Flutists celebrate Mozart's 250th birthday

Flutists celebrate Mozart's 250th birthday
The Asbury Park Press Community Section
February 8, 2006
By Michelle Gladden at (732) 643-4204 or mgladden@app.com

 This year, the Festive Flutes annual library program will feature but one artist - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In honor of the 250th anniversary of the Austrian composer’s birth, the flute choir will open tomorrow night’s performance with the overture “Queen of the Night” from the “Magic Flute.”

Founded 19 years ago by Neptune resident Marjorie Koharski, the Festive Flutes are comprised of students and adult flutists who perform classical works, show tunes and old standards.

“We started to perform 16 years ago in the libraries,” Koharski said. “It started as an educational tool for young people but then we found a lot of our shows were attended by senior citizens, so now we refer to the program as appropriate for all ages.”

While their past library programs have consisted of works by various artists, the show has always been themed. Over the years, their repertoire has included tributes to Americana, a tribute to American composers, Opera-tune-ity, a showcase of operatic tunes and Suite for the Sweets, comprised of suite music.

But this time around a dozen of Mozart’s arrangements will be played by a chorus that consists primarily of high school students.

“The chorus is open to anyone with advanced skills,” Koharski said. “We’ve had as many as 14 members at a time, but this year there will be six in the group.”

 They include Koharski and high school students Caitlin Bogdan and Elizabeth Casper of Neptune, Jacqueline Calcagno and Stacy Daily of Hazlet and Megan Natoli of Freehold Township.

While residuals from winter colds and a collapsed lung plagued some members of the chorus at last Friday’s rehearsal, the girls were determined to continue on with rehearsals. All said they practice daily and are determined to master their parts.

Eighteen-year-old Stacy Daily, Hazlet, who was recovering from a collapsed lung, sat on a couch in Koharski living room going through the hand motions and playing the music in her head, while the other girls played.

“I’m waiting for the doctor’s OK,” she said. “I know I won’t be able to play in the first concert, but I hope to be ready for the second performance.” Aside from the library programs, the flute choir performs at area churches, fund-raising and special events and at senior centers. Auditions are held in July, and adults and advanced high school students with good sight-reading ability are welcome to audition, Koharski said.

Six rehearsals are scheduled during August, two rehearsals in November for holiday music, and four rehearsals in January for the library series.

 This year’s library tour will include tomorrow night’s 7 p.m. performance at the Wall Township Library, 7 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Neptune Public Library, 1 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Hazlet Township Library, 2 p.m. March 4 at the Holmdel Township Public Library, 2 p.m. at the Marlboro Library, 7 p.m. at the Point Pleasant Beach Library, 2 p.m. at the Ocean County Library in Manchester and 2 p.m. April 29 at the Brick Library.

Six rehearsals are scheduled during August, two rehearsals in November for holiday music, and four rehearsals in January for the library series.

This year’s library tour will include tomorrow night’s 7 p.m. performance at the Wail Township Library, 7 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Neptune Public Library, 1 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Hazlet Township Library, 2 p.m. March 4 at the Holmdel Township Public Library, 2 p.m. at the Marlboro Library, 7 p.m. at the Point Pleasant Beach Library, 2 p.m. at the Ocean County Library in Manchester and 2 p.m. April 29 at the Brick Library.