History of the Society

The Flute Society of South Australia was formed on July 26, 1972, at the instigation of the late David Cubbin. The inaugural meeting was held in the Recital Room, Flinders Street School of Music, at which David Cubbin was elected President and Alison Rosser OAM was elected Secretary. The Society was officially incorporated on October 16 1975.

David Cubbin
Alison Rosser OAM
Judy Cooper

Day camps have always been an important activity of the Flute Society, the first one being held at St Mark’s College in November 1973. These have continued in various guises throughout the 30 years, including Flute Fests, Flute Fun Days, Flute Madness, Flute Flings, Flutes with Leaps & Bounds and the recent Fabulous Flute & Fife Fun Day.

Bottles at Flute and Fife Fun Day

In May 1974 the society’s Flute Choir was formed, playing for the first Come Out Festival in May 1975 with the assistance of David Cubbin. In July 1978 a concert was held in St Augustine’s Church, Unley for the centenary of the organ, at which a choir of over 80 flutes played under the direction of Alex Gemmell.

In April 1976 The Flute Society of SA hosted the Second Australian Flute Convention, held at Pulteney Grammar School and directed by David Cubbin. This featured prominent Australian flautists Vernon Hill, James Carson, Linda Vogt, Leslie Barklamb, Victor McMahon, David Cubbin, Margaret Crawford, Zdenek Bruderhans and Owen Fisenden. Geoffrey Collins was the winner of the First Australian Flute Competition.

In 1988 the Seventh Australian Flute Convention was held in Adelaide with Alison Rosser OAM as director. Visiting artists and lecturers from overseas included Bonita Boyd and Felix Skowronek from the USA and Andreas Eichhorn from Germany. Anne Boyd’s Bali Moods 1 & 2 was commissioned for the event and played by Geoffrey Collins.

Seventh Australian Flute Convention Attendees, Easter 1988

In July 1982 The Flute Society celebrated its 10th anniversary with a seminar at Goodwood Orphanage, directed by David Cubbin, with guest artists Vernon Hill and Neil Fisenden. A special concert was given in Elder Hall, featuring the guest artists, all past presidents and the winners of the junior and senior competitions associated with the seminar. The Flute Choir, conducted by David Cubbin, performed “Synthesis”, a work by Jill Lowe commissioned for the occasion.

10th Birthday Cake: Beth Peake, Alison Rosser OAM, Sylvia Beare, Elizabeth Koch AM, Noreen Ashenden, Melvyn Schlank, David Cubbin, Beryl Correll

The Flute Society’s 21st birthday was celebrated in July 1993 with a Flute Fest at Marryatville High School, comprising a weekend of masterclasses and flute fun activities with guest artists Vernon Hill and David Cubbin.

Cutting the 21st  Birthday Cake: Angela Retchford, Vernon Hill, David Cubbin

21st Birthday Cake

Celebrate 30!! was the theme of the weekend when the Flute Society turned 30 in 2002. To mark the occasion a recital with guest flautist Janet Webb was given in Elder Hall, followed by a day of masterclasses, ensemble playing and the inevitable birthday cake.

Cutting the 30th Birthday Cake: front row, Elizabeth Koch AM, Robert Brown, Helen Greacen, Robert Brown OAM, Margaret Coventry, Alison Rosser OAM, Angela Retchford, Sid Lellmann
Flute Ensemble at Celebrating 30!!

Celebrating 40! was held at Seymour College Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, September 22, 2012, with guest artists Janet Webb and Jocelyn Fazzone from Sydney.  Janet and Jocelyn gave a recital at Pilgrim Church.

Karen Fletcher cuts the 40th Birthday Cake

Flute Ensemble at Celebrating 40!

In 1987 the Flute Society’s scholarship for young flute players (15 & under) was established, with the first award made in 1989 to Melita White. In 1996 this became the Carolyn White Memorial Scholarship, named for a much respected past president of the Flute Society.

In 1992 the David Cubbin Prize was established, named after the Flute Society’s founder and patron. The inaugural David Cubbin award went to Monica Fynnaart.

Other regular activities of the Flute Society over the years have included recitals, masterclasses and workshops by local as well as interstate and overseas professionals.

Guest artists over the years have included James Pellerite, Don Burrows, Vernon Hill, Margaret Crawford, Elizabeth Koch AM, Alison Rosser OAM, Rae Stratfold, Greg Dikmans, Danielle Eden, Alan Hardy, Angela Retchford, Carolyn Bounds, Paul Edmund-Davies, Peter Bartels, Anne Norman, Janet Webb, Trevor Wye, Katherine Kemler, Leone Buyse, Mike Mower, Wissam Boustany, Uwe Grodd, Karen Lonsdale, Teresa Rabe and David Burvill-Holmes.

The South Australian Flute News has been produced and distributed regularly since 1979, its predecessor being a 1 or 2 page newsletter dating back to the early days of the Flute Society.