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Flutes fill the air: Trio of flutists shares love of music during summer recital series

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BEMIDJI — Trilling and carefully articulated syncopated notes filled the sanctuary at St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church during the Church Musicians Summer Recital series Wednesday afternoon. The concert performance, presented by area flutists Erin Reiss, Kiki Schnackenberg and Katrina Stewart, included a variety of solo and group pieces that lasted about a half hour. “It was just good to provide entertainment to them (the audience) and bring them the same joy music brings me,” said Schnackenberg. A popular, weekly event, the church was filled to near capacity. Sparking her musical interests when she was in the fifth-grade, Schnackenberg said she remembers her first flute being an old, $50 instrument and Schnackenberg said she always knew she never wanted to quit playing. “I love music and I love the flute,” she said, who has been playing for the past 35 years. “I like the sound — it’s so mellow.” Schnackenberg’s love and appreciation for music has been picked up by her three children, who she said she’s pleased they all play a variety of instruments. Stewart, Schnackenberg’s oldest child, said she began playing her mother’s flute at a very young age and loved everything about it. “It’s been with me my entire life,” she said, gesturing to her flute. Wednesday’s concert marked the first time the mother and daughter performed together, aside from church services, etc. “It was good to see the community come and support and appreciate music,” Stewart said. A recent undergraduate graduate from Bemidji State University, Stewart plans to pursue a career in k-12 music education. “I want to share my talent and appreciation for music,” she said. “I want to teach music not only for the aesthetic reason, but because it also teaches things like discipline.” Discipline is one of the many reasons Reiss chose to pursue a major in music at Gustavus Adolphus College while also pursuing a major in math. “I always liked the music classes, and so I thought I’d minor in it, but then I always had more room in my schedule to take more of those classes, so I majored in it,” Reiss said. Today, Reiss doesn’t get as much time as she’d like to practice her flute and perform. With a husband and three children, her days are pretty well committed, she said. “I always wanted to continue playing,” she said. “It’s a good stress relief.” With her three children at her side, Reiss said she would like to see them take interest in music the way she and her husband, who plays trumpet, do. “They are more interested in their dad’s music right now,” said a laughing Reiss. Continuing throughout the summer, the next Church Musicians Summer Recital series will be hosted at noon Wednesday at Calvary Lutheran Church. Performances will include Andrew Ronnevik, violin, Jon Romer, American India flute and Jacque Tinsley, folk harp. Prices for the event have yet to be determined and a luncheon will follow the concert.

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