Tag Archives: Greater Cleveland Flute Society

The Clue-Down: 12 Upcoming Cleveland Events

Reminder: You have til Monday 8/19 at 11:59pm to enter the Taste of the Browns Giveaway. You can tweet once a day for extra entries (just leave a separate comment on the post for each tweet).
Cleveland Upcoming Events: This is the last weekend for Literary Lots in Cleveland / artwork by Julia Kuo

This is the last weekend for Literary Lots / artwork by Julia Kuo

There’s much more going in Cleveland than I’m able to blog about.  And while this post still doesn’t capture everything that’s happening, here’s my ‘clue-down’ of upcoming Cleveland events that caught my eye.


Last Weekend of Literary Lots:  If you haven’t been able to check out Literary Lots this summer, this is the last weekend.  This month Literary Lots turned a vacant lot at Novak Park (Lorain on W. 38th) into a world of creativity for the community. In addition to revitalizing the public space, they’ve offered programming throughout the month that runs til August 18. Today, Friday and Saturday, there will be storytelling, poetry slams, printmaking and other workshops throughout the day. And on Saturday night starting at 8:30pm, all ages are invited to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the lot.  You can see all of their events at literarylots.org/events.

Continue reading

Spring into Upcoming Events in Cleveland

Springtime in Cleveland

Even our gnome is ready for Spring!

As we March into Spring, eager to trade in those winter coats for short sleeves, Cleveland is full of upcoming events to help shake the winter blahs.

Here are a few I’m looking forward to. Be sure to leave a comment with your picks!

Continue reading

Free Cleveland Composers Concert This Sunday

Remember: Only 2 days left to enter the Fashion Week Cleveland VIP giveaway – good luck!

Lisa Heinrich, Alison La Rosa Montez, Tom Brown, Linda Miller, and Bonnie Svetlik perform Brian Taylor’s "Spirito Sereno" at last year’s free Cleveland Composers Connection Concert

With trips, upcoming weddings and the like, my wallet’s been strapped a bit lately.  So I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive, if not free, things to do around town.  Although I’m out of town this weekend, there’s a free concert on Sunday night that caught my attention and I figured I’d share because we all could use a cheap night out once in a while.

This Sunday at 7pm, the Greater Cleveland Flute Society is hosting their annual Cleveland Composers Connection Concert. The performance will take place at First Unitarian Church of Cleveland in Shaker Heights (21600 Shaker Blvd.)

Bonnie Svetlik, president of the Greater Cleveland Flute Society, performs at last year’s Cleveland Composers Connection Concert

I’ve attended the Flute Society’s annual concert the last couple of years and always find it to be a beautiful – and CLE-centric – way to spend a Sunday. Audiences are treated to an evening of Cleveland flutists performing pieces written by locally-based composers. (Here’s my recap of last year’s concert.)

Now in its 15th season, the Greater Cleveland Flute Society provides opportunities for flutists of all backgrounds to support and learn from one another. In addition to the Cleveland Composers Connection Concert, which is their year-end signature event, they offer recitals, lectures and masterclasses all centered around the flute.

The Cleveland Composers Connection Concert often features others musicians in addition to flutists. Here Joseph Rebman performs at last year’s concert.

For this year’s Cleveland Composers Connection Concert, the Greater Cleveland Flute Society has handpicked 9 flute compositions that were submitted for consideration by local composers:

  • Linda Allen– Flute Loops for flute and piano
  • Eric Ewazen– Sonata No. 1 for flute and piano
  • Stephen Griebling– Colorful Cordoba for flute and piano
  • Bryan Kennard– Between Three Colors for flute, oboe, and alto flute
  • Kaley Kleinman– Fantasy for Three Flutes
  • Jeffrey Mumford– An Evolving Romance for flute and piano
  • William Rayer– Night Trains for piccolo, 4 C flutes, alto, and bass
  • John H.C. Thompson– A Look from Many Sides for solo flute
  • Marshall Jones– Nuclear Placidity for 2 piccolos, 4 C flutes, alto, and bass

The group strives for a diverse sound in these concerts, so while some of the pieces are solely for the flute, others showcase how the flute can complement instruments like the piano and oboe.

In looking at the list of composers, I’m happy to see a great mix of previous years’ favorites – such as Rayer, Griebling and Kennard, as well as new additions to the series.

Last year’s composers: Brian Taylor, Jeffery Quick, William F. Rayer, David Kechley, Monica Houghton, Larry Baker and Tom Lopez

In particular, one composer to look forward to is Kaley Kleinman, a flutist from South Euclid, Ohio who is off to Notre Dame College this Fall. While I am impressed by musicians of any kind, young composers in particular astonish me because I think back to that age and how I would never have had that ability to put thoughts and emotions into music.

