SRU’s Flute Studio invites high school students to audition for 7th Annual Honors Flute Ensemble


Flute studio

Area high school students participate in the 2019 Honors Flute Ensemble. This year’s event will take place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (SRU 2019 file photo)

Dec. 11, 2020

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University's Music Department is inviting high school flutists to audition for the Flute Studio's 7th Annual Honors Flute Ensemble. Interested students should submit a completed application, recorded audition and nonrefundable $20 audition fee via an online submission process no later than 11:59 p.m., Jan. 1, 2021.

Cassandra Eisenreich, SRU assistant professor of music and the coordinator of both the SRU Flute Studio and Honors Flute Ensemble, said the ensemble is an opportunity for high school students to learn from professionals and grow as musicians while providing SRU students the chance to serve as mentors and leaders.

"High school students who are accepted into the program have the chance to interact with artists from all over the country and to form connections with other flutists while also enhancing their musicianship," said Eisenreich.

The program will culminate with a Zoom concert at 7 p.m., Feb. 28, 2021, where students will premiere three commissioned pieces from a trio of professional composers and flutists, including:

  • Nicole Chamberlain, a composer and flutist based in Atlanta, who will implement her standard use of extended techniques and nontraditional sounds.
  • Rafael Piccolotto de Lima, a Brazilian arranger, composer, conductor and educator, who will introduce a Bulgarian folk tune in mixed meter fashion.
  • Robert Traugh, a freelance composer and Duquesne University professor of music, who will introduce a traditional folk song of serene and simplistic style.

"It's an exciting thing for high schoolers to have the opportunity to premiere new music as it's something they wouldn't otherwise get to experience until college," Eisenreich said.

Cassandra Eisenreich


To audition for the ensemble, students will submit an application and recording which will showcase them playing major scales and arpeggios, the chromatic scale, and a selection from Fantasie, Op. 79 by Gabriel Faure.

Accepted students will prepare for the concert through virtual rehearsals and online classes that will involve building technique and tone to musicianship well-being with SRU students and clinicians outside of the University.

Clinicians recruited for the 2021 Honors Flute Ensemble include:

  • Allison Loggins-Hull, a composer, producer and co-founder of the musical duo Flutronix.
  • Gina Luciani, a flutist who has recorded for film and television, and performed alongside artists including Kanye West, Ariana Grande and Carrie Underwood.
  • Cassie Maloney, a movement and meditation instructor inspired by both the Alexander Technique and slacklining.
  • Lorna McGhee, a Scottish flutist who has been serving as principal flute for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2012.
  • Mimi Stillman, a soloist and ensemble flute member who was also the founding artistic director of Dolce Suono Ensemble.

SRU Flute Studio students participating in the event include:

  • Rachel Crust, a sophomore music education major from Beech Creek.
  • Rachel Green, a freshman music education major from Slippery Rock.
  • Isaiah Greenawalt, a sophomore music education major from Ruffs Dale.
  • Hope Kaufman, a sophomore music therapy major from Alum Bank.
  • Kalista Heidkamp, a senior dual music performance and music education major from Pittsburgh.
  • Nikki Kammer, a senior music performance major from Freedom.
  • Samantha Kochis, a senior music education major from Cranberry Township.
  • Rachael Kovaly, a senior music therapy major from Gibsonia.
  • Nicole Laborie, a junior early childhood and special education major from Butler.
  • Jordan Lilly, a senior music education major from Sterling, Virginia.
  • Frances Orteza, a senior music education major from Sharon.
  • Gracie Smith, a junior music therapy major from Valencia.
  • Reilly Scherzer, a sophomore music education major from Cranberry Township.

Athena Konidaris, a senior at Penn-Trafford High School who will be attending SRU in fall 2021 to study music education, has participated in the Honors Flute Ensemble for the past three years after a teacher suggested she should audition.

"I have always loved music and while I tried other things, this stuck," said Konidaris. "Getting to participate in the Honors Flute Ensemble not only reinforced music as my path, but I love working with the artists, learning new techniques and making more friends each year."

On the mentoring end of the experience, Heidkamp, who has participated in the ensemble for two years as a high school student and four years as an SRU student, appreciated the opportunity as a way to further explore music and to help provide a similar experience for younger musicians.

"As a high school student, attending the ensemble was a great experience musically as I hadn't gone to a school with a great music program," Heidkamp said. "(The ensemble) was important in expanding my musical skills and ended up introducing me to many of my current classmates.

"It changed my perspective on everything and helped me to make some life changing decisions. While I was considering becoming a music major before I arrived at SRU, the ensemble made me realize with certainty that there is nothing else I'd rather do."

For more information contact Eisenreich at 724.738.2440 or

MEDIA CONTACT: Lesa Bressanelli | 724.738.2091 |