The Flute Studio holds 14-17 undergraduate and graduate flute majors. The CU flute studio welcomes flutist from all over the U.S. and oversees to receive degrees in BM, BME, BA, MM and DMA. Approximately one third of the studio is from Colorado.
There are three Graduate Teaching Assistantships designated for the Flute Studio. One performs in the Graduate Quintet, an award-winning Woodwind Quintet. The others serve as the studio assistants, teaching non-major flute students, holding sectionals and giving extra help with lesson materials. Both TAs play in major ensembles without exception. Graduate flutists are eligible for other assistantships within the College of Music. For more information on auditioning please visit the Admissions section.
Students have weekly lessons, studio class and extra topic classes (topics have included excerpts, technique, artistry, piccolo, etc…)
The flute studio tremendously benefits from the Collaborative Piano Program. Under the direction of Alexandra Nyugen and Margaret McDonald, collaborative majors learn important flute repertoire, which is coached by our faculty and performed on recitals.
We are fortunate to host guest artists and ensembles annually. Past artists have included Marianne Gedigianne, Leone Buyse, George Pope, Carol Wincenc, Paula Robison, Eighth Blackbird and the Cleveland Orchestra. CU’s music library houses the complete solo collection of legendary flutist Martha Rearick.
All students participate in ensembles, which include Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Opera, Chamber music, Pendulum (a new music ensemble) and the Early Music Ensemble.
The flute studio is a supportive yet intense group of musicians who are passionate about the flute!
CU is dedicated to developing the whole musician. Students are expected to balance academic and instrumental excellence, and have the opportunity to participate in a range of diverse programs, such as the Entrepreneurship Center for Music, classes in the Alexander Technique through our Musicians’ Wellness Program, or participate in one of the many world music ensembles including the West African Highlife Ensemble. For a complete look at these diverse programs, please explore the College of Music site. In addition, the world-class courses offered through the University of Colorado Boulder provide students with a well-rounded education. Many studio members have double majored or minored in other areas including Business, Biology, Engineering and French.
Flutist Christina Jennings is praised for virtuoso technique, rich tone, and command of a wide range of literature featuring works from Bach to Zwilich. The Houston Press declared: “Jennings has got what it takes: a distinctive voice, charisma, and a pyrotechnic style that works magic on the ears.” Ms. Jennings enjoys a musical career made up of diverse performing and recording, collaborations with living composers, and work guiding young musicians. Ms. Jennings is the winner of numerous competitions including Concert Artists Guild, Houston Symphony’s Ima Hogg, and The National Flute Association Young Artists. View Ms. Jennings' full bio.
Prospective students are invited to visit the Boulder campus at any time during the academic year. Studio class is held on Thursdays at 3:30 and is open to any flutist thinking of auditioning. In addition, you are welcome to observe private lessons with advanced notice. If you are planning a visit, please email me your proposed time and we can discuss a good schedule. Because of the large number of students visiting I strongly advise studio and lesson observation over private lessons. Students interested in lessons should email for availability and lesson fee information.
Information about auditions
All graduate auditions will be scheduled for a 30 minutes audition time which will include the formal audition and some informal time for questions and a mini-lesson. Undergraduate auditions are scheduled in the morning with an afternoon informational session set aside for all flutists post auditions. This hour is an opportunity to meet with Professor Jennings, a few of the current studio members, and all auditioning flutists for a fun session in which all are encouraged to bring flutes and comfy clothes! In State undergraduates are strongly encouraged to set-up times prior to their auditions to attend studio class and observe lessons, but are certainly welcome to attend the full day of activities are audition Saturdays.
Flute playing at altitude
Boulder’s elevation (approx a mile high!) makes flute playing somewhat of a challenge. The good news, is almost everyone auditioning from out of town will be having the same experience. In particular, breathing and the sound production in the lower register can be effected. Try and arrive a day or two in advance and be sure and drink lots of water. Lip balm, eye drops, and sleep will also help!
Save some time to walk around the mountains and go downtown to our Pearl Street Mall. There are many good restaurants and shops.
