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Southeast Michigan Flute Association

Beta Quartet

Beta Quartet is sponsored by Flute Specialists and Trevor James Flutes

 

Described as "chamber music at its finest" by Kenneth Tse and "unique and virtuosic" by Barbara Siesel, BETA Quartet is an award-winning ensemble comprised of flutists Eftihia Arkoudis, Tatiana Cassetta, Alyssa Schwartz, and Meg Brennan.

BETA is dedicated to exploring and promoting the cutting edge of modern flute music by premiering and performing works by living composers from around the world. The ensemble is actively engaged through concerts, masterclasses, and educational outreach across the country and abroad.

As strong competitors, BETA has won First Prize at France Music Competition 2° (2020) and West Virginia Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition (2016), First Prize at the Flute Society of Kentucky Quartet Competition (2017), and advanced to the semi-finals of the prestigious Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (2017). The group has performed and presented workshops at the National Flute Association Convention, Florida Flute Association Convention, the Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention, the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia, and the WVU International Flute Symposium.

BETA’s activities have been partially funded by grants from The Friends of Flutes Foundation and West Virginia University, and their recognition within the flute community resulted in sponsorship by Flute Specialists, Inc. (Clawson, MI). As of 2019, BETA Quartet is also a Trevor James Low Flutes Ensemble.

Following the release of their self-titled debut album (2017), BETA commissioned Detroit based composer Marcus Elliott to write a work celebrating the feminine divine (2019) and recorded the world premiere of Nuraghi Warriors Dance (Ples Bojevnikov Nuraghi) composed by Anže Rozman and dedicated to the group (2020). Both albums are released with Merandi Records and are available through Spotify, iTunes, YouTube and www.betaquartet.com.

Angela McCuiston

Angela McCuiston is a NASM-CPT, CES, SFS and CETI-CES (Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Senior Fitness Specialist and Cancer Exercise Specialist) and owner of Music Strong (www.musicstrong.com), a business that specializes in personal fitness training for musicians.

Winner of the 2007 NFA Piccolo Master class, Angela received her Master of Music in Flute Performance from Florida State University and her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from Tennessee Technological University. An avid performer, Angela is Assistant Principal/Piccolo of Sinfonia Gulf Coast of Destin, Nashville Philharmonic, Columbus Symphony and Nashville Flute Choir. Joining the military soon after 9/11 she recently became a member of the 313th Army Band in Huntsville, AL, after completing a 16-year tenure in the 129th Army Band in Nashville, TN.  In addition to her solo performances, she has performed with such celebrities as Kristen Chenowith, Pink Martini, Jamie Bernstein, Morgan James,  Katherine Jolley, Nancy Griffith and Mary Wilson of the Supremes.

As a trainer, Angela maintains several training locations in Nashville and also travels to give her workshops and presentations, most notably presenting at the National Flute Association Conventions in Salt Lake City, UT; Las Vegas, NV, Washington, D.C. and Orlando, FL. Among her recent workshops, she has travelled to present at Arizona State University, Florida State University, Stephen F. Austin University, Ft. Lewis University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga among others.

Recently she was sought out by the Old Guard, Army Fife and Drum Corps as a special consultant to prevent playing related injuries. She has since taken up residence on the faculty of the Stetson University flute camp and has been sought out for numerous other positions including her recent appointment Fall of 2018 as Chair of the National Flute Association Performance Health Committee.  

In February 2019 she published her first book: The Musician’s Essential Exercises, with plans to branch out into instrument-specific volumes in the near future.

When she is not performing or training, Angela can be found teaching private flute lessons in the middle Tennessee area or riding her Trek road bike as many hours as there are sunshine.  She recently completed her 4th century ride (100+ miles) and has a goal to ride between 5-12 centuries in 2019 and log 5,000 miles.

Christina Condon

Christina Condon maintains a competitive flute and clarinet studio in Beavercreek, Ohio and Odessa, Florida with her students placing at the top of their school ensembles, regional honor bands, and orchestras. Her studio flute ensembles have been recognized for their exceptional skill and use of extended techniques. With over 18 years of teaching experience, online lessons were integrated over 7 years ago and her online students share the successes of her in-person students. Christina’s flute students have sat principal flute in the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Springfield Youth Symphony, and Middletown Youth Symphony, and also played flute/piccolo in the Tampa Metropolitan Youth Orchestras and in the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra (rotating seating). They have also won and placed in several national flute competitions such as with the Central Ohio Flute Association and National Flute Association and have been accepted into music programs at schools such as the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, the University of North Texas, and the Ohio State University.