So if you’re looking for a pleasant evening that’s easy on your bank account this weekend, connect with composers and musicians in our own backyard and check out the Greater Cleveland Flute Society’s Cleveland Composers Connection Concert.

More information about the Greater Cleveland Flute Society:

Photos credit: Terence Wei, courtesy of Greater Cleveland Flute Society

Greater Cleveland Flute Society's Just Us Recital

Members of the Greater Cleveland Flute Society (Lisa Heinrich, Alison La Rosa Montez, Tom Brown, Linda Miller, and Bonnie Svetlik) performing at a recent concert

Check out NEO Food Tours’ blog: Our recap of this week’s Shaker Square Tour is up along with a link to Cleveland food blogger Bite Buff’s review. If you want to join us on our next one, tickets are now on sale for the Gordon Square Tour on Sept. 21.


The Greater Cleveland Flute Society is getting ready to kick off their 14th season on September 11th with a “Just Us” recital.  I always enjoy sharing when they have upcoming events that are open to the public because GCFS’s mission is something that hits close to home for me.

A little backstory: After ten years of lessons and competitions, I decided to stop playing piano at the end of high school.  I had burned out because of the pressure I put on myself when competing in festivals. I pretty much decided to walk away from it and put it out of my mind.  I know that if you sat me in front of the keys now, I would have no clue where to start. Looking back, it’s definitely something I regret. 

So I get excited when I see organizations like Greater Cleveland Flute Society that provide a way for adults (professional and non-professional musicians alike) to continue their education and have an outlet for performing.  And of course, it doesn’t hurt that GCFS’s performances are always good!

The “Just Us” recital on September 11 is Greater Cleveland Flute Society’s annual showcase of members’ talents. In addition to each member having the opportunity to play for up to 7 minutes, an impromptu GCFS Flute Choir will meet right before the recital, rehearse and then perform a sight-read piece. 

The concert starts at 1:30 pm in the lobby of Beachwood’s Ahuja Medical Center and is open to the public.  It’s part of a year-long program of master classes, meet ups and performance opportunities.  Another one of their annual concerts I always recommend attending is their Cleveland Composers Connection Concert

The composers at GCFS's Cleveland Composers Connection concert: Brian Taylor, Jeffery Quick, William F. Rayer, David Kechley, Monica Houghton, Larry Baker and Tom Lopez

In addition to featuring GCFS musicians, the springtime concert spotlights composers who have a connection to the Cleveland area. This year’s concert in May was the second one I’ve been to and it featured a huge range of styles that really highlighted the versatility of the flute as well as the talent in our own backyard.

For instance, Tom Lopez’s Espaces Pointilles was a completely unexpected take on flute composition.  Lopez, who teaches at Oberlin College, specializes in computer music. His electro-acoustic composition paired flutist Kelly Mollnow Wilson’s live performance with Lopez playing electronically manipulated recordings of her flute. 

It was interesting because Lopez was able to digitally change the sounds of the flute to expose the audience to notes they wouldn’t normally hear — creating a piece that was simultaneously unsettling and uniquely beautiful. 

As in years past, each composer introduced his or her piece. Getting this insight into their inspiration or style is one of my favorite aspects of the concert. Composer David Kechley, who had two pieces performed this year, spoke about how his first piece – AVAILABLE LIGHT: Midwinter Musings for the flute and harp — had been written for his wife Jerilee Taverniti Kechley, a gifted flutist.

This was followed by Summer’s Passing, a moving piece inspired by the tragic death of Kechley’s wife due to breast cancer. Hearing him speak about his wife was heartbreaking, but the music that was inspired by her absolutely uplifting.

Joseph Rebman and Becky Chen perform David Kechley's "Available Light: Midwinter Musings"

My favorite performance of the evening, though, was Brian Taylor’s lively Allarme Vicino Piazza San Pietro. In addition to being a PhD candidate in CWRU’s Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Taylor also writes big band arrangements, which showed very clearly in the flute quartet’s performance. 

Inspired by the incessant police sirens that kept him up one night in Italy, Allarme Vicino featured the high-pitched, rhythm of the siren which then flowed into a jazz-flavored groove that reminded me of an evening in Rome.  The piece ended the concert on a very engaging note. 

Of course, these compositions would not have been so enjoyable if not for the talent of the Greater Cleveland Flute Society’s members. I’ve been consistently impressed by the high quality of their performances. Recalling the difficulties of sight-reading from my days playing the piano, I’m hoping to make it to their concert on September 11th to see how they will impress next. 