More information about planning your visit is available on the CU-Boulder website
Claire Gunsbury, a freshman at the University of Colorado Boulder, is currently pursuing a degree in Flute Performance and a certificate in Music Entrepreneurship as the 2017 recipient of the Sher Distinguished Musician Scholarship. Having performed in master classes for such renowned flutists as William Bennett, Judith Mendenhall, Lorna McGhee, Jonathan Keeble, Jim Walker and Roma Duncan, Gunsbury has also been a featured solo performer for the past three seasons of the Lakes Area Music Festival. During her senior year of high school, Gunsbury studied flute at the University of Minnesota with Immanuel Davis through the PSEO program. She was the principal flutist of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies premier orchestra and toured Argentina with the group in 2016. Additionally, Gunsbury has been honored as a Showcase Artist for the 2016 Minnesota Public Radio Minnesota Varsity Competition and as the 2017 Wisconsin Flute Festival Young Artist Competition Grand Prize Winner. She won first and second place in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s 2017 Youth Chamber Competition, and was a finalist in the 2016-17 Gustavus Concerto Competition. When she is not practicing or performing, Gunsbury loves spending time with friends and family, reading and enjoying the outdoors.
Nicole Peters is from Ithaca, New York, and has been playing the flute since the age of 7. Since then, she has been constantly seeking improvement and growth and her passion for the instrument increases every day. She has had experience in a variety of ensembles, as well as various solo opportunities. Peters is very much looking forward to taking the next step in her flute career by starting at CU Boulder as a freshman in Fall 2017.
Flutist and composer Dianna Link has been fully immersed in music ever since she started singing in choir at the age of 3. Since then, her flute playing has brought her to Hawaii, Boston and Germany, and she has played in the Colorado All-State Orchestra, the Continental League Honor Orchestra and the University of Colorado Honor Band. Link has attended the MSU Flute Institute and the Lamont Summer Music Academy, and has played in master classes for Amy Porter, Marco Granados and Patricia Surman. In 2016, Link placed in the Colorado Flute Association’s High School Flute Solo Competition. Her principal flute teachers include Brook Ferguson and Katy Wherry. Link’s composing started in earnest during her junior year of high school, resulting in the writing of several chamber music and orchestral pieces before graduating with highest honors in May 2017. Her accolades include being chosen by the Denver Young Artists Orchestra as their inaugural Composition Competition winner, which resulted in the orchestra premiering her piece “Ebullient” at Boettcher Concert Hall, and winning the CU Boulder High School composition competition. Link premiered her flute concerto with the Littleton High School Orchestra in Spring 2017 and recently received the Greenwood Village Counsel of the Arts Scholarship as well as the Leonard Bernstein Award for outstanding musicality. Her compositions have been played on CPR Classical numerous times, and she has been featured on the Colorado Spotlight. Link has studied composition with New York City-based composer Stephanie Ann Boyd and is currently a freshman at the University of Colorado Boulder pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Composition.
Mara Riley is currently a sophomore at the University of Colorado, pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in flute and vocal performance. She graduated from Pine Creek High School in 2016, where she played principal flute in the school's top band for four years. During that time, she studied with Dr. Nancy Andrew. Riley was a member of the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony, the Wind Orchestra (FSU Summer Music Camp) and the Symphony Orchestra (BYU SummerFest). She was a two-year member of the Colorado All-State Choir, All-State Orchestra, and All-State Band, where she was principal flute both years. Riley was a member of the Symphonic Band at CU. She has been a participant in lessons with many notable flutists and a performer in various master classes, most recently performing for Sir James Galway during the 2017 Once a Flutist Festival.
Flutist Indigo Fischer is a junior at the University of Colorado Boulder. She has won second prize in the Colorado Flute Association Collegiate Competition, the Ozark Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, and the Arkansas MTNA Senior Woodwinds Competition. The September 2016 issue of “Flute Talk” magazine featured Fischer on the cover and as a co-author of the article “Everything You Do Builds From Here.” For her junior and senior years of high school, Fischer attended Interlochen Arts Academy, where she was one of a select number of students chosen to perform in a collaboration with the Grammy award-winning sextet Eighth Blackbird. Additionally, Fischer received both a Fine Arts award for high musical achievement and a Young Scholar award for exemplary academic success upon graduating from Interlochen. She has attended a number of summer festivals, including Eastern Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, ARIA and Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and has performed in master classes for Bonita Boyd, Marco Granados, Paula Robison, Lorna McGhee, Ervin Monroe, Timothy Munro and Linda Toote. An advocate of music in the community, Fischer has presented and performed for various public school bands and has also been featured as a guest speaker on both Interlochen Public Radio and KUAF of Fayetteville, Arkansas. She also holds a leadership position in CU Boulder’s Diverse Musicians’ Alliance. Fischer greatly enjoys teaching and maintains a small flute studio when at home. Her primary teachers include Christina Jennings, Nancy Stagnitta and Dr. Erika Boysen.
