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Frank and Lu Horsfall Competition

The Frank and Lu Horsfall Competition is an annual competition for flutists in grades 6-12 sponsored by the Seattle Flute Society. Applicants must be currently studying with a private flute teacher, and both the applicant and the teacher must be members of Seattle Flute Society.

Applications for the 2024 Horsfall Competition are now live!

First, click here to download the full rules. Then click here to apply.

Horsfall Competition

Saturday, March 2, 2024 | 12:00pm-6:00pm

University of Washington School of Music (Tentative)

THIS IS A FREE EVENT

Attendance may be limited due to health and safety concerns.

 

Horsfall Guest Artist Recital

Sunday, March 3, 2023 | 1:30pm

Location TBA

 

THIS IS A TICKETED EVENT

 

2024 Adjudicators

Upper Division: Brittany Trotter

Prize-winning flutist Dr. Brittany Trotter leads a diverse career as an educator, soloist, and collaborator. She joined the faculty of University of the Pacific’s Conservatory of Music in Stockton, CA, in the fall of 2021. Trotter previously served on the faculties of Dickinson College, West Virginia Wesleyan College, and Duquesne University. She is the competition coordinator for the NFA’s Junior Soloist Competition, and serves on the development committee of the Umoja Flute Institute, NFA’s career and artistic development committee, and corporate sponser chair for the Flute New Music Consortium.

Trotter has been awarded first prize in numerous national and regional competitions including the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition in woodwinds in the states of West Virginia (2017, 2016), Wyoming (2015, 2014), and Mississippi (2009). She has also competed as a semi-finalist in the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Trotter has performed in the flute sections of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, Stockton Symphony Orchestra, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, and Colour of Music Festival Orchestra, among others. Equally versed in post-classical contemporary and experimental music as well as electro-acoustic music and interdisciplinary works, she has performed and premiered new works throughout the United States. 

 

Trotter regularly performs, teaches, and serves as a guest lecturer throughout the United States. Recent appearances include Bowling Green University, Tennessee Tech University, Virginia Tech University, and University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Trotter has performed and presented at numerous regional and national flute conventions such as the Kentucky Flute Fair, Florida Flute Association Convention, Rochester Flute Fair, Mid-Atlantic flute convention, and the National Flute Association Convention where she was a featured soloist in the 2020 virtual summer series celebration concert series.

Recipient of the NFA’s 2020 Graduate Research Competition for her dissertation entitled, Examining Music Hybridity and Cultural Influences in Valerie Coleman’s Wish Sonatine and Fanmi Imen, Trotter continues to actively study the merging of western classical music, diverse culture, and modern popular music. She recently presented a lecture recital entitled “Flute & Hip Hop” as part of her artist in residence with Unisound of Pittsburgh. Her passion for engaging with underrepresented communities through classical music has led her to collaborate with several local nonprofits. She has served as the program coordinator for the Guardian of Sound’s Hip Hop Orchestra Summer Music Camp and as a teaching artist for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Arts Education.

A native from Laurel, Mississippi, Dr. Trotter has received degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi (BM, BME), University of Wyoming (M.M.), and West Virginia University (DMA, Certificate of University Teaching). Her primary teachers include Danilo Mezzadri, Nicole Riner, and Nina Assimakopoulous. 

 

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Lower Division: Mehrdad Gholami

Iranian flutist, Mehrdad Gholami, received presidential award and Iran’s National Elites Foundation scholarship to continue his training at the University of Tehran, where he studied with Dr. Azin Movahed. During his time in Tehran, Mehrdad won numerous solo and chamber music competitions in Iran such as Fadjr International Music Festival, Iran Young Artists Competition, and Tehran Flute Competition. In the U.S., He has won concerto competitions as well as being a finalist in Texas Flute Society’s Myrna Brown Young Artist Competition. 

 

As an orchestral player, he started with Tehran’s ensembles such as Tehran Contemporary Ensemble, Tehran City Hall Orchestra and Tehran Symphony. Later, he came back to work with TSO as their principal flute player under the direction of Maestro Alexander Rahbari for the 2015’s summer season. Other orchestral appearances include Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra (Los Angeles, Disney Hall debut), Fort Worth symphony and McKinney Philharmonic.

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A recipient of Susan and Ford Schumann fellowship in 2017, Mehrdad attended Aspen Music Festival, where he served as Aspen Contemporary Ensemble (ACE) flute fellow and studied with Nadine Asin, Mark Sparks and Demarre McGill for three consecutive summers (2017-19). In August 2019, Mehrdad made his solo debut with Aspen Contemporary Ensemble performing Judith Shatin’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (Ruah). Other fellowships include Atlantic Music Festival’s contemporary ensemble fellowship served on Summer 2021.

At an early age, Mehrdad started working with composers and devoted his time to commission, premiere and record new sounds for flute with various ensembles. These collaborations with Iranian composers led to the creation of more than hundreds of new pieces for flute with different ensembles and media. His first solo album was published by his alma mater, University of Tehran, in a joint project with Iran Flute Society. He has appeared in recordings in various genres ranging from contemporary classical music to world music and pop music. Mehrdad’s efforts in presenting, performing and publishing new Iranian music has led to a growth of compositions for flute by Iranian composers and similar projects inspired by his “Iran Flute Project”. His most recent CD was published by Mahoor Publication inside Iran and it is available on all online platforms.
 
A sought-after pedagogue, Mehrdad has served as an adjudicator on panels for National Flute Association, Texas Flute Society and Texas Music Educators Associations. He has offered masterclasses and workshops on various topics from beginner pedagogy to contemporary techniques across the United States. On high demand as a teacher, Mehrdad’s students have won national awards in addition to students having qualified for the exclusive TMEA all-state band every year.
 