Greater Cleveland Flute Society 411:

(photo source: Terence Wei on Flickr)

Greater CLE Flute Society's Composers Concert is Back

Members of the Greater Cleveland Flute Society perform in last year's Composers Connection Concert. (from www.gcfs.org)

Last April, I blogged about my experience at the Greater Cleveland Flute Society’s Cleveland Composers Connection Concert.  It was a great evening showcasing not only the works of Cleveland composers, but also the talent of the flutists in the Greater Cleveland Flute Society.

I can hardly believe it’s already been a year, but the Cleveland Composers Connection Concert is back this Sunday, May 1st.

The concert, which is the final program of GCFS’s 2010-2011 season, will be held at 7 p.m. on Sunday at Christ Episcopal Church (3445 Warrensville Center Road, Shaker Heights).

This year’s free Composers Connection Concert will feature nine works, performed by members of the Greater Cleveland Flute Society.  As they did last year, the composers will introduce and discuss their works prior to each performance. This was one of my favorite aspects of last year’s concert because you got to understand the story behind the composer and their inspiration for writing.

For instance, one of the composers selected for this year’s concert is Brian K. Taylor, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. This is the first time Taylor – who typically composes big band and standard jazz instrumentations – has arranged a piece exclusively for the flute.  At Sunday’s concert, GCFS will not just perform one but two of Taylor’s flute compositions: Spirito Sereno for flute quintet and Allarme Vicino Piazza San Pietro for flute quartet.

At last year's concert, Loris Chobanian performed his composition Vivo with Bryan Kennard (who later presented his own Two Fugues). (from www.gcfs.org)

In addition to these two works, the Composers Connection Concert will include performances of:

  • When Air is Not Enough for flute and chime by Larry Baker
  • Three Songs Without Words for flute and guitar – New Moon – Spring Rain – Snow Storm by Monica Houghton
  • Available Light for flute and harp by David Kechley
  • Summer’s Passing for solo flute by David Kechley
  • Ballade for flute and piano by Jeffrey Quick
  • Pan’s Pandora for flute, alto flute, and bass flute by William F. Rayer
  • Espaces Pointillés for flute and electro-acoustic sound by Tom Lopez

Established in 1997, the Greater Cleveland Flute Society provides opportunities for flutists of all backgrounds to support and learn from one another and guest artists.  GCFS programs include recitals, masterclasses and the annual Cleveland Composers Connection concert.  Its members include students, adults, teachers, amateur and professional flutists and corporate sponsors — so you really see a diverse range of performances.

As Bonnie Svetlik, the president of GCFS, explained, “This concert is an opportunity for local composers to showcase their flute compositions to an interested audience of flutists and fans of new music. It gives us an opportunity to see firsthand what composers are doing right now, and it’s always exciting to see the varying styles of music and how these composers write a piece for this beautiful instrument.”

After how much I enjoyed last year’s compositions and performances, I’d say she’s right. I hope to see some of you there, enjoying another example of the composers and performers we have here in Cleveland.

Greater Cleveland Flute Society 411:

Local Composers Connect with the Greater Cleveland Flute Society

More information about the GCFS can be found at www.gcfs.org


As mentioned in my last post about the Great Lakes Theatre Festival, one of the things I love about Cleveland is the quality of the performing arts that can be found here.   

However, the city also demonstrates excellence in other areas besides theatre.  It not only hosts the world-famous Cleveland Orchestra, but is also home to a number of smaller music societies that provide the community with the opportunity to participate in and experience exquisite performances.  

One of these organizations is the Greater Cleveland Flute Society. Established in 1997, the GCFS works toward furthering an interest in flute music within the local community.   

They achieve this by hosting both performance and educational opportunities including masterclasses and flute chamber ensemble concerts. In addition to local activities, they’ve performed at the Northeast Ohio Flute Association Festival last fall as well as the Chicago Flute Festival.   

One of the Greater Cleveland Flute Society’s most popular local events is the Cleveland Composers Connection Concert, which took place this year on April 25. This particular concert focuses on composers who are local to the Cleveland area.  Starting in the Fall, composers can submit flute compositions to be performed at a concert the following Spring.  This gives both the composers and the GCFS the opportunity to showcase selected compositions to an audience of flutists and flute enthusiasts.  

This year’s event took place at Judson Manor on E 107th St around University Circle.  It featured two programs that showcased works by 8 composers of varying styles and backgrounds. Since the composers were local to Cleveland, they were able to attend the concert, discuss their compositions, and in the case of one composer perform part of it as well.  While I personally don’t have a strong background in flute music, I studied piano for a number of years and really enjoy discovering new music and composers. Subsequently, this was a very exciting opportunity to listen to the composers explain the thought-process behind their pieces.  

