Louisiana Flute Society

Patti Adams 

Patti Adams is solo piccoloist and assistant principal flutist with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (formerly the New Orleans Symphony) and is on the faculty of Loyola University's College of Music. She has performed with the National Repertory Orchestra, the Colorado Music Festival and recorded and toured internationally with the Mexico City Philharmonic as co-principal flute. 

Patti has served the National Flute Association in a variety of roles including President, member of the Board of Directors, Chair of the Advisory Committee, Local Arrangements Chair for New Orleans conventions (1989 and 2013), Gala Awards Dinner Chair (2012-2016) and, in 1997, was Program Chair for the NFA's 25th anniversary convention in Chicago. She has performed and presented at numerous NFA conventions and was featured as the cover story of the February 2004 Flute Talk magazine. She was honored to be the recipient of the NFA's 2014 Distinguished Service Award. 

She has appeared as guest artist at numerous flute festivals around the country including Chicago, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Raleigh, NC and has presented masterclasses at Rice, University of Michigan, Ohio State University and others. Her major teachers include Julius Baker and Everett Timm. She has performed in a variety of masterclasses including Jean-Pierre Rampal, Maxence Larrieu, Sam Baron and William Bennett and counts them all as major influences in her musical life. 

Jim Walker, flute

Few other flutists in history have made such indelible marks in so many musical circles. From classical to conservatory to  orchestral to jazz to pop, television to film to the concert hall, Jim Walker has never met an audience that didn’t love his powerful, “stand and deliver” performances.

His star began to rise when Jim was named Associate Principal Flute in the Pittsburgh Symphony after a stint playing in the US Military Academy Band at West Point.  He quickly gained the admiration of colleagues and audiences in Pittsburgh and set his sights on Principal Flute jobs.  After eight years he won the Principal Flute position in the Los Angeles Philharmonic and never looked back.

To be Principal Flute of a major orchestra is to sit at the pinnacle of the profession.  Most flutists who reach that height are content to spend the rest of their careers there, but Jim but Jim felt an eagerness and aspiration to move his music-making forward yet again.  After seven successful seasons of performing, recording, and touring with the Los Angeles Philharmonic—during which time the New York Philharmonic briefly borrowed him as Principal Flute for their 1982 South American tour—Jim left the orchestra, diving off the mountaintop into the world of jazz, studio recording and a commitment to teaching.

Having retired from the world of movie soundtracks, is now has raised his teaching commitment to a new level.  He is continuing to fill his students’ lives with music (for more than five decades) just as his own parents—Bob, a jazz clarinetist and public school band director, and Barbara, a church organist—filled his upbringing in Greenville, Kentucky, with piano and flute lessons.  He went on to become a graduate and “Distinguished Alumnus” of the University of Louisville as well as the University’s first “Alumni Fellow” from the School of Music.  To this day Jim credits a parade of flute teachers with helping him rise through the ranks, from Sarah Fouse and Francis Fuge in Kentucky to the Metropolitan Opera’s Harold Bennett, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s James Pellerite, and internationally renowned flutist and conductor Claude Monteux.

Jim’s gratitude to his teachers is returned to him by his students.  As Professor of Flute, Chamber Music and Music Technology, at The Colburn Conservatory of Music, and as Professor of Practice and Coordinator of Flute Studies at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, Jim devotes the majority of his time steering the careers of young flutists.  Currently he is teaching at The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA. He has been a return guest artist/teacher at Jeanne Baxstresser’s “The Consummate Flutist”. Before coming to Los Angeles, Jim’s teaching career included positions at Duquesne University, Carnegie-Mellon, and the University of Pittsburgh, and since arriving in Southern California he has been invited to be visiting professor at the University of North Texas, the University of Texas-Austin, and Arizona State University. 

Jim has taught hundreds of flutists both privately and at these renowned institutions.  Many of them have gone on to successful orchestral careers, holding Principal Flute chairs in major symphonies from Phoenix to Boston to Beijing.  Still others have careers in fields as varied as gospel music and arts administration.  Jim is not interested in simply training musicians; he inspires each pupil as a whole person, and students leave his tutelage feeling empowered, reaching for the stars.  With such a legacy, it is no wonder that students on four continents have flocked to hear his recitals and master classes.  Jim’s creativity allows him to reach not only these students but also others he never sees with his editions of flute masterworks on the Alfred Music Publications Young Artist Series.  He is also completing a set of flute method books filled with unique, fun, highly instructional exercises so that future generations can continue to benefit from his wealth of knowledge and generosity.

Jazz had been Jim’s earliest musical loves, and he was inspired to get back to it by LA’s lively club scene.  After a few years of avid listening in dives, gaining confidence undercover in the practice room, he organized his jazz quartet Free Flight.  Flute, piano, bass, and drums playing a unique fusion of jazz and classical music, propelled  Free Flight to take the music world by storm.  Jim’s unique combination of vision and determination pushed the group to multiple appearances on The Tonight Show and The Today Show and brought them a number one record (Slice of Life).  By the time Jean-Pierre Rampal—the granddaddy of modern classical flutists, in his biography of 1990, called “Jimmy” his “favorite jazz flute player”,  Jim was a bona fide “jazz flute man”.

