Newsletter     September  2012                                              

 Openings in DCFlutes

DCFlutes, made up of adult flutists in the metro DC area, is the official flute choir of The Flute Society of Washington and was created as an opportunity for adults of intermediate to professional levels of playing to come together and perform. Currently in its third season, DCFlutes is directed by National Symphony Orchestra Assistant Principal flutist Aaron Goldman and managed by Laura Benning. Rehearsals are approximately every other Tuesday evening at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, with at least four performances per season. Rehearsals for the new season begin on September 4. Interested flutists should contact Laura Benning at

Click here to apply.

Julianna Nickel to perform at

George Mason University

Julianna Nickel, flute, James Nickel, French horn, and Kelly Hackleman, piano are performing a faculty recital at George Mason University Harris Theater in September 8th at 7pm.  

Music will include Telemann, Hoover, Hanson, and Ewazen.

Julianna Nickel will also perform at 2pm on September 23rd with Kathy Mulcahy and Rochelle Odermann (clarinet),  Meg Owens (oboe) and  Sophie Cook (piano).

Further information for both recitals can be found at

Woodbridge Flute Choir to Sponsor Concerto Competition


 The Woodbridge Flute Choir is sponsoring its fifth concerto competition and scholarship for high school students aged 14-18.  The winner will receive a $500 scholarship award and will perform the concerto with the Woodbridge Flute Choir at its March 24, 2013 concert in the Gregory Theater of the Hylton Performing Arts Center located at d at 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, VA 20109.  The concert will be held at 3:00PM.

  The required repertoire is one movement of a flute concerto arranged and published for flute solo and flute choir.  The entry deadline is January 5, 2013.

Please mail your application and CD to:


Debbie Gilbert

5118 Laurel Lane

Broad Run, VA  20137


For more specific information, suggested repertoire, the audition form and photo/video release form, contact Debbie Gilbert at  or go to our website at


 Partial funding of all Woodbridge Flute Choir events has been provided by the

Prince William County Park Authority.



PANTASIA Flute Choir

Celebrating 20th Anniversary

PANTASIA FLUTE CHOIR in Roanoke, Virginia is celebrating their 20th anniversary year with a concert to be held on the stage of the new Roanoke County Library on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 7:00 pm, followed by a reception.  The choir has grown to over 25 players.  The flute choir is led by Gretchen Jensen, music teacher for the Roanoke City School system.

Two Fall Concerts!!

October 20 and October 27, 2013

The Woodbridge Flute Choir, under the direction of Debbie Gilbert and assisted by Lisa Sheldone, will perform two fall concerts this year.  The first concert will be at the Making Joyful Noise Concert sponsored by the Lake of the Woods Church. The concert will be held on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 7:00PM.  Lake of the Woods Church is located at 1 Church Lane, Locust Grove, VA   22508.

This concert will again be performed the following week at Westminster at Lake Ridge on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 7:00PM.  Westminster at Lake Ridge is located at 12191 Clipper Dr., Lake Ridge, VA 22192.

Both concerts are FREE!  Please attend the one that is closest to you.  Each concert will include “Faces” by James Christensen, “Pavane” by Faure and arranged by Ben-Meir, “Cosmic Horizons” by Ann Cameron Pearce, “Harlequin Suite” by Ira-Paul Schwartz, selections from the Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar and arranged by John Davis, “Solemnities” by local composer Alexandra Molnar-Suhajda, and “Mr. Sanchez” by Peter Senchuk.

For more information and directions go to 

Partial funding of all Woodbridge Flute Choir events has been provided by the

Prince William County Park Authority.

Save the Date!  

Richmond Flute Fest Saturday, December 1st 2012


Guest Artist: Brooks de Wetter-Smith


Join us for a day of concerts, competitions and classes for middle school through adult aged, flutists!


