In 1964, Irene Maddox and Joe Little, who were, at that time, the flute section
of the Charlotte Symphony, collaborated to establish the charter for the
Charlotte Flute Association, also known as the Charlotte Flute Club. They were
the original trustees of the group.
In the years following 1964, the Charlotte Flute Association became more and more active, forming a flute choir, which rehearsed on a weekly basis, and bringing artists and teachers to perform and to teach master classes. Among the flutists who appeared in Charlotte under the auspices of the Charlotte Flute Association were Fred Wilkins, Maxence Larrieu, Andreas Adorjan, Alain Marion, Carol Wincenc, Geoffrey Collins, Julius Baker, Ranson Wilson, Mark Thomas, and Jean-Pierre Rampal, who appeared with both Robert LaCroix and Alexander Lagoya on separate occasions. Flute students in the Charlotte area were offered not only the opportunity to hear these famous artists and to attend master classes with them, but the experience of Flute Fairs and special classes in auditioning preparation, taught by members of the Flute Club. Some students were sponsored, in part, by the Flute Club to travel to other cities to hear famous artists. A few went to Europe, to Nice, and England with Irene to expand their experience.
Meanwhile, the Flute Choir offered unique performance venues to outstanding students, both in their own school-level ensembles, and as members of the Charlotte Flute Choir, which traveled to National Flute Association conventions to perform. In 1985 the Flute Choir flew to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where they won the first prize for performance and for best conductor (Irene). The Victorian Flute Choir from Australia flew to Charlotte to work with Irene after her visits to the Australian Flute Convention as guest artist.
The Charlotte Flute Choir has also performed locally at the Festival in the Park, Springfest, the Charlotte Symphony ASID House, the Mint Museum, and as a prelude for the Summer Pops Orchestra concerts. In their travels the flute choir has represented North Carolina at the World's Fair in Tennessee, and has presented formal concerts in Charlotte, Columbia, South Carolina, and at the arts festival in Florence, South Carolina. The Flute Club raised funds to present an artist model flute to the National Conservatory of Music in Moscow, and to donate a library of flute music to the National Music Conservatory in Lima, Peru. All these events sponsored by the Charlotte Flute Association were accomplished through the Herculean efforts of Irene and the members of the Flute Club.
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