Summer Talk with Flute Professor Alexa Still

Learn how to make the most of your summer programs experience...and what to snack on!

June 1, 2017

Conservatory Communications Staff

Alexa Still.
Photo credit: Jennifer Manna

Oberlin Conservatory hosts a full season of summer programs each year. You can enjoy—as a performer or audience member—early music concerts, recitals by esteemed guest faculty, solo recitals on the beautiful Fisk organ at Finney Chapel, and all rounds of the Thomas & Evon Cooper International Competition…to name a few! We’re taking a closer look at life around the conservatory during the quiet…we all know it’s not really quiet…months. We have turned to our summer program faculty for advice on how to have the best summer in Oberlin.

Alexa Still is an associate professor of flute. Originally from New Zealand, she has had an illustrious career of both performing and teaching around the world. She runs the biennial summer Flute Academy at Oberlin.

What is one thing you enjoy about spending the summer in Oberlin?

I enjoy the very relaxed atmosphere, especially in the early hours or late in the day, sitting around with a good cup of coffee under the many beautiful trees.

What is one piece of advice that you can share with young flutists who might attend their first summer program later this season?

Keep notes on master classes so that you can refer to them later on when you have a greater awareness. You’ll be able to learn from those experiences twice! Also, take the time to get to know the other people around you. You all have a very important thing in common (flute!), and the music world is so connected; this won’t be the last time you see them all! And it will be a great comfort to you to see familiar friendly faces in the future.

What is your favorite snack/meal in town?

The half nachos at Agave, or a cranberry-walnut-oatmeal cookie at Slow Train.

Are you working on any fun projects this summer? How are you spending your summer?

I am in the process of starting a garden that is appropriate to my historic tutor-themed house of 1908. The garden I have in mind will be at least a five-year project to get to the point it looks decent, but I enjoy dreaming/visualizing what I want and planning how to do it. Besides this outdoorsy stuff, I am setting up my flute repair room and practicing up two concertos. All of this is fun :)

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