Wednesday, May 04, 2011

It has been a great Run!

Sort of an open letter to my flute friends, I miss you folks, let's play sometime...

There are just a few weeks remaining before my degree in nursing is complete and I then spent about a month preparing to take my board exams. Then the real work starts, where I return to the working world as “the new guy”, with a beginners mind and great enthusiasm to start over in a different but related profession. Turns out that this is the type of milestone you’d think it would be and this gives cause for reflection about a lot of things in my life and yet another re-balancing of the ledgers of my life’s energies.

As I struggled to maintain the work of the West Virginia Native American Flute Circle, amidst the near constant efforts of nursing school these past two years - I have been greatly anticipating a larger amount of time for music and flutes. There was so much that needed to be done for the flute circle and so much growth that I wanted to stay abreast with in my own music, so I really felt that I needed the flute and it has been frustrating to not be able to play it.

I came to the flute at a time in my life when I was adjusting to becoming a stay at home dad for my then young son. While kids are absolutely the best thing that will ever happen to a person – adjusting to the stay at home thing and role changes can be challenging regardless of your gender and I found that I needed to learn a new skill in order to have something that was still mine. This was a time of great selflessness and opening of myself at the same time, and the music of the flute allowed me to really get in touch with transformation by giving it a voice, letting things flow more, and enriching our home with music – which I had not experienced since my own childhood. The flute changed me in such a powerful way that I went to every flute circle meeting that I could and those supportive and understanding folks not only welcomed me, but encouraged me to start my own circle.

The West Virginia Native American Flute Circle has been a wonderful experience and allowed me the opportunity to teach and share the flute with others. It has been the doorway for me to meet all of the flute players in the region, and as I suspected, there are more of them than I thought! We have helped foster the Timber Flute Festival in Elkins which I hope will return some day as the great week of multidisciplinary sharing that we all loved for three years. Our circle helped create West Virginia’s second flute circle and I never thought we’d have two flute circles in West Virginia either. We have held a players retreat, and flute building workshops, and have built and shared free PVC flutes with all kinds of folks – allowing new players to sprout in some unsuspecting places. I even have enjoyed my first taste of woodworking, laughed a lot, and met some of my dearest friends all through pouring myself into a flute circle.

A few months ago I said something out loud and let it sit until now for contemplation. What could I do with the time and energy that I currently invest, and have poured into our little circle, if I were not maintaining it? Something that has given you so much and has such wonderful potential is difficult to let go of or put aside. Folks who know me realize that I do not just stop something or say “well, that’s enough now…” and yet with so much passion for the flute and a bit more time appearing at the end of the tunnel (which has been school), it seemed a question worth asking.

My friends at Northern Virginia Flute Circle and Potomac Flute Circle are always looking for help. The revived Flute Fall In near Finncastle, VA. is now run by an active committee. I am regularly (not enough, but some) asked to play out for folks or to teach an occasional beginner lesson. Meanwhile I miss my own instruments, have not learned a new song in two years and really want our instrument represented at the Augusta Heritage Festival someday. Golly that is a long list, telling me that I do miss the flute and need to get back. I will do that, but I think that until the need comes again for a monthly flute gathering in Elkins I’ll invest my time in seeking to attend and assist other circles with their efforts. I’ll remain available for demonstrations (you can hardly call me a player these days, I am too rusty!), and I’ll play and refine my skills in building these instruments as I have the time. I think I can then use my limited energy more effectively to make beautiful music and share with those wish to do so.

I’ll leave this blog up, long after I make all the follow up calls to “close” the circle and hope that a “virtual circle” will remain part of the picture as I love to share news, pass on good information and learn. I think that more facebook and web circles are cropping up all the time and folks like this outlet and its level of commitment. I hope anyone who is close to our meetings, which will go away, would consider attending the Tri-State NAF Circle ( they are an active and wonderful group.

