Flute Forum

January 18, 2020 - 8:00am
Old Cabell Hall

The McIntire Department of Music is pleased to present the fifth annual University of Virginia Flute Forum on Saturday, January 18, 2020. The UVA Flute Forum is a day-long flute festival which features masterclasses, interactive workshops, and recitals. All events are free and open to the public.

This year's Forum will feature international soloist Jim Walker, alongside guest artists Meghan Bennett, Amal Gochenour, Angela Kelly, Marin Riegger, and Audra Ziegel; Caroline Schetlick will lead a flute choir reading session. Attendees are encouraged to bring their flutes to participate in interactive sessions throughout the day!

Schedule of events

8:00 am-3:30 pm Registration

8:30-9:30 am “Building Awareness Through Body Mapping” with Angela Kelly

9:30-10:30 am "'What's Wrong with My Flute?': How to Identify Problems and Speak with Qualified Technicians" with Marin Riegger

10:00-11:00 am “The Fearless Freelancing Flutist” with Audra Ziegel

11:00 am-12:00 pm “Flute Choir Reading Session” with Caroline Schetlick

12:45-2:00 pm Jim Walker masterclass, featuring winners of the second annual UVA Flute Forum Competition (See below for competition requirements)

2:00-3:00 pm “Fused: Pop Ideas + Classical Sounds” with Meghan Bennett

2:30-3:30 pm “Reaching New Heights: A Piccolo Masterclass” with Amal Gochenour

3:30-5:00 pm Jim Walker Flute Recital

Although all events are free and open to the public, participants are encouraged to register in advance for the UVA Flute Forum. 

Registration for this event can be found here 


For more information, please contact Kelly Sulick at kas6am@virginia.edu.


The UVA Flute Forum Competition

The UVA Flute Forum Collegiate Competition is a FREE competition open to any undergraduate student currently enrolled at a college or university who is taking applied flute lessons (entrants do not need to be majoring in music). 

Up to three winners will be selected to perform in a masterclass for Jim Walker at the fifth annual University of Virginia Flute Forum on Saturday, January 18, 2020 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Those interested in entering should submit a recording of the piece they would like to perform in the masterclass. Pieces written for flute and piano should be recorded with piano accompaniment (SmartMusic accompaniment is acceptable). Winners are responsible for bringing their own pianists to the masterclass.

To enter, please submit an unedited audio recording as a file attachment (or a link to an online posting of the audio recording), to UVAFluteForum@gmail.com. Include your name, email address, telephone number, and name of your current flute instructor. Entries are due by 11:59 pm on December 1, 2019. Winners will be announced by January 1, 2020.

Questions may be sent to UVAFluteForum@gmail.com. Good luck!




Jim Walker

Few other flutists in history have made such indelible marks in so many musical circles. From jazz to pop to classical, television to film to the concert hall, Jim Walker has never met a crowd that didn’t love his powerful, “stand and deliver” performances.

His star began to rise when in 1969 when Jim was named Associate Principal Flute in the Pittsburgh Symphony after a stint playing in the US Military Academy Band at West Point.  He quickly gained the admiration of colleagues and audiences in Pittsburgh and set his sights on Principal Flute jobs.  After eight years he won the Principal Flute position in the Los Angeles Philharmonic and never looked back.

To be Principal Flute of a major orchestra is to sit at the pinnacle of the profession.  Most flutists who reach that height are content to spend the rest of their careers there, but Jim felt an eagerness and aspiration to move his music-making forward yet again.  After seven successful seasons of performing, recording, and touring with the Los Angeles Philharmonic—during which time the New York Philharmonic briefly borrowed him as Principal Flute for their 1982 South American tour—Jim left the orchestra, diving off the mountaintop into the world of jazz, studio recording, and teaching.

Jazz had been one of Jim’s puppy loves, and he was inspired to get back to it by LA’s lively club scene.  After a few years of avid listening in dives, gaining confidence undercover in the practice room, he organized his jazz quartet Free Flight.  Flute, piano, bass, and drums playing jazz-classical fusion, Free Flight took the music world by storm.  Jim’s unique combination of vision and determination pushed the group to appearances on the Tonight Show, The Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center and the Playboy Jazz Festival. Their recordings have always received rave reviews and are unique in the music landscape. By the time Jean-Pierre Rampal—the granddaddy of modern classical flutists—called “Jimmy” his “favorite jazz flute player” in the 1990’s, Jim was recognized as a “Most Valuable Player” by NARAS in Los Angeles. 

Life was equally good for Jim Walker in LA’s famed studio scene.  Until his retirement from the studios in June of 2010, he was a first-call studio flutist for the better part of two decades. His bold, expressive playing can be heard on hundreds of soundtracks and commercial recordings.  His playing became the gold standard from Hollywood to Carnegie Hall and unlocked the door to studio and concert collaborations with everyone from John Williams and Paul McCartney—“the thrill of a lifetime,” says Jim—to Wayne Shorter, Leonard Bernstein, James Galway, and the LA Guitar Quartet.

