bach “Aus Liebe” aria). Afterwards he shared some of his career experiences and offered his insights into building a career in music today. Thank you to both Soile and David! Our next guest clinician will be Regina Helcher Yost of the Charleston Symphony (October) who will lead us in a piccolo masterclass, and later in November we will be joined by Pittsburgh principal flutist Lorna McGhee! What an exciting fall term!

Guest masterclass with Gloria Huh, Asst. princ. flutist Mexico State National Orchestra

Ms. Huh visited us in masterclass via zoom this past Wednesday 16 September 2020. We enjoyed hearing Gloria’s thoughts on audition processes and preparations as well as her career advice for aspiring young flutists. In addition we talked a bit about some leading Mexican composers (Gloria has lived and worked in Mexico for the past decade). I am always on the prowl for new repertoire, and the links she shared with us (see below) are a wonderful and welcome addition to our performance practice.

back to school announcements: Fall 2020

Everyone has been requested to provide their lesson slot choices (by Monday 7th Sept at 5 pm). Please check your email for details! thank you!

Please mark your calendars: All flute students are invited to kick off the school year with an afternoon tea. We usually meet at Murchies, but this year we will be meeting online and imagining we are at Murchies (we are all creative people, right?!). Every flutist is requested to make their favourite tea (and/or scones!) and then drop in to meet their fellow students, ask questions and just get acquainted (or reacquainted). Link will be provided (by the school office via email) closer to the date.
Looking forward to seeing everyone then!
Time/Date 330-415 (Pacific standard time) on Friday 11 September

A message from UVic’s Vice President Academic and Provost (from 1 September 2020)

“In consultation with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, and following the advice and guidance of the Provincial Health Officer, the University of Victoria will continue to offer predominantly online instruction for the spring term (January-April 2021). Although we don’t yet know exactly how the spring term will look, we believed it was important to make this decision now so that our students, faculty and staff can better prepare for their entire academic year.

The health and safety of our university community remains our top priority. This decision helps to ensure that our students—no matter their location or health concerns—have options to stay on track with their academic programming and graduate on time. Faculty and instructors can teach safely, and those who need to access campus for their research, creative activities, teaching or learning can better physically distance.

We will continue to look for ways to safely open up the campus more throughout the fall term and into the spring term, following the latest recommendations from public health officials and our own safe operations plans. This includes potentially offering more face-to-face courses and activities in the spring. Already we are offering about 10 per cent of undergraduate and 40 per cent of graduate courses face to face and preparing to welcome more than 3,500 students to campus in the fall. We aim to update the academic timetable to clarify whether a spring term course is “online” or “face to face” by the end of September. As is currently the case for fall courses, any face-to-face courses offered in the spring term will also be ready to pivot to fully online delivery if necessary.

Regardless of whether our courses are online or face to face, we remain committed to offering high quality academic programming to all of our students—locally and around the world—and we will continue to invest in resources to support students, faculty and instructors.


Valerie S. Kuehne
Vice-President Academic and Provost
University of Victoria”

UVic Flute Studio Schedule 2020 Fall term

All Masterclasses held synchronously via zoom (link to be provided by email)

Please note: Office hour 230-320 on Weds (via same masterclass link provided by email)

All dates/time below Wednesdays 130-220 (pacific time) unless otherwise specified

9 September Welcome back! Agenda items: 1. 2020-21 syllabus 2. Masterclass guest visits 3. Bach aria collaborative recording project (first term) 4. solo recording project and CV assignment (second term)

11 September Friday 3:30-415 Online tea party (while imagining Murchies)

16 September Guest Gloria Huh: State of Mexico orchestra flutist and Reverie Flutes Artist

23 September Topic: “Creative inspiration”

30 September Guest: Soile Stratkauskas, baroque flutist and founder of Victoria Early Music

1 October First reading summary deadline (details in syllabus)

2 October Friday 12:30-1:15 Live recital opportunity. Concert held in PTY. Performers may include NM, AK, JS, AQ, CG, KX. Details to follow; required live-streaming online attendance.

7 October Topic: “Healthy Practice”

14 October Topic: “Building Technique” Please note there will be a technical exam during lessons in week of 8-12 February 2021.

