Abigail Walsh

Photo of Abigail
Photo of Abigail

Dr. Abigail Walsh enjoys a varied career as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, festival director, author, and dedicated teacher. Currently Vice President of the West Michigan Flute Association and Co-Founder and Program Director for the Great Lakes Flute Festival, she has most recently performed with the West Michigan Symphony, Holland Symphony, Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, and the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. Dedicated to pedagogy and innovation in music education, she is the author of “Plugged In: Practice and Performance Method for Flutists”, an award-winning method book that utilizes free electronic tools to enhance musicianship on the flute available from Conway Publications. . Her latest album features recordings from the delay studies in the method.

After her graduate studies, Abigail spent twelve years as a fulltime academic in roles as the Visiting Professor of Flute/Music at Grand Valley State University (2020-2024), and Applied Music Specialist at the University of Illinois Springfield (2012-2020) where she taught flute lessons and applied classes in flute performance, flute pedagogy, and chamber music, and academic classes focused on western classical art music history, jazz history, flute literature, world music, and rock n’ roll history. Notable contributions to these universities include spearheading the UIS Camerata Music Scholarship Chamber Music Program, collaborating in the creation on the UIS Community Music School, creating and directing the UIS Flute Festival, and co-founding the Community Engagement Music Project funded by a Pew FTLC Teaching Innovation Grant at GVSU. She has also been on faculty as an adjunct flute instructor at Illinois College, the Hartt School, the Hartt School Community Division and the Ethel Walker School, as well as the flute teaching assistant at the University of Iowa.

This coming year, Dr. Walsh will open AW Flute Academy with offerings in-person, online (synchronous and asynchronous) and in hybrid formats. Sign-up to learn more about lessons, course offerings, and benefits when they become available.

More About Dr. Walsh:

University degrees from…

  • The Hartt School, DMA in flute performance
  • The Hartt School, MM in flute performance
  • University of Iowa, BM in flute performance

Studied with…

  • Janet Arms (Hartt, New York City Opera)
  • John Wion (Hartt, Former New York City Opera)
  • Tamara Thweatt (U of Iowa, Former LA Philharmonic)
  • Robert Dick (U of Iowa, Contemporary Specialist)
  • Tadeu Coelho (U of Iowa, NC School of the Arts)
  • Betty Mang Mather (Former U of Iowa, Baroque Specialist)
  • Trevor Wye (Flute Pedagogue, Intensive Summer Masterclasses – 2 years)
  • Margaret Linnan Kegel (Private Instructor, Former Director Miyazawa Flutes)

Performed with…

  • Illinois Symphony Orchestra
  • Peoria Symphony Orchestra
  • West Michigan Symphony
  • Holland Symphony Orchestra
  • Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra
  • Hartford Opera Theater
  • Grand Rapids Civic Theatre
  • Whiting Park Festival Orchestra
  • Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra
  • Dubuque Symphony Orchestra
  • Oskaloosa Symphony Orchestra
  • Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra
  • Cedar Rapids Municipal Band

As a competitor…

  • National Flute Association, Newly Published Music Award, Winner
  • CanAmerican Flute Symposium Solo Artist Competition, First Prize
  • The American Prize, Professional Instrumental Soloist Division, Finalist
  • The American Prize, Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the performance of American music, Finalist
  • National Flute Association Piccolo Artist Competition, Semi-Finalist
  • Flute Society of Washington Young Artist Competition, Second Prize
  • Emeritus Recording Competition, Second Prize
  • National Flute Association Masterclass Performers Competition, Winner
  • University of Iowa Concerto Competition, Finalist

As a faculty artist at…

  • Engelbach-Hart Music Festival
  • UIS Flute Festival
  • Composers Alliance of San Antonio
  • Flute by the Sea Masterclass
  • Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival
  • Hartt Summer Flute Intensive
  • Western Illinois University Summer Music Institute

As a presenter and performer at…

  • National Flute Association Conventions
  • Great Lakes Flute Festival
  • Florida Flute Festival
  • Flute New Music Consortium New Music Festival
  • Wisconsin Flute Festival
  • Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair
  • Iowa Flute Festival

On teaching the flute:

“My passion for performance is matched only by my love of teaching. Every individual is unique, and I adapt my teaching style to each student so they can succeed in playing the flute and being a fine musician. My pedagogical approach to teaching flute emphasizes physical awareness to eliminate tension and fatigue, and create a polished performance. I aim to inspire students to master great control of their instrument. By mastering breathing and finger technique, perfecting air-stream control, paying attention to details in a phrase, and developing sound production the student learns to sing through their flute, learn pieces quickly, and perform with ease and artistry.” - Abigail Walsh