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UpTown Flutes Founder Virginia Schulze-Johnson, founded the ensemble in 1999 with a mix of professional and student flutists; she was its first Director.  The group turned professional in 2000 and debuted at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, garnering a glowing NY Review: “UpTown Flutes deserves major attention as they are top-notch and one of a kind.”  UpTown Flutes has released four albums, with a fifth album in the planning stages.  The ensemble has performed in numerous venues, at the National Flute Association (NFA) conventions multiple times, and has performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C.


Elise Carter, BM Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, MA, Montclair State University, presented by Artists International at Weill recital hall in Carnegie hall in 2005 and 2007, teaches and freelances in the NY metropolitan area. Flute professor and flute ensemble director at Drew University 2009-2021, guest flute professor at William Paterson University a composer published by Theodore Presser and Art of sound Music. Co-Founder of the New Jersey Flute Society, Director of New Jersey Flute Choir Day. Founder and Executive director of Carter-Glennon Center for Arts and Nature. and

Jenny Cline, orchestral flutist and chamber musician, performs with the Monmouth and Plainfield Symphonies and the Staten Island Philharmonic, Quinception Wind Quintet, and the Cline/Cuestas Duo (flute and guitar). She has been on the faculty at NJ Workshop for the Arts since 1996, and her students have achieved honors at local, state, and national levels. She has served on the board of the National Flute Association and is currently president of the New York Flute Club.


Karen Demsey, UpTown flutes directorMM Eastman School of Music; DMA Rutgers University, has premiered numerous works nationally and internationally.  She has performed as a soloist throughout China, and on concert tours of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Croatia, Slovenia, and Turkey.  Her solo album, Recollections of the Inland Sea, internationally distributed on Capstone Records, features music for flute and marimba.  She is the current director of the Artists International Award-winning chamber group, UpTown Flutes, and is featured on their four albums including the most recent, 21st Century Gems and Streaming Dreams.  She is Professor Emerita of Flute and Musicology at William Paterson University of New Jersey, faculty member from 1992 to 2022.


Jeanne Fessenden, BM Rutgers U., graduate study with Trevor Wye in England, performs in the classical and jazz styles throughout NJ.  Ms. Fessenden maintains a private studio in Chester and Mendham, NJ, and is the music teacher at Benedict A. Cucinella Elementary School in Long Valley.


Patricia Lazzara, is a founding member UpTown Flutes, Ensemble Bella Luce.  She has performed many times in Italy, has recorded 11 CDs,  is the director of Ridgewood HS Flute Ensemble, she is Co-Director NJ Flute Choir Day, on the faculty of the Encore Music Program, she is a Miyazawa Flute Artist, an Artist International Winner, a NFA Winner of Convention Performers Competition and holds a BM from the Hartt School of Music 

Lawrence Liggins, received  BM in Music Education from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Mr. Liggins is the band director at Arts High School, in Newark, teaching band and jazz ensemble. He is Artistic Director for the Band Together Program at NJPAC, co-chair for the National Flute Association Jazz Committee, and teacher with the Carter-Glennon Summer Arts Camp. Mr. Liggins performs with UpTown Flutes, Whitehouse Wind Symphony, Drew University Flute Choir, Flutatious Flute Choir, The National Flute Association Jazz Flute Big Band, and Triology Opera Company in Newark.

Alicia “Lish” Lindsey is the principal piccoloist with the Capital Philharmonic Orchestra of NJ, principal flutist with the Eastern Wind Symphony, resident flutist with the NYC contemporary music ensemble Random Access Music, and a ryūteki (dragon flute) performer with the Columbia Instrumental Gagaku Ensemble of NY and Tokyo to NY concert series. She was a regular flute substitute with the Broadway musical Finding Neverland and has performed with Josh Groban, Sarah Brightman, Sarah McLaughlan, Evanescence, Hanson, violinist Lindsey Stirling, and others. Lish is an adjunct flute/music professor at Columbia University, Brooklyn College, NJ City University, and Wilkes University.

John McMurtery is associate professor of flute at The University of Nevada – Las Vegas and flutist with the New York City Opera Orchestra. He has served as principal flutist with the Peoria Symphony and guest principal flute of the Chicago Symphony, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and the Detroit Symphony. Appearances as soloist include the Quad City Symphony, Peoria Symphony, Artemis Chamber Ensemble, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, New York Symphonic Ensemble, New Jersey Flute Society, and the Flute Society of St. Louis. He has recorded CDs on the Naxos and Pentatone labels. McMurtery has taught at Western Illinois University and Westminster Conservatory, and is past president of the New York Flute Club. He earned his D.M.A. from The Juilliard School, M.M. from Rutgers University, and B.M. from Central Washington University.


Rebecca Vega, Rebecca Vega holds music degrees from California State University, Long Beach and Eastern Michigan University.  Rebecca is an associate professor at Caldwell University where she teaches flute and music education courses and conducts the marching band, wind and flute ensembles. She is a founding member of the trio Terzetta that performs works for flute, cello and piano.  Along with teaching band at many levels, she has conducted flute classes at Verona Summer Music Camp, and Interlochen Music Camp.  She performed in Spain with the International Flute Orchestra in 2013. She lives in Verona, NJ with her husband and two children


Schulze-Johnson, BM, MM from New England Conservatory, PhD from NYU, is retired Adjunct Professor of Flute at Drew University, where she founded the Drew Flute Orchestra, Drew Wind Ensemble, Drew Summer Music and the NJ Flute Choir Day.  She made a formal debut at Carnegie Recital Hall and performed there with the Delbarton Ensemble, the NYU Chamber Orchestra and UpTown Flutes.  As member of the National Flute Association, she chaired the High School Flute Choir from 2006-2009, and performed with the Pro Flute Choir and with UpTown Flutes at several conventions.  As a member of the New York Flute Club, she conducted the first Flute Choir Reading Session at their first NYFC Flute Fair, was the Newsletter Editor, and managed the Young Artists Competition for several years.  She is founder/director of Centre Park Flutes in Reading, PA and teaches at the Hill School in Pottstown, PA.  Her teachers have been William Kincaid, James Pappoutsakis and Samuel Baron.  She has done masterclasses with Trevor Wye and Jean Pierre Rampal.  She studied Suzuki teacher training as well as flute repair with Jonathan Landell and David Straubinger.

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