Sunday, July 17, 2016

Every day at NFA

I didn't plan to go to the National Flute Association's Flute Convention in San Diego this year. Going to the convention is an expensive endeavor especially when it involves flying to the other coast. Unless I had something major being performed I was going to sit this one out. So when my friends started conspiring to perform and commission new pieces with the hopes they would be selected to perform at NFA, I had my doubts any of it would be selected - especially the proposal that involved playing 30 minutes of my works on one program. I had made up my mind that we couldn't swing going to NFA this year, and that if would be crazy to think any of those proposals would be selected.  So when 5 of the 7 proposals were selected, I was in total disbelief.

from last year's NFA
This year's NFA really is going to be an extraordinary experience for me. First of all, I've never been to California - yay, travel! Secondly, I have 6 pieces being performed. SIX!!!! I always feel lucky to just get one piece performed during the 5 day convention. This means every day at the NFA convention I am having a piece performed. Thirdly, in spite of my printer's attempts to die, I've managed to convince Flute World to sell my music at their humongous booth at the Exhibit Hall at NFA. Lastly, I get to take an epic road trip with two of my friends and conspirators from Boulder, CO to San Diego, CA which includes stopping at the Grand Canyon for a couple nights. The best part about going to NFA is a chance to see and meet all the wonderful people who have performed my pieces and friends I rarely get to see. I also hope to meet people who I've made connections with online who have performed my music. It's a rare opportunity and I had to figure out a way to get to NFA.

So how do you get to NFA on a budget. I have been putting some money away from my sheet music sales since Christmas on. With that, I was able to pay all my NFA fees and plane tickets. The hotel is expensive, especially in San Diego. Luckily, nothing like friends to help defray the costs on the hotel. My 3 other cohorts and I are splitting a hotel for 4 of those days. I have to stay over by myself one night. Believe it or not, the cost of my hotel with my 3 friends was cheaper than my one night alone.  The only thing I have left to pay is food. Food, in my opinion, is the easiest way to save money. If the hotel doesn't serve a free breakfast, I can run to the grocery store and get some Luna Bars for the week. Lunch is usually catch if you can - if I remember to eat. Dinner - well dinner is always worth a good sit down meal with some adult beverages. For someone who didn't plan to go to NFA, I was able to do it. Now next year, I'll have to play be ear again. The lesson is "Always Be Saving".

Last year's NFA with my sister and FNMC
What do I hope for this year's NFA? I hope that I reinforce previous relationships with performers, learn some new tricks for my student's sake, and make new connections for more commissions. I've reached a lull in commissions. It happens. I may have exhausted my current connections and its time to make new ones. While I hope to have a good time with my friends and get a chance to see a bit of San Diego, I will have to put on the used car salesman hat my grandfather left me and go shake some hands.I'm just lucky that I enjoy my job so much that it doesn't always seem like work. Let's face it, its a Sunday afternoon - I should be relaxing, but I love what I do and it doesn't seem like work.

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