Western Kentucky University

Flute Alumni

About Our Flute Alumni

Flute alumni of Western Kentucky University enjoy various careers and leadership positions in and outside of music. Below are some of the most recent accomplishments of some of the WKU Flute Studio Alumni. Please email heidi.alvarez@wku.edu to update the information above or to have your name added to the list.

Erin Austin (BA Music and Broadcasting, 2011) works at WDRB in Louisville as an Assignment Editor, and her duties entail writing stories that appear in the newscasts, placing those stories on the WDRB website and Facebook, assigning reporters to stories, and handling station correspondence.

Lauren Carr (BME 2010) currently works as a repair technician for Miyazawa flutes, Hammig piccolos, and Trevor James flute and is living in Coralville, Iowa. Lauren attended the National Flute Association convention and the Florida Flute Association conventions this year as a representative of Miyazawa flutes. Lauren also plays flute in the Iowa Community Band and the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band.

Adrienne Hayes Demirelli (BA 2009) opened her music agency "Adrienne Demirelli Productions" and is currently working for 5 ensembles and one composer in medieval to contemporary music in Paris, France.   She is also freelancing for two well-known agencies. Check out www.adriennedemirelli.com for more information.

Jamie Rone Hunt (BA 2003), graduated in May 2012 with her Master of Music degree from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, where she has been studying flute performance with Dr. Adah Jones. Jamie was a member of the 2011 National Flute Association's Professional Flute Choir and participated in a masterclass with the notable Dr. Walfrid Kujala at WKU in January of 2012. Jamie was inducted in Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honorary society in 2012. She teaches private flute lessons in Austin, Texas where she lives with her husband, Jeremy Hunt.

Melissa Gensler Keeling (BME 2010) married Lee Michael Keeling (class of 2012) on June 18, 2011. In August 2012, Melissa relocated to New York City and began Doctoral studies in Flute Performance at the City University of New York as a student of Robert Dick. She completed her Master of Music degree in flute performance at Middle Tennessee State University in May 2012. At MTSU, she was a Teaching Assistant and served as Principal Flute in the MTSU Wind Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra. She performed as a soloist with the MTSU Chamber Orchestra on Oct. 9, 2011 and completed her Master's recital in April 2012. During the 2011-2012 school year, Melissa composed "Illuminati Breakdown!"  and "since feeling is first" for solo flute and backing track, "Gingersnap!" for flute and contrabass flute, and an arrangement of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog." She was selected as a Young Artist Competition Alternate for the Flute Society of Kentucky 2012 Festival, and she served as an adjudicator, clinician, and soloist at the 2012 Flute Society of Kentucky Festival. Melissa's work can be viewed on http://www.youtube.com/sonyqtv

Mary Alice Ratzlaff Kolko (BM 2006) currently lives in Chico, California with her husband and two cats. In addition to working full time, she recently played flute in the musicals Brigadoon and Oklahoma!, performed on a commissioned sacred work, and performed the Poulenc Sonata and the Burnham Dickinson Trilogy on a chamber recital. Mary Alice is active teaching and performing in chamber ensembles and orchestras in the northern California area and sings in the North Valley Chamber Chorale.

Valerie Martin McQueary (BME 2012) graduated with honors from Western Kentucky University in May 2012 with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education.  She married Lee McQueary July 21, 2012 and moved to Bradenton, FL where she became the music teacher at Sea Breeze Elementary.  She is responsible for teaching general music grades K-5, instructing an African Drumming Club, directing a kindergarten Christmas musical in December, and an end of the year 5th Grade musical in April.  She will also be starting Children's Choir at Sea Breeze that will be held after school.  While working full-time, she plans to teach private flute lessons and play in the local orchestra.

Casey Allmon Powell (BME 2006) just finished her seventh year teaching music at Barren County Middle School, where she started a strings program in 2010. She attended the American String Teacher's Association Conference in Atlanta in March 2012 and plans to apply this information while implementing a district-wide string program in Barren County. She received recognition from the Barren County Board of Education as the District Certified Teacher of the Month in November 2011 and was awarded a plaque and Chamber of Commerce gift certificate. Her orchestra attended the KMEA Concert Festival for the first time this year and received straight distinguished ratings for their prepared pieces and sight reading. In addition to her busy work and parenting schedule, Casey enjoys being a skating member of the Vette City Vixens Roller Derby Team and is an active local Zija distributor.

Kallie Rogers (BME 2010) is a Graduate Teaching Assistant pursuing a DM in Flute Performance at Florida State University.  She graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in May 2012. At MTSU, she served as a Graduate Assistant and was awarded as the Outstanding Graduate Woodwind Performer in Flute.  She was the assistant coordinator for the 2012 MTSU Flute Festival, where she also presented a clinic for parents of young flutists.  At the 2012 Flute Society of Kentucky festival, she presented a clinic for college students about financing artistic endeavors and also performed the Beaser Mountain Songs on the chamber music recital.  In August 2012, Kallie presented and performed at the NFA Convention in Las Vegas.  She performed on an afternoon recital "Ruby Tuesday," and was a guest panelist for one of the career workshops, "Making it Happen!"

Cara Stevens, 2008 Governor's School for the Arts Alumna, is a 2013 graduate of the Integrated Music Education program at Western Kentucky University, where she studied with Heidi Álvarez.  Cara, a member of the WKU Honor's College and a WKU Award of Excellence recipient, was a WKU Music Department Ambassador and a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honorary Society. In addition to being selected as a member of the intercollegiate band at the Kentucky Music Educator's Association conference, Cara performed as a member of the WKU Wind Ensemble, the WKU Symphonic Band, The Symphony of Bowling Green, and the WKU Flute Choir. She maintains a thriving private flute studio in Bowling Green and is a member of the Flute Society of Kentucky. Cara participated in several flute masterclasses, including those of Michel Debost, Gary Schocker, Keith Underwood, Katherine Borst Jones, and others. As a student at Edmonson County High School and a private flute pupil of Dr. Charles Smith (WKU Emeritus Flute Professor), Cara won many honors by audition, including being the first-place winner of the 2009 Flute Society of Kentucky High School Soloist competition; being the Principal Flutist in the Bowling Green Youth Orchestra; and a member of both the KMEA All-State High School Orchestra and KMEA All-State Symphonic Band.  Cara has traveled to Australia and Africa to do mission work. Upon completion of her education, Cara aspires to gain further education in music therapy and to use music in the career of international missions.

 Last Modified 7/23/13