The Great Train Race

The Great Train Race – solo flute

The Great Train Race – solo flute [advanced – B & C foot versions – open-holes not required]

A highly entertaining extended technique showpiece that sounds like its title!  Subtitled ‘The Flute As You Don’t Usually Hear It!’ it has proved extremely popular with audiences and players alike.

Techniques include; residual/breathy fast tonguing, multiphonics, singing & playing, lip bending, explosive harmonics and an optional circular breathing section.  A forward with explanations of the techniques is given along with fingerings in the score for easy reference.  The multiphonics used are of the more friendly variety; seven from only four different fingerings. 

It has been listed on the Trinity/Guildhall’s grade 8 syllabus since 2000… unlike anything else on the grade 8 list.  It is now also listed on the Carnegie Hall/Royal Conservatory syllabus (Canadian/USA exam system grade 1- 10 plus ARCT) and AMEB (Australian Examinations Board).

It has had countless international performances to diverse smiling audiences from music colleges, schools, recital halls to performances in children’s orchestral concerts in Barbican Symphony Hall and Birmingham Symphony.

Older editions of The Great Train Race came in either C foot or B foot versions. In recent years the edition contains both version.

Converting an old edition:
The opening page is played on low D (with it’s harmonics) in the C foot edition and on low B (with it’s harmonics) in the B foot version. The low train-track motif is briefly reprised on low D or B in the at the end of the piece. Page 2 continues either a minor 3rd higher (Cft version) or a minor 3rd lower (Bft version) until the multi-phonics waltz like section where both version become the same.
These pdfs will help with the conversion.
Here is page 2 from the Bft version – The GTR page 2 Bft
Here is page 2 from the Cft version – The GTR page 2 Cft