ODU Flute Day: Masterclasses Organized For Local Flute Players


Flyer for ODU Flute Day, via ODU Music.

By Ash F.J. Thomas, Staff Writer

Old Dominion University is hosting an ODU Flute Day event on April 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Diehn Center for Performing Arts. The event is open to all flute players at Old Dominion University and in the surrounding community, including high school and middle school students. 


ODU Flute Day was organized by Dr. Patti Watters, flute professor and director of the Old Dominion University Flute Choir. She will host the event alongside ODU flute professor Rachel Ordaz and William & Mary flute professor Joanne White.


Dr. Tyler Austin, the ODU Director of Bands, will conduct a flute choir reading session at 11 a.m. open to all flute players, including alto and bass flutes.


Rachel Ordaz, who is also the piccoloist of the Virginia Orchestra, will give a piccolo class at 12 p.m.. Patti Watters will give a Flute FUNdamentals class for students who are newer to the flute. She described what she planned to demonstrate as “every flute question you ever wanted to ask, but were afraid to.”


Dr. Kelly Sulick, Professor of Flute from the University of Virginia, is a featured guest artist of the event. She will perform a recital alongside pianist John Maywood at 1 p.m. Afterward, the ODU and the William & Mary choir, directed by Dr. Watters and W&M professor Joanne White, will perform selections from their spring concert music. The choirs will play one piece together during the performance.


The event will close with a masterclass from Dr. Sulick from 3 p.m to 5 p.m. Four ODU students, one William & Mary student, and one high school student will perform a song on the flute, and Dr. Sellick will spend about 20 minutes critiquing their performance  in front of the audience.


“It’s instructive for everybody […] everybody who is listening is learning too,” said Dr. Watters.


Dr. Watters organized ODU Flute Day for her own students and the young flute players of the community. She wanted to give ODU flute students a chance to play for a masterclass and introduce young students, many of whom will start applying to colleges soon, to the music program at ODU.


“Music is meant to be shared. It’s no fun to practice and practice and never get to perform. And it’s no fun to perform without an audience. It’s just what music is meant to do,” said Dr. Watters.


Admission to the event is completely free. Anyone interested in music who wants to support the ODU Flute Choir is encouraged to come to experience the performance and learn from the masterclasses.