The Los Angeles Flute Orchestra (LAFO) is a professional ensemble founded in 1999 by a group of flutists who wanted the chance to play great music on a regular basis. Due to the limited number of flute positions in orchestras, the group created its own playing opportunities. The LAFO has become one of the most recognizable flute choirs in the Los Angeles area, performing many local concerts and appearing at other events.
The LAFO's style covers the full spectrum from baroque and classical to jazz, contemporary and ethnic genres. What makes the LAFO special is its extremely versatile instrumentation. The group features the entire flute family-Piccolo, C Flute, Alto and Bass Flutes, the unique Double Contra-Bass, Contra-Bass and F-Bass and F Contra Bass Flutes and various ethnic flutes. As a result, the group achieves a highly resonant, dense and complex sound.
Unprecedented sound capabilities coupled with the group's exceptional musicianship have attracted the interest of many composers and orchestrators from around the world who have contributed to the LAFO's exclusive repertoire. The group is dedicated to the performance of original works, and continues to pursue one-of-a-kind dynamic pieces. Almost every concert performance for the group includes a premiere of a new work and these pieces range in style from contemporary classical to world music, gospel and jazz. The LAFO repertoire features the many facets of our outstanding flutists by showcasing their soloistic low flute playing, performance on unique ethnic flutes, jazz improvisation and flexibility to perform many different styles of music as soloists and ensemble players. LAFO programs are a refreshing blend of musical styles with something for every listener.
The LAFO has amassed a collection of works composed and arranged specifically for the group by Peter Senchuk, Michael Kibbe, Christopher Caliendo, Vinny Golia, David Avshalomov, Emily Senchuk, Ron Gorow, Eddie Sobenes, Ron Goldstein, John Eidsvoog, Joey Sellers, Pierre Schroeder and Stephen Lockwood to name just a few. All three of the LAFO's CD recordings (Nuestro Pueblo, Winter Wonderland and Stroke of Twelve) feature many of these unique pieces. Working one-on-one with the composers of these pieces has allowed the group to be part of the creative process, and has afforded composers access to unlimited compositional possibilities, and the unique opportunity to uncover the specific sound, dynamic, special effect and orchestration requirements necessary for conveying their music. For the LAFO and our contributing composers collaboration has been key in producing music and art without compromise. We continue to develop and foster these types of creative working relationships with composers of chamber music.
LAFO Low FLutes
The unique sound capabilities of the group come from our instrumentation and one of a kind low flute section. In addition to our plentiful Bass flutes and David Lamont's new Kingma Contra Bass flute, we are fortunate to have Roland Tso and his collection of Kotato instruments in our ensemble. His collection includes a Contra Bass, Sub Contra Bass (one of only 2 such flutes in North America) and the rare F Bass and recently added F Contra Bass (the only one in the world!). These flutes give the ensemble a highly resonant, dense and complex sound. You can hear the entire group of these flutes being played by Roland Tso, Jonna Carter, David Lamont and Joanne Lazarro on our recording of Smoke on the Water. Mr. Tso also recently premiered a new arrangement of March of a Marionette which featured him on the F Contra Bass Flute at our October 2012 Mt. Olive Concert.
LAFO in Concert with Ali Ryerson
The LAFO was thrilled to perform with international touring and recording jazz flutist Ali Ryerson on Saturday September 26, 2015. The concert featured original works for flute by Ali Ryerson and Peter Senchuk, including the World Premiere of Nighthawks, a jazz suite for solo alto flute and flute ensemble by Peter Senchuk. Check back for updates on future performances with Ali and updates to our Youtube channel with new videos.
LAFO performance at 2014 NFA Convention
The LAFO performed at the 2014 National Flute Association Convention in Chicago in the beautiful Grainger Ballroom at the Chicago Symphony Center. The concert program included the World Premiere of the Alto Flute Concerto by Peter Senchuk with soloist Peter Sheridan and a rousing version of Sweet Home Chicago with soloists Ali Ryerson and Peter Sheridan. Stay tuned for news of upcoming performances with these and other exciting solo artists.
2012 NFA Convention Performance, Las Vegas NV
The LAFO performed a 45 minute recital at the NFA Annual Convention on Saturday, August 11 at 7 p.m. in the Octavius Ballroom at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. The concert was performed by LAFO members Jonna Carter, David Lamont, Cathy Larson, Joanne Lazzaro, Michael Morton, Laura Osborn, Emily Senchuk, Roland Tso, Sherril Wood and conducted by Ellen Burr The program featured works written and arranged for the group by composers Michael Kibbe, Pierre Schroeder, Emily Senchuk and Peter Senchuk and included two premieres (Mr. Sanchez & Karpaty). The LAFO was joined by Peter Sheridan on Blue Dog Blue and as the featured soloist on Smoke on the Water.
2010 NFA National Convention Performance
LAFO appeared at the 2010 NFA Convention in Anaheim on Saturday, August 14th, 7:00 PM at the Gold Key Alcove in the Anaheim Marriot. Our performance included a world-premier of "Nuestro Pueblo" written by Peter Senchuk for LAFO and guest soloist Peter Sheridan.
Photo of Peter Sheridan
"Your performance on Saturday evening was spectacular. The LA Flute Orchestra was one of the high points of the convention!"
"Your performance was absolutely amazing. The repertoire that you chose was fresh and exciting and it allowed all of your players to demonstrate all of the instruments and colors most effectively. Nuestro Pueblo was especially wonderful...The piece is just incredible and it was a great way to feature Peter Sheridan's amazing talent."
-Kelly Via, NFA Flute Choir Coordinator
August 2010 NFA Convention in Anaheim, Mr. Kotato, Peter Sheridan and Roland Tso jamming on the low flutes
Click here to see more pictures from the 2010 NFA Convention.
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The LAFO performed at the 2005 NFA convention in San Diego, CA, on the Caliendo World Music Publications Exhibitor Showcase.