FLUTE Member Of The Week
April 26 to May 2, 1999
As one of the original members of the FLUTE list, I'm honored to have this opportunity to share with a group which has become a very real "virtual" community. Having been accustomed to conducting both business and personal activities daily from a computer since the late 80's, I was encouraged to see the FLUTE list establish a strong presence on the 'net. While my current job temporarily keeps me too busy to write often, I still follow the group when I have the time.

I consider myself a "doubler" in the sense that I have, over the past 10 years, managed to sustain two separate careers- one in university administration, and one as a freelance flutist. You can see me on TV weekly as the second flutist with the Hour of Power Orchestra (broadcast worldwide via network and cable TV from the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California). I live in Pasadena, California with my husband Nik, who is a photographer, and 3 cats (Teeha, Antares and Mama Kitty). When not working or practicing, I am swimming laps (butterfly is my specialty) or cooking (Italian, of course ).

I began playing the flute when I was 10, in my elementary school band program in rural upstate New York. I enjoyed playing in regional NYSSMA competitions and in my senior year of high school, toured Europe with the United States of America School Band and Chorus (an adventure in itself - 100 band members and only 4 chaperones !). In high school I began taking private lessons with Melissa Sweet, from whom I first learned about the finer points of flute playing and musiciansip in general. I attended Lebanon Valley College (Annville, Pennsylvania) where I received my BS in music education and BA in Spanish, studying with Tom Strohman. It was there that I developed an appreciation for flute ensembles, and learned to play piccolo, alto & bass flutes.

Following graduation, I moved to Los Angeles and worked for a year before enrolling in the master's program at the University of Southern California, switching my major to Performance. At USC I studied primarily with Roger Stevens; I also had the chance to work with Jim Walker and Gary Woodward, all of whom were excellent. I consider my time at USC to be period where I made the most progress as a musician. During this time I taught flute for two summers at the Appel Farm Arts and Music Center in Elmer, New Jersey, and took advantage of school breaks to travel to Mexico and the South Pacific.

After completing my MM in 1987, I took what I considered to be a temporary job in the Mathematics Department at USC, where I discovered previously unknown managerial skills, and was very successful. In the meantime, I became active in the National Flute Association, holding several positions (Information booth Chair, 1992 Los Angeles convention; Associate Exhibits Coordinator, 1997 Chicago convention, and Exhibits Coordinator, 1998 Phoenix convention. While at USC, I discovered the original Flute-M list, and was an active participant from the beginning.

In 1997 I accepted a position at the California Institute of Technology, where I progressed even more rapidly than at USC, finding myself 18 months later in my current job, Manager of Project Accounting. While this new position is very demanding of my time, I am still able to keep up with my performing activities, mostly due to the foundation of dedication and discipline I developed under my flute teachers.

I enjoying answering questions online, but please be patient about getting my reply - Sometimes it takes me days just to get through all my email! Best wishes to all who share in our virtual community of flutists.

Joanne Lazzaro


Return to Featured Member Archive