Life was equally good for Jim Walker in LA’s famed studio scene.  Until June of 2010, he was a first-call studio flutist for the better part of two decades; his bold, expressive playing can be heard on hundreds of soundtracks and commercial recordings.  His playing became the gold standard from Hollywood to Carnegie Hall and unlocked the door to studio and concert collaborations with everyone from John Williams and Paul McCartney—“the thrill of a lifetime,” says Jim—to Leonard Bernstein, James Galway, and the LA Guitar Quartet.

Dynamic soloist, legendary orchestral and studio musician, celebrated jazz flutist, and an inspiration to countless students worldwide; Jim Walker is living proof that with enough creativity and determination, one can reach the stars.   He is a living legend, and a true Renaissance Man of the Flute.

Jim Walker is a Performing Artist for Burkart & Resona Flutes and Piccolos.

Rachel Ciraldo

Rachel Taratoot Ciraldo is the principal flutist of the Baton Rouge Symphony and Meridian Symphony Orchestra.  As the Development Coordinator of the Hattiesburg Concert Association and Coordinator of the Community and Educational Outreach Program at Southern Miss, she affects social and economic development in south Mississippi. From 2007-2013, she was Instructor of Flute at Southeastern Louisiana University from and has served as a visiting instructor of flute at both Louisiana State University and the University of Southern Mississippi.  Rachel won Third Prize and the award for the Best Performance of the Newly Commissioned Work in the 2007 National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition.  She also won first prizes in the 2006 Byron Hester Flute Competition, 2002 James Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute Competition and the 1998 Flute Festival Mid-South Young Artist Competition.   Rachel earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University where she studied with Thomas Robertello and Jacques Zoon.  She earned a Master of Music degree from Boston University where she studied with Marianne Gedigian.  She has also studied extensively with Jill Felber, Amy Porter, and Angela Jones-Reus.  Rachel is an active chamber musician and performs regularly with guitarist and husband, Nicholas Ciraldo, in Duo Cintemani. 

Amulet Strange 

Amulet Strange is Principal Flutist of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and member of the MSO Woodwind Quintet since 2015. Additionally, she is Adjunct Professor of Flute at Jackson State University and Mississippi College and on the Artist Roster for the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Ms. Strange has recently performed with Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and been a guest clinician for the Mid-South and Louisiana flute festivals. Her summers have been spent across the United States at Spoleto Festival USA, Avaloch Farm Music Institute, Atlantic Music Festival, Texas Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, and Ohio Light Opera.

Ms. Strange is a founding member of Deciduous Trio for flute/ viola (Stephanie Mientka)/ harp (Hope Cowan). The Deciduous Trio is committed to expanding their ensemble’s repertoire and sharing their unique sound with diverse audiences. The Deciduous Trio has performed on recital series across the country and the American Harp Society and National Flute Association conventions.

As a soloist, Ms. Strange has performed the Mozart and Reinecke concertos with Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, respectively. Her masterclass performances have been for renowned flutists such as Emmanuel Pahud, Jim Walker, Christina Jennings, Conor Nelson, and Jill Felber, among others.

A Texas native and Interlochen Arts Academy graduate, Ms. Strange holds a Master of Music degree from Rice University and Bachelor of Music degree from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she was the recipient of the Presser Scholar Award. Her major teachers include Timothy Day and Leone Buyse with additional influence from Aralee Dorough, Catherine Payne, and Jocelyn Goranson. 

Sarah Schettler

Sarah Schettler joined the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra as Second Flutist in September of 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from Millikin University, Master of Music degrees in Flute Performance and Musicology from the University of North Texas, and a Doctor of Music from The Florida State University. In 2005, she was one of six flutists worldwide to be accepted into Trevor Wye's Flute Studio, located in southern England. Her former teachers include Terri Sundberg, Charles DeLaney, Stephanie Jutt, and Trevor Wye.

Before moving to New Orleans, Sarah served as Assistant Professor of Music at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where she taught flute and music theory, and Columbus State University, where she taught applied flute. She has performed with the Corpus Christi and Victoria Symphonies in south Texas and with the Orquestra Sinfonica de U.A.N.L. in Monterrey, Mexico. Sarah was a semifinalist in the 2004 National Flute Association Young Artist Competition and first prize winner in the 2005 Flute Society of Kentucky Young Artist Competition. She has performed at the National Flute Association's conventions in Dallas, Nashville, and New Orleans.

As an educator, Sarah serves as the flute instructor at Tulane University and the University of New Orleans. She also maintains a private studio out of her home, where she teaches beginners through adults. Many of her students have successfully auditioned for Louisiana All-State, area Honor Bands, and have continued as music majors at the university level. During the summers, she teaches at New England Music Camp in Sidney, Maine.