GREATER PORTLAND FLUTE SOCIETY

HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

The Greater Portland Flute Society (GPFS), a non-profit organization, was formed in 1979.  Our mission is to provide a time and place for flutists to meet, exchange ideas, gain performance experience, play in ensembles and generally promote and enhance flute playing in the Greater Portland Area. 

GPFS is dedicated to the advancement of music education, increased accessibility of knowledge through scholarship and study grant programs, participation in student Flute Choirs, instrument loan programs and volunteerism in our schools.  Because of GPFS and its programs, many students who would otherwise be unable, because of financial considerations, are able to study privately and have instruments that function properly.  The Greater Portland Flute Society offers a chance for all flute students to take part in one of our flute choirs. This not only acquaints them with the large repertoire of flute ensemble music but also promotes the development of intricate ensemble skills (e.g, tuning and balance).

Each year, the Greater Portland Flute Society aims to sponsor events that provide encouragement, education, and enjoyment for both our members and our community. We do this by bringing nationally and internationally acclaimed artists to Portland to perform, lecture and teach. In the past we have attracted many prominent flutists, including James Galway, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Julius Baker, Samuel Baron, John Barcellona, Robert Dick, Matthias Ziegler, Steven Kujala, James Walker and Ransom Wilson.  These events provide important opportunities for young flutists and local teachers to learn from leading professionals of national and international stature. 

GPFS maintains an extensive music library available for loan at no charge to our members, thus allowing access to a greater range of music than might otherwise be affordable to many.  GPFS also owns a bass flute and an alto flute which are likewise available for loan to our members (at a nominal daily charge), providing an opportunity to experience playing an instrument that most would not otherwise have.

Our membership draws from all walks of life; we have professional performers, flute teachers, students of all ages, homemakers, accountants, teachers, computer specialists, civil servants, doctors, nurses, retail employees, and retirees.  Our organization provides valuable performance experience to flutists in our community (in events such as our GPFS Members’ Recital and Flute Fair), as well as access to our Music Library and our bass and alto flutes.  Annually, we have at least one free event available to both flutists and non-flutists.  Our GPFS Member’s Recital is a free event that is open and advertised to the entire community.  Our “Cocoa, Cookies & Choir” Flute Choir Reading Session is another free event open to member and prospective member flutists for an informal get together sight-reading through flute music.

The Greater Portland Flute Society has gained national recognition as a leader among flute clubs due to its very successful annual Flute Fair. This event is held at the beginning of April and attracts up to 400 flute enthusiasts from as far away as Seattle and distant parts of Oregon.  Flute Fair participants take part in seminars related to the flute and in flute performance including flute choir reading sessions, masterclasses, and scheduled seminars.  Recent Flute Fair attractions have included Extended Techniques, Musicality Seminars, Wooden and Bamboo Flute Demonstrations, Piccolo Sessions, and Pedagogy Seminars. Many of our business members look forward to Flute Fair as a means of getting acquainted with the Portland flute community. Our members often use this occasion to test new and different models of flutes.

In addition to the above-mentioned events sponsored by GPFS, we periodically sponsor events such as the Northwest Composers Concert, providing a popular forum for new compositions from area composers; and the Portland Flute Choir Festival, providing a performance and networking opportunity for flute choirs throughout the Northwest, as well as the chance to work with a well-known guest conductor in performing a mass flute choir piece as the finale of the program. 

Along with our many events and activities the Greater Portland Flute Society publishes a newsletter four to six times per year that informs our readers of upcoming events. This newsletter provides an opportunity to get to know the Greater Portland Flute Society and its yearly activities. Complementary copies of our most recent newsletter can be obtained from our newsletter editor.