YSU hosts 28th annual Flute Festival with guest Soo-Kyung Park

Flute students setup for the Flute Festival. Photo by Jessica Stamp / The Jambar

By Jessica Stamp

The sounds of airy flute music floated through Bliss Hall on March 18 for the annual Flute Festival.

The event started with the U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Woodwind Quintet’s concert. After, students could watch the Flute Ensemble rehearsal or visit the exhibits and a masterclass that were offered throughout the first floor. 

At noon, guest artist, Soo-Kyung Park, a flute professor from New York University, performed her recital and then gave a brief presentation to students.

The Boardman High School Flute Choir and Youngstown State University High School Honors Flute Ensemble were also at the event and performed. 

Mia Heron, a junior music education major and president of the Flute Society, said it was exciting to have Park at YSU and to work with her because of information on practice techniques.

“We bring in guest artists from all around the country who are really famous in the flute world,” Heron said. “This year we have Soo-Kyung Park who is a professor at New York University, so we’re really excited to have her and do masterclasses with her all day.”

Heron said the event was open to the public and an opportunity for high school flute students to get to know YSU and its music program.

“It’s just a day filled with networking with different artists in the area, getting to know the music school here at YSU, not just the flute studio, but getting to know the school and different professors here,” Heron said. 

Heron also said at the end of the Flute Festival, high school students had a chance to perform alongside the YSU flute players. 

“We’re rehearsing today together, so that’s direct involvement with high school students in the area so they can feel like a music major almost for a day,” Heron said. 

Heron said this event is mainly possible because of Kathryn Umble, a YSU flute professor, who arranged everything.

“[Umble] is really the rock of this organization in the Flute Society. She basically has set everything up. She’s brought in the Navy Band … Soo-Kyung Park, our guest artist,” Heron said. “[Umble] coordinated everything with the school to get the rooms and things like advertise for us.” 

Umble said the Flute Festival allows students to gain knowledge to help further their careers and school education. 

“The flute festival guest artist recital and masterclass with YSU flute students is an invaluable educational and networking event, and in the past this festival has led to career and graduate school offers for YSU alumni,” Umble said. 

Saralyn Joiner, sophomore flute performance major and vice president of the Flute Society, said this event takes a lot of time and practice but allows people to experience good music. 

“These are some of the best players that we’re gonna be hearing today … expect a lot of very prestigious music played,” Joiner said. “It took a lot of work in practice for us to be at this level.” 

Joiner said the Flute Society has performances and other concerts during the year but the Flute Festival is its biggest event.

“This is our biggest event but we actually have rehearsals and performances all the time throughout the year,” Joiner said. “We have concerts every few months.” 

For more information on the Flute Society, check out its website