Get to Know...Karen McLaughlin Large
Today, we’re pleased to feature Karen McLaughlin Large. Karen joined as a commissioning member during our first year (for the Zhou commission) and renewed as a commissioning member for the Pann commission. We’re so happy that she has contributed to the creation of two wonderful additions to the repertoire. Those of us who are commissioning members have received the Pann score and we feel confident that you’ll love it when you have the opportunity to hear it during the simultaneous premiere weekend (March 2-4) or soon after! Hopefully, as Karen mentions below, someday we’ll be a part of the group of flutists who supported the creation and dissemination of an addition to the standard repertoire for flute!
Karen has performed several FNMC Composition Contest works including multiple performances of French Quarter for flute quartet with Tornado Alley Flutes and Isolated Dance on a Bench for solo flute by Tai-Kuang Chao (at the 2015 Florida Flute Association Convention.). Karen has also served as a preliminary round judge for the FNMC Composition Contest. We were also grateful that she shared her performing talents and made a recording of Zhou Long’s Confluence for our YouTube Channel.
Q&A with Karen…
What about new music for the flute appeals to you?
I like being one of the first musicians to engage in musical conversation with the composer through a particular piece. Additionally, with each new composition, the repertoire for the instrument grows. I think of the people who couldn’t wait to perform Mozart’s newest work, or Telemann’s newest work, and think that I am perpetuating that age-old tradition! Regarding flute new music specifically, I am especially drawn to the variety of colors and effects the flute can create. I love performing extended techniques, especially for unsuspecting audiences!
Who is/are your favorite “new music” composer/s and why?
I really love playing Ian Clarke’s music. His balance of tonality and atonality, extended techniques and conventional playing, and free and strict rhythm is really great. I can always program one of Clarke’s pieces and know that audiences will both love it and hear something they’ve never heard before too! Zoom Tube is my go-to piece!
When did you join FNMC and what attracted you to the organization?
I joined FNMC as a commissioning member for Zhou Long’s Confluence. As a member of FNMC, I’m able to help expand the flute repertoire. I even have the opportunity to help decide which types of pieces and composers are commissioned! What a fantastic organization!
Do you have any upcoming events that you would like our friends and followers to know about?
I am presenting and performing at the CMS National Conference in San Antonio on October 26 and 28. My lightening talk is titled “Assessing College Music Skills on YouTube” and I am performing Nicole Chamberlain’s quartet French Quarter with Tornado Alley Flutes.
More About Karen…
Karen McLaughlin Large joined the Kansas State University music faculty in 2011 and teaches flute, music theory, flute techniques, film music, and directs the KSU flute ensemble. Dr. Large earned her Doctor of Music, Master of Music, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Science degrees as well as graduate certificates in Music Theory Pedagogy and College Teaching from the Florida State University. She studied with Eva Amsler, Stephanie Jutt, and Joshua Carter (under Charles Delaney).
Dr. Large is a founding member of Traverso Colore: Baroque Ensemble and Tornado Alley Flutes. She is second flutist with the Topeka Symphony and is a member of the K-State faculty wind quintet - Konza Winds. Dr. Large is also a member of the Florida Flute Orchestra, performing on the Sub Contrabass flute in G—one of only a few such instruments in the world.
Dr. Large is the creator of the Virtual Flute Choir. Some of her other research interests include affective (emotional) responses to music, the relationship of music theory and performance, baroque flute performance practice, and romantic transcriptions for flute.