Monday, January 13, 2014

Finger Lakes Flute Circle Meeting 16 January 2014

The first meeting of the year for the Finger Lakes Flute Circle is Thursday, 16 January 2014, 6:30 p.m., at the Brookside School (Brighton Parks & Recreation), 1680 S Winton Rd, Rochester, NY 14618. Alternatively, the official listed address, 220 Idlewood Road, will take you to the other, neighborhood side of the building.

We will be playing the Native American flute (and sometimes have fun with other world flutes as well). Bring your flutes and hand percussion.

Beginners are welcome! We will have beginner Native American flutes to try. Most of our members have come to the group with little or no experience with the flute, and before they know it, they are playing beautiful music from the heart.

A $5 contribution is requested for room rental and Meetup fees.

We will make great music together, and have a wonderful time enjoying each other's music. We look forward to seeing you there!

The most current meeting schedule is listed on the Blog and Meetup websites:


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What key are most of the flutes?

One of the members of the Finger Lakes Flute Circle asked me an excellent question through our Meetup website"What key are most of the flutes?"

The key we use the vast majority of the time at the Finger Lakes Flute Circle is a mid A minor. By everyone having a flute in the same key, we are readily able to play along with each other. The mid A minor and G minor are the most popularly purchased keys from makers; pretty much everyone that's a fan of Native American flutes will have an A. The mid A minor well accommodates the finger flexibility of most beginners and the finger hole reach for most sizes of hands. The beginner flutes that we have available for use, Northern Spirit flutes in A minor, are economical, durable, and sound very nice!

That being said, you can get Native American flutes in all kinds of keys, mid range, high, bass, and sub-bass (note that there is not a standardized terminology for pitch ranges)! The next most popular key might be the mid F# minor, which is thought to be close to many "grandfather tuned" body measurement proportioned traditionally constructed flutes. Many folks love the grounding, soothing tones of the bass and sub-bass flutes. The lower the flute, however, the more challenging to reach to wider spaced finger holes, and the greater the demands on breath control.

Some people develop the terrible affliction of flute collecting. There are so many special flutes, different keys, different woods, different makers. For some, it's a malady for whom there is no cure, except for exhaustion of funds or the wrath of one's spouse.

Here is a link to an astounding flute key reference on the fabulous by Clint Goss (I count sound samples in thirty keys):

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Potomac Native American Flute Festival 10th Anniversary - March 2014

The 10th Anniversary Potomac Native American Flute Festival this March 2014 is shaping up to be an amazing one!

The lineup of performers is awesome and outstanding! I've enjoyed all of their music, and have had either private lessons or workshops with Cornell Kinderknecht, Mark Holland, Suzanne Teng, and Arvel Bird. Through Scott August's blog, I got my initial practical information delving into the Native American flute years ago. He had visited Washington just before I began my journey with the Native flute, and I've not yet had the pleasure of meeting him, so I'm very much looking forward to seeing him at the Potomac Native American Flute Festival this year!

My family and I made frame drums with Shelly and Randy Stenzel at their workshop at the festival two years ago, a wonderful experience on many levels.

A festival update is below:


The next Potomac Flute Festival will be held March 14, 15, 16 at the Rockville, MD Unitarian Universalist Church and the Best Western Hotel. The theme is "Winds of Remembrance". We will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Potomac Flute Festival by bringing back performers from several past festivals. 

Our fabulous program includes:

Friday     7:30PM:  Open Mic at the Hotel
Saturday 1:00PM: Cornell Kinderknecht 
  3:30PM: Mark Holland 
  Scott August, & Arvel Bird

 Introductory & Advanced flute workshops all weekend
Special make-your-own drum workshop Friday afternoon
(separate advance registration/fee required)

Flute, jewelry and drum vendors all weekend (Free access!) 

For full weekend registration or individual event tickets visit: