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I began piano lessons at age 5 with a professor at Elmira College and flute at age 8. I also studied cello, French horn and percussion during summers. I made my debut as a soloist at age 17 with the Elmira Symphony Orchestra, performing Charles Tomlinson Griffes’ “Poem for Flute and Orchestra.”
I attended Mount Holyoke College, where I was named a Sarah Williston Scholar for Academic Excellence, and graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Music Performance and Composition. Later, I received a Master’s Degree in Flute Performance (M.M.) from Ithaca College School of Music. I have studied with such superlative flutists and teachers as Joanne Tanner, Andrew Lolya, Michael Parloff, Thomas Nyfenger, Georgetta Maiolo, Craig Goodman and Jan Vinci.
I began composing songs and pieces for piano as a child, although I didn’t know how to write them down! At Mount Holyoke College, I studied theory and composition under the mentorship of the extraordinary teacher and composer, Professor Allen Bonde. I also performed regularly with the Asparagus Valley Contemporary Music Ensemble at nearby Amherst College, where we gave numerous concerts of new works by the two composers-in-residence there at the time: Pulitzer Prize winner Professor Lewis Spratlan, and Professor Donald Wheelock. You can find much more information about my composing history under the Teaching: Composition and Theory Lessons section of this site, and some information can be found below.
As a flutist, I have performed widely as a soloist, in chamber groups and in orchestras throughout the Northeast and New England. Some of these include: Andrew D. White House Concert Series, Cornell University; Newport, RI Art Association Concert Series; Trinity Church Music at Noon Series (Boston); Binghamton Symphony Orchestra; New River Valley Orchestra (VA); New Music Forum (NYC); Riverside Orchestra (NYC); Cascadilla Wind Quintet (Ithaca, NY); Portsmouth Abbey Concert Series (RI); solo broadcast on WNYC Radio (NYC); Concert Series at Greenwich School of Music (NYC).
Recently, I gave a concert with pianist Michael Harrison at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Saratoga Springs, NY. Flutist Mary Cobb participated, as did Saratoga Springs artist and teacher Francelise Dawkins. You can read about it here. You can read more about Michael and Mary under About The Magique Flute: Ensembles and Collaborators.
My compositions have been heard at such venues as the Detroit Institute of Art, on WNYC radio, the Brookline Music School, Cable TV in Ithaca, NY, the Saratoga Arts Festival, and Wiawaka Holiday House on Lake George.
In 1987, I wrote the music for the world premier of William Blake’s theatrical musical satire, “An Island in the Moon,” which was adapted for stage by renowned Wm. Blake scholar, Professor Joseph Viscomi and performed at Cornell University. The production can be viewed online. The music from this production can be heard by clicking here. (I am playing the piano in this live production; the flutist was one of my students from Cornell University.) To listen to “Holy Thursday,” one of the most beautiful songs in this live production, please click here.
Light of Glory, by Photographer Shari Crocker; First-Prize Winner of Flickr "Close-up Flowers" Award
I have over 25 years’ experience teaching individuals, groups and classes, coaching chamber groups, and conducting ensembles. I have taught college students and coached student chamber groups through the Cornell University Music Dept. and the Music Dept. at VA Tech in Blacksburg, VA. I was a Faculty Member of the Ithaca Community School of the Arts, and performed widely with the faculty quintet, the Cascadilla Woodwind Quintet. Please click here to read more about my teaching philosophy and what I offer in my studio. Click here to read testimonials about my teaching, performances and collaborative activities.
I take my performances, teaching, and creative activities very seriously, as do those with whom I collaborate, most of whom have Master’s Degrees and are exceptional creative artists in their fields.
When you hire The Magique Flute for one of the many services we offer, you will find that we approach every performance and creative endeavor with consummate professionalism.
That said, we also deeply enjoy our collaborations, and — we have FUN working together!
Whether you are taking a lesson from me; hear us at a cocktail party, children’s event or wedding where we are playing; or if you are part of the audience for one of our performances, you will sense the delight we feel at the opportunity to share with you our love of music and all the arts.
Click here to learn more about us and to start your tour of this website.
If you would like to book Margaret for a solo performance or to commission a composition, please contact her. If you would like to book a Magique Flute ensemble for a performance, please contact us! (You can learn more about our ensembles and collaborators here.) Margaret and The Magique Flute ensembles perform at formal occasions and give full-length concerts, and we also play out at cafes, coffee houses and other, more informal, venues.
Margaret H. LaFrance, M.M. for The Magique Flute