FLUTE Member Of The Week
December 13 to 19, 1999
Like many of my predecessors, I am honored to have been asked to be the Flute List Member of the Week. It reminds me of the old song, "If My Friends Could See Me Now." My story relative to the flute and music is anything but conventional, so I trust it will make for some interesting reading, if not a cure for insomnia.

As a young person, my primary instrument was the voice. I have sung since the age of 6 in church choirs, often in solo roles. In fourth grade, I joined the band, playing the french horn (only because the instruments that I thought were REALLY cool had been given out the day before-and I had been sick). I played that french horn (poorly, I might add) until my sophomore year in college.

I didn't realize I had real talent until my sixth grade teacher (who played the piano--poorly), went about the room listening to various students sing during the music portion of our daily work. Having heard me, she invited me to solo on several numbers that she was preparing in this homemade musical we were doing. Such were my humble beginnings. From that point, I sang at numerous PTA meetings, had the lead in numerous school musicals and enjoyed the life of a reasonably talented boy soprano-until it seemed as if my voice would never change. My voice finally changed-my freshman year in college!

Along the way, I began playing the piano which had been my greatest desire but highly unattainable given the fact that my family was as poor as dirt. I began playing the piano at 17-quite late, and studied both classical and jazz piano. Within three months, I began to accompany in our church, and within six months was playing semi-professionally.

The flute came as a result of realizing, about 7 years ago, that I could not travel with a piano. My work was that of an independent business consultant (after spending 20 years in corporations such as A T & T, Sprint, and Mead), and I was often in many cities where access to a piano was not possible. I think I may have heard Bolling's Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano and it got me hooked. Besides, a friend of mine said that he believed the flute was the instrument for me. "What the hey," I thought, "I'll give it a whirl."

My first two flute teachers (who shall remain nameless) where totally incompetent and actually taught me very bad habits (tight embouchure-boo!!) that took me years to address. Since then I've studied with fabulous teachers such as Laura Walter-Lakes (at Wright State University in Dayton, OH), Diane Gilley, Dayton, OH, and most recently with Terri Sundberg at the University of North Texas. Each of these has added tremendously to my love for the flute and my ability to not torture people while playing it. Currently I am on a bit of a hiatus, due to the great demands of my job as the #2 pastor in a large, North Dallas church (a role for which I believe I have been preparing all of my life).

I continue to study piano with Dr. Rozalie Levant, a graduate of and former professor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and hope to return to study with Terri Sundberg in the next few months (when my life gets back in order-assuming it was ever in order.) Educationally, my undergraduate degree is from William Jewell College, Liberty, MO (friend and classmate, Alice Preston, is also a fellow Flute Lister) in communication and psychology (I'm one credit shy of my bachelor's in music); my master's is in education of the hearing impaired (which I did immediately following graduate school for several years) from the University of Kansas. My doctorate is in adult development and learning and comes from Texas A & M University. And I'm in the process of doing another masters in theology.

On a personal note, I am married and have been for 24 years to Christal. We have a 22 year old married son, Nathan, who is also preparing for a career in ministry. No grandkids yet, but I continue to hint (unashamedly). My life's passions are my love for Jesus Christ and His church, my love for my family, my love for people, and my love for music (in that exact order). We live in Plano, TX (north of Dallas) and enjoy being empty nesters-when we don't have other relatives living with us!!

Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you're interested in learning more about me-good luck! If you're interested in learning more about my church, check out our web site: www.hillcrestchurch.org. And If you're ever in Dallas, drop by!

I did not include an audio clip (feel free to thank me), but did include a picture of me with one of my favorite works of art--Uzilevsky's work, Pachelbel's Canon. See you on-line.

Ollie Malone

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