Alexa Still Guest Artist
  • Professor of Flute, Oberlin Conservatory
Internationally acclaimed flutist Alexa Still has served as Professor of Flute at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music since 2011, and has held the same position at The University of Colorado, Boulder and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Professor Still’s playing has been described as: “impeccable in technique and taste, seductive in phrasing” (Stephensen Classical CD Guide). “Still plays... so convincingly I cannot separate her from the music” (American Record Guide), “whatever she plays sounds musical in every turn of the phrase” (Gramophone), “a stunning showcase for the astonishing Alexa Still” (Fanfare).  A New Zealander, Alexa’s graduate study was in New York (SUNY Stony Brook) where she also won competitions including the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition, and, East and West Artists Competition. Alexa then won principal flute of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at the age of 23. While home, she received a Churchill Fellowship and a Fulbright award. Professor Still maintains a busy concert schedule, having presented recitals, concertos and master classes in England, Germany, Slovenia, Turkey, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Canada, Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, and of course across the United States. Alexa has also served her profession as President of the National Flute Association (USA), and regularly contributes articles to flute journals across the globe. She plays a silver flute made for her by Brannen Brothers of Boston with gold or wooden headjoints by Sanford Drelinger of White Plains, New York. When her flute is in its case, Alexa is an avid motorcyclist, and she shares a daughter and two dogs with her husband. You can read much more about Alexa on her website.
Karen Johnson Faculty
  • Founder/Artistic Director of Dancing Heart
  • Co-principal of the Chesapeake Orchestra
  • Faculty - St. Mary's College of Maryland and the Levine School of Music, Wash., DC.

Karen Johnson is known as a colorful and virtuosic stylist of both solo and chamber music repertoire.  She has served as principal flutist of the Washington Bach Consort and is the Co-Principal of the Chesapeake Orchestra. The Washington Post has described her playing as “exquisite” and “mesmerizing” and in another recent review the Post said “…flutist Karen Johnson wrought unforgettable magic.” She has performed throughout the United States and Mexico with the Takacs String Quartet, the Bach Aria Group and popular artist Stevie Wonder. She has also performed with the Bethlehem Bach Festival, the Shelter Island Music Festival and the Glimmerglass Chamber Music Festival. Her recent recital venues include the National Gallery of Art, the Romanian Embassy, the French Embassy and the Icelandic Embassy. She has won numerous competitions and awards, including a solo recitalist grant from the Maryland State Arts Council. She is currently working on a flute and piano CD, From the Americas, with pianist Carlos Rodriquez. Ms. Johnson is on the faculties of the St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the Levine School of Music, and NCFC. She is also an active participant in the “Bach to School” music outreach program in the District of Columbia. With colleagues Carlos Rodriquez, piano and John Kilkenny, percussion Ms. Johnson has recently formed a new musical ensemble DANCING HEART, a group dedicated to inspired performances that transform audiences.

Tomiko Tsai Faculty
  • Active Bay Area performer and private teacher
  • Founding member of the Divisa Ensemble
  • M.M. in Flute, USC

Tomiko Tsai is a flute teacher and performer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tomiko received her Master’s degree in Flute Performance at USC, where she studied with Gary Woodward, former principal flutist of the Los Angeles Opera. Tomiko received her Bachelor’s degrees in Music and Chemistry from the University of Puget Sound where she studied with Karla Flygare, principal flutist of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra and Auburn Symphony. Tomiko is currently a member of the Divisa Ensemble, a classical chamber music quintet comprised of flute, oboe, violin, viola, and cello, which coaches chamber music as the Artist-in-Residence of the El Camino Youth Symphony. Tomiko maintains a large private studio of young students. She previously worked in public and private schools, teaching flute, band, history and music theory. A native of Palo Alto, CA, she began playing the flute at the age of 13, under the tutelage first of Joy Apple and then Karen Van Dyke. Although Tomiko’s introduction to flute playing was a relatively late start, flute quickly became her biggest passion and she hopes to pass on her enthusiasm to the next generation of flutists.

