Editor's Note: The information under the pictures has been corrected to reflect she is retiring from the University of Northern Iowa.
CEDAR FALLS – Acclaimed flute professor, musician and conductor Angeleita Floyd will premiere a new composition titled “Retirement.” After 33 years, Floyd is leaving her successful flute studio at the University of Northern Iowa School of Music to begin a new phase of her life.
On Saturday, former students and colleagues from across the U.S. and abroad, together with current students will gather to perform a Floyd Flute Family Celebration concert. The event begins at 7 p.m. in Bengston Auditorium at Russell Hall on the University of Northern Iowa campus.
Floyd began organizing the concert last year.
“It’s also a reunion for my students, who have always been my joy. Students are returning from my first year of teaching at UNI in 1986 and all the years I’ve been here,” said Floyd, who has taught and mentored numerous prize-winning students on regional and national levels.
“They’re excited to come back, and I’m excited that they’re coming because we’re a family. The concert will feature a variety of favorite, really fabulous pieces, some big works from the early years to the present.”
One piece is a Floyd-commissioned composition by Robert Washut, UNI professor emeritus and former director of UNI Jazz Studies. “Una Estrella Fugaz for Flute and Piano” was written for Floyd’s student Daniel Velasco, who won the National Flute Association’s 2008 young artist competition. Velasco will return to perform the piece. He graduated from UNI in 2009 and is now a flute professor at the University of Kansas. This will be the first time Velasco has performed the work.
“Ancient Impressions,” commissioned from composer Blaz Pucihar by a flute consortium including Floyd, will be premiered. The Northern Iowa Flute Choir and Floyd’s Flutes for Change, both founded by Floyd, and Floyd Flute Family Celebration Flute Choir will perform. Pianists will be Robin Guy, Linda Mark and Serena Hou.
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There will be 64 flutists playing on stage by concert’s end, Floyd said.
Floyd earned her bachelor of music degree from Florida’s Stetson University, where she studied with Geoffrey Gilbert, and received her master of music, master of music education and doctor of music degrees from Florida State University. She is author of the flute method, “The Gilbert Legacy,” and is founder and director of Winzer Press Publishing.
She has performed, conducted and taught internationally, including conducting Festival Flute Orchestras in the U.S. and abroad. Floyd has been guest artist at the International Flute Festivals in Sweden, Ecuador, Brazil and Costa Rica. This year she will perform and present at the Florida State Flute Summit 2019 in Tallahassee and at University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
In 2017, Floyd was chosen by the music faculty to receive the John L. Baker Faculty Development Award. Iowa’s Board of Regents recognized Floyd in 2014-2015 with the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence, and in 2013 she received the National Flute Association’s Distinguished Service Award and the James F. Lubker Faculty Research Award from UNI.
Comments and stories from students and colleagues about Floyd have been gathered for the concert program. Associate Provost for Faculty John Vallentine, former director of the School of Music, has been Floyd’s colleague for 28 years. “If you took everyone’s most positive day here at the university and multiplied it times 100, that would perfectly describe Angeleita,” he said.
“Her enthusiasm for teaching, dedication to educating students, professional performing and conducting and offering a lifetime of service to the university, Cedar Valley, Iowa and the flute world have all been quite amazing during her career.”
Deanna Hahn Little earned her music degree in flute performance in 1991. “Angeleita has been the strongest and most overwhelming female influence in my life. She pushed me, motivated me, cheered me on and taught me to believe in myself. I still hear Angeleita’s voice and words in my head in my own teaching and strive to pass along Angeleita’s legacy to my students,” said Little, who is professor of flute at Middle Tennessee State University.
“I feel like I created a flute studio that was happy, active and productive,” said Floyd. “Students grew so much and left with a love of music and a love of flute, which makes me happy. They’re carrying on what they learned.”
Floyd plans to spend more time with her husband, Scott Cawelti, and work on several major projects, including private teaching and writing another book.