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Welcome to my website. The information included here reflects my professional life as a performer and teacher. Highlighted also are the activities of my current flute studio and accomplishments of former students.

photo by Brooks de Wetter-Smith

If you are interested in investigating the flute studio at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music you will want to click on Flute Studio and also on Advice/Inspiration, which discusses topics of special interest, including what I look for in a prospective student. To hear samples from my releases Dedicated to Barrère and Dedicated to Barrère, Vol. 2, featuring music written for the great Franco-American flutist Georges Barrère, click on Listen.

New menu items on my site this year will be links to faculty recital videos and a page dedicated to the Caselli Ensemble, a woodwind quintet of San Francisco Symphony members that existed only from 1981-83. Chamber music collaborations have always served a pivotal function in my musical life, and the concerts I played as flutist of that quintet were some of the finest in my chamber music career. If you’re interested, you can listen to works recorded live during the two concert series that we performed at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

Despite a generous summer break, the 2014-15 academic year seemed to arrive remarkably soon for everyone in the Rice Flute Studio. Between May and late August Rice flutists were fellows at such festivals as Tanglewood, Aspen, Music Academy of the West, Norfolk, Atlantic Music Festival, and Spoleto, and three members performed in opera orchestras. My own summer included teaching and performing at Clarinetopia (Michigan State), the Sarasota Music Festival, the Texas Music Festival (University of Houston), YOA Orchestra of the Americas (in residence in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic during the first half of July), the Zodiac Festival in the picturesque southern French Alps above Nice, and Flauti al Castello in beautiful Tuscany. Two memorable performing opportunities at the National Flute Association’s convention in Chicago in early August stand out for me as career highlights: a duo recital with French soloist Jean Ferrandis, and a performance of Bach’s Suite in B minor, BWV 1067 with members of the Chicago Philharmonic at Symphony Center, the home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Both collaborations were a great privilege.

In May two Rice Flute Studio members received their degrees and now have launched their careers. Kayla Burggraf (BMus. ’14) is the new principal flutist of the Des Moines Symphony and during the summer enjoyed the chance to become more familiar with Des Moines  while serving as principal flutist of the Des Moines Opera. As she fulfills her duties with the Des Moines Symphony she’ll also be enrolled in the Manhattan School of Music’s MM degree program for Orchestral Performance, studying with Robert Langevin, principal flutist of the New York Philharmonic. Although I haven’t asked her, I’m quite sure she has established a frequent flyer account with the appropriate airline! Meanwhile, Amulet Strange (MM ’14) maintains a teaching studio in Houston and is performing with the Deciduous Trio, a flute-viola-harp ensemble which she and two fellow Rice graduate students founded last year. The trio received a summer fellowship to Avaloch Farm, a chamber music institute in Boscawen, New Hampshire, and recently performed concerts in Grand Junction and Montrose, Colorado.

Two current studio members have received exciting performance opportunities in the next several months. In mid-November Aaron Perdue, a third-year doctoral student, will appear as Young Artist in Residence on Performance Today, a National Public Radio series hosted by Fred Childs. He and doctoral pianist Christopher McKiggan will fly to Minnesota to tape three programs of American music featuring works of Copland, Beaser, Foss, and Liebermann.  Jennifer Zhou, a first year master’s student, will be a fellow at the New York Philharmonic’s newly founded Orchestral Academy in January. Congratulations to both!

Congratulations also go to Henrik Heide (BMus. ’10), who has won the acting associate principal flute position in the Cincinnati Symphony for the 2014-15 season, and to Izumi Miyahara (MM ’10) who has just been awarded a Da Camera of Houston Young Artist fellowship. She will have an opportunity to perform in many of Houston’s prime concert venues and also to give outreach presentations at schools throughout the city.

Two other flute studio alumni are earning well-deserved praise for innovative performances across the U.S. with their respective chamber ensembles. Garrett Hudson (MM ’10) is now on a 57-city tour with his woodwind quintet, WindSync (www.windsync.org), which has been in residence at the Grand Teton Festival and has won management through the  New York-based Concert Artist Guild.  Hilary Abigana  (MM ’08) is  flutist/dancer with her hybrid arts trio, The Fourth Wall (www.thefourthwallensemble.com). Named for the imaginary wall between the stage and audience in a traditional three-walled box theater, the trio  has been a major attraction at conventions of the National Flute Association and hasrecently been performing at fringe festivals in Indianapolis, Rochester, and Houston. Be sure to catch these high energy groups if they appear in your area!

Meanwhile, I’m very much looking forward to attending Houston Symphony concerts this season–Matthew Roitstein’s first as Associate Principal Flute of the Houston Symphony. Matthew (MM ’09) is the first new appointment to be made under the HSO’s new music director, Colombian conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada, who celebrated the beginning of his first season HSO with a free concert in Hermann Park, a lovely public space within easy walking distance of the Rice campus.

My own performances this semester include a Webster Trio concert in Houston on October 11th and a duo recital in Sarasota, Florida on October 26th  with my long-time Boston Symphony colleague and dear friend, harpist Ann Hobson Pilot. On  November 8th I’ll play a short recital and teach a master class at Cal State Fullerton for Jean Ferrandis’s studio. The following weekend I’ll be in at the University of Texas to  perform the Austin premiere of an electronic work I recently commissioned, Russell Pinkston’s Manderleone for flute and Max/MSP.

For information about various recitals, ensemble concerts, and guest master classes at Rice throughout the year you should consult our Studio Events calendar, which will be further updated as more events are scheduled. Concerts and Classes includes my upcoming performances, and the Shepherd School website maintains a continually updated listing of the almost 400 faculty and student concerts that take place throughout the school year.

Thank you for visiting…Enjoy the site!