Get to Know...Shelley Martinson
Without Shelley Martinson, FNMC would not exist. It was her idea, developed to solve a problem she encountered while working on her doctoral thesis, that served as the foundation for creating FNMC. She wanted to commission new music, but the expense is often far beyond the budget of most musicians, the solution…a consortium, and not just a one-time consortium, but a standing organization that would commission new pieces, with each commissioner eligible to participate in the simultaneous premiere, and that the organization would provide continued support for the commissioned works. FNMC has really grown since the fall of 2013 when we held our first board meeting; we’re about to complete our second commission (there’s still time to join!), preparing to choose the third composer, we’re holding our fourth composition contest, we’ve organized concerts of FNMC Composition Contest works all over the country, and we’re preparing to hold our first Flute Artist competition (the finals will feature a required piece we’ve commissioned by Bekah Simms, a former composition contest winner.)
Shelley has actively supported our first commission (Zhou Long’s Confluence for solo flute) and is a commissioner for our second commission (Carter Pann’s new work for flute and piano) and is looking forward to performing it in March. She has also performed several composition contest works including Garuda for flute solo by Alex Nante, Van Gogh Vignettes for Flute Duet by Greg Steinke, and three of the flute quartet’s; Nicole Chamberlain’s French Quarter, In Memoriam: Sacagawea for by Greg Steinke, and Intensity by Carleton Macy. Shelley is a member of the Tornado Alley Flutes (Carlos Feller, Karen MacLaughlin Large, Shelley Martinson, Ellen Johnson Mosley, and Elizabeth Robinson). This group includes four FNMC Commissioning Members and they’ve actively supported the quartets listed above. They will perform French Quarter at the CMS Convention in San Antonio, TX in October. Shelley and her husband, Dr. Philip Martinson, perform as a flute and trombone duo and actively support new music for that instrumentation. They’ve commissioned two composition contest honorees to write works for them. They premiered Nicole Chamberlain’s Wail at the 2016 NFA Convention in San Diego and will premiere a new work by Kay HE this year for flute, trombone, and electronics!
We hope you enjoy learning more about Shelley!
Q&A with Shelley…
What about new music for the flute appeals to you?
While I enjoy performing and listening to music from all eras, I’m always excited to hear (and play!) new works. Composers continue to explore and experiment, discovering new sounds and techniques, and seeking new inspirations. I enjoy the technical and musical challenge of preparing, interpreting, and performing new music, as well as the chance to work with living composers to create something new.
When did you join FNMC and what attracted you to the organization?
I think I could be considered our first member! The concept for FNMC evolved in fall 2013 with a lot of time, energy, and enthusiasm from our founding board members: Elizabeth Robinson, Ashley Shank, David Graham, and I. FNMC centers around the idea that flutists can come together to commission and discover new works for the flute – this basic mission still excites me. Not only have our large-scale commissions produced wonderful new pieces for the flute, but I’ve also discovered great new pieces and composers through our composition competition.
Do you have any upcoming events that you would like our friends and followers to know about?
I look forward to performing several new works at the NFA Convention in Minneapolis this week. Dr. Stacey DiPaolo and I will perform FNMC composition competition winner, Asha Srinivasan’s Bapu for flute, clarinet, and electronics on Friday morning. I’ll also perform Amanda Harberg’s Feathers and Wax for Flute and Piano and Tilmann Dehnhard’s Wake Up! For Piccolo and Alarm Clock on Sunday. Though I’m not participating, I look forward to attending the FNMC organized session, “Keeping Score: A Conversation about Commissioning New Works,” on Saturday at noon. Looking ahead to the fall semester, Dr. Philip Martinson and I will premiere a new work by Kay He (also a FNMC Composition Competition Winner) for flute, trombone, and electronics.
More About Shelley...
An active performer, Shelley Martinson joined the faculty of Southwestern Oklahoma State University as Assistant Professor of Music in fall 2013, where she instructs courses in applied flute, flute studio, music history, and chamber music. Martinson serves on the board of the Oklahoma Flute Society (Past President) and is chair of the National Flute Association's (NFA) Career and Artistic Development Committee. Recipient of the NFA's 2014 Graduate Research Competition, Martinson earned her Doctorate of Music in flute performance with a certificate in World Music from Florida State University. She holds additional degrees in flute performance and music history from the University of Akron and Skidmore College. www.shelleymartinson.com