21 October Guest: David Cramer, former Associate principal Philadelphia Orchestra

28 October Topic: “Tonal colour” Recordings will be provided in advance for listening, and in class discussion.

4 November Guest: Regina Helcher Yost, Second Flute Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Principal Flute/Piccolo Colorado Music Festival, Adjunct Professor of Flute Charleston Southern University and core flutist for Chamber Music Charleston

11 November Reading break

16 November (Monday) Bach Aria recordings are due (details to follow, in separate document).

18 November Guest: Lorna McGhee, principal flutist Pittsburgh Symphony

25 November Topic: Developing a CV (or resume?) part 1

Tuesday 1 December Second reading summary deadline (details in syllabus)

2 December last masterclass first term. Social tea online J

Reminders/heads-up re second term (details will be provided by January in separate document):

6 January first masterclass second term. Topic today: CV and/or resume, part 2

13 January MC Guest: Lois Bliss Herbine, Philadelphia based piccolo soloist and Powell artist. Keep up your piccolo practice over the winter break!

20 January CV/resumes due today

31 January (Sunday) Third reading summary deadline (details in syllabus)

8 -12 February: Annual technical exam during private lessons; details to follow

15-19 February 2021 Reading break2

1 March (Monday) Fourth reading summary deadline (details in syllabus)

3 March solo recording due

31 March social tea


Instructor: Dr. Suzanne Snizek

email: ssnizek@uvic.ca

Welcome to the UVic Flute Studio! I am looking forward to working with each one of you. I will be your flute instructor and mentor during your time here at UVic.

This coming year will be challenging. However, we also have unique opportunities to benefit from far greater numbers of superb online guest teachers and speakers. I am personally very excited about this aspect! Together we will work towards ensuring the most musically rewarding and productive year possible.

For the foreseeable future, all flute lessons will be offered online (via a zoom link, which will be provided to you by email). You will be given a weekly assigned time for your lesson just as in previous years. You will also be provided, in a separate document, the overall masterclass schedule.

If you require flute-related assistance/advice outside of your lesson time or the masterclass, please “drop-in” during my online office hour 230-330 Weds, immediately following MC (you will be provided one link for both the masterclass session and my weekly office hour on Zoom). If 2:30-3:20 Wed is not possible for you, please request (via email) an appointment.

If you require course or degree advising, please make an appointment with Ms. Sarah Riecken who oversees undergraduate advising for the music dept. Thank you.

Process Normally all students sign up for an ensemble placement audition, which takes place during the first week of classes. This year students will be submitting a recorded audition by 31 August. The required excerpts and instructions are posted on the UVic flute blog: https://finearts.uvic.ca/music/flute/

Please stay tuned to your UVic email address as you will receive important updates and details from the music school prior to Sept.

Potential private lesson slots will be offered via email. Please choose a time that suits you best. I will strive to keep my teaching schedule the same in second term; if you require a new lesson time for second term please let me know.

The schedule (using student initials) will be posted here (on the flute blog) by the second week of classes.

Please note the lesson schedule will sometimes need to fluctuate for various reasons. Thank you, in advance, for your flexibility.

Lessons are 50 minutes in length. All students are expected to be punctual, ‘warmed up’ and fully prepared for each lesson, including having all necessary materials: all required music, pencil, combined metronome/tuner, and your lesson notebook. Please maintain a detailed physical notebook or online file (which you use only for your flute lessons) in which you record assignments, goals and observations. Organisation is a key ingredient in student success.

 Attendance policy

  1. Unexcused missed lessons will not be made up.
  2. If you know in advance you need to reschedule a lesson (for any reason) please arrange this directly with another willing student via email. After the change is confirmed with the other student, inform me by email ssnizek@uvic.ca (while cc’ing the other student).
  3. If you have to miss a lesson because of illness, please email me, with as much advance notice as possible, at the above address. Generally, I require 24 hrs. advance notice in order to reschedule a lesson.

