Q&A with flautist finalist

Caity Piccini has traveled the world with her flute by her side and with all of her UH success and her looming graduation, she wants to stay in Houston to teach and perform. | Courtesy of Caity Piccini

Caity Piccini has traveled the world with her flute by her side and with all of her UH success and her looming graduation, she wants to stay in Houston to teach and perform. | Courtesy of Caity Piccini

A recent participant in the Texas Music Fesitval Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition, Caity Piccini is currently developing her dissertation for Doctor of Musical Arts in Flute Performance. Piccini has performed several times in venues throughout the nation and internationally.

The Daily Cougar had the opportunity to interview Piccini about her time at UH, her participation in the recent competition and her future as a musician.

The Daily Cougar: How long have you been at UH?

Piccini: I moved from New York and came to the University of Houston in 2010 in order to pursue a Doctorate in Flute Performance with Aralee Dorough. This year, I finished my coursework and have yet to pass my comprehensive exams in the fall and write my dissertation. I plan to graduate in December.

TDC: How long have you been studying with Aralee Dorough of the Houston Symphony?

Piccini: I have been studying with Aralee Dorough for three years. She has given me the tools and provided me with the inspiration to go out and perform at my best.

TDC: What was it like being a part of the 2013 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition? How did you do at the competition?

Piccini: I had a great time performing in the 2013 CWM Young Artist Competition. I was thrilled that my performance in the first round of competition won me a spot as one of six finalists. The finals were particularly rewarding because I had the opportunity to not only perform for esteemed judges but also for friends and colleagues in the audience. I received a prize for third place and was truly humbled to have been awarded the audience favorite prize.

TDC: I understand that you have performed with several orchestras and given several recitals across the nation. What performance was your favorite? Why?

Piccini: I have played with a number of orchestras and performed a wide variety of genres, and while I do not necessarily have a favorite performance, there are some that are more memorable. I will never forget playing with a full orchestra in a New York City apartment. The living room was large enough to accommodate us all; musicians from the top conservatories in Manhattan gathered together for one night to play Brahms for a man who just wanted to listen and invite all of his closest friends to enjoy a private concert. The other amazing part was that none of us got paid. We all just wanted to come together to play music we loved for people who wanted to listen.

TDC: What do you plan to do after you graduate with your DMA?

Piccini: After I graduate, I will continue to teach and work in Houston. I will also be busy planning for my wedding in 2014. I am currently auditioning for orchestral positions as well as applying for teaching jobs at colleges and universities.

TDC: What do you see yourself doing in the future? How does pursuing your DMA at the University of Houston prepare you to achieve your short/longterm goals?

Piccini: I am not certain where I will end up with the flute. It has certainly taken me to places I have never imagined. What I am sure of is that I will always be playing music, teaching music and talking about music. A career performing in an orchestra is my goal, and my time at the Moores School of Music and my studies with Aralee Dorough bring me closer to it. My minor and the focus of my degree in addition to performance is music history. I believe that my academic studies and research have also made me a better musician. I am more informed and better equipped to effectively interpret and portray the message of the music I am playing. In order to be a well-balanced musician, we have to do more than just play the notes on the page.

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