With his combined winnings as a semi-finalist from the National Society of Arts and Letters and the Presser Foundation scholarship from Truman State University, senior flutist Donald Rabin earned $6,000 to spend over the summer.
“It was a great summer, but all the money is definitely gone,” Rabin laughed.
Over the summer, Rabin traveled to Italy, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Orlando, Florida. Rabin performed in principal positions and attended master classes with renowned flutists including Sergio Pallottelli, Mark Sparks, Jim Walker and Denis Bouriakov.
Rabin was 7 years old when he first discovered the flute at an instrument display at Walmart. He just looked at it and said he wanted to play it. He has played flute in bands and orchestras since sixth grade, and he continues to play as a music major at Truman.
Aside from his musical pursuits, he has also impacted the people around him, said graduate student Cristin Selle.
“[Rabin] is one of those people who has that infectious personality where you can’t be in a bad mood if you’re around him,” Selle said. “He’s always in a good mood, and he’s 150 percent dedicated to what he’s doing.”
Selle also said that he is dedicated to playing the flute, and he has a depth of knowledge about what he is doing without merely regurgitating facts.
Rabin’s hard work has earned him positions as principal flute in Wind Symphony I, the Truman State University Symphonic Orchestra, and the University flute quartet. He also serves as director of the woodwind choir. He is a member of Uncommon Practice, a group that plays a mixture of both 20th and 21st century music. Rabin also participates in a woodwind quintet.
The fact that he found the time to participate in ensembles, studio work and competitions comes as no surprise to Julianna Moore, Rabin’s flute professor.
“As a performer, it’s not just what someone does — it’s the whole package of how you present yourself,” Moore said. “I think there’s a certain energy with performers that comes across not just through playing, but through their whole persona. I think [Rabin] is really good at that.”
For more, pick up a copy of The Index on Thursday, Aug. 30.