VCU Flute Ensemble Performs at National Flute Convention; Professor Tabatha Easley Conducts Collegiate Choir

After a year’s worth of work, the VCUarts Music Flute Ensemble has been accepted to perform at the 52nd National Flute Convention in San Antonio in August 2024. Under the guidance of Professor of Flute Dr. Tabatha Easley, the students submitted a recorded audition in November 2023 that featured the work of Virginia composers. The audition was recorded at a Fall concert and included the two world premieres: Ocean Storm by fellow VCUarts Music faculty member Dr. Filipe Leitao and Anima Animus, composed by VCU alum Myrick Crampton.

When asked about her student’s determination and desire to participate in the conference, Dr. Easley stated “[she] loved that the students set a goal as a group and worked very hard to achieve it. They supported each other and everyone learned a lot through the process, which was so exciting to watch and be a part of as their professor and conductor.”

Jalen Wise, a 3rd year Music student and member of the Flute Ensemble, is thrilled “about getting accepted because this is a first time experience for me, plus I have never been to Texas so I’m glad I finally get to visit!” Wise specifically noted that by attending the conference they will have the opportunity to not only test out top of the line flutes, but will also be able to attend some phenomenal masterclasses and get to network with other flutists from across the country. Jalen is excited to perform Crampton’s Anima Animus on such a significant stage “because of how groovy it is!”

Dr. Tabatha Easley with her flute

Dr. Easley will also be conducting the 15th annual Collegiate Flute Choir at the Conference as well. She mentioned that “It’s an honor to be invited to conduct such a high caliber ensemble made up of students who auditioned from across the US.” The curated program is nature-focused and contains 70% female composers, along with a world premiere of Wind, Wings, Larks & Sparrows by composer Mark Olivieri, which was written specifically for the choir to perform at the Conference. “I am exceptionally proud of the students in both the Collegiate Choir and the VCU Flute Ensemble for their continued dedication to learning and performing.”

Stay tuned for reflections from Dr. Easley and the students about their time after the Conference in August!

The VCUarts Flute Ensemble is currently composed of the following students: Sine Anderson, Erin Clark, Allan Avalos Diaz, Dylan Hood, Nat Scida, Emily Speight, Breanne Williams, Jalen Wise, Tatianna Wright, and Carolyn Shortess, who will perform on flute and congas.

They will also be joined by three VCU alum on the program: Susan Davis, Kayla Hanvey and Michael Saunders