Master Class will typically meet Wednesdays from 1:30 to 2:20. Masterclass is a very important time for the studio; all students are expected to attend all masterclasses. On rare occasions we might have master class at other times, particularly to accommodate visiting guest artists or when we participate in a campus wide event, such as Ideafest. These dates are always set well in advance and are listed in the masterclass term schedule which you will receive by the first week of class each term. If you cannot attend one of the irregularly scheduled guest MC’s, please simply inform me in advance.

Master classes are essential to your development as a flutist: participation, attitude, attentiveness and preparedness will be the determining factors in the assessment of your participation in master class. Specific repertoire and themes change every term; specifics will be detailed in the aforementioned masterclass document.


At the end of the school year, there will be a juried performance of 15 minutes duration for all performance stream students and 10 minutes for all other streams. There may be sight reading as part of the jury for performance majors.

A jury exam performance missed for any reason (other than a genuinely serious and unavoidable true emergency) cannot be rescheduled.

Private lesson mark will be determined as follows:

One third of mark:

  1. Weekly private lesson (including assigned readings/summaries) AND
  2. Weekly master class

This part of your mark assesses your degree of weekly preparedness, as well as your attitude, attendance and punctuality (for performance majors this includes IPS attendance and participation).

One third of mark:

  1. Quality of your performances (Friday noon hours, annual Studio recital or recorded performances, and for performance majors, your IPS performances) AND
  2. A technical exam (administered early February, exact date TBD). All students will be assessed in a technical exam. Fluency, accuracy, tonal homogeneity and speed will be assessed and given a mark (A, B, etc). Details regarding content and expectations will be provided in a separate document prior to October 2020.

One third of mark: Jury or graduating recital

Please note: in every category listed above, a student’s attitude towards learning, consistency of effort, (weekly preparation), openness to trying new approaches/concepts, and evidence of improvement, attentiveness and conscientious effort are extremely important factors in your overall success.

For performance majors: IPS is a requirement for all Performance Majors. IPS assessment is based on attendance and participation in the seminar as indicated by IPS attendance sheets and performance notes completed by IPS faculty.

 Readings and summaries Four short written reflections (between 250 and 350 words) on required readings will be required as part of this course. 

You may complete your assigned readings/summaries in any order that works best for you, however the first is due by 1 October; the second by 1 December, the third by 31 January and the last by 1 March. Please mark your calendar!

This pragmatic assignment is intended to heighten your awareness of the context of performing and to expand your thinking about performance issues. I would like each student to apply these texts to their own playing. To that end, please focus in your summaries on three specific examples of how you have applied information, sourced directly from the text, to your own practice.

Important: Please submit your summary in an email with â€œStudent Name: 2020-21 Reading Summary #X” in subject line.  Please note: late assignments will not be accepted, though you may submit early.

Readings for 2020-21 

I encourage you to purchase these items for your own library. If you have already read one of the suggested readings for your year, simply choose another title from this list that especially interests you.

For first year students: 

  1. The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green
  2. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  3. Playing (Less) Hurt by Janet Horvath
  4. Body Mapping for Flutists by Lea Parsons

For second year students:

  1. The Creativity Habit by Twyla Tharp
  2. The Proper Flutist by Trevor Wye or Music and the Flute by Thomas Nyfenger
  3. Casals and the Art of Interpretation by David Blum
  4. Mastering Creative Anxiety by Eric Maisel OR Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland

For third year students:

  1. Kincaidiana by John Krell
  2. The Notation is Not the Music by Barthold Kuijken
  3. Making your Creative Mark: Nine Keys to Achieving your Artistic Goals by Eric Maisel
  4. The Early Flute by Rachel Brown

For fourth year students:

  1. Body Mapping for flutists by Lea Parsons; or Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  2. Arrau on Music Performance by Joseph Horowitz
  3. The Proper Flutist by Trevor Wye or Flute by James Galway
  4. On the Art of Playing the Flute by Quantz

For all graduate students Please consult with me (at the beginning of the academic year) in choosing four selections from the above list.


I suggest daily practice be proportioned as follows:

25% tone

25% technique

25% etudes

25% repertoire

Attending concerts, performing, listening to recordings, reading relevant texts and physical exercise/stretching (yoga is excellent, as is swimming!) are all important activities. These should constitute a regular part of your ‘out of the practice room’ practice.

