Hometown girl does Aurora proud in bright lights of NYC

Broadway came to Aurora Sunday with a world-class musical performance from a hometown girl who found and followed her passion.
Local native Tereasa Payne delighted a crowd of approximately 200 people at the Plainsman Museum, sharing insight into her unique world through the sounds of the world’s second oldest instrument. Flutes, she explained in a captivating 90-minute performance, are found on every continent and in almost every culture of the world, dating back some 43,000 years.
It’s easy to see why Tereasa has become so successful in her field after watching and listening to her Sunday afternoon. She practices constantly in her tiny 500 sq. ft. Manhattan apartment, honing what she humbly calls “a little bit of talent” into a regular seat on the world’s biggest musical stage.
What captivated me and all who attended Sunday was not only this young lady’s musical talent, which is extraordinary, but her knowledge of the flute’s role and impact in various cultures all over the globe. Though she has not necessarily travelled to all corners of the world, she has worked with local natives and studied various cultures, often via Skype, to understand how her beloved instrument has been utilized over time.
Sunday’s audience gained an appreciation for how difficult it must be to play 16 different types of flutes, all with varying fingerings and breathing techniques. Teresea has mastered them all, only by making time to practice them each and every day. What she humbly calls simple muscle memory is not simple at all, but more a credit to her passion and perseverance.
The pan flute, she explained, has become her favorite over time because of the special places that instrument has taken her. By mastering that very difficult instrument, she has earned a seat in the pit orchestra for productions of the “Lion King,” in which she said each character in the Disney classic is represented by a flute. She helps bring Simba to life on stage, sometimes several times a week, playing various sizes of pan flutes as the future lion king comes of age.
Sunday’s performance was a combination history lesson/flute solo, all delivered with a poise and confidence that made you realize Tereasa Payne can and does captivate her audience, whether it is filled with kindergarten students, college professors, or music fans on Broadway.
Talk about the power of music.
Well done, Tereasa!
Kurt Johnson

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