Muscians share their talents, expertise with Cloquet band studentsCloquet Middle School Band Director Jeff Cherney said the only thing better than listening to the Wingra Woodwind Quintet make music Tuesday was watching his students listen.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Cloquet Middle School Band Director Jeff Cherney said the only thing better than listening to the Wingra Woodwind Quintet make music Tuesday was watching his students listen.
“[The Quintet members] are such superb, high-quality musicians,” he said, pointing out that bassoonist Marc Vallon trained (and also taught) at the Paris Conservatory of Music. “I was watching some of my eighth-grade clarinet players when the group did a particularly fast run and they just kind of looked at each other, with a ‘Whoa’ look on their faces. I could see the enjoyment.”
Since its formation in 1965, the Wingra Woodwind Quintet has established a tradition of artistic and teaching excellence. On Tuesday, the group met with band students at Cloquet High School in the morning and the middle school in the afternoon, giving abbreviated performances and then breaking into small groups with students learning the same instrument: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn.
Stephanie Jutt, also a flute professor at the University of Wisconsin Madison, worked with a group of sixth- and seventh-graders for 15-20 minutes Tuesday afternoon, after the group met with the class as a whole.
She spent the first half of her time working with the students on simple mechanics: breathing, posture, how and where to place the fingers. Later she tested each student’s flute, pointing out problems that needed to be adjusted for best performance.
Jutt gave them three things to remember, in order:
“Get your flutes adjusted, blow lots of fast air and move your face,” she said. “You have to blow air at 100 miles per hour from here to infinity. Soft or hard. You don’t have to have a huge volume of air — you have to have speed.”
Other members of the Wingra Woodwind Quintet not already mentioned include Marc Fink, oboe, Linda Bartley, clarinet, and Linda Kimball, horn.