Photo credit: Alex MacAulay Photography
Q&A with Patty
Why did you begin playing the flute?
I was always transfixed by the sound as a youngster and the flute looked like a wonderfully beautiful jewel to me, flashing and glittering….
Why do you play the flute?
I play my instrument because it fulfills an inexplicable part of my soul, it takes me out of the mundane and ordinary, and because it is a great practice which always reflects the inner state of my psyche. It keeps me honest about myself, and it is extremely challenging. To be the master of a musical instrument is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. That being said, it is my muse, and It allows me to express my deepest, most complex emotions in a non-verbal way.
How did you get interested in classical music?
My father absolutely loved classical music so I grew up listening to many of his recordings. My mother was a very accomplished pianist and piano teacher, and as a young child, I would crawl under her grand piano and fall asleep to the sound of Chopin, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven…
What are your outside interests?
Swimming, photography, long walks with friends, meditation, and making movies.
What’s something someone would be surprised to hear about you?
I hate crowds.
What’s your favourite indulgence?
Dark chocolate and cooking for friends.
What do you do to relax?
Breathe deeply, practice flute, swim, walk, play tennis, lie under a tree, read a book.
What do you think is the best part of being an instrumentalist and coach?
There are so many “best parts” that it is hard to narrow this down. I absolutely love performing in orchestra, am over the moon about being able to play flute and piano repertoire with my husband, love chamber music… I love the variety, learning new pieces, revisiting learnt ones but with a different perspective, but I suppose what I could narrow it down to if I had to is how playing music makes me feel deep inside. It makes my heart grow – it’s this unexplainable feeling that is the very reason why I started trying to master a musical instrument in the first place, that swelling of the heart.
What areas do you specialize in?
Principal Flute, Symphony Nova Scotia
Flute Instructor, Dalhousie’s FSPA
Flute Soloist, Chamber Musician, Recitalist
Which performance or project of yours would you describe as your favourite?
An impossible question, there are so many.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m in the process of recording solo works for upload to my YouTube channel.
What do you like best about living in the City of Halifax?
That in 10 minutes, I can be at my most divine swimming location where there isn’t a building in site, and swim to my heart’s content in fresh water. There is absolutely nothing like the smell of the air an inch above a healthy fresh-water lake. If one could bottle that, one could make a fortune. Nature is accessible here. That, and really good restaurants.
What advice can you offer any students interested in the performing arts?
Become diversified. Have back-up skills in other professions so that you can make money while you are pursuing your dream. I worked in factories (an electronics factory and in a plastics factory), at an architect’s as a secretary, in various bars as a cocktail waitress, a lifeguard, a waterski instructor at a camp, in a university Registrar’s Office, at an Accounting firm, as a furniture refinisher (not necessarily in that order), and then I became Principal Flautist of Symphony Nova Scotia.
WATCH & LEARN MORE
Patty’s Top Ten Lists
- Patty’s Favourite Chamber Music
- Patty’s Solo Flute Favourites
- Patty’s Top Ten Flute and Piano
- Patty’s Top Ten Orchestral Flute Works