Flute ensemble aflutter about another concert in North Delta

Michelle Carlisle stays close to home for Fluterrific show Sunday afternoon

Michelle Carlisle’s Fluterrific ensemble performs Sunday afternoon (Nov. 22) at the Firehall Centre for the Arts in North Delta.

NORTH DELTA — “It’s such a flexible instrument,” Michelle Carlisle enthused as she described the dominant sounds to be heard during a rare Fluterrific concert date this weekend.

The seven-member flute ensemble will perform a variety of music when it returns to the Firehall Centre for the Arts this Sunday afternoon (Nov. 22), a year after its sold-out concert date there.

Baroque, classical, Broadway, Celtic, “spicy” Latin and more – Fluterrific can, and will, do it all, boasted Carlisle, the bandleader.

“I teach kids and I tell them, in band class, that I’ve been playing flute since I was eight, but since then I’ve played in Latin bands, jazz bands, Celtic music, classic rock – all these things,” she said, explaining the flute’s versatility.

In fact, it was a neighbour’s upright grand piano that first struck a chord with a five-year-old Carlisle, who grew up in Broadview, Saskatchewan, a town located east of Regina.

“I started tinkling on that piano,” she recalled. “My parents got me some lessons and they bought that piano, and they still have it at their home in Kelowna, that old wooden thing. It’s beautiful because my mom restored it, and she’s a genius anyways, just amazing with things, and she refinished the whole piano and the bench. I wrote my first song on that piano, so it has extra memories for me as well.”

Via Ontario and an ex-boyfriend’s successful job search in B.C., Carlisle found her way to North Delta in 1992 and has since remained a resident there.

“You just get anchored into a community,” she explained. “I moved around so much as a kid that I didn’t want to move around anymore. It’s nice up here, even though when you have to work in town, you have to contend with lots of bridges and highways, unfortunately.… I’m performing now more than ever before, really, and I teach at my home.”

In addition to teaching music, she has kept busy as a multi-instrumentalist in groups and ensembles including Blackthorn, Caviar and Lace, the Halifax Wharf Rats, the Flanagans, Triskellion, Caelestra and, of course, Fluterrific.

The flute ensemble started innocuously, she said, “because I had a flute student and another person was interested in getting together and playing as a trio, so it was really just an extension of teaching at that point.”

That initial group, formed a decade ago, sort of faded away as people moved and did other things, and Carlisle “let it go because it isn’t a money-making venture for me.”

A couple years ago, she and others revived the ensemble.

“I thought it’d be nice to do it again, because I love the arranging part,” Carlisle revealed. “My skills there have increased over the years simply because you can’t always find music for three, or five or whatever flutes – and if you can, it’s not always a good variety of music, it’s going to be classical and baroque all the time, that type of thing.”

The ensemble’s concert this Sunday starts at 3 p.m. Featured performers are Carlisle, Jeong-won Shin, Joanna Tseng, Leslie McDougall, Doreen Bender, Saul Berson and Allison Lowe. Show tickets are $10 at the door and in advance by calling 604-596-4485. The Firehall venue is located at 11489 84th Ave., North Delta.

“This concert is dear to my heart,” Carlisle wrote in an email to friends, “because most of the music is my arrangements, as well as a composition of my own. All the members of Fluterrific have dedicated many, many hours of practice and rehearsal and are delighted to bring to you this eclectic concert of ‘An Afternoon of Flute Music.’”

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

 

 

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