The Maui Flute Choir was founded in July 2011 with the intent of giving Maui flutists of all ages the opportunity to play in a unique-sounding ensemble. The group usually performs without a conductor, a unique experience unlike that of a band or orchestra. It requires that the musicians watch each other and give cues or downbeats, as well as tempo changes. Parts are rotated so that there is no one musician designated as first flute, providing everyone a chance to become a well-rounded ensemble musician as well as a confident soloist and leader. Repertoire ranges from arrangements of classical and jazz works to original pieces composed for flute choirs. In 2012, the flute choir was invited to play at the Romero Family Foundation concert at the Steppingstone Theater; the same year, they performed at the Maui Youth Philharmonic Orchestra’s winter concert. More recently, in 2014 they played at the first TedxYouth@SeaburyHall event, as well as the main stage of Queen Ka’ahumanu for a winter performance. Each year the flute choir puts on two open rehearsals or casual concerts.
Karina Bhattacharya, influenced by her older siblings, began to learn music at the age of nine. She participated in the summer music program at Doris Todd, and performed with the school’s intermediate band under the direction of Mr. Noel Kuraya. Karina was first chair in the Maui Intermediate Select band for the 2011 to 2012 season. She attends Baldwin High School, where she plays in the Wind Ensemble. She joined the Maui Flute Choir in January of 2013. Along with the flute, Karina plays piccolo, clarinet, and is beginning to learn piano.