Just in time for the 2016 Flute Festival, I spoke to Analyce Gonzalez who won the Founder’s Scholarship at last year’s competition.
Fifteen years ago, when Analyce was first picking an instrument, her mom reminded her that whatever she picked, she would have to carry around. Naturally, she picked the instrument with the smallest case-the flute!
After high school, Analyce attended Northern Arizona University (NAU) to earn her bachelor’s degree in music education. Feeling something was missing, she spoke with her professor about finding a better fit. Through this discussion, Analyce realized how much she enjoyed her criminal justice class and decided she would pursue both music performance and her newfound interest in criminology and criminal justice. Always very focused on volunteering, it was a great fit.
The decision to pursue two bachelor’s degrees came with challenges. It was hard to find the perfect balance, and at times, pursuing two passions impacted the confidence she had in her flute performance. The Arizona Flute Society’s 2015 Flute Festival gave her something to work towards and a way to build confidence.
Analyce’s music instructor, Dr. Emily McKay, was always very supportive of her and of the competition. She had a special challenge for Analyce-she wanted her to memorize a piece for the competition. Memorization was always a fear for Analyce, but she decided that it would be easier to face the fear when memorization wasn’t technically required.
Finally in the performance room on the day of the competition, Analyce set her sheet music on the stand. She began playing and didn’t look at the sheet music once. She had stepped out of her comfort zone, and whether she won or not, she walked out of the room proud.
As soon as she won the Founder’s Scholarship, she called Dr. McKay to share the good news.
“There are always successes and failures going through the journey of a musician. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to take that journey and to continue on working hard through the mistakes,” Analyce shared. She had never felt competitive as a flute player, but after the competition, she realized she should give herself that credit. That confidence turned into networking, which turned into opportunities.
Today, Analyce works as a case manager with the Arizona's Children Association and has started a music therapy group for children. She plays flute and piccolo in the Chandler Symphony Orchestra and is a substitute for the North Valley Orchestra and soon with ProMusica. At the end of May, she will be touring China with the National Festival Orchestra.
A big thank you to Analyce for sharing her story and for all her great contributions to our community.