I believe that finding out what you are passionate about in life can help you to be happy. I believe this because it happened to me. One day, when I was very young, I discovered a tin whistle in a pile of toys at my godmother’s house. To my delight, I could play many tunes on it by ear. I was so excited at being able to do this, that my mom put me in group recorder lessons. I loved these and since I did so well, my teacher suggested that I learn to play the flute . I had no idea what a flute was, but that Christmas, under the tree, was my first flute. Lessons soon started and I discovered that I loved playing the flute. Thanks to my mom, I had found my passion when I was only 11 and ½ years old! Just above is a picture of me at that time.
I never dreamed that learning the flute would give me so many wonderful experiences which intensified my love of the flute and music. While growing up, I played in the Calgary Youth Orchestra during the year and added theory and piano lessons to my busy schedule. I went to music camps in the summer. These included Jeunesses Musicales in Quebec where I won a scholarship. When I was 16 and 17. I played in the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra under many guest conductors. What wonderful experiences these were! I also played in recitals, music festivals and did various music gigs like playing in Ice Capades.
After graduating from high school, I went to the Aspen Music Festival and School where I won a scholarship. I went to the University of Toronto and received my Bachelor of Music Degree and then played in the Canadian Chamber Orchestra in Banff. Following university, I studied with the legendary flute teacher, Geoffrey Gilbert in Florida. He had taught Trevor Wye, James Galway and William Bennett, so I felt quite privileged to be taking lessons from him. After studying with Mr. Gilbert, I returned to Toronto and set up a flute teaching studio, taught flute at two private girls’ schools, a flute class at the University of Toronto, and flute lessons and ensembles at various music camps in the summer. I took flute lessons from Louis Moyse and Jeanne Baxtresser and interpretation and piano with James Anagnoson. I formed the ensemble, Windsong, which consisted of flute and harp or flute and piano. We gave concerts in schools and did all sorts of other fun gigs and recitals. Above is a picture of me with my harpist, Elizabeth Volpé Bligh.