Spearheaded by Philadelphia Orchestra Flutist Joseph La Monaca, 15 men, mostly professional flutists, met on January 11, 1923 to formally organize the club. Clemente Barone, William Kincaid, and Horace W. Shuster were voted to the club’s Executive Committee a few months later.
Secretary/Treasurer Walter Butterfield submitted articles to "The Flutist" magazine about the club's endeavors. One such article can be found in the December 1923 issue. Facsimiles of these early magazines can be found in Google Books and are free eBook downloads. Search for: The Flutist, Volumes 3-4, by Emil Medicus.
Many thanks to Emily Butterfield (via Lois Herbine) for the photo. Her dissertation on THE PROFESSIONAL LIFE AND PEDAGOGY OF CLEMENT BARONE shares more information on the original Philadelphia Flute Club.
We are not quite sure how long this original flute club was in existence. However, since Philadelphia has always been home to many of the great flute legends of the orchestral and performing arenas, it was inevitable that an organization for flutists would once again come to fruition.
Members of the original Philadelphia Flute Club
THE FLUTE SOCIETY OF GREATER PHILADELPHIA
In 1972, The National Flute Association was founded and held its first convention in 1973. In August of 1983, the convention was slated to be in Philadelphia. For each convention, it had become customary for flute clubs located in the vicinity of the convention town to assist the NFA committee with both the logistics and volunteers. Since there were currently no flute clubs in the Philadelphia area, Sherry Braude and Beverly Pugh, both of whom had volunteered at past NFA conventions, reached out to the NFA for a list of Philadelphia area NFA members in the hopes of gathering recruits for the 1983 event. Sherry and Beverly, along with Ronna Ayscue and Ardelle Bowers, came together in the fall of 1982 to organize and plan. It wasn’t long before the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia became a reality.
The original officers were Sherry Braude, President, Beverly Pugh, Vice-President and Chairperson of the Host Committee for the NFA Convention, Ronna Ayscue, Secretary, and Ardelle Bowers, Treasurer. Sherry Braude served as president for a few years, followed by Frank Bolkus. In 1989, Ronna Ayscue assumed the helm, serving as president for approximately 13 years! Alongside Ronna, Beverly Pugh served the organization as a vice president for many years, and until recently continued on the board of directors and subsequently the advisory board.
During the past four decades, the organization has continued to grow and evolve. In December of 2002, under the leadership of Tom Meany and Suzanne Wray, The Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia officially incorporated in Pennsylvania, and in 2011 Colleen Law and Renae Block took on the task of establishing the organization’s 501(c)3 nonprofit status. The FSGP held its first Flute Fair Day on April 13, 2013 with guest artist Susan Milan. In 2021, due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the FSGP successfully implemented a full season of virtual events, including a two-day virtual flute fair.
1983–1988 Judy Braude
1988–1989 Frank Bolkus
1989-2002 Ronna Ayscue
2002-2006 Tom Meany
2006-2008 Suzanne Wray
2008-2013 Colleen Law
2013-2021 Renae Block
2021-2023 Cindy Anne Broz