April Clayton, Professor of Flute
Dear MEG Committee,
Thank you for funding our grant request, which enabled five flute majors to travel to
Paris, France, during the summer of 2016. We were awarded a total of $16,000.
Each student’s full tuition of $1600 was covered, as well as full housing costs of
$600/student for two weeks. Each student was given help covering her plane ticket
to Paris with the remaining grant money.
The students are listed individually below. I felt it was important that each express
gratitude individually for this opportunity, so each wrote a thank you letter. These
may be the best indication of how well our academic and musical objectives were
met; however, I will also write a summary to fill in more details of the experience
before including the students’ letters.
The Flute Class was held for two intense weeks, July 14-28 of 2016. We had a truly
world-renowned faculty: Linda Chesis (Woodwind Chair, Manhattan School of
Music), Jean Ferrandis (Faculty at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris and
California State University at Fullerton), Michel Moragues (Paris Conservatory
Faculty), Patricia Nagle and Nicolas Duchamp (additional Ecole Normale de Musique
Faculty), and myself. We had a presentation from the Rampal Society, which
brought a documentary and many recordings of this important world-class artist.
We held lecture recitals, masterclasses, discussions, sight reading workshops,
technique classes, musical excursions across Pars, chamber music experiences with
very fine musicians, and a competition. Our own BYU student, Rachel Christensen,
was Winner of the Da Capo Performance Prize.
Many of the students involved told me that this was a life-changing experience for
them. I can attest that they returned home with vastly improved musical
experiences, understanding, and summer practice time. I am happy to expand my
own report if this one is deemed too brief. However, I have reported to the BYU
School of Music on similar experiences in Paris several times in the past. I believe
the best testimony is the students’ personal thank you notes, included below. I also
thank you again, most sincerely, for your help providing them with this experience.
Student Thank You Notes for MEG funding
Each of the students who wrote a thank you note below received MEG funding to
attend the Da Capo Paris Flute Class in July, 2016. Enough grant money was
awarded to cover the entire amount of student tuition, housing, and a large
percentage of each plane ticket. The remainder of travel costs, food, and local
transportation in Paris were paid by the individual students.
Kristen Blackham, Bachelor of Music Education:
Paris was an incredible experience for me and I am so grateful for the opportunity I
had to attend the Da Capo Alliance’s clinic there this year. I am a music education
student and I always love learning in as many different facets as possible. Going to
Paris and performing and learning about French music, art, history, and culture was
invaluable. I had the opportunity to learn from some amazing flute professors and
performers who taught me many things that changed the way that I teach and
One of my favorite moments was when I was walking through the Louvre just before
it closed. There was a gorgeous sunset and I was looking at French impressionist art.
My friend and I started listening to French flute pieces that reminded us of the art
we were looking at and it was fascinating to see how it all connected. The culture
that we were immersed in was reflected in the paintings and the music and we
learned how important it is to learn as much as we can as performers to play these
pieces. If we do not, then it is not an honest representation of the composer and the
culture that it came from. I was greatly inspired by this trip and I hope that I
continue to learn and grow in my knowledge of music and the cultures that
Catherine Winters Boyack, Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance:
This summer, I had the opportunity to attend the Da Capo Flute Alliance’s class
in Paris, France. I have wanted to study in Paris for quite sometime, as it is the main
historical center of the flute. Many great flute players and teachers were trained
here, and much of the musical style developed at that time figures heavily into flute
playing today. I was not planning on going, because I was finishing up the years of
saving for a new flute and without spending money on Paris, I figured I would have
it at the time of the Paris class. However, once I found out that the MEG grant was
given to the flute students, I was able to figure out the money and go. It not only
made it possible to go, but gave me just enough to make it to Paris with a new flute
that I got the week before the flight to France. While there, I learned so many things
that opened up new ways to play my instrument and gave me fresh perspective on
repertoire, color, and interpretation. The class and the surroundings in Paris have
been essential to my recent growth as a student, performer and teacher. I am so
grateful to BYU for the grant money that made this growth in my education and
artistry possible! The funding is a wonderful gift and was instrumental in making
things work financially and in matters of education.
Rachel Christensen, Master of Music in Flute Performance:
I am so grateful for the donations made that contributed to help me travel to Paris.
One of my favorite things about studying music is learning about different cultures.
Paris is a very active and historical flute and music community and being a part of
that for two weeks helped my playing, performing, and musical personality. It’s easy
to get inspired when surrounded by such a historically significant environment. This
inspiration has served me in the months since this excursion and will continue to
stay with me. Again, thank you so much for providing me with this opportunity. I
learned so much and met many new people to help start my career in music and,
ultimately, serving those around me the best I can.
Sincerely, Rachel Christensen
Annie Farnbach, Bachelor of Arts in Music:
I am so very grateful for the donors and for the Grant committee. This flute class in
Paris changed my life. The grant that we received for BYU allowed me to go on a
once in a lifetime trip, and to have the most inspirational and educational two weeks
of my life. I learned so much about music, the flute, myself, and life on this trip. I
have never had the opportunity to travel because of my financial situation but
because of this grant I was able to afford it. I had so many wonderful experiences
that changed how I look at life and the world and I never would have been able to do
that if I wasn’t able to go on this trip thanks to your generosity. I will never forget
the two weeks that I was able to spend in Paris learning and experiencing all that
was around me.
Thank you. Annie Farnbach
Lyndsay Wygant, former BYU Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance, current
Master of Music student at Longy School of Music:
I am honored to have been a recipient of funds in July 2016. As a participant in the
2016 Da Capo Alliance Flute Class held at the Ecole Normale in Paris, France, it was
such a blessing to have tuition and housing paid for by grant funds; I wish to express
gratitude to the donors for making this opportunity possible. This program,
specifically geared towards helping advanced and pre-professional flutists connect
to and learn from professional flutists conversant in the French Flute School, was
directly applicable to my educational, musical, and professional goals. It was so
inspiring to learn from flutists who are successful in the field I wish to enter. In
addition, opportunities to experience the history, culture, and music available in
Paris made for a deep and rich learning environment and was very beneficial to my
musical performances. I came away with a better understanding of French flute
music and a greater desire to contribute to the music world. As a student, my
personal budget for such programs is small; I am incredibly grateful for the grant
funds made available that made it possible financially to attend such a wonderful
experience that was the 2016 Da Capo Alliance Flute Class. To all involved in this
grant, thank you for your kindness and generosity!
With Gratitude, Lyndsay Wygant