Gary Woodward Faculty
  • Principal Flute, the L.A. Opera Orchestra
  • Faculty, USC, Occidental College and Biola University
  • Recording artist at major motion picture and television studios
  • Assistant Director of NCFC

Gary Woodward brings to NCFC a wealth of experience, knowledge, and wisdom gleaned from a multifaceted career at the highest level of performance in orchestral, chamber music, commercial recording, and musical theater. Highlights of his over forty year career include twenty-five seasons as the Principal Flutist of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, and performances as principal with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Orange County Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, and the Bolshoi and Kirov ballet companies. Mr. Woodward is actively recording for motion pictures and television, having played countless scores written by the top composers at all of the major recording studios. He has also played in orchestras for over a dozen first-class musical theater productions. Mr. Woodward began teaching the flute at age 16 and landed his first University position at age 26 at UC Santa Barbara. He recently left his 31-year tenure at the University of Southern California to devote his time and energy to his students at Azusa Pacific University, Biola University, The Master’s, College and Occidental College. Mr. Woodward holds degrees in music from the University of Southern California and Chapman University, where his principal teachers were Roger Stevens and Arthur Hoberman. Edna Comerchero was his beloved teacher through high school in his native Sacramento. He studied extensively in the master classes of world-renowned flutists Julius Baker, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Marcel Moyse and Maxence Larrieu.

Karen Van Dyke Faculty
  • Director, Stanford University Flute Ensemble
  • Director of NCFC
  • Performs with the Symphony Silicon Valley and Ballet San Jose Orchestras

Karen Van Dyke made her professional debut at the age of 17 when she performed as a soloist with the Baltimore Symphony. She currently maintains an active and versatile career. As an orchestral flutist, she has performed with the Berkeley and San Jose Symphonies, has served as principal flute at the Anchorage Festival of Music, and currently freelances with the Symphony Silicon Valley and Ballet San Jose orchestras. Ms. Van Dyke is the Director of the Stanford University Flute Ensemble, which she founded in 1996 at the invitation of the legendary flutist Frances Blaisdell. The SFE is a coveted ensemble at Stanford and has been featured in NFA conventions in New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and performed in the TEDx Stanford conference in 2014. On two occasions she performed Jake Heggie’s Statuesque with the composer at the piano, and appeared in a duo performance with Jeanne Baxtresser in 2004. Ms. Van Dyke has served as Director of NCFC for the last 23 years. An avid educator, she has maintained a private studio for over 30 years and has taught students who have been admitted to top conservatories and went on to become professional flutists. She has collaborated with several world-renowned flutists to produce master classes in Carmel Valley and at Stanford. Ms. Van Dyke has released one solo CD, Mouvements Perpetuels: Music for Flute and Guitar, with guitarist Paul Binkley. She is named in Who’s Who in America.

Maquette Kuper Visiting Faculty
  • Principal Flute, Auburn Symphony
  • Founder, Davis Youth Flute Choir
  • Graduate, New England Conservatory of Music

Maquette Kuper plays principal flute with the Auburn Symphony and has often been a featured soloist. Ms. Kuper is a founding member of MôD Artists, which has just completed a year-long Sacramento Region Community Foundation grant project, Convergence II. The project presents filmed oral histories and original music to depict the ongoing change in the Oak Park community of Sacramento. She is a founding member of Capitol Chamber Players. As a member of the Crocker Art Museum Music Board, she helps to organize the Classical Concert Series at the museum. A longtime Davis resident, she is the founder and director of the Davis Youth Flute Choir and has taken the choir on tours to Japan, South Korea, and China as well as performing at National Flute Association conventions in Los Angeles and New Orleans. 

Ms. Kuper is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, spent two summers as a fellowship student at Tanglewood, and studied in Paris on a Fulbright fellowship. She is a winner of the Mu Phi Epsilon music fraternity’s International Young Artist Competition and was recently named an ACME member of the fraternity as a distinguished artist and educator. Ms. Kuper has been listed in Outstanding Young Women of America. She has appeared as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra.

Britton Day Piano Accompanist
  • Collaborative Pianist, San Francisco Conservatory
  • Graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and the San Francisco Conservatory

Pianist Britton Day enjoys a busy career performing across the Bay Area. Recently featured on the critically-acclaimed San Francisco Symphony Soundbox Series, Britton performed piano-four hand repertoire with Michael Tilson Thomas and accompanied his father, SFS Principal Flutist Tim Day. Other recent engagements include performances with members of the San Francisco Symphony on their Chamber Music Series in Davies Symphony Hall, the Berkeley Hillside Club Chamber Series, and the Eastern Sierra Symphony Summer Festival. 

