The first Alto Flute Artist Competition made its debut during the 47th annual NFA Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. Christine Potter, an authority on alto and bass flutes, proposed the idea to the NFA, and the resulting competition includes options for bass flute and for an improvisation. Potter’s inspiration for this new solo competition was the International Low Flutes Festival, which she organized and hosted in Washington, D.C., in March 2018. Funding for the prizes was provided by the 2018 International Low Flutes Festival and Flute World.
Judges for the final round were Mariana Gariazzo, Katherine Borst Jones, and George Pope. Finalists chose up to 20 minutes’ worth of music to perform from the following: Vincent Persichetti’s “Parable,” “Night in Greenwich” by Mike Mower, Klezmer Suite by Carl Dimow, the Solo Partita in A Minor by J. S. Bach, and “Sonata for a Lost Planet” by Gary Schocker. In addition, finalists performed an optional improvisation. “Incantation—Pour due l’image devienne symbole” by André Jolivet was the one required piece to be performed by all the finalists.
Katie Velasquez won first place. In second and third place are Nicholas Buonanni and Jerca Novak, respectively. The other three finalists are Alycia Hugo, Gina Luciani, and Adrienne Read.
This competition demonstrated the wealth of solo repertoire available to the low flute community, the virtuosity that is possible to attain, and the professional quality of instruments now available.