by Peter Feher
Valerie Coleman joined the flute and composition faculty at New York’s Mannes School of Music in 2021, but her work has found a second home at Oberlin Conservatory since then. Wish, the latest release from the Oberlin Music Label, features seven of Coleman’s flute pieces from the past two decades, many of them in their first recordings.
Alexa Still, Oberlin’s professor of flute, isn’t the only major player involved in the project, though her spirit for exploration and education is what unites the album. Elegy, a lively and pulsing work written for Still in 2015 which winds up here as the closing track, has the flutist backed by an ensemble of her students on instruments ranging from piccolo to contrabass flute, all conducted by Timothy Weiss.