The Chicago Flute Club kicked off its biennial Flute Fair The Unconventional Flute with a banquet Friday evening, November 11, 2011 at the Hotel Orrington in Evanston, Illinois. The dinner honored Life-Time Achievement recipients Bickford Brannen and Mary Louise Poor.
Bickford Brannen, instrument maker, partnered with Albert Cooper to produce a modern flute with an improved scale that was easier to play. His innovations were adopted by nearly every flute company on everything from student models to professional. He is currently collaborating with Eva Kingma on a flute that has a quarter-tone scale.
Mary Louise Poor, who previously taught in the Chicago area, has had a long and varied flute career encompassing performing, teaching, writing, and working with health-related issues of flute players. A group of her former students serenaded her with a flute choir performance.
Other events during the festival included exhibits, a concert by the Chicago Flute Orchestra, conducted by Shaul Ben-Meir; workshops by Keith Underwood, Angeleita Floyd, and Patricia George; and performances by Seven Degrees Flute Quartet, Quad City Flute Unlimited, Erie Waters Flute Ensemble, Jim Walker and Free Flight, Lakeside flutes, and the Central Michigan University Flute Choir. Several student competitions were held. Winners of the competitions were:
Senior Division Winners
1st Place: Melody Chua
2nd Place: Severin DuSell
3rd Place: Gina Jung
Honorable Mention – Sarah Otmanski
Junior Division Winners
1st Place: Gabriela Nisly
2nd Place: Allison Milligan
3rd Place: Aydan Hensley
Honorable Mention: Joelle Schreiber
Elementary Division Winners
1st Place: Jennifer Yu Wang
2nd Place: Natalia Kozintseva
Honorable Mention: Sophi Fournier
Runner up: Victoria Murphy