Katie Scholl is a junior at CU Boulder from Wellesley, Massachusetts, who began playing the flute in sixth grade. At CU she has played in master classes for Nina Assimakopoulos and Marco Granados, and this past year she was awarded first place in the Colorado Flute Association Collegiate Competition. In high school, Scholl studied with Judy Grant at the Boston Flute Academy, where she had the honor to play for many artists including Jean Ferrandis, Paul Edmund-Davies, Lady Jeanne Galway, Keith Underwood, Judith Mendenhall and Carol Wincenc. In June 2015, Scholl performed as soloist with the Boston Pops as a grand prize winner of the 2015 Fidelity Investments Young Artists Competition, where the Boston Globe praised her for “delicately (holding) forth with a round tone.” In high school, Scholl played with the Boston Youth Symphony and was principal flutist of the Rivers Youth Symphony, as well as participating in numerous honor ensembles. Scholl has spent her recent summers at music festivals, including Eastern Music Festival, The Boston University Tanglewood Institute and ARIA International Academy.
Adrienne Havelka is a music education major at the University of Colorado Boulder studying with Christina Jennings. Originally from Ottawa, Illinois, she studied flute with Cindi Isenhower since age 7. Havelka also loves piano and took lessons under Gail Cross starting at age 6, and has continued her studies with Professor Daniel Sher at CU. In 2009, Havelka lived in Sanary sur Mer, France, for a semester and studied flute with Deny Gamon at L’Ecole de Musique de Sanary sur Mer. She is a four-year member of the ILMEA District 2 band, earning first chair her junior year. In 2014, Havelka played flute in the ILMEA All-State Honor Band, and in 2015 she played piccolo in the ILMEA All-State Band. In the summer of 2013, she traveled to New Orleans for the National Flute Convention, where she played in the National Flute Association High School Flute Choir. During her senior year of high school, Havelka was a recipient of the Semper Fidelis Music Award. She has performed as guest principal with the Dekalb Band and the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra. Havelka has performed in master classes with John McMurtery, Marco Granados, Brook Ferguson, Marisela Sager, Bonita Boyd and Judith Mendenhall and attended the ARIA International Summer Music Academy in 2016. Havelka loves working with young children and aspires to teach general music, and eventually have her own private flute studio. She worked with sixth grade flute players as a sectional coach for the CU Middle School Ensemble program. During high school, she was assistant director for a junior flute ensemble and taught lessons to beginning flutists. She is the piccolo section leader for the Golden Buffalo Marching Band. Havelka was also on the cover of the September 2014 edition of “Flute Talk” magazine. Aside from music, she also loves to travel, read and spend time with her cats.
Celeste Landy is a junior music education major at the University of Colorado Boulder. A Colorado native, she studies with Professor Christina Jennings, having studied previously with Heather Davis and Jayne Copland. In high school, Landy performed with the CU Honor Band, Continental League Honor Band, Western State Honor Band and Colorado All-State Band as a featured soloist on the alto flute. Landy is a recipient of the John Philip Sousa Award and the Colorado Outstanding Musician Award. She has performed in master classes with Brook Ferguson, Naomi Seidman, Bonita Boyd and Judith Mendenhall and has attended the ARIA International Music Academy. She has also studied in Italy with Paolo Zampini and performed at the Alba Music Festival. During the summer, Landy enjoys sharing her love of music with younger students by working as a camp counselor and private teacher. In her free time, she loves to read, hike and play with her dogs.
Flutist Margaret Sloyer aspires to speak to her audiences as a whole musician, drawing upon her extensive background in piano and utilizing the flute as her voice. She is a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder, majoring in music performance with a minor in business. Originally from North Carolina, Sloyer began studying flute privately at age 11.
Melissa Merkel is a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder double majoring in flute performance and evolutionary and ecological biology. She currently studies under flutist Christina Jennings. As a college student, Merkel has performed with the Denver Young Artists Orchestra and the University of Colorado Boulder Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony. She is a winner of the National Flute Association's 2017 Masterclass Performers Competition. She won second place in the 2016 Colorado Flute Association’s Collegiate Competition after earning honorable mention in 2014 and 2015. Merkel also won the opportunity to perform for Paula Robison in the 2015 Colorado Flute Association Masterclass Competition and was chosen as one of two undergraduate students to perform in a master class for Sir James Galway as part of the Once a Flutist Festival in March 2017. She is attending the ARIA International Summer Music Academy in July 2017. She played in the Eastern Music Festival during the Summer 2016. She also performed in master classes with Jim Walker, Jeanne Baxtresser and Alberto Almarza at the 2014 Consummate Flutist program. From 2014 to 2016, Merkel served as program coordinator for the University of Colorado Boulder’s Students Teaching Peace Through Music chapter, an organization dedicated to helping students learn more about music education and outreach. In 2016, she helped found CU Boulder's South Asian Music Association and currently performs with the organization.