In addition to her private studio, Christina performs flutes/clarinets/saxes for musical theatre, assists band directors with their sectional needs for winds, and has previously taught as sabbatical replacement for the University of Dayton and assisted with the New Horizons Band. In her free time, Christina enjoys her athletic outlet with cycling and inline speed skating with her husband Bill and they provide a cushy life for their furry felines. www.condonmusic.com

Catherine McMichael

Catherine McMichael, pianist, is a composer, arranger, performer, teacher, coach, clinician and founder of Camellia Music, which publishes much of her music. Her degrees from the University of Michigan are in piano performance and chamber music. Performing, composing and teaching comprise her professional musical life in Saginaw, Michigan. She is the pianist for the Saginaw (MI) Bay Symphony Orchestra and Ann Arbor based River Raisin Ragtime Revue, co-directs the Bay City based Bijou Theatre Orchestra, accompanies the Saginaw Choral Society, directs Bells on High at First United Methodist Church of Saginaw and occasionally music directs shows at Bay City Players Community Theater. Her compositions are represented by six publishers and appear on recordings made and programs presented world-wide by orchestras, bands, choirs, handbell and chamber ensembles of all types, soloists on many instruments and voice, performed by professional touring artists, college professors and students, avid amateurs and young musicians. Her music has a strong presence on YouTube. To hear some, type in “Catherine McMichael” to find page after page of posted performances. She maintains a private piano studio and often teaches at piano and composition seminars around the country.

Catherine’s numerous compositions span a diverse range of styles, from neo-romantic symphonic works to eclectic mixed ensembles. Five of her works for flute have won the Best Newly Published Music award from the National Flute Association. Many of her works have premiered at international music festivals. She is also a prolific arranger for several publishers and many individuals who request her special stylistic flair.

Her commitment to making chamber and ensemble music available to the young musician has inspired her to compose and publish pieces for piano solo and duet, strings, flute, harp, and handbells, many of which appear on the National Federation of Music Teachers' recommended repertoire list. She's the author of a piano method, Making Music My Own, and the very popular Triolets, which are violin and cello parts written to accompany hundreds of pieces of standard piano repertoire, including much of the Suzuki piano repertoire

Catherine is available for commissions on any instrument or voice, for either original compositions or arrangements.

Catherine and her violinist husband Rod Bieber have two adult children: Meredith, Central Michigan University neuroscience graduate and world traveler, and Nathan, who holds two Masters degrees in conducting and violin performance from the University of Michigan. Gardens full of rose bushes, a discriminating cat and a devoted dog complete the menagerie. www.catherinemcmichael.com

Matt Johnston

Matt Johnston grew up in Tampa, Florida, and followed an unusual path during the course of his musical education. Never seeming to want to settle on playing one single instrument, and with a foundation of piano lessons starting at the age of five, Matt began to explore the entire spectrum of instruments from a young age. Playing trumpet in elementary school led to the viola and double bass in middle school, only to return to trumpet for high school marching band. Braces on his teeth forced him to low clarinets and bassoon later in high school, meantime dabbling in flute and saxophone, trombone in jazz band, all without a single private lesson on any of these instruments. With supportive parents and music teachers largely just letting him “do his own thing,” it’s no wonder he was eventually destined for a career such as music publishing, where such wide and unconventional breadth of experience would be an asset.

He graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and a certificate in bassoon performance. However, even then while there, not quite willing to settle on playing a single instrument, he also embraced private studies on the organ, flute, clarinet, and piano. Following college, a move to Seattle for a fresh start led to a varied career of teaching, playing organ for a local church, and performing on multiple woodwinds and keyboards in the theatres.

Throughout all this time, Matt self-published his own musical arrangements and transcriptions, most notably for flute and clarinet ensembles, eventually leading to his taken over ownership of ALRY Publications in 2012. With ALRY, he now enjoys spending his time working with the 300+ composers and arrangers represented in the catalog, promoting their works around the world.