Q+A with Melanie Chirignan

Melanie Chirignan will be performing the Poem for Flute and Orchestra with The Chelsea Symphony at our tenth annual holiday concert on Friday, December 4, at 8pm at St. Paul's Church, 315 West 22nd Street. Get to know Melanie during this Q+A about herself, TCS, and the Griffes Poem!

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I'm a pescatarian, and I haven't had meat in 10 years. I like interval training, running, practicing yoga, and getting enough sleep. I love cooking healthy meals. My parents are French, which gives me a slightly different perspective sometimes. Naturally, I'm a fan of the culture of leisurely eating of a many-coursed meal with friends or family. Hiking around in nature once in a while is a must for me. I like to practice flute daily, for at least an hour, but I feel really accomplished when I have time for 4 hours. I actually love piccolo too, now that my ears don't ring from it anymore. I love really rehearsing chamber music to the point every phrase is mapped out; especially for flute and guitar, and flute and string quartet! Part of the perk of living in the city is it's having so many museums and cultural events, but it's hard to find the time when you're trying to afford to live in NYC with your day job, while pursing the full time job of being a musician (entailing practicing, rehearsing, booking gigs for yourself, advertising said gigs, taking auditions, recording, etc.). Luckily there's a community of musicians in the same boat.

How long have you been in NYC?

Since August 2014.

When was your first TCS concert?

When I was still living in CT, in 2012.

What brought you to the group?

I heard about it through Matt Aubin, who taught at Hartt, where I went to grad school. I wanted to play in an Orchestra, and I heard it was a good group.

Why do you like coming back?

The conductors and players are fantastic. It's great to get so much accomplished each rehearsal, because the conductors give such precise and positive feedback. They both have such a great presence, it's great to make music with them!

Where would you like to see the group go?

If we had a little more funding, there's a lot we could do. If we could a get a grant, it would be great if the group could tour, and maybe even do workshops with college students. Since we support new composers, it would be great to professionally record their new works. It could also be a great tool for promoting the composers as well as our group.

Why did you pick the Griffes Poem for Flute and Orchestra to perform with TCS?

It's gorgeous, I've always wanted to play it. There's so much too it, musically.

What are some of the things you learned while preparing? Was there anything you learned that you didn’t expect to encounter?

There are some really delicate parts, and some really fire-y parts, and it's important to keep the pacing just right.

Favorite recording of the Griffes Poem:

William Kincaid, 1952: Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra. The way he pushes and pulls the phrases is amazing. I love how fast he takes the ending!

Catch Melanie perform the Griffes Poem for Flute and Orchestra on Friday, December 4, at 8p!