The Texas Flute Society proudly recognizes the following members for their commitment to the Texas Flute Society.
Praised for her “gift for drawing out the best in their students” by The Dallas Morning News, Monica Song has been teaching flute in Dallas for more than 30 years. She received Texas Music Teacher Association (TMTA) Outstanding Pre-Collegiate Teaching Achievement Award, Seoul National University Texas Alumni Association Achievement Award, and numerous teacher recognition awards from Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) for her students achieving top prizes in the national level competitions.
Monica previously served as a Principal Flute of Korean Broadcasting System Symphony Orchestra in South Korea, Principal Flute of Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in Virginia, member of Seoul Woodwind Quintet. She attended Seoul Arts High School, Seoul National University School of Music, and Peabody Conservatory of Music. Her principal teachers include Soonja Ko, Wallace Mann, and Britton Johnson.
Monica has sponsored a series of Young Artist Recitals and invited exceptionally gifted young musicians to perform for the DFW audiences, especially for aspiring students to get inspired. She has also served as a board of director of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra Inc. and the Dallas Symphonic Festival Wind Division Competition Chair.
Monica Song is the 2023 Texas Flute Society Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, for her dedication to flute teaching and the flute community.
Christine Cleary is a freelance flutist and private flute teacher in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. She has taught flute in Texas since 1997. Christine earned a BM and MM in flute performance from Kent State University and Ohio University. Her teachers have included Julie Sarver, Diane McCloskey, Janet VanGraas and Terri Sundberg. Christine is a past President and festival co-chair of the Texas Flute Society. She also served the National Flute Association as the flute clubs coordinator for five years. She is married to saxophonist Mark Dooly and helped him in the development of the Win-D-Fender and the Picc Pocket. They have two children, Angela and Nathan.
Min Hee Sophia Kim
Min Hee Sophia Kim is an active and passionate flautist and educator based in Dallas. She received her Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees in flute performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Min Hee is a laureate of several competitions, including the 2011 USA Yamaha Young Artist Competition, Grand Prize winner for the Edu-Classic Concours in 2016, as well as 2nd and 3rd place in the Tammora Student Musical Competition, and 2nd place in the Jeju Flute Society Competition in South Korea. She participated in the Vianden Music Festival in year 2010, 2011 and 2012. She gave her solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 2016.
Matthew Haire received the Bachelor of Music from Oklahoma State University, the Master of Music from the Mannes College of Music, and the Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. He has performed with the Tulsa Philharmonic and Oklahoma Community Orchestra, and his teachers include Thomas Nyfenger, Alain Marion, and Amy Porter. A member of the Arioso Consort, he is also Principal Flute of the Oklahoma Haydn Festival Orchestra. Mr. Haire’s family advises the Donna Marie Theisen Haire Memorial Fund – named after his late mother – that sponsors the annual Donna Marie Haire Young Artist Competition, a national competition for high school flutists held in Denton, Texas, each spring. Mr. Haire serves as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma, and represents the State in criminal cases in state and federal courts. He is licensed to practice in seven federal and state courts, including the United States Supreme Court. As the designated representative of the Oklahoma Office of Attorney General, Mr. Haire sits on the Advisory Committee to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on fashioning jury instructions for criminal trials.
Kathryn González (Vinod)
Kathryn González (Vinod) spends her days working in the exciting field of advertising analytics, and performs regularly in the DFW area with several ensembles. She received a BM in Flute Performance and a BA in Advertising from Southern Methodist University. Her teachers/flute superheroes include Christine Cleary, Kara Kirkendoll Welch and Deborah Baron.
Larry Bailey is a longstanding contributing member of the Texas Flute Society, having served on its board since 2001. An amateur flutist, he has performed with the Plano Community Band for over 25 years and served as principal flute with the New Life Symphony Orchestra from 2003-2012. Larry holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Mississippi State University and a master’s degree in computer science from Southern Methodist University. His flute teachers include Debbie Ragsdale, Claire Johnson, Helen Blackburn and Terri Sánchez.
Janice Spooner performs with the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra, New Philharmonic Orchestra of Irving, and Northeast Orchestra. She is the founder and Artistic Director of Flutissimo! Flute Choir. She also performs with the Gold ‘n Ivory Duo, the Philharmonic Winds Woodwind Quintet, and the Texas Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps. Her teachers include her mother, Dean Corey, Dr. George Morey, Jeanne Larson and she currently studies with Jan Crisanti. Janice is a graduate of the University of North Texas with majors in Spanish and English. She is a retired Spanish teacher where she was the sponsor and choreographer of the Richland HS Fiesta Dancers. Her daughter also performs with Flutissimo!
