Articles by Ellen

Magazine articles and reviews

Magazine articles and reviews

Reviews for Flute Focus E-zine (2010):

(to get a copy, kindly email Ellen )

Flute Talk Magazine (1991-present):

As Contributing Editor: "The Business of Music" (1998-present)

- Being a Casual Musician, Vol. 24, No. 7.
- Making Demo Tapes for Wedding Performances, Vol. 21, No.1.
- The Trick is to Stay Fresh with a Full Teaching Load, Vol. 20, No9.
- Studio Recitals, Vol. 20, No. 3
- Introductory Classes, Vol. 18, No5.
- Building Confidence, Vol. 18, No1.
- Building a Studio, Vol. 17, No8.
- Setting Studio Policies, Vol. 17, No5.

- Interviewed by K. Goll-Wilson: Teaching Self-Awareness, Vol. 17, No. 2., 1997

- Feature article: A Guide to Improvisation, Vol. 11, No. 3; 1991

2001 Con Brio (W.L.A. Music Teacher's Association of California): Stage Fright Demons, Oct. issue

1991 Newsletter, Southern California Flute Association, A Guide to Improvisation.

Mercy Mercy Mercy Flute Quartet

Written by Ellen Burr
<p>Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
For Flute Quartet (Piccolo and 3 flutes) and Rhythm Section with optional Soprano Sax part

By Josef Zawinul
Arr. Greg Armstrong

Available from Gatti Productions

Having grown up listening to the funk tune Mercy, Mercy, Mercy it was a treat to see it arranged for flute quartet.

This clean and simple arrangement treats the flute quartet as a sax section. The written articulation helps communicate the funky feel. This is a great tune for beginning improvisers as there is an open four bar solo section (over only two chords) as well as a written out sectional solo.

There are many different ensemble combinations that could utilize this six-minute chart. It could be played just as effectively as a trio, because the piccolo doubles flute three. (The soprano sax is flute three transcribed.) I augmented parts to accomondate the eight-member flute orchestra that I conduct.

We used one piccolo, double flute 1 and flute 2, one soprano sax and had a bass and contrabass flute play the bass line. The bass line isn't written out for the entire piece, but it just goes back and forth between two chord so you can repeat phrases from the beginning. You need flutists who can read bass clef, or just write out the sixteen bar 'sample' bass likne in treble clef. (You can hear our reading ohn the website:

The chords keep the same voicings throughout the entire piece, which can get a bit predictable, and it stays in virtually the same range for the entire piece. Sitll, it could be a nice break in abstrictly classical flute program.