Flutists mentor young musicians at festival


Sharmarke Holif

Assistant Professor of Flute at University of Northern Iowa Hannah Porter Occeña on the right listening to 19-year-old music therapy major at the University of the Pacific Grace Coon play the flute on the left. Occeña gave tips to all the musicians after they performed.

The Sacramento Flute Club held a festival on Saturday at the Recital Hall campus.

Assistant Professor of Flute at University of Northern Iowa Hannah Porter Occeña gave a flute masterclass at the festival. Various flute players performed on stage and would receive tips by Oceaña after their performance.

“This has been a wonderful event. It’s been great to see the flutists from this community come together as students, teachers, people from the area and more get together,” Occeña said. “People are playing music together and appreciating each other’s performances. This has been a wonderful thing to see as a flutist from another part of the country.”

Fourteen-year-old Samuel Liao from Ralph Waldo Emerson Junior High School in Davis, CA said he thought the masterclass was interesting and fun.

“It’s a new experience to be in front of a lot of people playing the flute with a piano accompaniment and having a teacher give you instructions in front of everyone,” Liao said. “It’s the first time I’ve done it in front of people on a stage before.”

The piano player at the event, John Cozza, who is a staff pianist at California State University, Sacramento, spoke about how he liked getting to see younger flute players be given a helping hand at the masterclass.

“Well it’s nice to see the community musicians come together to support each other and to support the young flute players in the area,” Cozza said. “I enjoyed the local community college’s wonderful facilities and how they were used for the young up-and-coming talents for the students.”

Twenty-two-year-old music composition major at the University of the Pacific Marcus Loya said he felt like he improved after performing on stage.

“I can’t think of a better word than stage fright,” Loya said. “Being up on stage, the masterclass gave me a lot more confidence in my performance and just knowing that it’s a safe place to grow.”

Nineteen-year-old music therapy major at the University of the Pacific Grace Coon said she feels like she gained the ability to make connections playing the flute.

“It means a lot to help with my musicality, specifically through the notes, as we aren’t able to have lyrics in our songs,” Coon said. “I feel like this event helped me learn to be better at connecting and communicating with my audience and fellow flute players.”