Erica Nightengale, a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, has put together information from her time in Argentina to launch the Argentina Flute Project.
The project, which was made possible through the Graduate Research and Creative Activity (GRACA) grant through UNO, sent Nightengale and a group to Mendoza, Argentina to attend the World Flutes Festival. This group consisted of Nightengale, four students and Dr. Christine Beard of UNO’s college of Communication, Fine Arts and Media.
On Jan. 31 Nightengale delivered a presentation of what she learned and experienced while at the World Flutes Festival. Additionally, she performed a recital consisting of flute music she uncovered on her research trip.
Nightengale traces her interest of flute music and performance to her childhood. Following in her mother’s footsteps, she chose to play the flute in her fifth-grade band.
“When I got into band that first day I realized it just came easier to me,” Nightengale said, “Just knowing I had a thing kind of inspire me.”
Throughout her middle school, high school and college careers Nightengale continued to play the
flute. This led to eventually finding herself as a graduate flute student at UNO.
When the opportunity came for the flute studio to take musicians to the World Flute Festival, Nightengale seized it. The resulting 10-day trip gave the group of UNO students and professor a unique musical experience.
“There were a lot of really cool groups, and they could use the flute in ways we don’t do here in the United States,” Nightengale said, “The flute is included in a lot of popular music in Argentina.”
The efforts of the project can be found online at argentinafluteproject.com and the project’s Facebook page. Nightengale warns that the site is currently a work in progress but encourages people to check back frequently for updates.
Now that Nightengale has completed her recital, she can focus more on the online aspect of the project, she said.
The website and Facebook page will feature flute composers from Argentina, with the hopes of granting them some much deserved attention. Publishing of music in Argentina can be difficult due to expenses involved. In addition to putting a strain on performers, this also prevents a lot of music from making its way out of the country.
The project currently features Exequiel Mantega as the Composer of the Month. This includes sharing information about Mantega’s music, and several videos of his performances posted for viewing.
Nightengale credits much of the success of her project to Dr. Christine Beard. Beard joined her in Argentina and has been a source of inspiration and assistance to Nightengale throughout her musical exploration.
Nightengale hopes to keep the Argentina Flute Project in operation for at least a couple more years. In the future, she plans on building up a collection of Argentine flute performances, information and musicians.