So thank you all for a great run – I hope to see you at a not-so-local flute circle meeting in the near future and I’ll tell you about how much a new RN really needs to play to flute in order to relax…

In music,


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Monday, April 25, 2011

Potomac Flute Festival

The festival is nearly here and will be a sure thing with a June date (no more snow and ice at festival) so make your plans now and check out there event schedule which includes a drum workshop this year!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The flute news - a rehash of news from my inbox…
Let's start with the bad news and get it over with... Funders, organizers and the facility that hosts our local, annual, Timber Flute Festival have decided that due to declining attendance they will need to discontinue the event. I think that everybody who has helped with this deserves a big round of thanks for all their work on what has been a great sharing of community across the spectrum of wooden flutes - making for a unique and great event. That will be sadly missed.
Dawn Avery (Mohawk) has a new CD coming out Our Fire working with STEVEN ALVAREZ - Percussion/ Vocals and LARRY MITCHELL - Guitars/ Bass/ Program Drums Her last project was Red Moon and it remains a favorite on my playlist!

Clint Goss has been hard at work overhauling his website and you can check out the new flute-opedia at – thanks Clint!

Sometimes it seems like the Potomac and NOVA flute circles set the standard on organization - here is their revised calendar of events to check out:

Monthly Flute Circles (N Virginia at on the 1st Sunday; Potomac on the 3rd Saturday)

Mid-Winter Concert (February 2011)

Flute Spring Retreat Weekend (April 2011)

Potomac Native American Flute Festival (June 24-25, 2011) Note a change to the non-snow season as for years now it seems that questionable winter weather followed their festival!
Word is that the renewed flute fall in was a terrific success - here is the news on that
“Our Flute Fall-in at Camp Bethel near Roanoke over Halloween weekend was fantastic. It was quiet, except for the music and laughter. The food was good. The views fantastic. The opportunity to spend more quality time with folks that we might miss during the whirlwind of Festival was priceless.

Here's a link to one participant's
Facebook album of Fall-in photos.

Special thanks to Leonard McGann for facilitating, to his wife Kitty for the Friday night dinner (and to both for the Dixie Caverns experience) and to Stuart Hill for being the catalyst to resurrect the retreat events.

During dinner on the final night, a number of Fall-in participants said they'd be interested in attending a Flute Spring if we wanted to bring that back, too.

If you're interested in the Flute Spring -- a similar retreat opportunity most likely to be held at the same facility they used to be in southern New Jersey -- in April 2011” contact Northern Virginia Flute Circle to get involved.

Also of note: Carlos Nakai will perform during the Millennium Stage series at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC on Wednesday, November 17 at 6:00 pm. The performance is free.

There is a new flutemaker and seed of a growing festival/flute circle in Kentucky and they called to let us know that they’ll be looking at an fall annual festival - news to follow for 2011…

I'll be playing flute for the first time in awhile at the area Montessori school Nov 19 to introduce kids to the flute and didgeridoo. Always a fun morning, they dance like nobody's watching!

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Sept 2010 news

Notes from the flute world
The tri-state flute circle is going strong and meeting monthly.

Date: SEPTEMBER 18, 2010
Time: 12:00 noon- 2:00pm
Location: Marshall University
Huntington, WV 25704
Refreshments such as fruits and veggies, trail mix, pretzels, or cookies, and water or teas will be free. Bring finger or easy foods if you'd like.

The Northern Virginia Flute Circles have brought back an event that is extraordinary and very fun. Read the details here:

There're a few slots left for the Flute Fall-In at Camp Bethel near Roanoke on Halloween weekend.

Cost for the three-night, four-day stay is $175 per person, which includes lodging and meals (except for the "dinner-out" on Saturday night) and all other associated activities.

Attendees who'll be bringing some flutes include Brad Young and Roger Bennett. Leonard "Lone Crow" McGann is our facilitator. Gary Cope from Indianapolis, whom some of you know as a fine musician, is coming, as well as Sterling Green, whom many of you know from Festival.

The registration form and all details are at our main Web site,

Registration deadline is October 1, so get those forms in now! First-come, first-served for our maximum attendance of 30 people.

Join us in the House of Towers!
Several other events are brewing with eth NVa. circles - stay tuned
Mid-Winter Concert Series (February 2011)
Flute Spring (Spring 2011)
Potomac Flute Festival Vendor Day (June 25, 2011)

I have been a bit out of touch lately as Nursing School continues but we had a great Timber Flute Festival this summer with Ron Warren and Janice Torres playing and teaching. If you have not heard their new album Aura Surey, Many Roads Home you need to check it out. Visit to order a CD.

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Jan 2010 news

Flute news for Jan 2010 – Happy New Year

We have moved our meetings to every other month and it seems to be working out. Last meeting (November) we even had a new fiddle player come to visit and now we are talking about duet potential if I can ever find the time to owrk on a new tune...

