Get to Know...Katherine Emeneth
It’s always interesting to learn how our members came to love new music and what inspired them to join FNMC. Katherine Emeneth is one of our newest members, who also happens to be rather new to performing new music (there’s a lot of new in that sentence!). We love that she’s embraced new music and FNMC and we’re happy that she is contributing her talent to a concert of FNMC works at the Music by Women Festival this weekend (March 3-5) at Mississippi Women’s University.
Q&A with Katherine…
What about new music for the flute appeals to you?
I have only recently discovered a love for new music! After playing a concert for college music appreciation students last year and then later reading their essays about the concert, I discovered that their favorite work was for flute and electronics (the piece was "Arcana" by Elizabeth Brown). I was shocked! Their reviews of the other pieces which were mostly from the standard repertoire did not strike a nerve with them, but the electronic piece did. I realized that new music is more accessible to varying audiences than I originally thought. Since then, I have the pleasure of learning and crafting several pieces of new music for flute. One characteristic I like about new music for flute is that is highly diverse. Some are with electronics, some solo, some with piano...the sky's the limit! There's always something for everyone!
Who is/are your favorite “new music” composer/s and why?
Since beginning this new endeavor of exploring new music for flute, I always find something interesting about each composer's work. Some composers are well-known and have won awards while others are students who are just starting their journey. There is something unique about every composer, and therefore, I have many favorite composers. I am currently exploring works by Jacob TV, Nicole Chamberlain, Elizabeth Brown, and Kay He.
What is/are your favorite “new music” piece/s and why?
I like many new music pieces and am finding myself gravitating towards pieces that use electronics. There are so many possibilities with electronics. It is amazing how pieces that use electronics take on a totally different character and how they allow the flutist to toy with colors, blending with unique sounds, and explore new methods of expression.
When did you join FNMC and what attracted you to the organization?
I joined FNMC this past fall. The organization is very active with commissioning new works and promoting new composers and compositions. Since I made it my mission to learn more about new music and become part of the new music scene and an organization that promoted people and music I advocate, I joined!
What advice can you give to flutists about approaching new music in practice?
If you're new to new music, the first piece of advice I have is: DON'T BE SCARED!!! Speaking from experience, some flutists view new music as repertoire that is very difficult, will take a lot of time to learn, and audiences will not like it. Not true! There are many works out there that are extremely accessible, very idiomatic, and fun to learn. Begin by listening. Listen to a wide variety of new music and find out what you like. Go to the FNMC website and listen to the prize-winning compositions. Find a piece that speaks to you and order it. Study the piece like you would any other composition. Go slowly. Learn everything correctly the first time. One big advantage of new music is that if you do not understand something in the composition (fingering, expressive marking), you can simply email the composer to get an answer!
More About Katherine…
Dr. Katherine Emeneth is an enthusiastic performer, collaborator, clinician, pedagogue, and teacher with a passion for outreach and sharing music with new audiences.
Katherine Emeneth’s performances include both solo and ensemble appearances with the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, Washington-Idaho Symphony Orchestra, among many others.
Katherine Emeneth is a co-founder of the Flutissimo! Workshop at the University of Georgia. She currently serves at the Membership Committee Chair of the NFA.
Katherine Emeneth has served on the faculty of the University of Washington. She currently teaches at Georgia Gwinnett College and holds degrees from the University of Georgia and the University of Washington.