Annual Flute Festival

Due to the ongoing health emergency posed by COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Flute Festival. We hope to reschedule elements of the event during the 2020-2021 Season.


More information about our decision can be found on our homepage

2020 Schedule of Events

10:30-4:15 — Commercial Exhibits

featuring leading flute vendors from across the country

10:45-11:30 — Flute Choir Showcase

performances by our very own SFS Flute Choir, River Winds Flute Choir, 

and the SPU Flute Choir, plus our annual play-along of J.S. Bach's 'Air'

11:40-12:10 — Premiere of works by Julia Wolfe and Ken Benshoof 

12:10-12:30 — Young Members Recital

showcasing flutists 5th grade and younger, featuring the music of

Joncières, Donjon, and Godard, among others

1:30-3:00 — 8th Annual Young Artist Competition

3:15-4:00 — Workshop with Guest Artist Valerie Coleman

"Unlocking Your Creative Self"

4:00-4:45 — All-Members Meeting

announcement of the 2020 Young Artist Competition winners, SFS Board elections,

raffle drawing, presentation by the 2020 Weeping Willow Grant recipient, 

2020/2021 Season Announcement

4:45-5:45 — Valerie Coleman Recital

featuring music by Poulenc and Coleman


Tickets and Information


Tickets can be purchased online here and at the door on April 19. Pricing is as follows:

Non-members, including non-member performers/auditors – $35.00

Performers/Auditors who are not currently members of the Seattle Flute Society

Members, including member performers/auditors – $25.00

Performers/Auditors who are members of the Seattle Flute Society

Students, both members and non-members, including performers/auditors – $10.00

Students 18 and under, and college students with ID

Persons aged 5+ accompanying a student – $5.00

PLEASE NOTE: this price point only available when registering as a student online OR day-of in person

Children under 5, must be accompanied by an adult at all times – FREE

PLEASE NOTE: this event is not recommended for children under 5



We are excited to be returning to the recently renovated Town Hall Seattle for this event. We will have events on both levels of the building, with most performances occurring in the Great Hall, and the flute exhibitors in the downstairs Forum. Light refreshments will be available for purchase in the lobby café. Though both entrances will be open, for this event the 8th Avenue Entrance will be considered the primary entrance.

For more information about location, directions, and parking:

For more information about accessibility:

Julia Wolfe

As part of the 2020 National Flute Association Convention (to be held in Dallas, TX), the NFA has commissioned a unique work from Pulitzer Prize-winner and MacArthur Fellow Julia Wolfe. Wolfe is writing a work for twelve flutes. Twelve premieres will be performed by twelve ensembles across the United States and abroad in April, then the twelve ensembles will come together for a mass performance at the NFA Convention in August.

One of those twelve performances, coordinated by Paul Taub, will take place at the SFS 2020 Flute Festival! The other eleven premieres will take place in Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Denton, Texas; London, United Kingdom; Miami, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; New York, New York; Omaha, Nebraska; San Diego, California; Tokyo, Japan; and Utrecht, The Netherlands.

The 2019 world premiere of Julia Wolfe's Fire in my mouth, a large-scale work for orchestra and women's chorus, by the New York Philharmonic with The Crossing and the Young People's Chorus of New York City, received extensive acclaim. The work is the third in a series of compositions about the American worker: 2009’s Steel Hammer, which examines the folk-hero John Henry, and the 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning work, Anthracite Fields, a concert-length oratorio for chorus and instruments, which draws on oral histories, interviews, speeches, and more to honor the people who persevered and endured in the Pennsylvania Anthracite coal region. 

Wolfe’s music is distinguished by an intense physicality and a relentless power that pushes performers to extremes and demands attention from the audience. She has written a major body of work for strings, from quartets to full orchestra. Her music has been heard at venues throughout the world and has been recorded on Cantaloupe Music, Teldec, Point/Universal, Sony Classical, and Argo/Decca.

In addition to receiving the Pulitzer Prize, Wolfe was a 2016 MacArthur Fellow, she received the 2015 Herb Alpert Award in Music, and was named Musical America's 2019 Composer of the Year. She is on faculty at the NYU Steinhardt School and is co-founder/co-artistic director of New York’s legendary music collective Bang on a Can. Her music is published by Red Poppy, Ltd. (ASCAP) and is distributed worldwide by Ricordi/Universal Music Classical.

