Get to Know...Cherise Leiter
This week, we feature composer Cherise Leiter. Her piece Chroma for flute/alto flute and cello, which is based on the colors of Colorado- her current home, was a finalist work in the 2014 FNMC Composition Contest.
Q&A with Cherise….
What about new music for the flute appeals to you?
The flute is such a versatile instrument, and strongly appeals to me as a composer. The range of timbre, dynamic possibilities, flexibility, and colors are so unique. Composers are now asking performers to explore all of the ideas, and I find that very exciting.
Describe your musical background and current activities.
Primarily a pianist, I play just enough flute to be dangerous! In 2001, I met Dr. Michelle Stanley, a fantastic flutist, who took a liking to my music, and that began my interest in composing pieces featuring the flute, usually in a chamber setting. I have paired the flute with soprano, cello, viola, and cello, guitar and cello, and clarinet and bassoon, and am currently working on a piece for flute and fixed electronics along the lines of Steve Reich’s Electronic Counterpoint.
What advice can you give to flutists about approaching new music in practice?
As a composer, I really enjoy working with flutists who are not afraid to experiment and try different things. If I ask for a certain effect, and the flutist has ideas for a different way to achieve that from what I know, I love it when she/he is willing to share those ideas. I would also advise plenty of ‘play’ time when practicing: how many different sounds can you create? Can you find sounds that you didn’t know were possible? You never know when a composer who plays just enough flute to be dangerous is going to ask for just that effect!
More About Cherise….
Born in Florida, Cherise Leiter received a B. M. in Music Theory and an M. M. in Composition from the University of Florida where she studied with Dr. Budd Udell. She is currently an Associate Professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, teaching music theory and composition.
An active composer whose output includes works for choir, piano, voice, band, orchestra and chamber ensembles; her compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Canada, Scotland, France, Italy, Romania, and Japan. She was a featured composer at the New Music Symposium, the University of Central Missouri’s New Music Festival, the Aspen Composer’s Conference, the Women Composers Festival, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, June in Buffalo, and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts.
In her spare time, Ms. Leiter is an avid knitter, hiker, swimmer, cook, and bibliophile. She also has a vested interest in anything made of chocolate. She can be reached at LeiterLieder@gmail.com, or www.cherisedleiter.com.
If you enjoyed Chroma, check out these other works for flute…
American Folk Suite
Instrumentation: soprano and flute
Instrumentation: flute/alto flute, clarinet, bassoon
The Life in a Day
Instrumentation: flute/alto flute, guitar, cello
Trio No. 1 “Frog”
Instrumentation: flute, violin, cello
The Flute New Music Consortium is an organization dedicated to the creation and support of new music for the flute.