SFA professor to play rare, wooden flute in upcoming Orchestra of Pines concert

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Stephen F. Austin State University's orchestra has certainly evolved over the last two decades.

In fact, the founders say Tuesday's concert will clearly illustrate that they have reached their goals. East Texas News has the details on a collaboration, in a couple of different ways, between old and new that will provide a rare treat for listeners.

Close observers of the orchestra will notice Dr. Christina Guenther is not playing a modern day flute made of metal. Instead, her fingers swiftly move up and down a wooden flute made of ebony.

"I know a lot of people who do not like the wooden flute," Guenther said. And people who tell me it will make a nice fire when it gets cold."

Fortunately, this flutist, yes flutist ...

"I say flutist because I play the flute, not the 'flout,'" Guenther said.

In addition, she doesn't listen to critics of the wooden flute.

"I don't know anybody else in the area who plays the wooden flute," Guenther said.

These rare, baroque instruments are a treat to hear.

The musician has performed with the Longview and Marshall orchestras.

Tomorrow night she'll be at home as guest performer of SFA's Orchestra in the Pines.

"The orchestra of the pines began about 15 plus 20 years ago," Guenther said. "That many years ago it was probably 10 percent students."

Professionals were hired as the orchestra music program grew. Today 100 percent of the chairs are filled by students.

"Mission successful," Guenther said.

But professionals don't shy away. Guenther practices behind a door where she posts a quote from a Tennessee Titans coach on the importance of discipline.

That discipline that the coach refers to is going on every day in the music department. Just walk down any of the hallways and you'll hear discipline practiced.

It's the kind of discipline a professional needs to play a wooden flute and elevate the playing of those just notes away from becoming professionals themselves.

The Orchestra in the Pines concert is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Cole Center Hall on the SFA campus in Nacogdoches.

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