About Us

potter-5073Dr. Chris Potter – Festival Director

Dr. Chris Potter has performed as a soloist on alto and bass flute in New York, Chicago, Boston, Paris, London, Manchester England, Weggis Switzerland, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego. She has published an Alto Flute Method and a Bass Flute Method available through Amazon, her website chrispotterflute.com and many retail stores. Her Vibrato Workbook, published by Falls House Press, won the 2016 NFA Newly Published Music Competition in the pedagogy category. Her CD Flute Menagerie features solo works for alto and bass. Chris holds two annual Alto and Bass Flute Retreats in the US each June where the emphasis is on chamber music. She is the low flutes choir conductor and flute choir coordinator for the Galway Flute Festival in Switzerland and was the chair of the first National Flute Association Low Flutes Committee.


ali-ryerson_photo-alto-fluteAli Ryerson – Assistant Director and Jazz Everything

Ali Ryerson, who ranks among today’s top jazz flutists, grew up in a musical family. Her father, jazz guitarist Art Ryerson, played with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, then became a top studio player in NYC. Ali has become an internationally renowned touring & recording artist and educator. Former NFA Jazz Chair, current Low Flutes Chair, founder of NFA Jazz Flute Big Band, Ryerson is Flute Professor at Sacred Heart University, and conducts master classes worldwide. Ryerson, a Hartt School of Music graduate, studied with Harold Bennett and John Wion, and is a Gemeinhardt Artist with an Autograph Series of flutes.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPaige Dashner Long – Low Flutes Choir Coordinator

Paige Dashner Long is an internationally recognized contrabass flutist.   Currently Ms Long, an Altus Artist, directs the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra in summer residence at New England Conservatory, the Daytona State College Flute Choir, and the Florida Flute Orchestra.  As an active guest artist and flute clinician, she has presented concerts, led workshops and directed ensembles for music schools in France, Germany and Mexico, as well as for universities and flute associations throughout America.  She serves on the Low Flutes Committee of the NFA, performs with the International Flute Orchestra, and is a former coordinator of the National Flute Association’s (NFA) Flute Choir Composition Competition, and past president of the Greater Boston Flute Association.  Her composition, Eventide Soliloquy, was a winner of the 2012 NFA Newly Published Music Competition.

For more information please visit www.contraflute.com


georgepope166George Pope – Performance Evaluator

George Pope is the Emeritus Professor of Flute at The University of Akron and Instructor of Flute at The Baldwin Wallace Conservatory. Principal Flute of the Akron Symphony from 1978-2002, Mr. Pope also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Blossom Festival Orchestra, the Brevard Music Center Orchestra and at the Spoleto Festival. He is a founding member of the Solaris Wind Quintet and the Chamber Music Society of Ohio. Mr. Pope was named “Arts Educator of 2009” by the Akron Area Arts Alliance. He graduated from the University of Tulsa and Northwestern University.


57cMariana Gariazzo – Workshop Evaluator and Coordinator, Central and South America Liaison

Mariana Gariazzo is an Instructional Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Texas A&M University.  Gariazzo holds a MM from Yale University and a DMA from the University of Texas at Austin.  She is an active clinician, educator, and adjudicator.  Her research focuses on new music and Latin America. As an advocate for low flutes, Gariazzo actively collaborates with composers in commissioning, recording and performing new music for C flute, alto and bass flutes.


imageSharyn Byer – Local Arrangements Chair/FSW Liaison

Sharyn Byer is Principal Flutist of the Capital City Symphony in Washington, DC and teaches at the Columbia Institute of Fine Arts in Falls Church, Virginia. She is the Founding Director of Columbia Flute Choir, delighting Washington audiences since 1994. Ms. Byer is the Administrator of the Young Soloists’ Competition of the National Symphony Orchestra and is a past president of the Flute Society of Washington, Inc. She has performed with the National Flute Association Professional Flute Choir, tours with the International Flute Orchestra and conducted the Opening Flute Orchestra for the NFA Convention in 2015.


img_3463Sue Blessing -Ideas Person

Sue Blessing, a low flute specialist, studied at Indiana University and has performed with the IFO and the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra.  She also helped found, manage and perform and record with The Willow Flute Ensemble.  Much of Sue’s time is devoted to the Blessing Foundation, a non-profit organization she created with the intention to preserve, share, and develop all methods of healing and peacemaking through sound and music. The Foundation has been awarding grants annually since 2004.  Sue is committed to commissioning music for low flutes only, many of which have been premiered at the annual NFA conventions.


