FLUTE Featured Member
January 29 to February 5, 2001

I don't play the flute, a curious situation for someone who co-owns a FLUTE list! However, my daughter does play the flute, and therein lies the tale of how I became involved with FLUTE. So, I'm going to construct my personal history into two parts, one covering my involvement with FLUTE, and one telling a bit about myself personally. Read what you choose, and I hope you enjoy it.

A "Personal History" of FLUTE

My daughter started flute at an early age. Trying to be a good father, I searched for flute related information that might help her (I also confess I'm an information junkie who has been known to research topics to death). And, being a computer guy, I automatically searched for an Internet flute community (this was before the web had really taken off).


I didn't find any flute email lists or newsgroups, so contemplated starting one; I tried to find at least one online flute player I could partner with to start a list, but with no success. I thought about just starting one, but couldn't convince myself it was ok to say, "I don't play the flute, but I'd like to start a list." This process went on long enough that someone else started Flute-m, the precursor to FLUTE.

My memory is hazy, but I think Flute-m lived for a couple of years. It was a great success, and I enjoyed the community and learned things that helped me help my daughter in her flute endeavors. But the momentous event for me was meeting Helen Spielman on Flute-m. I'm not sure how we began corresponding, but we had some offline discussions about the list and how it could grow. As an experienced list owner and the Listserv (email) list manager at Syracuse University, I had many ideas that I hoped would improve the list. Sadly, a capricious owner lacked vision for the list's future, and inhibited its growth. We needed change.

In early 1996, Helen and Larry Krantz began communicating about the list problems. Helen put Larry in contact with me, and within a week or so we put together a plan for a new list. We did not want to put the old list out of business, but to provide an alternative venue with a different vision. We made one announcement of FLUTE on Flute-m; "rebels" that we were, it got Larry and me kicked off Flute-m. The "rest is history".

My involvement with FLUTE has been a source of great pleasure and satisfaction. I love flute music, and I am so happy to have played a part in developing this community. It is also gratifying to see the vision for FLUTE take form, albeit in ways both planned and unplanned. For example, I had envisioned more collaborative research projects (such as the FAQ or the beta blocker paper) or "pamphlet" how-to's such as a guide to growing a flute player. No matter- relationships have been formed that resulted in off-the-list collaborations, and the web has proved a wonderful place to collect information from individual contributors (the FLUTE web pages and the pages belonging to Larry Krantz and John Rayworth come to mind).

FLUTE has also provided the great opportunity for friendship between the list owners- Larry, Helen, John, and me. We have that rare combination of complementary skills where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. We don't have big egos (or at least we suppress them well!) so pride of place is unimportant. We support each other personally- I will never forget their love and care when my wife died. I regret that I have less time these days to devote to them and to FLUTE, but regardless of the future, I am grateful for this experience of a lifetime.

Personal History

I was born in Glendale, California (Los Angeles), lived in Seattle, attended high school in Eastern Kentucky, and have a BA in physics from Syracuse University. Except for 2 years toward an M.Div. degree at Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, I've stayed in Syracuse. I have one daughter who was a flute/music education major at the SUNY Potsdam Crane school of music. She now has three children ages 3 months to 4 years.


Nelson's workplace at Syracuse University

Although Syracuse had no undergraduate computer curriculum (this was 1969-72), I got hooked on computers and took the few computer courses available. When I needed employment, it seemed logical to get a computer job, and I've been doing "computer stuff" for Syracuse University ever since. I started out supporting a health related research shop, scrubbing and analyzing large survey and government datasets. I've also supported office computing in the School of Social Work, and more recently been in the central computing Help Desk. Other tasks included software licensing, listserv support, and software support. In the latter area, I helped for many years to put on an annual conference for two to three thousand SAS users (SAS is a software package). More recently, I've supported the call tracking software at our help desk, and am in a project to upgrade to a new product.

For personal fulfillment, much of my nonwork time is spent in church related activities, where I do whatever is needed (it's a small church). I love to read, and I love

Music

Even though I don't play the flute, I've long been involved with music. We had a piano when I was 9-10, and I remember playing hymns in four part harmony by ear (on the black keys, because I thought it would be easier). I learned to sing various parts at church, and in early high school I fooled around with an accordion. I played tuba, baritone, and trombone in high school, and continued tuba through college. I also took piano during college- it must have been a trial for my teacher, as I was the only non music major in his studio (my one college recital takes high honors among life's low points. I'm not sure I even finished performing the Chopin nocturne I had so endlessly practiced).

After college, I didn't have access to a piano for nearly twenty years. However, the piano we bought for my daughter became "my" piano- I derived great pleasure from playing music I loved (I never learned to read music very well, and took the lazy way by mostly playing by ear in the "easier" keys.) More recently, I lead music at church, and occasionally play piano during the services (in easy keys only!)

By the way, I actually did try playing my daughter's old student flute. Both she and my wife told me how grateful they were when I quit. I envy all of you who can play the flute at whatever level- you know a joy I never will. Regardless, I am glad to have contributed a bit to the world of music, I am especially gratified to see part of a vision take form in FLUTE. And, most of all, I am thankful for my friends in the flute (FLUTE) community. I hope to deepen and grow many more in the future.

Nelson Pardee


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