Courtesy of an NSU David West news release -
|Dr. Todd Gabriel on viola|
Four Attitudes Made with 12 Tones features Northwestern State Professor of Flute Dennette McDermott. Gabriel and McDermott each perform in the Longview and Shreveport Symphony Orchestras.
“One day Todd told me he had been listening to me play and asked if he could write a composition for me,” said McDermott. “I am honored he did this. Most flutists don’t have this type of opportunity to have something written for them. Most pieces are for flute and piano, but a work for orchestra allowed Todd to work with the whole box of crayons instead of just a couple of magic markers.”
This is the first time Gabriel wrote a flute composition in almost a decade. His late wife, Katherine Kitzman, was a flutist and Gabriel wrote several compositions for her.
“I avoided writing for the flute until now,” said Gabriel, a professor of theory/composition and conductor of the Hurley School of Music Orchestra at Centenary College. “Katherine had a large library of flute music which I gave to Dennette for her and the university to use. That’s how the relationship began.”
Gabriel has attended several orchestra rehearsals to hear the orchestra play his work.
“The orchestra has done a good job,” he said. “They seem to be enjoying it.”
According to Gabriel, he doesn’t begin to write a composition with an end result in mind.
“Ideas start small then it’s like putting a puzzle together,” he said. “You have a general idea about the characteristics, and as you go, you make decisions along the way that can take you in different directions. It starts to form its own life. You get a version and everything works out.”
Writing 12 Tones with McDermott in mind did help the process.