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Sheridon Stokes: the business of the art (1)

October 3rd, 2007 · No Comments

The Business of the Art: Part 1

Here is a video of a lecture given for the 2005 National Flute Association, the first of five parts where UCLA teacher of flute, Sheridon Stokes, talks about his life and the business of music. At that conference he was awarded a well deserved Lifetime Achievement Award. Stokes has played on hundreds of Hollywood movies and televisions shows. Perhaps his most famous flute solo is the Lalo Shifrin theme music for MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (the TV show). Here is a video featuring the hit single that stayed on the billboard’s hot 100 charts 14 weeks,eventually hitting #41 (january 1968).

SHERIDON STOKES, born in Los Angeles, was hired as piccolo in the Denver Symphony when he was 16 years old and was the youngest contract musician in Hollywood at age 20, with the 20th Century Fox Orchestra under Alfred Newman. He studied at the University of Denver and was a scholarship student at USC majoring in composition. His primary flute teachers were Haaken Bergh and Arthur Gleghorn. He studied composition with Dr. Ernest Kanitz, Russelll Gracia, Haaken Bergh and Walter Kelsey (Schillinger system).

He appears frequently as soloist, master class technician, and lecturer. His publications are distributed world-wide, and include the “Illustrated Method for Flute” (endorsed by Jean-Pierre Rampal) with two five-star reviews from, and “Special Effects for Flute.” Mr. Stokes has premiered solo works by former Boston Pops conductor John Williams, and contemporary composers Henri Lazarof, Paul Chihara, and Russell Steinberg. He has been featured in many television and film scores, including the television series “Mission Impossible,” “Roots,” and “Kung Fu,” as well as the fims “Jaws,” “E.T.,” “Ghost,” “Glory,” “Patriot Games,” “Sneakers,” “Scent of a Woman,” “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle,” and more recently, “Mission Impossible,” “Waterworld,” “Jumanji,” “Independence Day,” “Spitfire Grill,” “Rush Hour II”, and “Bringing Down The House”. He was solo flute at the Academy Awards in 1997 and 1998 and played the famous penny whistle solo from the Titanic song “My Heart Will Go On” with Celine Dion.

Mr. Stokes received the MVP award in flute from the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences in 1980, 1981, and 1982, and in 1983 received the Emeritus award. He has taught and performed at music festivals, including Curso Musical International de Invierno in Benidorm, Spain (1989-90), the Bud Shank Jazz Workshop in Port Townsend, Washington (1986-1988), and the Mozart Festival in Monterey, California. His compact disc releases include “Chamber Music” by Henri Lazarof (Laurel Records), “Quintet for Flute and Strings” by Leon Levitch (Bay Cities Records), “Willow, Willow” for bass flute and percussion by Paul Chihara (CRI Records), “Six Sonatas” for flute and harpsichord by Luigi Boccherini (Naxas/Orion Records), “Torbellino — 10 Tangos for Flute and Guitar” by Christopher Caliendo (Efficaci Records), He is also featured on recordings with Jascha Heifetz, Frank Sinatra and the Carpenters.

Some of his compositions are “Bon Voyage” for alto flute and string bass (1996), “Robin Hood Fantasy” for solo bass flute (premiered with Ballet California, 1993), “Soulscapes” for flute and marimba (premiered at the National Flute Association Convention, 1997), and “Laissez le voler” for flute quartet (premiered at UCLA, 1997). He has just been awarded the National Flute Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented to him at their annual convention in August, 2005.

Tags: Faculty · Performers