Spanish Nights performers with Composer Victoria Belfiglio (from www.gcfs.org)


The concert opened and closed with two pieces by Victoria Belfiglio: Processional for Flutes and Spanish Nights. A resident of Shaker Heights, Belfiglio was previously featured in the 2006 Cleveland Composers Connection.  Her Processional was a pleasing piece for a small ceremony such as a wedding or graduation and was written for a flute choir of 2 standard flutes, an alto and a bass flute. It was the first time I had ever listened to a bass flute, so that was a new experience in and of itself.  Her Spanish Nights composition, on the other hand, was written to convey the energy of a hot Spanish night and featured a multitude of other instruments in addition to the flute – including guitars, castanets, tambourine and maracas.  

Loris Chobanian performed Chobanian's Vivo with Bryan Kennard (who later presented his compositions Two Fugues). (from www.gcfs.org)


Spanish Nights wasn’t the only piece to incorporate instruments besides the flute. A few of the other pieces I found particularly enjoyable also used guitar and piano as a complement. Among these were pieces by Loris Chobanian and Stephen Griebling.  

A professor of composition and guitar and a composer-in-resident at Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory, Loris Chobanian performed the guitar portions of his two compositions Nocturne and Vivo.  Originally, the accompanying flute arrangements were written for the cello. One thing that Chobanian noted about converting the cello portions to flute was accounting for the flutist’s necessity to breathe.  After a few attempts at working it into the composition, he recounted how he decided to just let the individual flutist determine that for themselves.  

Bonnie Svetlik and Madeline Levitz performed Stephen Griebling's Episode on Lake Erie (from www.gcfs.org)


Stephen Griebling‘s composition, on the other hand, featured the piano in addition to the flute.  Griebling’s composition was titled Episode on Lake Erie.  A fan of cross-disciplinary art, I found the story behind his piece the most interesting.  The composition was based off a painting that conveyed a ship being tossed around during a tumultuous storm.  With this in mind, listening to how the piano and flute worked together to convey the waves’ movements was one of the concert’s highlights.  Griebling’s background was also interesting. Coming from a family of composers who were named Ohio Musical Family of the Year in 1974, he has a long history of writing music starting at age 17.  However, he has also demonstrated creativity in other fields, holding four patents and recently retiring from the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company where he worked as a tire development engineer.

Cathy Spicer, Lisa Heinrich, and Kimberly Speiran performed William Rayer's Dance Suite (from www.gcfs.org)


The Cleveland Composers Connection also featured the world premiere of Dance Suite – a piece by William Rayer.   Rayer, who is a retired music teacher and performs regularly with the Lorain Community Orchestra, first wrote the suite as a study of technique.  However, in working on the movements, they developed into a beautiful piece for a flute trio. The three movements – Dance Mystique, Pavanne and Dance Macabre – were each written to bring a different sound to the suite.   The first movement balanced being both reflective and energetic.  The second movement featured the first flute in a cadenza-like movement, with the second and third flutes supporting with a quiet and plaintive sound.  Finally, Rayer equated the third movement to a chase. Written in a fugal style, it starts out as the most energetic, but at the very end becomes somber and reflective hinting at earlier movements before the chase restarts. My favorite part about the premiere of Dance Suite was that you could see how the performers worked hard and collaborated with the composer to successfully ensure the first impression the piece made conveyed Rayer’s intention.  

Other compositions that were featured included Christopher Lee’s beautifully lilting Skywriting, David Kulma’s contrasting Waxing Rhapsodic and Waxing Fantastic, Bryan Kennard’s aptly titled Two Fugues: DeaFuga and Fyoog, and a moving remembrance of Amy Barlowe’s father in Hebraique Elegie.  

Currently, the Greater Cleveland Flute Society is in the planning stages for next year’s programs.  In September, they’ll host their kickoff meeting and picnic for the new season. Other official events that will follow are the ‘Just Us’ Concert – which is open to the public and features members of the GCFS performing – as well as the call for submissions for next year’s Composers Connection Concert. Outside of these events, members will frequently perform throughout the area playing at local churches such as Lakewood Congregational Church and Shaker Heights’ First Unitarian. More information about upcoming and past events, including photos, can be found on the Greater Cleveland Flute Society’s Facebook page.  

The GCFS is an excellent example of local talent looking to enrich the community through its educational and performance efforts.  And by featuring compositions by Cleveland composers, the Greater Cleveland Flute Society has definitely achieved its mission.  

Greater Cleveland Flute Society 411:
Cleveland Composers Connection Concert
GCFS Facebook Page
How to Join
Photo Gallery of Previous Events