April 05, 2018

UAB Music flutist set for grad school at UK conservatory

Written by

marta pirosca webFlutist and singer Marta Piroșcă’s senior recital at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is still to come, but her next steps as a performer are already in place.

Piroșcă will graduate Saturday, April 28, with a degree in applied music from the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Music. Her time at UAB has been well-spent: In December, she auditioned and was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. She will begin her studies for a Master of Music degree in flute performance in September.

From Braila, Romania, Piroșcă is a 2013 graduate of Hariclea Darclée Art High School. She grew up in a musical family. Her father was a self-trained musician and hymn composer, so she and her siblings were surrounded by music and all learned how to play at least one instrument.

“The first instrument I learned was guitar at the age of 6, then mandolin at 8, then flute and piano at 11,” Piroșcă said. “When I started attending the Art School in fifth grade, I wished to study violin, just like my older sister; but she advised me in choosing the flute, as it would fit my personality and style better. I was a little bit skeptical about this wind instrument at first; but after I learned its ‘magic,’ I fell in love with the beauty that I could create with only one breath.”

Piroșcă learned about UAB from her sister, Eliza Warden, who is also a musician and an alumna of Samford University. She auditioned at multiple universities, but decided UAB was the best choice because of the scholarship she was awarded and the chance to be close to her sister.

Piroșcă’s senior recital is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, April 12. This will be her last full solo recital at UAB, and it will feature themed Romanian and jazz music. Admission is free. She will also perform in the UAB Jazz Combos recital at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, and in the UAB Jazz Band concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 15.

At UAB, she studied flute with Lisa Wienhold, adjunct faculty at UAB and flute principal chair in the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to working on her solo repertoire and career during her time at UAB, she has had many performance opportunities. Piroșcă has been a member of the Marching Blazers each year in college, and she was a section leader for two of those years. She is a member of the UAB Blazer Band, was first chair for four years in the UAB Wind Symphony, is a member of the UAB Flute Choir, and is a singer for the UAB Jazz Band and Jazz Combo. She performed with the Birmingham percussion ensemble Iron Giant, with the UAB Guitar ensemble and in the orchestra for UAB Opera. She is a member of the Young Performing Artists Program Music Honors Program. Each semester, she performed in student recitals, performing two full solo recitals, and each year has been a winner of the UAB Honors Recital Competition. She performed with the UAB Wind Symphony, UAB Jazz Band and a flute trio in the UAB Prism concert showcase March 27 at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Among the scholarships she received are the UAB Marching Band Dean’s Scholarship, the UAB Alys Stephens Performing Arts Scholarship, the Dr. Ronald Clemmons Scholarship and the Rotary Spain Hickman Estess International Scholarship. Her honors include the UAB Department of Music Outstanding Student in Instrumental Music, Wind Symphony, Music Theory, and in Bachelor of Arts in Music: Applied Music.

Piroșcă’s work in the UAB Department of Music has been nothing short of extraordinary, says UAB Music Chair Patrick Evans, D.M. 

“Marta performs with utmost musicality whether as a soloist or a member of an ensemble, as a flutist or a jazz singer,” Evans said. “She was the second awardee of the Ronald Clemmons Scholarship, named for the founding chair of the department. This award is selected by the entire faculty, not just the instrumental area or the jazz area. Marta’s accomplishments are so wide-ranging, and her work ethic and positive attitude so worthy of emulation by her peers, that she was the clear choice of the full faculty for that award. We know she’ll do great things in graduate school in London and beyond.”

Piroșcă’s senior recital is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, April 12, in the UAB Mary Culp Hulsey Recital Hall. This will be her last full solo recital at UAB, and it will feature themed Romanian and jazz music. Admission is free. She will also perform in the UAB Jazz Combos recital at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in the Hulsey Recital Hall, and in the UAB Jazz Band concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 15, in the Alys Stephens Center.

As Piroșcă continues her studies, she says she wants to perform as much as possible, with big ensembles, chamber ones and solo. She also wants to share her talents and knowledge with others by teaching about the wonders of her instrument and music in general.

Attending UAB was definitely a great opportunity, Piroșcă says.

“It not only allowed me to experience a different country and culture, but also gave me a chance to improve and grow as a musician, person, peer and leader,” she said. “My time at UAB has been a blessing, and an experience I would choose again.”

Read more stories from Commencement Spring 2018