Sharon Sparrow is currently Acting Principal Flute of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She remains tenured in the position of Assistant Principal Flute granted to her by Leonard Slatkin in 2014, and before that, was tenured as DSO’s Second Flutist for nine years. She earned a Bachelor’s degree at The Juilliard School and a Master’s degree at Mannes College of Music, studying with renowned teachers Julius Baker, Thomas Nyfenger and Geoffrey Gilbert. She has given master classes all over the world and locally is the Instructor of Flute at Oakland University and Wayne State University.
Sharon is a sought-after trainer for orchestral auditions on all instruments, and she has coached players who have won major jobs in orchestras throughout the US. Her specialty is helping musicians with their mindset, confidence, and certainty through preparation so they can master the audition experience. Her book, “6 Weeks to Finals”, published by Theodore Presser in 2016 is in high demand.
In August of 2018, a set of duets, “Telemann for Two” that she co-wrote with colleague Jeffery Zook, based on Telemann’s Solo Fantasies was released by Theodore Presser. Sharon is a hands-on advocate for music education at all ages and has hosted and written children’s shows for both the Detroit Symphony and the CutTime Players, based in Michigan.
Sharon has been a frequent concerto soloist with the Detroit Symphony and other local orchestras. She has held Principal positions with the Memphis Symphony, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, as well as a guest flutist in the Chicago, Pittsburgh, Hong Kong, and Baltimore Symphony.
Her children have continued with a passion for music. Daughter, Hannah, graduated with a degree in Choral Music Education from U of M and is a professional singer, and son, Zack, graduated from Belmont University with a degree in Music Business and works for the recording label Naxos in Nashville. Sharon is proud to be a resident of downtown Detroit.
Katherine Kemler is the Charles and Mary Barré Alumni Professor of Flute at Louisiana State University, and flutist with the Timm Wind Quintet. She is a regular visiting teacher at the Oxford Flute Summer School in England and the Académie Musicale Internationale de Colombes in France. A graduate of Oberlin, she received her M. Mus. and D.M.A. degrees from S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook. Her major teachers include Samuel Baron, Robert Willoughby, and Mark Thomas. She has also studied in masterclasses with Marcel Moyse, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Julius Baker, William Bennett, Andras Adorjan, and Michel Debost. Dr. Kemler has taught masterclasses and performed solo recitals at Ecuadorian Flute Festivals in Quito and Guayaquil, two international flute festivals in Guatemala, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Adelaide Conservatorium, the University of Western Australia and the Perth Music Academy in Australia. She has also taught and performed at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China and the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts. In addition, she has performed a solo recital in the Beijing Concert Hall and taught flute masterclasses at the Central Conservatory of Music there. In the summer of 2007, she performed and taught at the Festiv’Academies in France. She has performed at fifteen National Flute Association conventions in Denver, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Boston, Orlando, Chicago, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, New York City, Charlotte, and Minneapolis as well as at the British Flute Society National Convention in 2014. She was featured on the cover of Flute Talk Magazine in December of 2006 and also on the cover of the Flutist Quarterly, the official magazine of the NFA, in 2003. Dr. Kemler has appeared as soloist with the British Chamber Orchestra in London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, and with the Orchestra Medicea Laurenziana throughout Italy, including Florence, Naples, and Salerno. She has toured extensively as a soloist, with the Kemler/Benjamin flute/harp duo, and with the Timm Wind Quintet. She has appeared in China, England, Poland, Switzerland, Canada, Italy, France, Ecuador, Guatemala, Australia, Slovenia, throughout the United States, and made solo broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and National Public Radio. She has recorded four CDs with Centaur Records, Inc., Virtuoso American Flute Works, Sky Loom, for flute and harp, Sonatina with LSU pianist Michael Gurt, and Lipstick, a CD of contemporary works. She has also recorded on the Orion and Opus One Labels.
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.
Sarah Schettler has served has Second Flutist in the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra since 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.
Danilo Mezzadri teaches flute at Southern Miss, Festival Músicas nas Montanhas, and Blue Lake. He is Principal Flute at Gulf Coast and North Mississippi Symphony Orchestras. Danilo’s performances have been reviewed as “gorgeous” (Detroit Press) “with a limpid sound, and coaxing every ounce of lyricism” (Jackson Patriot). His CD Brazilian Soundscapes, was regarded as “music of a high order that deserves a welcome from a global audience" (The American Record Guide). In his most recent CD Epigrams, Danilo is described as having “glowing, golden tone” and “vivid musicality bringing each work to life, regardless of tonality” (Fanfarre Magazine). He has won several competitions, such as the International Porto Alegre Symphonic Orchestra Young Instrumentalist Competition and the Brazilian International Flute Association Competition. A sought out performer and teacher, Danilo maintains an active concert schedule around the US, South America, and Europe. Danilo graduated with First Prize Award from the EMBAP (Brazil). He earned a Master of Music, Master of Musicology, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Michigan State University.
Emily is a recent graduate of DePaul University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in music performance and graduated summa cum laude. She studied with Mark Sparks and Alyce Johnson, and played in her school’s various ensembles including the DePaul Symphony Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, and Baroque ensembles. Emily was an active freelancer in Chicago, performing for university events, private events, and in local ensembles, such as the Thompson Street Orchestra. Emily has studied with and performed for many renowned flute pedagogues at Orford Music in Quebec, including Robert Langevin, Paula Robison, Julien Beaudiment, and Denis Bluteau. When she is not practicing her flute, Emily enjoys cooking (and eating) all foods, reading novels and nonfiction, and exploring her city of residence.
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.
Louisiana Flute Society
Shanna Drescher, a native of Columbia, South Carolina, joined the faculty at Southeastern Louisiana University in 2015. Prior to this appointment she served on the faculty of the University of New Orleans as an Adjunct Flute Professor. She is a dedicated flautist and music educator and has been the elementary band director at the Runnels School in Baton Rouge since 2012. Shanna has also taught elementary general music in Oklahoma and Louisiana and was the band director at Gonzales Middle School for three years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in flute performance from the University of North Texas and a Master’s Degree in flute performance and education certification from Louisiana State University.
Mrs. Drescher has performed with numerous orchestras, wind ensembles, and chamber groups from across the country. She currently serves as the principal flute and regularly appears as a guest soloist with the Louisiana Sinfonietta as well as the flautist with the Lagniappe Wind Quintet. She has performed with the Baton Rouge Symphony, Acadiana Symphony, Opera Louisiane, Natchez Opera Orchestra, American Wind Symphony, Theatre Baton Rouge, and Playmakers of Baton Rouge. Drescher has recorded with the North Texas Wind Symphony for the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series under the direction of Eugene Corporon and with the Louisiana Sinfonietta under the Centaur Recording Label. Aside from performance duties, she has previously served as the librarian for the Baton Rouge Symphony and as the Wind Studies Librarian for Mr. Corporon at UNT. She has appeared in masterclasses with renowned teachers such as Leone Buyse, Linda Chesis, Jeffery Zook, Robert Dick, Mary Ann Archer, Ervin Monroe, and Robert Stallman. Her principal teachers include Dr. Katherine Kemler, Terri Sundberg, Dr. Mary Karen Clardy, Dr. Constance Lane, and Cynthia Hopkins.