Ann Vinod is a longstanding member of the Texas Flute Society and has served on its board since 2008 in various positions including trustee, president, vice president, competition coordinator and clinician coordinator. She is responsible for partnering with the family of Donna Marie Haire to establish a major competition in Mrs. Haire’s name for school age flutists. She performs regularly with the Northeast Orchestra. Her former teachers include Judith Bentley, Robert Willoughby, and Connie Alleshouse. Ann holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in finance from the University of Massachusetts. Both Ann’s mother and daughter play flute.
Marianne Gedigian, Associate Professor of Flute at The University of Texas at Austin, was a regular performer with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for over a decade, including several seasons as Guest Principal Flute under Seiji Ozawa. As Principal Flute with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and Guest Principal Flute with the Boston Pops, Ms. Gedigian has been heard on dozens of recordings and Evening at Pops television broadcasts as well as the nationally broadcast Fourth of July specials. Ms. Gedigian has been first prizewinner in the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition and the James Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute Competition. She has served on the faculties of Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, The Boston Conservatory, Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute and the Round Top Institute.
Debbie Ragsdale is principal flutist with the East Texas Symphony Orchestra and associate professor of flute at Collin College. Currently, she serves as president of the McKinney Musical Arts Society and as a board member of Mount Vernon Music. A past president of the Texas Flute Society, she now co-chairs the Myrna Brown Competition with Pam Adams. Her undergraduate work was done at the University of North Texas; and more recently, she received her Master’s degree in flute performance from Southern Methodist University in 2004. Former teachers include George Morey, Clem Barone, Jean Larson, and her mother, Myrna Brown. She and her husband Rick live in McKinney and are the parents of five children.
Claire Gruneis Johnson was born on August 7, 1930, in New Haven, Connecticut. The New York Times headline read “Depression Deepens, 2 Million People Unemployed”. But worse than that, Claire was the third daughter born to German immigrants, Emma und Emil Gurneis. However, Claire was not aware of the great depression or that she was a girl.
Claire reaffirmed her femininity and creativity by producing four children. Life eventually took the family to Texas where she gave birth to her fifth child. Not the stay-at-home type mom and needing to escape back into her profession, she resumed her pedagogical career. Mrs. Johnson contacted Eddie Green, re-remembered all her musical information and resumed her career at Lake Highlands.
Eugene Bonelli, Dean of Fine Arts at SMU invited her to teach and she taught at SMU for thirty-two years. She also taught at East Texas State University. Active in the flute community, Mrs. Johnson lectured at NFA, TBA and TMEA. She founded the Texas Flute Society Festival, the Myrna Brown Competition, and Floot Fire, a weeklong flute camp for junior high and high school students. At the age of sixty-five, Mrs. Johnson joined the faculty at the University of Houston. She finally retired from university teaching in 2000 and maintains a private studio in Richardson. Mrs. Johnson also retains connections with the Richardson Independent School District.
Claire’s early music studies, along with her sisters’, were at the Neighborhood House Music School. She started flute when she was eleven years old. (At this time she knew she was a girl.) She and her sisters were known as the Gruneis Trio and were mentioned in the book, They who Speak in Music, a history of the Neighborhood House Music School. After completing high school, where she won all the usual music awards, Claire entered the Juilliard School of Music where she studied with Arthur Lora, the principal of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Claire met and married a young tenor, who upon graduation joined the Navy.
Marilyn Arey began studying flute in middle adulthood. She has appreciated and enjoyed the friendships and welcoming attitude of the North Texas Flute Community. In addition to her involvement in the Texas Flute Society, she serves on the NFA Amateur Resource Committee. Her teachers include Claire Johnson, Emmanuelle Saive, and Marshall Head. Marilyn holds a BBA in accounting, and an MA in professional development.
Terri Sundberg is currently Professor of Flute and a member of the North Texas Chamber Winds at the University of North Texas. She has held the position of Principal Flute with the Orchestra Sinfonica de Mineria in Mexico City, The Haydenfestspie Orchestra in Austria and the New Hampshire Music Festival, and also played with the Fort Worth Symphony, the Dallas Opera, and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. She has been on the faculty of several international music festivals, and has presented masterclasses and performed solo and chamber recitals across the Unite States and abroad. Her students have won professional positions, summer festival positions, fellowships, and prizes in competitions throughout the United States. Professor Sundberg’s degrees are from Yale University and Lawrence Conservatory, and her principal teachers have included Jeanne Baxtresser, Thomas Nyfenger, and Ernestine Whitman.