For more info visit:  or contact:


Brooks de Wetter-Smith, is in great demand as a recitalist, concerto soloist, and masterclass teacher, having performed in more than 20 nations (Eastern- and Western-Europe, the Far East, the Middle East, and South America) and nearly all 50 states. His recordings have been released on the Albany, Aurophon, Centaur, Christophorus, Crystal, and Paulinas labels, spanning baroque, romantic, twentieth-century, and jazz-inspired repertoire; and his live performances has been featured on broadcasts in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.  A number of his music editions have been published by International Music Company and Southern Music. He is an internationally recognized authority on extended performance techniques. Dr. de Wetter-Smith was awarded a Fulbright Senior Professorship to teach at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich and Cologne, and at the Music Conservatory of Lisbon, Portugal. In addition to his music accomplishments, he is a published photographer who has worked in the Himalayas above Mt. Everest base camp, the Peruvian Andes, Lebanon, the deserts of Syria, Jordan, and Egypt, the Amazonian jungle of Brazil, Antarctica, and the high Arctic. A former president of the National Flute Association, he is the James Gordon Hanes Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he teaches flute and a course on the history

 of jazz.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

By Jeff Dening

Straubinger Certified Technician


As with any mechanical device, a flute will need routine regular maintenance to keep it operating the way it was intended.  Just through the passage of time and regular use certain aspects of your flute will change.  If those changes are not addressed in a timely manner they can potentially lead to bad playing habits or more serious, complicated, and costly mechanical problems.  In order to stay on top of these maintenance issues it is usually best to develop a good working relationship with a flute technician.  A technician who regularly sees your instrument can spot problems that may be out of the ordinary and be better suited to recommend a maintenance schedule that matches your needs.


Potential Flute Problems

Over the course of a year many things can potentially go wrong with a flute.  Through regular use keys can bend and regulation can go out of adjustment.  Bumper materials can compress or fall off.  Pads can compress and change with humidity and temperature causing leaks and a poor tactile response.  The head joint cork can shrink and sustain damage from moisture.  Dirt can accumulate in mechanisms and oil can congeal or evaporate.  Joints between body sections (tenons) can wear or become misshapen causing poor fit and leaks.


Silver instruments can oxidize or tarnish due to environmental conditions and the body chemistry of the player.  Tarnish is often viewed as a cosmetic issue and many players choose to ignore it.  However, serious cases of oxidation can be challenging to deal with and may even result in pitting in sterling silver.  I recommend having the tarnish taken care of at the time of service so it does not develop into a problem.


The Frequency of Service

Any combination of these issues may need to be addressed on a regular basis.  The definition of “regular” can vary from as little as 2-3 months to over a year.  The recommended interval between service calls is no more than a year while getting to know a technician.  Your technician may recommend more or less frequent visits depending on the nature of the instrument and how it is being used.


I usually recommend check ups every 6 months for flutes with felt pads due to the potential for seasonal changes in the pads.  It is not uncommon for traditional felt pads to swell and shrink with changes in humidity.  For players in many parts of North America this means the potential exists for the flute to develop subtle problems at the major changes of the seasons.  Very often these changes occur slowly and the player adapts their grip and embouchure to compensate.  The longer these subtle changes go unchecked, the more firmly bad habits are cemented in place and the greater the potential cost of the repair.


It is best to be in tune with how your instrument feels when functioning well.  Unlike other woodwinds, flutes do not have a fussy reed to deal with that can mask problems.  Generally, if something doesn’t feel right when playing, it can probably be tracked down to an issue with the instrument that is making you work too hard for the desired results.  Regular maintenance of your flute keeps it closest to its optimum playing condition and keeps it feeling familiar to you.  Whether you are a student learning the flute, a recreational player who just plays for fun, or if playing the flute is how you make your living, keeping your flute in top shape will improve chances of success and enjoyment.


Jeff Dening has been a professional flute technician for nearly 2 decades.  Jeff’s Woodwind Shop, his previous Buffalo-based repair shop, is now operating out of Ann & Steve’s Music in Catonsville, MD.  Details at or email