Flutists to finish year-long service project with nontraditional senior recital

Seniors Leyna Craigmile and Tina Wang practice their piece with their younger counterparts. The Alpha Flute Trio has raised over $4,000 for the Voluntary Action Center's Youth Enrichment Fund this year. Their last fundraiser will be at the Evangelical Free Church in Columbia on May 21, 2012 at 7 p.m. in the form of a studio recital, featuring over 40 flutists. Photo by Aniqa Rahmen
Sixth graders, 16-year-olds and high school seniors will be performing together at the Alpha Flute Trio’s Senior Recital on Monday, May 21.
This recital will be the culmination of seniors Tina Wang and Leyna Craigmile’s year-long service project. The performance will be at 7 p.m. at the Evangelical Free Church of Columbia.
“This is not just another flute recital,” Lisa Thill Franck, Craigmile and Wang’s flute teacher, said on the Facebook event page. “This is a celebration of years of hard work and good times. You will laugh or you will cry … but you will feel something at this show.”
The trio has been preparing for this recital all year, but unlike the others, Craigmile had her solo piece picked out years ago when she was just starting flute in sixth grade. Thill Franck performed Schocker’s “Regrets and Resolutions” at Smithton Middle School and Craigmile knew she wanted to play the piece someday.
“After we played, Leyna marched up … and said, ‘I’m going to keep playing the flute and someday I’m going to play that song,’” Thill Franck said. “It’s been a long journey, but Leyna is going to knock R&R out of the park at this concert.”
Though the piece has been a part of her plan since she started flute, it has also become symbolic of her future, Craigmile said. In the fall, she will be leaving Columbia for Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo. 
“It kind of fits the end of senior year, you know; you leave all your regrets in the past,” Craigmile said. “And with the summer and come college, they will all be resolved, hopefully.
Wang did not choose her solo piece as early as Craigmile, but she has already performed it with success. At both the District and State Music Festivals last year, Wang earned the highest rating possible on the first two movements of Muczyniski’s Sonata.
“Tina always rocks it. She got a 1+ with the Muczynski last year at State,” Thill Franck said. “Her solo will be no less than amazing, I’m sure.”
But Wang and Craigmile are both most looking forward to Paubon’s Anouchka, a quartet they are playing with Thill Franck and Hickman High School senior Allison Wigger, who is the third flutist in the Alpha Flute Trio.
“It’s kind of like the finale at the end of the recital, and … it’s a quartet with the three of us seniors and [Thill Franck]. It’s going to sound great,” Craigmile said. “We’re going to go out with a bang.”
Another part of the recital’s uniqueness will come from allowing beginning flautists to perform with experienced players. Three sixth graders from Smithton, who won the costume contest at the Alpha Flute Trio’s last benefit recital by dressing up as ‘The Three Kings,’ will play a song with the three seniors.
“We’re playing ‘The Pink Panther’,” Rebecca Shyu, one of the costume winners, said. “It’s cool to play with them.” 

For sophomore Mary Arnold, who raised the most money in the trio’s recent Practice-a-thon and will be playing with the trio in Severn’s “Scherzo Brillante,” performing with older flutists is special because of their devotion to their instruments.
“I’m ecstatic. It’s kind of scary [to play with them] because they’re really good,” Arnold said. Usually with players that are my age, sometimes [they] aren’t the best and don’t like to practice. So, yeah, [the trio members] practice, like they actually practice. You actually get through stuff in rehearsals. You just don’t play the same thing over and over again. You actually progress.”
The recital will also feature a 40-member flute choir playing an arrangement of “Pomp and Circumstance” that has never been performed before. The fact that performing will be “just for fun” has also been exciting, Craigmile said, since she will not be receiving a judge’s critique or grade from playing.
With all of the nontraditional aspects of the recital in addition to the traditional challenging solo pieces, preparation for the performance  has been difficult. Still, the recital has been important as a celebration of this year’s end, Craigmile said. It will also be a commemoration of the bonds the trio has made with Thill Franck and her other students.
“All three members of the Alpha Flute Trio are top notch,” Thill Franck said. “The rehearsals for this concert are exhausting. I wish I was this good in high school.”
By Nomin-Erdene Jagdagdorj