Forbidden Flutes

forbidden flutes

School Shows

Bach Rocks and Mozart Swings

Using examples from the standard classical repertoire (Mozart Variations on Twinkle and Bach Two-Part Inventions – transcribed for two flutes), Forbidden Flutes demonstrates how jazz and popular music found their roots in this much older tradition.  Interspersing performances of passages from these pieces with jazz and popular selections, they illustrate the parallel techniques in each of these styles that can be observed  by young and old audiences alike.  In their study guide, they also use recordings of current popular works that incorporate familiar classical tunes to better draw these parallels. 

Forbidden Flutes educational performance shows how the lines between what can be classified as jazz, popular, classical or otherwise, have become blurred over the past few decades.  They perform their original jazz-inspired classical composition, Foxtrot Fantasy, based on George Gershwin’s Our Love is Here to Stay, which clearly bridges genres.  Also, standard and arranged music from film scores are introduced, as this genre has most effectively blended all styles.

Bach Rocks and Mozart Swings demonstrates how simple improvisatory techniques work, in both jazz and classical performance practice, by performing a familiar tune (Pachebel Canon) followed by several improvised variations, Similarly, this participatory show engages  the students by then teaching them a famous opera tune to which they can sing along with an 18th century piece in standard theme and variation form.  Finally, students can improvise themselves by either adding their own percussive, “beat-box” vocal effects, or by dancing along to one of a Forbidden Flutes rock music arrangements. 

Music Can Be Anything


Music has been described as a universal language throughout history.  As such, it can speak to people in endless ways.  Forbidden Flutes demonstrates music’s far-reaching qualities as a mode of expression, through the presentation of numerous works.  Christopher Caliendo’s Para Siempre Por Siempre is a mesmerizing Latin tune that touches the heart.  Its rich harmonies captivate audiences of all ages. From the Cuban dance tradition, Nic Cowles has composed an original work for Forbidden Flutes, La Flautas Prohibitas, which  sets the house on fire.  Students are encouraged to improvise their own movement as they listen to this rousing piece.

Liesa’s original composition, Mood Swings, moves dramatically through an array of emotional effects.  Students will be asked to write down or discuss which feelings this piece inspires in them. Sometimes less melodic music may be highly rhythmic.  In his typically minimalist fashion, Steve Reich has written Vermont Counterpoint with a hypnotizing groove with which students can clap along.  They will also be asked to raise their hands as they detect subtle changes in this repetitive musical style.

Flutist Rhonda Larson has composed a gorgeous work, Be Still My Soul, which exhibits the wide spectrum of colors available to flutists.  As students enjoy this composition, they will be offered paper and crayons to let their imaginations run wild as they create art inspired by the music.  And finally, Liesa and Laura will read aloud the ancient mythical tale of the Native American flutist, Kokopeli.  Following their reading, they will perform Katherine Hoover’s Kokopeli and ask students to imagine various parts of the story as they weave through the piece.

Download School Shows Study Guide (1.1 mb)

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