The news:
It's worth repeating to your friends, family, coworkers and casual acquaintances that the Festival is "open to the public."Anyone can attend. The Vendor areas are free admission. The public can attend concerts, and also attend a day's worth of workshops or the entire weekend.Spread the word -- everyone is welcome! What Festival?! The Potomac Native American Flute Festival. This is on eof teh largest and best run gatherings on teh East coast and is coming up in March as a do not miss event. I think we'll see TWO West Virginia Circles attending this year. Great news.

Best rate of only $125 for the entire weekend available through March 1, 2010.There is a wonderful schedule of performers in concert:Friday, March 26: Hawk Henries, followed by Ron Warren and his band, AURA SUREY.Saturday, March 27: two first-timer's at Festival -- Cornell Kinderknecht followed by Suzanne Teng and Mystic Journey.Your favorite vendors will be there plus workshops that will show you how to create new "harmonies" with your flute and many other instruments.Potomac Native American Flute Festival

In other news, Clint Goss has a new Jam tracks CD available:

The latest in the Jam Tracks series, Jam Tracks in E Minor, has just arrived.
21 tracks of backing music for jamming on an E flute.

The web site now plays a sampler of all the tracks ... here's a direct link, so grab an E flute and start jamming:

There is also a youtube video from the 2009 Flute Haven workshop in Pennsylvania

There is a great Saturday performance this month at our arts center and so we'll be meeting upstairs rather than in the great hall. Look for signs pointing you the right way.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Some news

Red Moon is what is in my CD player right now. Ron Warren, Ash Dargan, Dawn Avery make a fusion that is tough to describe but great to hear. This one was a long time coming but well worth the wait. AND Ron Warren is coming back to Potomac Flute Festival!

Siyotanka wins a NAMMY for Native Heart Catagory and it really is a wonderful album - take a listen, available at iTunes and at

News from Dana Ross about Roy Glass. Roy is western band Cherokee and is invited to play for the studio audience and an appearance on the Late Night with David letterman show. Dana along w/ Keith Davis and Jack Lynn will join Roy and his family for the event. The taping will be on November 17th, 2009 and will air on No...vember 24th, 2009. BTW, Dana is a wonderful flute maker, Dana Ross / Falcon Flutes and Drums
or call 706-851-7535

Potomac Flute Festival 2010 -- Registeration forms and all main details for the March Festival are at:Potomac Native American Flute FestivalOur concert line-up is as follows:
Friday, March 26: Hawk Henries, followed by Ron Warren and his band.
Saturday, March 27: two first-timer's at Festival -- Cornell Kinderknecht followed by Suzanne Teng.
Register now. Reserve your hotel room now at the Festival rate.And a reminder there is a discussion board at our Facebook page where you can talk about room and/or ride share.

And lastly, while recycling is very important - I never though that someone would come up with a superior use for a re-used material. A cool instrument to go with flute, recycled propane tanks!

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Free Flute Workshop w Ron Warren

Instead of our regular meeting September 12 we will have an all day retreat and flute workshop featuring recording artist Ron Warren. Many know that Ron Warren has been the NAF faculty member at the Timber Flute Festival the past few years. He has offered to work with the West Virginia Native American Flute Circle and the Tri-State Native American Flute Circle to host a free one day workshop Saturday September 12.

Some of our flute circle members have graciously offered to host the event in Mill Creek (30 minutes from Elkins) and we are making a day of it. Come out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather and learn to play, work on your skills, ask questions, tour a flute-making workshop, share a potluck meal and play around the campfire that evening. Student flutes will be available as well. This will be a great time, and hopefully some sort fo new Wv tradition taht will sewll our numbers and bring us together. In this economy it is tough to beat free as well.

Call for directions & to RSVP
304.338.2727 or 703.475.0994

Visit our web sites for questions: or Tri-State Native American Flute Circle & WV Native American Flute Circle on Facebook

We follow modern powwow etiquette, meaning that our gatherings are alcohol and drug free. No pets please. All enthusiasts & instruments that wish to accompany the NAF are welcome.

Other groups that you should investigate – as they are a lot of fun
Potomac Flute Circle at
Maryland Flute Circle at
Northern Virginia Flute Circle
International Native American Flute Association at

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