Portrait of Abigail Walsh

Illinois based flutist Dr. Abigail Kegel Walsh has performed as a solo, orchestral, and chamber musician throughout the United States. She has taught flute players and coached chamber musicians of all ages and levels. Dr. Walsh is on faculty at the University of Illinois Springfield as well as Illinois College.

Abigail holds Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Hartford, the Hartt School, and the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Iowa.

While living in Connecticut from 2006-11, Abigail was Principal Flutist with Hartford Opera Theater and regularly performed with New Music Hartford, and the Wildwood Groups. An Iowa native, Abigail held the Principal Flute position with the Ottumwa Symphony and the Oskaloosa Symphony from 2003-06, and served as the wind contractor for both. She has also performed with the Dubuque Symphony, Iowa’s Center for New Music, and held a first flute position with the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band.

A sought after teacher, Abigail has been a member of the flute faculty at 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. She has been the flute faculty artist at the Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival, Western Illinois University’s Summer Music Program, and the “Flute by the Sea Masterclass” in Matunuck, RI. Her private students have been selected through competitive audition to the National Flute Association’s National High School Flute Choir, Connecticut Eastern Regional Band, Connecticut Northern Regional Orchestra, Connecticut All-State Band, Iowa All-State Band and have won the Miss Connecticut USA 1st Runner Up (talent award), Iowa State Solo Contest Outstanding Performance Award (Best of Center), and the Iowa Flute Wonders Competition.

As a soloist, Abigail won second place in the 2009 Washington Society Young Artist Competition and was a semi-finalist in the 2008 National Flute Association’s Piccolo Artist Competition. She also won second place in the 2008 Emeritus Recording Competition and earned a place in the Hartt School’s tuition-free 20/20 chamber music program. While pursuing her Bachelor of Music degree, Abigail won The National Flute Association’s 2004 Masterclass Performers Competition, the Iowa City Music Study Club Competition, The University of Iowa Chamber Music Competition, and was a finalist in The University’s Concerto Competition. Abigail performs solo and chamber recitals regularly and has been a featured soloist with the Cedar Rapids, IA and Taylorville, IL Municipal Bands as well as with various groups at the University of Iowa, the Hartt School, and the University of Illinois Springfield.

An avid chamber music enthusiast, Abigail performs as a member of the Music Wall Duo with Dr. Pei-I Wang, piano and with the Central Illinois Woodwind Quintet, a Springfield based wind quintet. She was a founding member of Blew Spiel, a musical collaboration of flute, recorded electronic music, and spoken-word poetry with poet, Curtis Walker. She has also performed as a part of various chamber combinations through the Hartt School’s Performance 20/20 program, New Music Hartford, Foot in the Door, Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival, and Iowa’s Center for New Music, as well as wind quintets at the University of Iowa and the Hartt School. Twentieth century American wind quintet repertoire was the focus of her doctoral thesis.

Abigail’s primary flute instructors include Janet Arms, John Wion, Tamara Thweatt, Robert Dick, Tadeu Coelho, Betty Bang Mather, and Margaret Linnan Kegel. She has enjoyed additional study with Angelieta Floyd, Keith Underwood, Ransom Wilson, Claudia Anderson, and Jane Walker. She has performed in masterclasses with Trevor Wye, Alberto Almarza, Clare Southworth, Christina Smith, Rachel Brown, Leone Buyse, Rhonda Larson, John Bailey, Barbara Hopkins, and Clifford Benson.

Abby performs on a Miyazawa 14k gold Boston Classic flute with a platinum riser, and a Keefe piccolo.