Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"An Afternoon with a Flutist Extraordinaire, Robin Etter" by Beautiful Music Orlando Flutist,Shannon Caine

Robin Etter is a wonderful flutist. I heard a CD by her years ago and it inspired me to make a goal of getting better on the flute and to work on my skills even more diligently. I put on my "bucket list" to audition for Walt Disney World.  I am now a Disney Fairytale Flutist for Disney Fairytale Weddings.  I also added to my "bucket list" to perform for  an orchestra concert with Robin Etter as Principal Flute, this was realized when I performed with Robin and my inaugural performances with the Walt Disney World Orchestra at The Candlelight Processional at EPCOT years ago. Which was another item on my "bucket list". Playing with Robin for Candlelight and events opened a new way of looking at the music - with a graceful refined approach to every single note and release. While keeping the sound pure and hauntingly unique with a voice quality. It was a surreal moment to say the least. We were booked together on a Three Flutes Only Concert Event in December 2009. Our combined sound for this flute trio event that evening was a truly amazing sound. This was the most unique and wonderful sound we had ever experienced with this trio and I know it was because of Robin and mixture of talent at the event. The trio was suited to each other in style, skill and sensitivity to the music changes with the custom songs arranged just for us by my staff arranger Jim Derrick (Trumpet performer at Disney World) with his magical ear and style, a sound like the Andrews Sisters to quote Robin. We were back the next year for a return engagement and once again the sound was palatable, you could almost reach out and touch it. Both events were very touching performances. After the event, Robin gave me a loaf of "homemade" Banana Bread and my Mom was there and said, You know Shannon thinks you are the Top Banana! not knowing what she had just handed me! It was a funny and serendipitous moment! I asked Robin to share via this Interview: "My Favorite Flutists Series"  she said, yes, even though she has been so busy year with her return to school at FSU and received her Master’s degree. She is now official research Librarian too.
Here are highlights from our chats and things she wanted to share for this project. I asked her to share her favorites, such as composer, song, memory and more. Enjoy! 

Afternoon with a Flutist, Interview with Robin Etter

Who is your favorite flutist? "I must admit is Sir James Galway, I just love his sound, it's so unique."  Robin, started piano at age 8 (still her first love) and continued through college with both piano and flute. Went to Interlachen in the summer during high school. Teachers: Robert Willoughby (Oberlin), the late Geoffrey Gilbert (London Symphony) and Tim Day (Baltimore Symphony), Kazuo Tokito (Philadelphia Orchestra), Toshiko Khono (National Symphony). Her Mother took her to her first orchestra concert with the Fairfax Symphony and they were performing "Afternoon of A Faun" by Debussy. It was an awakening!   

"I didn't even know what a flute was, but I wanted to add an instrument to the piano and my brother suggested I try the flute (he was listening to Jethro Tull "Aqualung" at the time). My Mom drove me to the music store that day and we rented a Gemeinhardt Flute. This was the 7th grade.  What is your favorite memory related to Music? My favorite memory- spending six months touring as concerto soloist with the American Wind symphony (aka "barge band"). It was a really talented group of recent college graduates. We toured all over the east coast and Mexico and stayed with host families - moving to a different city each week. I learned to cook during the month in Louisiana, and feel in love with Florida as well. The Florida Symphony was my first orchestra audition- it was 2nd flute. I was the youngest member of the orchestra for many years. Moving to Florida was like being transported to paradise. 

 Bio: Robin Etter, Professor of Flute, received her B.M. in flute performance form the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She is the professor of flute at Rollins college, in winter park, FL and is Principal flute with the Bach festival orchestra. She served as Principal flute with the Orlando Philharmonic from 1993-1997, was the associate Principal flute with the Florida symphony orchestra from 1984-1992 and has performed as principal flute with the Montovani orchestra, the palm beach ops, the 101 strings and the Walt Disney World orchestra, Ms. Etter performs chamber music with the Raintree Chamber Players, is an active recording artist in central Florida (including her solo CD " Afternoon of a Flute"(Essence Music) and is also the published author of "Suwannee Notes: A Musician's Journey." 

Overiew of the Book: Follow Etter, a flutist, and her husband, Scott, as they conquer the wilds of North Florida. The two restore an abandoned house along the banks of the historic Suwannee River, and along the way Robin finds a balance between her life as an urban classical musician and that of an outdoor “earth mother.” She skins catfish, snorkels with manatees, befriends a stray dog, battles squirrels, and slowly comes to terms with the “nitty-gritty” process of house renovation. She is now a research librarian as well and resides in Mount Dora with her family. 

I also asked Robin to share a funny story too.  "In the Northern Virginia Youth Symphony, we were playing Peter and the Wolf. We had a terrific guest conductor who, while rehearsing, would refer to each instrument as its character (Grandfather, the cat, etc.). In one rehearsal he kept asking me to being at letter A, or some such section, by saying “little bird, let’s start at letter A.” Finally, he put down his baton and said “I’m sorry. That’s silly. What is your real name?” When I replied “Robin” everyone cracked up and the nickname “little bird” stuck. Coincidentally, in college, my colleague Mark Sparks (Principal, St. Louis Symphony) started calling me “bird” and then the rest of the male flutists at Oberlin started calling me “bird” – I think because it was a less personal way of referring to a girl who was both a friend and a competitor."  

 Robin has now taken a sabbatical from Rollins position and Bach Festival to dedicate her time to a new career. She says, she is always looking forward, never in the rear view mirror, always trying to re-create herself. Indeed she has over and over. But, Always going back to Mozart for comfort! Her Solo CD is named "Afternoon of a Flute" one of the featured songs by Bill Holcombe, a jazz version of this classical masterpiece, a wonderful rendition of that classical piece that began her Journey in Music so long ago with an afternoon concert with her Mother.  

Here's a copy of a thank you note I sent to Robin after we played The Candlelight Processional together at EPCOT - Robin said, she was going to put this comment on her epitaph - really! It was such an honor to play in a performance I have wanted to be a part of for a long time with my favorite flutist. I have played with many players over the years – but have never encountered a player like you, elegant, and a master in an understated fashion. Indeed Robin is a Master Flutist. Photos used by Permission and material therein.  - c.2012BeautifulMusic.cc

Thursday, September 13, 2012

2012 Beautiful Music Holiday Season Begins...Beautiful Music Jazz Trio and Paint It Black Quartet at Ritz Carlton

The Beautiful Music  2012 Holiday Season is off to a great Start our Jazz Trio will Return to the Ritz Carlton Venues for the Thanksgiving events and our Paint it Black Trio for Christmas Day! Watch for details about these events. Remember to call and book with Beautiful Music soon for your upcoming Convention or Event.

Jazz Solo Flute at Girl Scouts Citrus Council September 15, 2011 - Shannon Caine

Beautiful Music Jazz Flutist Shannon Caine will be performing for the 2012 Gala for the Girl Scouts Citrus Councilhttp://www.citrus-gs.org Special Event on Saturday September 15, 2012 - at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort.  Once a Girl Scout Always a Scout - Scout's Honor!