img_1952-copyCarla Rees – European Publicity

Carla Rees is a British low flutes specialist who has gained an international reputation for her innovative work. She is Artistic Director of rarescale, Director of Tetractys Publishing and International Liaison Chair for the National Flute Association of America. She is Programme Leader for Music at the Open College of the Arts, teaches the flute at Royal Holloway University of London and has a PhD from the Royal College of Music. Carla plays Kingma System flutes, and has had several hundred works written for her.  She performs as recitalist and chamber musician, writes articles and reviews for several of the world’s flute magazines and has recorded 13 CDs. www.carlarees.co.uk


yuko-hoshiYuko Hoshi – Japan Publicity

Tokyo-born flutist and composer and arranger, Yuko Hoshi, has performed as a leader or sideman in many concerts and festivals in Japan and the USA. She studied flute at Musashino college of music in Tokyo. She performed at the Nice international music academy(France), and at numerous Keith Underwood Master class(USA and Japan), Ali Ryerson jazz flute Master class(USA).International summer seminar(Toyko).

Yuko has formed the Japan Jazz Flute Big Band”JJFBB” (the first jazz flute big band in Japan)since 2015. JJFBB invited Ms.Ali Ryerson and had concerts in Tokyo in 2016.


14224961_10154598642718083_1869656298501611067_nElise Carter – Exhibits Coordinator

L. Elise Carter had her solo debut recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital hall in 2005 as a winner of the Artists’ International Competition, and appeared again to a sold out crowd in 2007. A member of Uptown Flutes, and Zinkali Trio, she is also the flute professor at Drew University in Madison New Jersey where she is the director of New Jersey Flute Choir Day. President and co-founder of the New Jersey Flute society, she is a also a published composer, her works are published by Theodore Presser  and Art of Sound Music (www.artofsoundmusic.com).


tanya-haley-pic-head-shot-croppedTanya Haley – Chamber Music Repertoire Organizer

Tanya Haley received her B.A. in Music from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2001, where she studied with Alexa Still. She has been a member of the Columbia Flute Choir (Falls Church, VA) since 2010, with whom she has played at The White House, The Kennedy Center (with Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway), and at the National Flute Association (NFA) Convention in 2015. Most recently, Ms. Haley was fortunate to play and record with Sonidos Profundos, a low flutes ensemble, under the direction of Chris Potter at the NFA Convention in San Diego in August of 2016.


Myra Fox – Registration Desk

An actuary by profession, Myra Fox has been an avid amateur flutist since the age of 10. Currently, she plays in the pit orchestra of theater groups in the Chattanooga area, transposing to alto flute at every opportunity. In addition, she plays in a community band and serves as coordinator of the Chattanooga Area Flute Society.


292b. Phyllis contra #1 Professional Flute Choir in Kansas City (Barry)Phyllis Avidan Louke – Reading Sessions and Composer/Arranger Workshops Coordinator

Phyllis Avidan Louke, an Altus Artist, is principal flute with Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and Oregon Symphonic Band, Music Director of Rose City Flute Choir in Portland, Oregon, and is in demand as a clinician.  A low flute specialist, primarily on bass and contrabass flute, she has performed with the NFA’s Professional Flute Choir since 1993, and the International Flute Orchestra since 1997.  In addition, she played bass flute and contrabass flute on the 10 CDs recorded by the National Flute Choir.  Phyllis, a member of ASCAP, is an award-winning composer of music for flute choir, smaller ensembles, and solo works, including several compositions for bass and alto flute.  With over 70 published pieces, her music is published by ALRY Publications, Falls House Press, Nourse Wind Publications, Fabulous Flute Music Company, and Theodore Presser Company.  She has also co-written an award-winning series of pedagogical publications with Patricia George published by Theodore Presser Company.


img_6993-version-3Robin Pope – Website and Facebook

Robin Pope graduated with her BA in mathematics and history from CU Boulder in 2015. She has been involved in music from a young age and sang in choirs through high school and college, performing in Italy, LA, and at Mackey Auditorium and Boettcher Concert Hall. She currently works at the Boulder Public Library and also works on her mother’s website chrispotterflute.com. She is obsessed with Hamilton, and spends much of her time listening to music or reading.