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Laguna Flutes began performing in Fall 2013 under the direction of Cynthia Ellis. This group has been part of the musical community of Southern California, affiliated with the Laguna Beach Concert Band for many years prior to her leadership as well as with Orange County Music and Dance during their history.
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Re-Boot for Laguna Flutes – August 23, 2021

As I sit here writing to you, I am FINALLY realizing that all the waiting and wondering is nearly over. We are just about ready to start back as a musical ensemble.

 

The insurance company has been contacted and we have liability insurance…Our new church home has been unbelievably gracious about facility usage…I have the key! I am working on website updates. We have a vaccine policy that will shadow the requirements of professional orchestras (Thank you Pacific Symphony for all the work to keep us safe on stage and allowing me to piggy back from your work with UCI public health department). Music is being pulled. New Christmas music has arrived. I’m listening to brand new pieces from the NFA convention. I am SO happy I made those Excel sheets of library inventory last year: It’s easier than ever to locate music now as I know exactly where it is. I’m making folders for sight reading. We are hosting zoom workshops to anticipate our return to live rehearsal.

 

These are the ‘nuts and bolts’ of our re-boot: All the necessary things to run an ensemble are re-emerging from the pause of 2020.

 

What REALLY excites me the most however, is the concept that my musicians are COMING TOGETHER to make live music for the first time in 18 months. There is a powerful need to express ourselves through music and I can’t believe how lucky and blessed I am to facilitate this group of flutists.

 

For the first time ever, we will host THREE GENERATIONS OF FLUTISTS FROM THE SAME FAMILY. How about that? New friends are joining…we bid a fond farewell to some old friends who have moved away. We await the return of some members as they build their confidence returning to the musical world. Decisions are personal….

 

It’s going to be an emotional experience for me. It might sound raw…who cares! It’s going to be magical and it’s going to be very special. We will connect in a very powerful way….We will be making music TOGETHER. What could be better?

An unusual year

What an unusual year it has been musically! For Laguna Flutes, we have postponed all of our spring events due to the unprecedented Covid-19 situation. The NFA convention has been canceled this year….but we are super excited to perform in Washington, DC, next year for the annual convention. 

I’ve tried to maintain contact with our group by having zoom ‘Flutey-Hours’ just to get together and chat…sort of like Happy Hour but we talk about all things flute. AND…just finished a massive project of sorting, alphabetizing, and cataloging the music library…all 300 titles…and made an Excel spreadsheet to make music searches a breeze and bring them into the 21st century!
 
I’m hopeful that we will be making music together later in the summer together. Stay tuned….
 

February updates

It’s February and already we’re sensing what our spring concert will sound like! I’m so excited by the progress I’ve heard from our first rehearsal to our second. What makes an ensemble great? Each member has to decide that their musical contributions are equally important…playing first or third is EQUALLY IMPORTANT! Playing a lower numbered part has different demands…but everyone in chamber music has solos and everybody has to prepare ahead of rehearsals. Come with all notes/rhythms LEARNED and then the magic of good ensemble work can happen in rehearsal. See you all next month! Alto flutes: We could use a few more of you so if you know friends interested in joining the group now is the time to bring them on board. Registration closes March 24.

Sight-reading and more

Sight-reading was fun last night! We are building our program around a theme of folk songs and nature…and we have picked out 4 works so far…There is one work that is not ‘on theme’ but has some fun tie-ins. So how do I choose music for the group? First of all, I always ask players if they like the music…life is too short to play music you dislike.  Secondly…is it at the group’s ability level? Can the group sound good after working on the technical demands? Will it be audience engaging…can I give them something to listen for that will enhance their concert experience? These are all the questions I ask when I build a program… all the while assessing the group’s level. 

We are always looking for new members at the start of a session…next rehearsal will be February 17 (it’s a holiday…easy traffic). Come join us! You have plenty of time before our May concerts. Recruitment is welcome! Ask your flute playing friends. 

Musically yours, 

 
Cindy Ellis

Happy New Year and Welcome to Laguna Flutes’ website!

Happy New Year and Welcome to Laguna Flutes’ website!
 
It is my hope that you will enjoy coming here to learn about our group and join us if so inclined. We have included a few recordings on our ‘listen’ page and of course, standard photos and bios of our group along with concert announcements for the 2020 season. Use the ‘contact us’ page if you seek more information about joining us.
 
If you are already a member of Laguna Flutes, our special ‘members only’ page (accessible by private log in password) will give you all the tools you need to be successful. Our rehearsal location, rehearsal schedule and most importantly, Dropbox link are all here for you. Of course, you can still access the Dropbox directly as always but my hope is the website will become your  ‘one-stop’ location online.
 
Our first rehearsal on January 27th will be a reading rehearsal. After that day, part assignments will be made and you will need to download your music and print as always, ready for the rehearsal on February 17th.
 
It’s a new year and a new look for Laguna Flutes! Welcome!
 
Musically yours
 
Cindy
 
PS: Check back with this blog site soon for interesting information about programming and how I choose music for the group!