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Thousands gather for a big flute blowout

August 14, 2015 at 6:25 PM EDT
In our NewsHour Shares video of the day, more than 3,000 flutists gather for an annual conference, setting off a symphony of sound.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Next, to our NewsHour Shares of the day, something that caught our eye which might be of interest to you, too.

Over 3,000 amateur and professional flutists have descended on Washington, D.C., for the 43rd annual National Flute Association Conference, setting off a symphony of sound.

STEVE KUJALA: I’m Steve Kujala. And I play the flute, and piccolo, and all the ethnic flutes on movies and television soundtracks in Los Angeles.

And you come down to the exhibit hall here, and then there are people trying flutes. And they are looking to maybe improve upon the instrument that they already have, maybe something that’s more ebullient, or has a different tone quality, or has a better head joint or is a better apparatus.

The flute is now officially the oldest instrument known to mankind. Every culture has their its own flute.

PATTI ADAMS: My name is Patti Adams, and I’m a classical flutist. I play with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

I think a pop-up city is a perfect description for our national convention. All of these people have different interests, coming together for a four-day flute blowout. There is something about floating up there on the very top that color that makes the flute, for me, so powerful.

ELIZABETH SHUHAN: I’m Elizabeth Shuhan, and I’m from Ithaca, New York.

The flute can produce a variety of colors. We are well known for, in nature, as the bird. But we can also play water. We can be the air. This instrument and the player can produce all of that, absolutely, and you — you are inspired to do that when you’re performing.

JUDY WOODRUFF: At the closing ceremony Sunday, all 3,000 flutists are invited to play together. Now, that’s some band.

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