FLUTE Featured Member
November 20 to December 3, 2000

Hi! My name is Ann Konopinski. I'm honored that Larry asked me to be a featured member. I tend to be a lurker on the list most of the time, though I do send many music recommendations as my main interest lies in solo and small chamber group repertoire. It's also a goal of mine to show that it doesn't require a music degree to be an able performer with a professional attitude.

My musical beginnings were on guitar. I had lessons for a time when my family lived in Tulsa, OK. I stopped when we moved to Indiana two years later. I grew up mostly in Zionsville, IN, a small town on the northwest corner of Indianapolis. A few years later I entered the sixth grade and started band. I don't remember why I chose the flute. I learned some clarinet and saxophone as my younger sister and brother joined the band. I started playing piccolo in high school marching band, and I still love playing it.

I was first chair and piccolo for my sophomore through senior years in high school band. No one told me it ought to be two separate positions. My senior year I had lessons with Tina Fitch, and she introduced me to etudes, scales, and the Chaminade "Concertino", thus beginning my love of the French repertoire for flute. Our band director was a fan of W. Francis McBeth's works, and soon I was hooked on 20th century music. I'm a musical theatre fan, and my freshman year I started playing in pit orchestras for my HS. I learned that I liked small chamber groups from playing flute/clarinet duets with my sister, Carol.

A big flute moment for me was attending a recital by Eugenia Zuckerman. There I first heard the Poulenc "Sonata", and I knew I had to play it. I did, on my college recital! No matter what piece is my current "favorite", the Poulenc has a special place in my heart. It is one of my inspirations for playing the flute.

I attended the University of Dayton as an electrical engineering major. Flute lessons fulfilled my required humanities credits, so I studied two years with Rebecca Magg and two years with Diane Gilley. I played in the concert band, wind ensemble, orchestra, various woodwind ensembles, various choirs and Special Events Choir at UD Chapel. I also resurrected my guitar skills to lead a choir. I presented a junior recital and also performed it at a Dayton Art Institute Sunday Concert. I was very involved and performed with Hands in Harmony, a sign singing ensemble using American Sign Language to provide entertainment and outreach to Dayton's deaf and hearing communities.

After college, with only a few time gaps, I continued to study with Diane Gilley. She's been more than a teacher, she's also been a friend, surrogate mom, and confidant. I've grown (and continue to grow) in my playing because of her teaching. She is a wonderful teacher and lady.

Until this past June I lived in Dayton, OH, worked as an engineer for an automotive supplier, and pursued music as a freelance flutist. I played in many musical productions for various theaters. After a long search, God led me to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, where I played mainly with the Folk Choir, sometimes with the Adult or Children's Choirs and for special occasions. I learned a lot about liturgy there and also participated on the Worship Commission and Parish Council. I performed in the Dayton premier of Marty Haugen's "Song of Mark" witb Miami Valley Catholic Church Musicians. I spent eight years with the Greene County Adult Concert Band, about four years as piccoloist. The past few years I've been a sub player with Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra, and just prior to moving, played with them for the premier of a new score for a silent film version of "Peter Pan" from 1924 (I think). I also played in a flute duo with Patti Ryan, and we performed at churches, receptions, Dayton Hospice and the Dayton Art Institute. In addition, I continued as an alumni performer with Hands in Harmony for special events.

Away from the flute I read classics and F&SF, listen to music, try to cook like a chef, attend opera/theatre events and do needlework, mainly counted cross stitch. I'm single, so I don't have chidren, but I do have four beautiful and talented godchildren named Kate, Brianna, Jacob and Grace. Each of them is very special, and I constantly pray that I can set a good Christian example for them.

This past June, for work, I relocated to Auburn Hills, MI, a northern suburb of Detroit. I haven't yet started looking in earnest for music opportunities, but I will be soon. I'm trying to decide whether to teach and how I want to be involved in the music community here. Maybe in a few years I can write about my musical journey in Detroit. Thanks for reading, and God's blessings to you!

Ann Konopinski

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