Mehrdad’s Doctoral dissertation was on the subject of “Iranian contemporary music for flute” where he included an expansive chapter on the history of Western music in Iran. As an advocate of his “Iran Flute Project”, Mehrdad has premiered works by Iranian composers at the National Flute Association and Mid-Atlantic Conventions. He received his MM and DMA in flute performance under the guidance of Dr. Shauna Thompson at Texas Christian University.

Mehrdad has had the opportunity to perform in masterclasses or work with artists such as Nadine Asin, Mark Sparks, Marina Piccinini, Erik Gratton, Lisa Garner Santa, Ransom Wilson, Aralee Dorough, Demarre McGill, Bart Feller, Jim Walker, Alexa Still and Jake Fridkis.

Currently, Mehrdad is based in DFW Metroplex, where he is serving as Adjunct Professor of Flute at Texas A&M - Commerce University and runs his private studio in addition to freelancing with local ensembles and orchestras. In addition to performing and teaching, he enjoys spending time as an audio engineer and the founder of www.canopystudio.net serving his fellow musicians.

Horsfall History

Frank H. Horsfall (1883-1968) was a prominent Pacific Northwest musician who directly or indirectly influenced a great many flutists locally and nationally. He was in the Seattle Symphony for 46 continuous seasons (35 of those as Principal), a member of the University of Washington faculty for 20 years, and a friend and colleague of many renowned artists. He was a sought-after obbligatist for stars such as Lily Pons, Lauritz Melchior, Patrice Munzel and Martha Graham. He also enjoyed playing in the Western Washington Fair Band every September for 25 years and marching with the Nile Temple Band at conventions and parades whenever his busy schedule would allow it. He had many offers to join major eastern symphonies, but chose to stay with the students and musical associations in his beloved Northwest. His greatest pleasure was in teaching. He taught for nearly 60 years and many of his students gained prominence of their own in famous orchestras across the country.

Frank Horsfall with students

Frank was born in Tacoma of English parents who had emigrated from Yorkshire in 1867. When Washington became a state in 1889 his father was a Tacoma Councilman. After the 8th grade, Frank left school and entered into a four-year apprenticeship to become a machinist. On the side, he learned to play a fife, talked his way into a fife-and-drum corps, bought a $2 piccolo and a $10 flute and began his musical career. He set aside one third of his wages for lessons and would search out any appropriate music professional who came within reach, for good teachers were hard to find. He also took several off-hours business courses in order to manage his future financial affairs. All his life, he looked for ways to learn, improve and expand his knowledge.

In 1901 he became a journeyman machinist and worked at that trade with music as an avocation. At age 22, having also learned to play the saxophone, he put aside machinist tools to play flute and sax in local dance orchestras. The big break came in 1909 - an invitation to be a member of the original Seattle Symphony Orchestra. To augment his symphony income he taught a few lessons and played in park bands, dance bands and pit orchestras for vaudeville, ballets and musical comedies. He and two other flutists even formed an act, "The Three Magic Flutes", and toured for a short time on the Orpheum vaudeville circuit. During World War I he was a machinist at the shipyard by day and a musician by night, but when the war ended he again devoted his full attention to music.

Lulu C. Smith (1889-1983) was born in Minneapolis of Norwegian and German parents who moved to Tacoma when she was a toddler. She became an expert pianist and Frank's favorite dancing partner. They were married in 1913 and she shared his life for 55 years thereafter, creating a loving home for their two sons and a supportive atmosphere for her musician husband. She was continuously active in school and university organizations and in music circles. Lu was a talented artist, seamstress and cook. The students who sat in her warm kitchen waiting for their lessons appreciated her cheery ways.

Frank's long career encompassed many activities and interests. He was a business manager, real estate entrepreneur, artistic photographer and lifelong adventurer. In 1920 he and Lu went up the inside coast of British Columbia in a small outboard boat, camping on the wild beaches each night. He climbed Mt. Rainier in 1925, starting from the Longmire's residence, where Lu helped attend to those waiting for the return of the hiking party. One summer he and three other musicians hiked 300 miles through Glacier National Park. Each evening they would haul out their instruments to entertain fellow campers. When over 80 years old, he photographed Kauai's Waimea Canyon leaning out of an open helicopter.

An outgoing man, with effervescence and enthusiasm, he was never one to hold back if the opportunity came along to make new friends. After a concert by the touring London Philharmonic Orchestra, for example, he went backstage to meet the flute section. That evening, after taking them on a tour of Seattle, they all ended up in his basement studio playing music from his library and enjoying Lu's gracious hospitality.

In the mid-30's, he joined with the principal clarinet and oboe players of the symphony, both teachers interested in youth, to form the Seattle Symphony Woodwind Trio. They are still remembered for the humorous and educational music-appreciation programs they put on at countless school assemblies.

Certainly he was proud of what he was able to achieve in his lifetime, but he took the most pride in the accomplishments of his students. As their lives progressed, he would follow their advancements with the interest of a parent. Julius Baker, during one visit to the Seattle Flute Society, mentioned his long acquaintance with Frank and commented, "Bill Kincaid and I envied Frank's natural rapport and easy way with young people -- he loved his students and they loved him."

His last private lesson was given just three months before his death in March 1968, at the age of 84. Lu, blessed with good health and a bright-side philosophy, continued to lead an active life until her death in November 1983, at 94.

The Seattle Flute Society's Frank and Lu Horsfall Competition helps perpetuate their memory and the influence they had on the musical history of the Pacific Northwest.

-- Contributed by John Horsfall

Past Winners

Have names to add to this list? Contact seattleflute.publicity@gmail.com

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