Kristen Holritz is our first Faculty Spotlight of the month! Mrs. Holritz is the flute instructor here at Lee University. We had the opportunity to ask her some questions, which are listed below.
Q: How long have you been working at Lee?
Holritz: I have been teaching flute at Lee University since the fall of 2014 – so this is my fifth year!
Q: What is your favorite thing about teaching at Lee?
Holritz: There are so many great things about Lee. The campus is beautiful, there is always plenty of parking (even if it is far away), the performance halls have great acoustics, my colleagues in the School of Music are always friendly and so helpful – but I’d have to say my favorite thing about teaching at Lee is the students. The flute studio only has positive attitudes and shows up every week eager to learn. What more can a teacher ask for?
Q: How long have you been with the Chattanooga Symphony?
Holritz: This is my sixth season with the CSO.
Q: What is it like to be involved with both the Symphony and Lee?
Holritz: Some weeks the schedule is pretty full, but I enjoy teaching and playing equally. I feel very blessed to be able to do both in Chattanooga!
Q: What is it like having a husband that is musical as well?
Holritz: That has its benefits and downfalls! Since we both work at the CSO it is easy to carry the stress of work home with us. However, it is great to have someone that understands the lows and highs of my craft, as well as be married to someone who speaks and understands the language of my soul. We are very encouraging of each other and often practice together, play for each other, and perform together outside of the Symphony. We learn from each other’s playing and teaching as well!
Q: What is it like playing together?
Holritz: Some days we both need our space to be by ourselves but most of the time we love it! The flute and violin have some opposite tendencies for bad habits but a lot of concepts are the same. We perform as the duo, Schaafritz, and perform frequently across the country! When preparing for concerts we enjoy talking about the correlations between our instruments and learning how to blend, articulate, and simply play more like each other. Even more fun than playing music together is listening to music together. Like I said – our souls speak the same language!
Q: What would you recommend to someone that is thinking about auditioning for the School of Music?
Holritz: I’d recommend having weekly private lessons leading up to the audition. A good private teacher can help you improve your playing, guide in proper audition repertoire selection, prepare you to have a successful audition both mentally and physically, and help you understand what a degree in music entails. I’d also recommend visiting the campus and meeting the faculty and students in the studio you are interested in – and coming prepared with questions you might have. Do research and be inquisitive! The more a student is prepared and invested before arriving, the more they will get out of their experience in the long run!
We are so thankful to have Mrs. Holritz with us!