Joanna Hope Toohey is a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder, pursuing a double major in flute performance and history. Toohey began studying piano at age 4 before moving her focus to the flute at age 10, studying first with Gina Vega and subsequently with Melissa Graham and Brook Ferguson. In high school, she participated in the 2014 Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, where she performed as second flutist and piccoloist of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra. The same year, Toohey was selected as principal flutist of both the Colorado All-State Orchestra and the University of Colorado Honor Band, as well as piccoloist of the Colorado All-State Band. She loves orchestral playing and has held principal flute positions in the Denver Young Artists Orchestra (DYAO) and the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras, where she was a prizewinner in the 2013 concerto competition. In the Summer 2014, she performed as principal flutist in DYAO’s concert tour of France, Italy and Spain. Since beginning her studies with Christina Jennings at CU Boulder, Toohey has participated in numerous competitions, chamber music groups, large ensembles and summer music festivals. She has performed in master classes with Mathieu Dufour, Philippe Bernold, Bonita Boyd, Patricia George, Judith Mendenhall, Alexa Still, Eva Amsler and Philip Dikeman.
Brazilian flutist Júlio Zabaleta has been an enthusiastic flute performer in a variety of music ensembles, ranging from traditional Brazilian music to classical music. Over the last few years, Zabaleta had the privilege of attending many international music festivals and master classes with world-renowned flutists such as James Galway, Michel Bellavance, Ransom Wilson, Nicole Esposito, Mauricio Freire, Ysmael Reyes, Jessica Dalsant and Odette Ernest Dias. Zabaleta has been awarded with several scholarships to further his studies in flute performance and music research. In 2013, Zabaleta was granted a full scholarship to study a year at the Tilburg University in The Netherlands. He was also awarded with an academic mobility scholarship to study a year at the Federal University of São João del Rei, under the guidance of flutist Dr. Antônio Carlos Guimarães. During his bachelor’s degree, Zabaleta was assistant researcher in the field of music pedagogy and published articles in the VI and VII Scientific Event of the Brazilian Flute Association. Besides performances in concerts, he has worked as music teacher of underprivileged children in south Brazil and has participated as freelance flutist in several chamber music groups, receiving public funding for performances of Traditional Brazilian Music during 2015. Zabaleta earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Federal University of Pelotas under the guidance of Professor Raul Costa d'Avila. Zabaleta is currently teaching assistant and member of the Graduate Woodwind Quintet of the CU Boulder College of Music and is pursuing a master’s degree in music performance under the tutelage of the distinguished Professor Christina Jennings.
Kathryn Hendrickson is a flutist and educator from Fairbanks, Alaska. She holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, which she completed under the tutelage of Dorli McWayne. Hendrickson is an active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and the National Flute Association and is currently treasurer of the Colorado Flute Association. She is a graduate teaching assistant at The University of Colorado Boulder and flute instructor at Rocky Ridge Music Academy. Hendrickson is a candidate for a Doctor of Musical Arts degree, studying with the renowned Christina Jennings.
Brice Smith has a deep passion for teaching and community engagement through classical music. He studies with Christina Jennings as a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder. He completed a Master of Music in Flute Performance and a Master of Music in Chamber Music with Amy Porter at the University of Michigan, as well as a Performer Diploma under the direction of Thomas Robertello at Indiana University. He has performed in many professional bands and orchestras, including the National Repertory Orchestra. As a soloist, Brice has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center, with the Arkansas Philharmonic and with the University of Michigan's Camerata Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed at the National Flute Association's Convention as a member of the Colorado Flute Orchestra. As a collegiate music instructor, Brice has taught at Siena Heights University and for the Crescendo Detroit Program for young students.