More information can be found at

Ken Benshoof

In celebration of the Seattle Flute Society's 40th Season, we have commissioned a work, BitterSweet for Flute and Piano, from Seattle composer Ken Benshoof. It will be premiered by Paul Taub at the 2020 Flute Festival, and will be heard again later the same day as part of the final round of the Young Artist Competition.

Ken Benshoof's music is familiar to the Seattle flute community; he has previously written acclaimed works for the piccolo which were premiered by Seattle's own Zart Dombourian-Eby and Alicia Suarez.

Composer/pianist Ken Benshoof was born in 1933 on a Nebraska farm. He went through high school in Fairbanks Alaska. Studies at Pacific Lutheran University and the Spokane Conservatory were followed by a two year stint in the U.S. Army, a bachelors degree from the University of Washington, a Masters at San Francisco State University, and studies in London at the Guildhall School of Music as a Fulbright Scholar. His most influential teachers were Volfgangs Darzins, John Verrall, Roger Nixon, George Frederick McKay, and Afred Neiman.

Primarily a composer of chamber pieces, Benshoof has received commissions from a wide variety of sources, most notably the Kronos String Quartet for whom he has produced eight works. He also served as resident composer at San Diego's Old Globe Theater over several seasons and at the Seattle Repertory Theater for a number of years.

More information can be found at

Valerie Coleman

Our 2020 Flute Festival Guest Artitist is the Grammy®-nominated flutist, composer, and musical entrepreneur Valerie Coleman. Founder of the performer-composer trio Umama Womama and the acclaimed Imani Winds, Coleman was recently named to the faculty of the University of Miami's Frost School of Music. Her multi-faceted career has included performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Boston Symphony Orchestra Tanglewood Learning Institute (TLI), Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center, to name a few.

We are thrilled to feature Coleman as part of the 2020 Flute Festival! She will serve as principal adjudicator for the Young Artist Competition, lead an open workshop, and present a recital.

Coleman’s passion for chamber music performance is what guided her to become a top advocate, mentor and specialist of the field, with an extensive performance history of premieres and collaborations at festivals and chamber music societies across the United States, with esteemed artists such as Dover Quartet,  Ani and Ida Kavafian, Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Gil Kalish, members of the LA Chamber Orchestra, and jazz legends Paquito D’Rivera, Stefon Harris, and Jason Moran, among many others. She has given countless flute and chamber music masterclasses at institutions in 49 states and over 5 continents, including The Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Yale University, University of Colorado-Boulder, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Carnegie Mellon, New England Conservatory, Oberlin College, and Beijing Conservatory, to name a few. 

Her work as a composer has garnered multiple awards and critical acclaim, and her work UMOJA was listed by the Chamber Music America as one of the “Top 101 Great American Ensemble Works." Alongside recent commissions from American Composers Orchestra, Carnegie Hall and The National Flute Association, she has enjoyed commissions and premieres from Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Library of Congress, The Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and The Universities of Chicago, South Carolina, Michigan, Virginia Commonwealth, Hawaii Manoa and Ohio State. 

Advocacy and mentorship of artists and emerging ensembles is important to Valerie: in 2011, she created the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, a summer mentorship program that has welcomed musicians from over 100 institutions both nationally and abroad. She has also served on the as an adjudicator for National Flute Association’s High School Artist Competition, Concert Artist Guild, APAP’s Young Performing Concert Artists fellowship, ASCAP’s Morton Gould Award, MapFund Award and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. She is on the board of advisors for Composers Now, MacDowell Colony, and Sphinx LEAD, and has previously served on the APAP’s Classical Connections Committee, National Flute Association’s New Music Advisory Committee and Board Nomination Committee.

Valerie studied flute with Julius Baker, Judith Mendenhall, Doriot Dwyer, Leone Buyse and Alan Weiss; composition with Martin Amlin and Randy Wolfe. She is published by Theodore Presser, International Opus and has her own company, V Coleman Music.

More information can be found at

Recital Program

Sonate pour flûte et piano (1957)

     Allegretto malinconico

     Cantilena: Assez lent

     Presto giocoso

Danza de la Mariposa, for solo flute (2008)

Wish, Sonatine for flute and piano

Requiem Milonga, for flute and piano

Fanmi Imèn, for flute and piano (2018)

Francis Poulenc


Valerie Coleman

(b. 1970)






The Seattle Flute Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations to the SFS are tax deductible. With your support, the SFS can continue to bring wonderful flute-related opportunities to the Seattle area. 

Donors are acknowledged in concert programs.

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Seattle Flute Society, 4244 University Way NE, PO Box 45597, Seattle, WA 98105

©Seattle Flute Society 2020