After all, the reviews have been written and the stage and studio lights dim, however, Jim has said that the one aspect of his career he will maintain to the grave is teaching.  He has been filling his students’ lives with music for five decades now, just as his own parents—Bob, a jazz clarinetist and public school band director, and Barbara, a church organist—filled his upbringing in Greenville, Kentucky, with piano and flute lessons.  He went to the University of Louisville where he was selected to be a member of the Louisville Orchestra (his first real "classical gig". He became an Honors Graduate and “Distinguished Alumnus” of as well as the University’s first “Alumni Fellow” (from the School of Music).  To this day Jim credits a parade of flute teachers with helping him rise through the ranks, from Sarah Fouse and Francis Fuge in Kentucky to the Metropolitan Opera’s Harold Bennett, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s James Pellerite, and internationally renowned flutist and conductor Claude Monteux.

Jim’s gratitude to his teachers is returned to him by his students.  As Professor of Practice and Coordinator of Flute Studies at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and Professor of Flute and Chamber Music at The Colburn Conservatory of Music, Jim devotes at least twenty hours a week to steering the careers of young flutists.  Before coming to Los Angeles, Jim’s teaching career included positions at Duquesne University, Carnegie-Mellon, and the University of Pittsburgh, and since arriving in Southern California he has been invited to be a visiting professor at the University of North Texas, the University of Texas-Austin, and Arizona State University.

Jim has taught hundreds of flutists at these renowned institutions.  Many of them have gone on to successful orchestral careers, holding Principal Flute chairs in major symphonies from Phoenix to Boston to Beijing.  Still, others have careers in fields as varied as gospel music and arts administration.  Jim is not interested in simply training musicians; he inspires each pupil as a whole person, and students leave his tutelage feeling empowered, reaching for the stars.  With such a legacy, it is no wonder that students on four continents have flocked to hear his recitals and masterclasses.  Jim’s creativity allows him to reach not only these students but also others he never sees with his editions of flute masterworks on the Alfred Music Publications Young Artist Series.  He is also now completing a set of flute method books filled with unique, fun, highly instructional exercises so that future generations can continue to benefit from his wealth of knowledge and generosity.

Dynamic soloist, legendary orchestral and studio musician, celebrated jazz flutist, and an inspiration to countless students worldwide, Jim Walker is living proof that with enough creativity and determination, it is possible reach the stars.

He is a living legend and a true Renaissance Man of the Flute.


Meghan Bennett

Meghan Bennett leads a diverse career as an educator and solo, chamber and orchestral musician. She was awarded first prize in the South Carolina Flute Society Young Artist Competition and the Morning, Afternoon and Eau Claire Music Club Competition and has been a prizewinning finalist in the Atlanta Flute Club Young Artist Competition, the Flute Society of Kentucky Young Artist Competition and the Greater Philadelphia Flute Society Collegiate Young Artist Competition. Bennett has also competed in the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition and the Fischoff Competition. 

She has been a guest soloist with Chamber Music International in Dallas, TX, joined the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players on tour and was principal flutist with Spotlight on Opera in Austin, TX. In addition, she has performed with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, Waco Symphony Orchestra, Round Rock Symphony, and the Palmetto Opera Orchestra. Dr. Bennett has been a recipient of fellowships to attend the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Brevard Music Center, Marrowstone Music Festival and the National Music Festival. 

Bennett is an active chamber musician. She is a founding member of Li5ten quintet, 2017 quarterfinalist at the Fischoff Competition and recipient of the Chamber Music Residency Fellowship at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Dr. Bennett is also a member of Emissary Quartet [4 flutes], who recently performed a recital at the DiMenna Center featuring three winning compositions from EQ’s 2017 Call for Scores Competition, a workshop, and recital for the New Jersey Flute Society and a workshop for composition students at Princeton University. 

A passionate teacher, Bennett has led master classes and workshops throughout the nation at the University of Washington, Princeton University, Baylor University, Pennsylvania State University, Stephen F. Austin University, University of Tampa, Charleston Southern University, University of Central Arkansas and Harding University. She has also led masterclasses and workshops internationally. Most recently she traveled to Chile and Ghana to instruct classes at Centro Cultural San Antonio and the Matic Music Club. 

Bennett received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The University of Texas at Austin, Master of Music degree from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Bennett is Assistant Professor of Flute and Woodwind Area Coordinator at Northern Kentucky University. She previously served on the faculties of Prairie View A&M University, OrchKids, Floot Fire, the Longhorn Music Camp and the Carolina Summer Music Conservatory. Her primary teachers include Marianne Gedigian, Marina Piccinini and Jennifer Parker-Harley.


