A Door to Extended Techniques: Five Analyses and Composer Interviews From the National Flute Association's High School Soloist Competition

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Advisor

Danilo Mezzadri

Advisor Department



Flute teachers and their students need more choices of contemporary works. An excellent source for them is works composed for the flute as a part of the National Flute Association's (NFA) High School Soloist Competition. The NFA initiated this competition in 1987 and has commissioned a new piece each year since 1989. Flutists who are also composers have received commissions and produced several notable works. Of the seventeen pieces composed through 2005 for the competition, this dissertation covers five: Jennifer Higdon's Song , Gary Schocker's Short Stories , John Heiss' Fantasia Appassionata, Episode IV ," Cynthia Folio's Arca Sacra , and Elizabeth Brown's Trillium . Each of the chapters includes a few pedagogical suggestions for extended techniques and difficult passages. Topics covered include metric versus nonmetric notation, harmonics, alternate fingerings, timbral trills, multiphonics, pitch bends, and stylistic considerations. A biography of each composer and history and background about the composition of each work was obtained through personal interviews by the author. Appendices contain the complete text of each interview, a selected list of flute compositions by each composer, and a list of the seventeen commissioned works from 1989 to 2005.