Bainbridge Island Flute Teachers

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Erin Happenny

Flutist Erin Happenny is the adjunct professor of flute at Tacoma Community College. She is co-principal flute of the Bainbridge Symphony and a regular sub for the Olympia Symphony. Originally from Auburn, Washington, Erin holds a Master of Music in Performance & Literature from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she studied with Dr. Jonathan Keeble, past president of the National Flute Association and principal flute of Sinfonia da Camera. Erin completed a Bachelor of Music in Performance at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, studying flute with Karla Flygare (principal flutist of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, retired).

Besides her university courses, Erin has pursued individual studies and masterclasses with internationally-acclaimed maestros Zart Dombourian-Eby, William Bennett, Pierre Yves-Artaud, Jim Walker, Angeleita Floyd, Molly Barth, and Mark Sparks.

Erin is a sought-after adjudicator, judging competitions from regional solo & ensemble contests to the Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside and the Seattle Flute Society’s Horsfall competition, junior division. Erin’s own competitive achievements include second prize in the Chicago Flute Society’s Kujala International Piccolo competition (2015), and competitive performances at the National Flute Association’s Piccolo Artist Competition (semi-finalist, 2014 in Chicago) and Young Artist Flute competition (quarter-finalist, 2015 in D.C.). Her recent chamber and solo performances include the Seattle Flute Society’s Emerging Artist recital, the Seattle Chamber Music Society/King FM Chamber Music Under the Stars series and the Music from Home chamber series at Lakewold Gardens.

She has performed with the Kalamazoo Symphony, Danville Symphony, the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific in British Columbia, Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival in Wisconsin, and the Festival Internacional de Flautistas en el Centro del Mundo in Quito, Ecuador.

Erin’s students regularly place into advanced youth ensembles, all-state honor bands, and university ensembles on scholarship. She believes that music enriches all lives and her teaching is focused on the individual goals of each student. In 2019, Erin presented two masterclasses focused on solo & orchestral piccolo playing at her alma mater, the University of Puget Sound. In summers, Erin really enjoys teaching at youth programs, as faculty of the Evergreen Music Festival at Central Washington University and previously, the Illinois Summer Youth Music program at the University of Illinois. Erin presently volunteers her time on the board of the Seattle Flute Society and previously with the Puget Sound Youth Wind Ensemble, as well as providing clinics for students in middle & high schools across western Washington.

Stuart is fantastic! He is so knowledgeable and his passion for fiddling and folk music is contagious.

Stuart Williams

I teach the music I have loved all my life. That is, traditional or “old-time” fiddle music. I have been fortunate to have met and learned firsthand from a number of masters of this age-old art, fiddlers here in the Pacific Northwest who themselves learned from long lineages of fiddlers and who played for dances in the rural Southern, Midwestern and Northwestern states as well as Western Canada. I have made a careful study of their details of style, repertoire, and rhythmic approach. I have also worked to document this rich tradition through productions and events with Northwest Folklife, Voyager Records and the Washington Old Time Fiddlers Association. I enjoy playing for square and contra dances and other community events. In my spare time, I tend to my garden and serve at the beck and call of my two cats. In a former life, I studied biology and worked in a lab studying blood platelet function.

My Teaching Background
I have been teaching music full time now for 20 years: private lessons, group classes and workshops at camps and festivals around the Northwest. My students have been my best teachers as far as letting me know what works and what doesn’t. I also spent several years as an academic tutor working under some excellent teachers and garnered a lot of ideas that I apply to teach music, particularly around targeting diverse learning styles.

My Teaching Philosophy
First off, fiddling is darn good fun and if we’re not having fun then, well, not much learning will take place! I try to draw on the best of the old-time fiddlers’ intuitive and “by ear” approach while guiding the students toward a comfortable technique appropriate to fiddling. I enjoy helping students find their own voice and sense of style within the broader fiddle tradition, delving into a variety of stylistic nuances and repertoire based on our regional tradition. I host jam sessions for the students and help facilitate performance opportunities at the appropriate level. I integrate applied music theory and ear training into the learning experience and teach reading standard notation as an adjunct skill rather than the primary mode of learning. I try to explore, respect and make use of differences in learning modes and styles as well.

I like to take whatever style of music students are interested in and use that interest to foster a deeper understanding of music in general.

Chuck Easton

Chuck Easton teaches guitar, upright bass, jazz and beginning piano, jazz flute, music theory, improvisation, and arranging.

He played in jazz, swing, and big bands in Seattle and toured throughout the West Coast during the ’70s. Chuck is a recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Composition award.

Chuck moved to Boston in the late ’70s and completed his music degree from Berklee College of Music in 1980. While there, he studied guitar and arranging. Lots of great music in the big city, but he missed the mountains, and made the decision to return to his home in the Northwest. Chuck and his wife, Autumn, eventually settled in a rural area on a ridge south of Chimacum.

Over the years, he has played many different styles of music, but bebop-influenced jazz is his favorite. A long-time faculty member of Centrum’s Jazz Pt. Townsend, Chuck teaches basic theory and coaches student ensembles during the week-long summer festival.

Chuck was on the faculty of the NW Big Band in Pt. Townsend for many years. He later took over conducting duties for six years.

For thirty years, Chuck has played bass with the Pt. Townsend Symphony Orchestra, and he’s also served as a board member. Chuck played bass for several years with the Turtle Bluff Chamber Orchestra.

Chuck performs locally in bands of various configurations- trio, quartet, quintet, and his R&B septet. He enjoys writing arrangements for his band, and plays guitar, bass, piano, flute, saxophone, and occasionally chromatic harmonica, Eb tuba, and trombone.