Amahl Gochenour 


Amal Gochenour was appointed Piccolo of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2018, under the direction of Marin Alsop. She was previously a member of the Richmond Symphony and has also performed with the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, National, and Washington National Opera orchestras, as well as guest Principal Flute with the Korean Broadcast Symphony.

In addition to performing, Ms. Gochenour is a committed teacher. She maintains a private studio and frequently leads masterclasses on both flute and piccolo. She collaborated on Volume II of the best-selling “Orchestral Excerpts for Flute with Piano Accompaniment” with her mentor Jeanne Baxtresser, former Principal Flutist of the New York Philharmonic.

Born in Kuwait and raised outside of Washington D.C., she began early musical studies on the piano before switching to flute at the age of ten. She earned her undergraduate degree at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and her Master of Music degree at Carnegie Mellon University. Ms. Gochenour is a Yamaha Performing Artist.






Angela Kelly


Flutist Angela Kelly is an international prizewinner and accomplished soloist.   Angela has been sharing her Body Mapping work with students and professionals throughout Virginia for the past several years and is excited to guide musicians to find the healthiest mindset toward movement and playing.  She released her debut CD “Conversations: The Music of Gary Schocker” on the Azica label with a second CD "The Holly and the Ivy" with world-renowned Chapman Stick player, Greg Howard, released in 2018. Ms. Kelly has a full studio of flute students, many of whom have won awards and honors throughout the country. She is also director of music at The Charlottesville Day School in Charlottesville, VA.





Marin Riegger


Marin Riegger received a BM from Brigham Young University and an MM from the University of North Texas under Mary Karen Clardy. After graduate school, Marin trained with Lillian Burkart at Burkart Flutes where she was a Piccolo Specialist for several years before a move took her away from the Boston area. At that time Marin worked from her home in New York as a finisher for Powell Flutes for several years, until another move took her overseas. A few years after returning, Marin relocated with her family to Blacksburg, where she has operated her own flute and piccolo maintenance and repair business from her home, Blue Ridge Flutes. 







Audra Ziegel 

Audra Ziegel is a sought-after clinician, private flute instructor, and freelance performer from Baltimore, Maryland. Audra was invited to perform at consecutive NFA annual conventions in Salt Lake City and Orlando and was a winner of the 2018 National Flute Association Convention Performers Competition. Recent engagements include serving as the co-principal flutist of the 2019 and 2018 International Fellowship of Conductors, Composers, and Collaborators (IFC3), a lecture at the 2019 Philadelphia Flute Fair, a clinic with the woodwind section of the York Youth Symphony Orchestra (Pennsylvania), guest artist performances and masterclasses at Tennessee Tech University, East Tennessee State University, the University of Delaware, and Franklin and Marshall College, as well as multiple appearances as a featured guest soloist on the Towson University Faculty Chamber Music Recital Series. Audra formerly served as principal flutist of the Hunt Valley Symphony in Baltimore and the Urbana Pops Orchestra in Urbana, Illinois, and has performed professionally with many other ensembles throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Illinois, including the Illinois Symphony, the Delaware Symphony, the Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana, Charm City Players, the Central Pennsylvania Oratorio Singers, the Yang Ying Band, the Concert Band of Central Illinois, and the Kankakee Valley Symphony. Audra is currently on the faculty of The Music Space in Towson, Md, St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, Md, and Music and Arts in Laurel, Md, and has adjudicated festivals such as the Maryland Senior and Junior All-State auditions, ILMEA Senior Honor Band auditions, and the Flute Society of Washington High School Flute Choir Competition.

Audra graduated summa cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), earning a Bachelor’s degree in Flute Performance. She received her Master’s of Music in Flute Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was awarded a full graduate assistantship. Audra’s primary teachers include Jonathan Keeble, Bradley Garner, Jack Wellbaum, and Roger Martin. In addition to the 2018 NFA Convention Performers Competition, Audra has been a prize winner in several competitions including the 2017 Flute Society of Washington Masterclass Competition and second place at the 2004 and 2005 Central Ohio Flute Association Young Artist Competition. She was also a quarterfinalist in the prestigious National Flute Association Young Artist Competition in 2009. Audra has performed in masterclasses for Amy Porter, Aaron Goldman, Eva Amsler, and Randy Bowman.

For more information, please contact Kelly Sulick at kas6am@virginia.edu

Old Cabell Hall is located on the south end of UVA's historic lawn, directly opposite the Rotunda. Parking is available in the Central Grounds parking garage on Emmet Street, in the C1 parking lot off McCormick Road, and in the parking lots at the UVA Corner. 

Please call the Music Department at 434.924.3052 for more information.
All events are subject to change.

An Arts Enhancement Event supported by the Office of the Provost & the Vice Provost for the Arts

This event is supported by the Eleanor Shea Music Trust.


UVA Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176

Email: music@virginia.edu