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Illinois Valley Flute Ensemble to perform Inspired by Starved Rock concert April 14

Group will perform with Bloomington-Normal Flute Club

Lundahl Middle School 8th grade student Annika Martinez plays on the flute during 8th grade band lesson at Lundahl Middle School on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 in Crystal Lake.

Illinois Valley Flute Ensemble and Bloomington-Normal Flute Club will present the Inspired by Starved Rock concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 14, at Zion United Church of Christ, Peru, and again Sunday, April 21, in Bloomington.

The Illinois Valley Flute Ensemble under the direction of Sue Gillio and the Bloomington-Normal Flute Club under the direction of Rachel Bailey, an Illinois Valley Flute Ensemble alumna, will present the concert at the church, 1521 Sixth St., Peru.

Free will offerings will be accepted with money going to the flute scholarship fund to assist flutists who would like to attend the Summer Flute Retreat in June 2024 in Peru. Music performed will include pieces by Phyllis Louke, composer/flutist from Oregon that depict nature and conger up vivid images of eagles soaring over Starved Rock or Native Americans singing in the canyons, such as “As Eagles Flew, Canyon Dreams, Echoes in the Wind” with additional music by Ann Arbor, Michigan composer, Catherine McMichael.

Performers will be Lois Croasdale, Spring Valley; Paige Evans, Cedar Point; Emily Ernat, Emily Kmetz, Becky Weiler, La Salle; Kathy Gage, Lake Ozark, Missouri; Sue Johnson, Natalie Lindig, Gabby Mosley, Peru; Tony Grunstad, Hallee Loza, Ottawa; Eileen Hagenbuch, Utica; Kendra Herman, Kendra Olson, Seneca; Jan Hoge, Wenona; Julie Pleskovitch, Oglesby; Ava Rosengren, Serena; Jamie Valadez, Dalzell; Danielle Sprague, Ann Wolfe, Normal; Patti Carroll, Connie Whitehead, Mackinaw; Susan Roloff, Hudson, and Julie Dahlke, Mahomet.

Music Suite 408 in Peru is the home base for the Illinois Valley Flute Ensemble, which was established in the summer of 1991. The ensemble is one of the flute ensembles at Music Suite 408 ranging in age from 6 years through adult. The Illinois Valley Flute Ensemble has performed annually in April as part of the Music at the Mansion series at the Hegeler Carus Mansion, city of Peru Maud Powell Arts Celebrations, Senica’s Oak Ridge, Deer Park Country Club, Hunter’s Ridge Country Club, Reddick Mansion, Morton Grove Library, Liberty Village in Streator, Princeton and Peru, Hornbaker’s Gardens and various private parties and seasonal gatherings. Additionally, the IVFE has performed as one of three ensembles invited to the 37th annual Principals Association three-day conference at the Peoria Civic Center and have performed at the Chicago Flute Festival in 2001 (Wheeling), 2009 (Evanston) and Oct. 1, 2023 at the Epiphany Center for the Arts in Chicago. The IVFE has produced three CDs, they are “In the Mood for Flutes” (2005); “Christmas Tidings” (2009); and “Flute Spangled Spectacular” (June 2012).

Sue Gillio, an Oglesby native, is the owner of Music Suite 408 and founder/director of the Illinois Valley Flute Ensemble. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Illinois University with emphasis in flute performance where she studied with Gerald Carey. She is principal flute of the Illinois Valley Symphony, and has performed in the Quad City Symphony, Heartland Philharmonic, Knox-Galesburg Symphony, DuPage Symphony and the Peoria Symphony. She has been the featured soloist with the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra in 2006, 2014 and 2023. Internationally, Gillio has performed in Italy as part of the Rome Festival Orchestra. She is on faculty at Illinois Valley Community College, executive board of North Central Illinois Artworks and is a member of the Chicago Flute Club and National Flute Association where she has performed at conventions in Columbus, Ohio and Dallas, Texas. She has been published in the “Flute Talk” periodical, the “Pipeline of the Chicago Flute Club” and will be the featured educator in the May 2016 Flute Talk. She founded the annual Summer Flute Retreat and is on the faculty of the Summer Flute Camp at Westminster Choir Conservatory in Princeton, New Jersey. She was awarded the 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Illinois Small Business Development Center and Omni Arts 2018 Excellence Award for Music.

The Bloomington-Normal Flute Club is an all-abilities, flute ensemble for adults. Their goal is to provide a space for adult flute players to grow as musicians and have a performance outlet without judgment or unneeded stress. They also strive to have fun while becoming better flute players and to build a community. The group was founded in 2022 by Bailey, instructor at The Music Shoppe in Normal. The group has performed at assisted living facilities in the area as well as for public events such as the Nativities Festival in Peoria and Christmas Walk in Mason City.

Bailey, Oglesby native, began flute lessons with Gillio. She received her bachelor’s of arts in music performance from Brigham Young University-Idaho, master’s of music in flute performance from Texas State University and attended “The Studio” with Trevor Wye in Ashford, Kent UK, where she completed her certificate in 2011. Her primary teachers include Patricia George and Adah Toland-Jones. Rachel was a winner of the Concerto Competition at Texas State in 2008 and soloed with the orchestra on the Liebermann Flute Concerto No. 1 in 2009. She has also performed with the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Sewanee Symphony, Texas State Symphony and Brigham Young University-Idaho Orchestra as well as various chamber groups. She also enjoys playing in an Irish band. Bailey is past alum of the Illinois Valley Flute Ensemble and has attended and taught at the Summer Flute Retreat in Peru.

Both ensembles maintain a busy performance schedule that are on a donation basis, which enable the groups to purchase new music and instruments, help with the upkeep of instruments, assist with rental space costs and provide full or partial scholarships to the Summer Flute Retreat and other summer music opportunities for flute students.

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