History of COFA

The roots of the current twenty-seven year old Central Ohio Flute Association come from the original Columbus Flute Club of the 1920's which was first announced in "The Flutist" magazine as the twenty-third flute club to be listed in this magazines' roster. In the March, 1926 issue, it was announced that the Columbus Flute Club had begun a competition for students in Franklin County.

In 1974 the Columbus Flute Club began again, perhaps because of the advent of the new National Flute Association which held its second convention in Pittsburgh in August of 1974. Some of the Columbus Flute Club members were Mary Stanton, Martha Vore, Linda Robertson (Allen), Katherine Borst, and Beth Owen. Meetings were held at The Ohio State University Hughes Hall and consisted of ensemble playing and member recitals. One memorable recital featured Janice Misseral-Mitchell. Another event featured Bernard Goldberg (NFA president, 1974-75) presenting master classes and performing the complete Bach Sonatas at the Schumacher Gallery at Capital University on May 13, 1975.

On October 10, 1982, Overda Page (Stonerock), flute professor at The Ohio State University hosted a Flute Forum concert of ensemble music. The renewed interest generated at this event led to monthly meetings, a "Flute-In" at the June Columbus Arts Festival, student and member recitals, master classes and flute ensemble playing. In the fall of 1983, Robert Willoughby was guest artist for a recital and master class. A newsletter from that year proudly states that the group was renamed the Central Ohio Flute Association. Officers included Overda Page, President; Tacy Edwards, Vice-President.

The first flute festival, May 5, 1984, organized by Lori Akins, was held at Capital University with Robert Dick, Gerald Carey, Randall Hester, George Pope and others presenting. The evening featured the finals of the three divisions of flute competitions. Winners were: collegiate, Christine Gaskill; senior high winner, Sarah Paul and Michelle Martin and Sonja Miller shared the the junior division prize. Many exhibitors were present. The new organization continued to hold meetings in various locations throughout the Columbus area, hosting student and member recitals recital featuring contest music for the Ohio Music Education Association, among other events. From 1985 to 2000, Lori Akins served as President, with Phyllis Hester as Vice President and Beth Owen as Secretary. Katherine Borst Jones has served as chair of the Flute Festival since 1985. Many others have served in other capacities.

In 2000, The Central Ohio Flute Association became a student organization at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. COFA co-sponsors (with the OSU School of Music) a yearly flute festival. Presented are a guest artist, a flute choir showcase, four competitions, a vibrant exhibit hall, lectures and other events presented for the normal attendance of between 100-400 enthusiasts. Throughout the year master classes by visiting flutists are presented and are open to the public. Since 2000, the leadership of the organization is elected by student members and the advisor is Katherine Borst Jones. An annual newsletter is written and posted on the website, cofa.osu.edu. Guest artists for master classes and the flute festival have included William Bennett, Bonita Boyd, Robert Dick, Jill Felber, Jean Ferrandis, James Galway, Walfrid Kujala, Donald Peck, Marina Piccinini, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Paula Robison, Mark Sparks, Alexa Still , Carol Wincenc, Robert Willoughby, and Matthias Ziegler among many others. Special sessions on Alexander Technique, body mapping, flute choir reading sessions, auditioning for college, contemporary techniques, piccolo playing and many others have been presented throughout the years. COFA remains committed to serving the needs of Central Ohio flutists by presenting recitals, master classes and its annual flute festival. It has succeeded due to the long time support of Ohio's flutists, past and present, as well as the exhibitors who help sponsor our event with their resources and their presence. We look forward to our 30th Flute Festival, April 5, 2014, featuring DeMarre McGill.

COFA is a volunteer, non-profit, student-run organization.

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