Excited to be a part of the University of Colorado Flute Studio as a teaching assistant, flutist Joshua Hall has been inspired to form his own creative ideas about performing, teaching and composing. In 2016 he earned a master’s degree in performance from Texas Tech University where he studied with Dr. Lisa Garner-Santa. As a TA and winner of the school’s concerto competition, Hall taught weekly lessons for the Lubbock Independent School District and performed with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra Woodwind Quintet in outreach concerts at elementary schools. He also subbed with the LSO and Chamber Music Amarillo, was awarded honorable mention at the 2014 Texas MTNA Young Artist competition, and was a semi-finalist in the 2016 and 2017 Myrna Brown Competitions. In the Summer 2016, he was a faculty member of the Santa Fe Flute Immersion, assisting with coaching sessions on solo repertoire and a mock audition and performing in the final showcase concert. Hall also enjoys composing, and one of his works, “Trio for Three Flutes,” has been performed in the U.S., Japan and Spain. His primary teachers include Beth Wasson, Nicole Riner, Lisa Garner-Santa and Christina Jennings.
Leanne Hampton, DMA, was appointed principal flute of the Evansville Philharmonic and Consortium Instructor of flute at the University of Evansville.
Sarah Frank, BME, will begin teaching music in the Sitka Alaska Public Schools.
Callan Miller, BM, will continue her work as the program director of Startup Services in addition to growing her own startup, Gigsicians, with fellow CU flute studio alum Elise Campbell.
Elise Campbell, BM, has been promoted to the Box Office Manager at CU Presents.
Colleen White, DMA, is president of the Colorado Flute Association and will serve as temporary assistant professor of flute at Colorado State University and MSU Denver for Fall 2017.
Alina Windell is the instructor of flute at Auburn University.
Rachel Chacko is the assistant professor of music at Whitman College.
Jennifer Dunn is the band director at Centennial Middle School in Boulder.
Amanda Brignola a music teacher in the Saint Vrain Valley School District.
Hollie Bennett is a teacher at Bruce Randolph School and lead teaching artist for El Sistema Colorado and is currently a MME teaching artistry candidate at Bowling Green State University.
Anna Conigliari is a life coach and faculty member at the Granados Music Institute
Allison Emerick is a principal flute in the Boise Philharmonic; she also received her MM from Carnegie Mellon University.
Jana Lange is currently pursuing a master's degree in flute performance at Carnegie Mellon University (graduating 2017) with Lorna McGhee and Jeanne Baxtresser. She has subbed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and also enjoys freelancing in the Pittsburgh area.
Sasha Haft received her master's at San Francisco Conservatory and is a flutist in The Orchestra Now at Bard College.
Whitney Kelley has written publications in the "NFA Flutist's Anthology: A Pedagogy Anthology, Vol 2," American Suzuki Journal and Colorado Flutist. Her Interviews have been published in the American Suzuki Journal and Flute Examiner. She plays piccolo with the Denver Philharmonic and is the visiting principal flute with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra. She has given lectures and guest artist performances at East Tennessee State University, 2014 SAA Conference and East Tennessee Suzuki Institute International among others and is the former president of the Colorado Flute Association. She is an active private teacher in the Denver metro area and is a participant in summer festivals including Texas Music Festival, Ravinia Music Festival and North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Performance Festival. She was previously the arts administrator for the Suzuki Association of the Americas at their headquarters from 2009-2015.
Jessica Sebold is the band director at Gateway High School.
Katy Wherry is currently a member of the Bel Canto Flute Academy Faculty.
Terri Austin received her DMA and is now a senior lecturer in flute at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is also a Miyazawa Performing Artist.
Michelle Stanley is an associate professor at Colorado State University in flute and is also the principal flute in the Pro Musica chamber orchestra. She performs with the Colorado Symphony, Colorado Ballet and Colorado Music Festival Orchestra. She is also an international recitalist and teacher and a member of the Interharmony Music Festival (Italy) teaching faculty.
Joan McLean Braun is the director of CU Presents and assistant dean for concerts and communications at the College of Music.
Cristina Ballatori has performed across the United States, Europe, England and Latin America as a recitalist, soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. Recent performance highlights include concerts in such venues as the Atelier Concert Series in Paris, France; “Live from Hochstein” Series public radio WXXI in Rochester, New York; and artist residencies in Spain, Costa Rica and Mexico. Ballatori joined the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater faculty as assistant professor of flute and join the board of the National Flute Association in fall 2016. She previously served as associate professor of flute at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Her major teachers include Alexa Still, Peter Lloyd, Katherine Kemler, Judith Lapple and Diane Smith. Visit her website for more information.
Shelly Collins is the associate professor of flute and music history at Delta State University. She served as secretary of the NFA and president of the Colorado, Seattle and Mid-South flute societies. Her arrangements have been published by ALRY and Falls House and she also has been presenter/performer at 11 NFA conventions.