Britton is currently a member of the accompanying staff at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and has worked as a rehearsal pianist for the San Francisco Ballet.Britt is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He received his Masters Degree as well as a Professional Studies Diploma in Piano Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Miles Graber Piano Accompanist
Miles Graber
  • Faculty, The Crowden School and San Domenico Conservatory
  • Has accompanied for S.F. Chamber Soloists and Midsummer Mozart Orchestra
  • Graduate of the Juilliard School

Miles Graber received his musical education at the Juilliard School, where he studied with Anne Hull, Phyllis Kreuter, Hugh Aitken and Louse Behrend. He has lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1971, where he has developed a wide reputation as an accompanist and collaborative pianist for instrumentalists and singers. He has performed with numerous solo artists, including Sarah Chang, Cho-Liang Lin, Camilla Wicks, Mimi Stillman, Judith LeClair, Frederica von Stade, and Martha Aarons. He is a member of the chamber groups MusicAEterna, GGRE Trio, Alcyone Ensemble, the Sor Ensemble, Mira Trio and the new music group Sounds New. Mr. Graber has been associated with such ensembles as the New Century Chamber Orchestra, Midsummer Mozart, the Oakland Symphony, the Berkeley Symphony, the California Symphony, and Opera San José. He has accompanied the master classes of Midori, Joseph Silverstein, James Galway, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Yo-Yo Ma, Leon Fleisher, Jeanne Baxtresser and Paula Robison. Mr. Graber has been a frequent performer with members of the San Francisco Symphony, San Jose Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, California Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, and many other orchestras. He is a staff accompanist at the San Domenico Conservatory in San Anselmo, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and NCFC.

Catherine Boyack Guest Alumni
  • Winner, NFA Young Artist Competition, 2018
  • Wm S. Haynes Young Artist
  • Senior Year Music Major, BYU

Catherine Boyack, whose playing has been described as “supremely beautiful” and “utterly thrilling” was the winner of the prestigious National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition in 2018. In previous years Catherine won the NFA’s High School Soloist Competition, the Jefferson Symphony International Young Artists Competition, and the MTNA Junior and Senior Woodwind Performance Competitions, among others. As a soloist, she has been featured as a guest solo artist with the Lake Forest Symphony in Chicago, the Utah Symphony and the Utah Valley Symphony. Her playing has taken her around the United States, Germany, France, China, and South America, teaching masterclasses, coaching small chamber groups, and giving frequent solo recitals and concertos. Boyack has collaborated with several established conductors, performing as both a soloist and an orchestral musician under the batons of Carl St. Clair, Keith Lockhart, Vladimir Kulenovic, and others. Passionate about new music, she has premiered several works, including giving the West Coast premiere of Dai Fujikura’s virtuosic new flute concerto written for Claire Chase. She also is a passionate choral musician, and has toured with the world-renowned BYU Singers. Catherine plays on a beautiful handmade Haynes 14K Custom flute and is thrilled to be a ‘Haynes Young Artist’. Her teachers include April Clayton and Elizabeth Weissman. BM, Flute Performance, Brigham Young University, 2018. 

Adrian Sanborn Guest Alumni
  • Fellow, Tanglewood Music Center, 2013
  • Winner, 34th Annual Pappoutsakis Competition
  • Graduate of New England Conservatory

Flutist Adrian Sanborn is acclaimed for his versatility as a soloist, orchestral player, and chamber musician. He was the first prize winner of the 34th Annual Pappoutsakis Competition, a finalist in the 2014 National Society of Arts and Letters Woodwind Competition, and a 2014-15 New World Symphony finalist. As a 2013 Fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center and member of the New England Conservatory Philharmonia Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, Adrian has played under numerous world-class conductors, including Christoph von Dohnányi, Kurt Masur, Rafael Frühbeck, Charles Dutoit, Stéphane Denève, Hugh Wolff, and Stefan Asbury. Adrian has performed chamber music regularly in Jordan Hall as the flutist of the Philharmonic Five wind quintet, two-time winners of the NEC Honors Ensemble Competition, and with the Borromeo String Quartet as a recipient of their Guest Artist Award.

In 2014, Adrian completed his Masters degree at New England Conservatory where he studied with Paula Robison and Elizabeth Rowe. He previously graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in mathematics and computer science. Currently, Adrian is a fifth-year PhD candidate at Stanford University where he uses genetics, biochemistry, and computational biology to decipher how cancer can arise from mis-regulation of the human genome.