In addition, all flute students are expected to attend (online) their professor’s and fellow flutist’s solo recitals.


I will be making individually tailored recommendations for all students. Students will be expected to purchase music as determined by the instructor.  Every undergraduate will prepare a weekly etude, in addition to tonal study, technical work and repertoire. Graduate students will generally be expected to complete a greater volume of more advanced repertoire more quickly.

We will strive to cover all genres (early music, classical, Romantic/French salon, twentieth-century and avant-garde contemporary music) and address any perceived repertoire ‘gaps’.

Piccolo, Alto and Bass study are all encouraged. However, in light of COVID and the priority to keep everyone safe, school instruments will generally not be available for borrowing during the first term of this coming school year, unless they are not owned by the player and are requested by University ensemble directors. Please contact me directly if this is the case.

I will keep everyone informed of any COVID related changes in my teaching approach for second term. My teaching approach (online delivery) will remain unchanged until you are informed otherwise. Please note the following important information regarding online conduct for all students:

The University of Victoria is committed to promoting critical academic discourse while providing a respectful and supportive learning environment. All members of the university community have the right to this experience and the responsibility to help create such an environment. The University will not tolerate racism, sexualized violence, or any form of discrimination, bullying or harassment.

Please be advised that, by logging into UVic’s learning systems and interacting with online resources, you are engaging in a university activity.

All interactions within this environment are subject to the university expectations and policies. Any concerns about student conduct may be reviewed and responded to in accordance with the appropriate university policy. 

To report concerns about online student conduct: onlineconduct@uvic.ca

Studio policies

  1. I do not photocopy any music or lend any music (parts, scores or recordings) from my personal library to students. As with any academic course, all students are required to secure their own materials. If financially necessary, you may borrow materials from the MacPherson library. We have an outstanding and comprehensive existing collection! I can also request the library purchase new items if they do not happen to have an item we need. However, it is important to develop your own music library for your eventual professional artistic practice.
  2. Performances represent the work we do together in the studio, as well as your own individual practice. Therefore, when I feel a work is ready to be performed, I will suggest either a concert venue/opportunity or a recording project to be posted online. The format of our Fri student concerts is TBA at the time of writing this syllabus
please stay tuned
  3. I approve concert requests after I have heard the material successfully and confidently presented in a polished manner, and as it is to be presented publicly (i.e., in its entirety). This year we will necessarily be mostly focussing on unaccompanied solo repertoire.  Performance permission slips will not be signed in anticipation of a student’s later work. Please plan ahead.
  4. Please consult with me before scheduling degree-required solo recitals. Please note that according to current wind section requirements, all graduating recitals need to be presented before 7 March.

Finally, if we manage to have face to face classes later in the academic year, please note the following additional point:

I have significant sensitivities to artificial scents. Please avoid any scented products (perfume, hairspray, strongly scented shampoo or soap) for in-person lessons. Please note: most professional orchestras and other ensembles have a “no scent” policy. It is therefore wise to adopt a no-scent approach in your classes and student ensembles.

I am looking forward to a very productive and enjoyable ‘musical journey’ with all of you! Please join me in extending a warm welcome to our many new students!

Supportive information and links

Regarding undergraduate marking at UVic:


Regarding graduate marking at UVIc: https://www.uvic.ca/calendar/future/grad/index.php#/policy/B13jeiMdE?bc=true&bcCurrent=07%20-%20Grading&bcGroup=Faculty%20Academic%20Regulations&bcItemType=policies

For UVic academic calendar:


For UVic’s undergraduate academic policy:


For UVic’s graduate student academic policy:


For information on academic supports available to all Uvic students:  https://www.uvic.ca/orientation/new-student-handbook/academic-support/index.php

Please see below link for important Wellness and Safety information:


Counselling Services â€“ Counselling Services can help you make the most of your university experience. They offer free (!), professional, confidential, inclusive support to currently registered UVic students.


 Health Services â€“ University Health Services (UHS) provides a full-service primary health clinic for students, and coordinates healthy student and campus initiatives.


