I’ve loved music for literally as long as I can remember. When I first picked up a flute in third grade, my love for music quickly blossomed into a lifelong passion for the instrument. Playing the flute allows me to momentarily escape troubles, to create new worlds, and drive people to feel raw emotions. I played first chair in various jazz and classical ensembles throughout middle and high school, enabling me to gain valuable training which has enriched my musical experience.
When I’m not busily practicing a flute piece, you can find me at the golf course, baking a mean batch of chocolate chip cookies, or debating at tournaments across the country. Most recently, I won first place at a Model United Nations debate tournament hosted by NYU, and I’ve previously won in debate competitions at UC Berkeley and Harvard.
Now that I’m 15, I realize the importance of my role as a young Cambodian American especially given my parents’ struggles during the Khmer Rouge. I am incredibly grateful to have access to opportunities which my parents could never have even imagined, and I hope to use these opportunities to share my love of music so that I may spread a little light in a world plagued by darkness.Diane Alancraig
Tenured in 1992
Diane Alancraig enjoys a versatile career as a symphony and chamber musician, solo recitalist and teacher. Over the years, she has had the good fortune to work with some of the world’s most distinguished artists and musical organizations, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Long Beach Symphony. She has also toured widely in the U.S., Europe and Japan.
Outside of music, Diane dabbles in auto mechanics, loves to cook, has a wonderful family, and works professionally as a photographer specializing in portraiture.
Diane is currently on faculty at California State University at Los Angeles.Heather Clark
Flutist Heather Clark is one of Los Angeles’ most sought after flute players. She earned her bachelor of music degree at USC in flute performance in 1990, and currently holds such prestigious positions as Principal Flute with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Long Beach Symphony.
Clark says some of her best memories of her experience at USC are of the time spent with fellow students. The many concerts played together, classes shared, and rehearsal sessions all contributed to her experience – not to mention the many discussions they had on campus in the pre-email and texting days!
“Little did I know at the time, that this was all part of my education and not to mention the lifelong friendships that formed from those countless hours of discussions and debates,” says Clark.
These connections, and the training she received at USC, have been invaluable to her career.
In the course of her career, Clark has performed with talented musicians in a variety of genres. She has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Music Center Opera, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and numerous other Los Angeles regional orchestras. In addition, she has played for movie soundtracks by film composers John Williams, Randy Newman, and Alan Silvestri among others; she can also be heard on the recordings of Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli and Barbara Streisand.
“I’ve been quite lucky to have such a variety of opportunities and to be able to work with such exceptional musicians,” says Clark.
Having begun playing the flute at the age of nine – after her older sister passed on the instrument – Clark has seen her career grow and flourish. One particular moment that stands out for Clark was winning the National Flute Association competition in 1994.
“I think musicians from the west coast get a reputation for being too laid back or not serious enough,” says Clark. “It felt good to be nationally recognized.”
In addition to performing, Clark has also begun an Audition Boot Camp to assist musicians with their audition preparation. Like a coach preparing for an athletic event, Clark works with her students to focus on the strengths and weaknesses to find the way for the student to give their best performance.
“I’ve always enjoyed the mental and musical preparation necessary for a successful audition and I find the audition process to be such a unique musical performance,” says Clark. “It’s very satisfying to help musicians in this way.”Jenni Olson
Jennifer Olson is an active orchestral and chamber music performer in the Los Angeles area. She is currently principal flute with the Stockton Symphony and second flute with the Long Beach Symphony and Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra. Jenni also teaches flute at Citrus College and Music Appreciation at Pasadena City College. You can hear her on recent soundtracks such as The Cape, The Event, Night at the Museum 2 and Sex in the City 2. Jenni received her BA from California State University, Stanislaus where she studied with Caryl Mae Scott and received her MM and DMA from University of Southern California where she studied with Jim Walker. When she is not playing the flute she likes to conquer physical challenges.
She has been to the top Mt. Whitney twice and has hiked up Half Dome. She has completed several sprint distance triathlons and will attempt her first half marathon in August 2011.