April Flute’s Day brings young musicians to Garvey

Flute Power: Washburn flute players and Music Professor Rebecca Meador, front right, spent the day sharing music with younger students.

This April Fools’ Day, over 50 youth flute players came to Washburn for the annual April Flutes’ Day, hosted by the WU Flute Association.

April Flutes’ Day began in 2006 and brings fifth through 12th grade flute players from the Topeka area to campus to learn.

This year the event featured short presentations from members of WUFA, performances from attendees and WUFA students, a masterclass by Mary Holzhausen and crafts.

Alicia Schoenberger, WUFA president and junior music education major, has been involved with April Flutes’ Day for three years as a student.

“Although they are different ages and ability levels, April Flute’s Day gives flute students the opportunity to learn and meet new people,” Schoenberger said.

Students engaged in activities, coaching sessions and enjoyed a skit about the do’s and don’ts of solo and small ensemble festivals as they prepare for future performances.

Many WUFA members are music education majors, so this also gave them experience with teaching students about the principles of flute playing.

“The university flute students also have the ability to teach and learn new things themselves,” Schoenberger said.

Freshman music education major Michelle Sieve has experienced April Flutes’ Day both as an attendee and now as a member of WUFA.

“Starting in sixth grade, I attended almost every year through my senior year of high school,” Sieve said. “My senior year I performed a solo for the group coaching sessions that helped me to prepare for solo/small ensemble festivals.”

For the past three years, attendees have made charms for their flute cases, and Sieve says she still has all three of them on her flute case. She believes her positive experiences at April Flutes’ Day influenced her decision to attend Washburn.

Music Professor Rebecca Meador, helped bring April Flutes Day to campus.

“In the end, we are trying to create a sense of community so these young players have a place where they belong,” Meador said.