Centre for Accessible Learning â€“ The CAL staff are available by appointment to assess specific needs, provide referrals and arrange appropriate learning accommodations. Please refer to below link for details.

https://www.uvic.ca/services/cal/. The sooner you let them know your needs, the quicker they can assist you in achieving your learning goals in this course.

Elders’ Voices â€“ The Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement (IACE) has the privilege of assembling a group of Elders from local communities to guide students, staff, faculty and administration in Indigenous ways of knowing and beinghttps://www.uvic.ca/services/indigenous/students/programming/elders/index.php

More placement audition info…

Please stay on top of your student email in the weeks ahead. There will be a second follow-up email (you should have received one already) from the office this week that further clarifies process. For now please note:

1.      The files should be named with students’ V#s for anonymity

2.      Links should be sent to music@uvic.ca

3.      The file type can be whatever they want – it is preferred that you upload to YouTube and just send the link, so that they’re not dealing with huge files in the email inbox.

4.      Instrumentalists should send audio only recordings

5.      Deadline is Aug 31

6. Enjoy this wonderful summer weather!!

IMportant: 2020 Placement audition info

Hello all UVIc fluters! Please feel free to prepare your recorded audition in whatever way is easiest for you. No edits are permitted within an except, but you may stop, as needed, in between excerpts. Please note: it is usually required to audition on both flute and piccolo. This year students are strongly encouraged to audition on piccolo as well as flute, but it is not required, in recognition that some incoming students do not yet own their own piccolos and borrowing instruments from the school is currently problematic (COVID concerns and limited staffing until Sept) . Happy practicing and enjoy the last few weeks of summer!

2020 Fall placement auditions

Hello UVic flutists! As promised, here are the excerpts for your coming placement audition. The list is concise, as I am attempting to keep things as simple as possible this year. I also understand it could be inherently more work to put together a recording than to do a live audition. Therefore the list is shorter than usual. However, I am certain this list will provide all the information we need to place everyone appropriately.

These are the three required excerpts:

  1. Mozart Concerto in G major, first mvt. exposition only. Use whichever edition you prefer. 

2. Eight measure prominent first flute solo from Beethoven Symphony 4 Adagio movement (Adagio mvt. begins on page 31 of score on IMSLP), solo begins with ascending E flat major scale, and ends on B flat. From first measure on page 40 until third measure of pg. 41 in IMSLP score, see


3. This short 8 bar piccolo solo is also required for all students, and can be found at #13 on page 13 in score, see http://petruccimusiclibrary.ca/files/imglnks/caimg/3/3a/IMSLP86004-PMLP134095-Prokofiev_-_Lieutenant_Kije_Suite.pdf

Further details will follow from the music school office regarding submission process and timeline.

online Summer course

Just received word from my Calgary based colleague, Lauren Eselson about the Valhalla Summer music program she co-teaches. This would be a great way for flutists to stay in shape this summer, remain inspired and help prepare for the coming school year!

Dear flutists and teachers,
I hope this email finds you healthy and well during this strange time! Please see below for the link to the Valhalla Summer School of Music website and registration hub.
We are very happy that the VSSM program will still be running this summer, albeit fully online due to the current health regulations. We will be running from Aug. 9-15, on Zoom, and offering two flute core classes (enrolment permitting), taught by myself and Mary Sullivan. The classes will be in a condensed 2 hour format from 10:00 am-12:00 pm MDT. Fee for the week is $235. Private lessons, and collaborative piano (via recording) with Susanne Ruberg-Gordon will also be available extra cost.
Our classes will focus on breathing, tone, technique, and phrasing, using standard material from the flute repertoire. The Intermediate class is suitable for any flutists with 2 years plus of experience. The advanced class will welcome students of an approximate RCM Level 8 minimum-University and graduates, and will be challenging for all!  In the past, participants have found our program to be a helpful “jump start” for Fall studies. Both classes will be tailored to the individual needs of the participants. Students will have the opportunity to prepare daily studies for individual performance, and we will also put together an ensemble using the wonders of technology for the final concert!
Please check the website for further details, and please feel free to contact me or Mary with any questions!

Stay healthy, best wishes to all,Lauren Eselson