Space Coast Flute Orchestra performs with 40 flutists from all walks of life
Flute orchestras today are similar to what string orchestras were 150 years ago. String orchestras include basses, cellos, violas and violins. Flute orchestras include piccolos, e-flat flutes, altos, basses, contrabasses and double contrabass flutes.
SENIOR LIFE Courtesy of Space Coast Flute Orchestra
The Space Coast Flute Orchestra (SCFO), performing since its inception as a flute choir in 1983, has grown from 12 members to the current 40 flutists.
“It is one of the largest, regularly rehearsed flute orchestras in the world,” according to the SCFO website and Nancy Clew Eller, 82, Founder and Director Emeritus of SCFO, who studied flute with British flutists Geoffrey Gilbert and Peter Lloyd.
Eller taught at Brevard Community College (BCC is now Eastern Florida State College) for 41 years. She also has taught private lessons.
Ellert started SCFO “because many of my former students were back in Brevard after going away to college and they were interested in forming a small flute group to keep up their flute skills and enjoy making music.”
Eller will perform C-flute in the SCFO’s Spring Concert.
Cindy Bruce, 58, conductor of the Space Coast Flute Orchestra, grew up in Melbourne. Bruce received an associate degree from BCC and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Florida State University.
“I’ve always been a musician and a private flute teacher,” she said, and I was “interested in music as a young child.”
She took private flute lessons from Eller. Bruce officially became the conductor of SCFO in the summer of 2017, replacing Eller who retired as conductor.
Bart Lipofsky, 76, alto flute for SCFO, was a science professor at BCC. The flute choir started in conjunction with courses at BCC, Lipofsky said.
“It was wonderful to have a chance to perform.” Lipofsky said. I “learned to love music listening to the piano,” which his mother played.
Since retiring, he’s been active in SCFO.
“Everyone volunteers their time, and it is made up of people who work full time or are retired from all walks of life,” Bruce said.
She has been planning the music for the Spring Concert.
“I’ve come up with the theme of ‘Dances’ so the pieces will include Blue Danube Waltz, Joplin’s Ragtime Dance, Russian Sailor Dance. I think it will be an entertaining crowd pleaser,” she said.
The SCFO will perform its Spring Concert at 3 p.m. April 29 at Eastminster Presbyterian Church at 106 N. Riverside Drive in Indialantic. The concert is free. Readers can listen to the SCFO recordings online at its website, scfo.org.