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Donations help flute students learn from the past and practice for the future

Mar 8, 2019 | Donors, News, Students


Two SMTD flute alumni have made valuable contributions to Professor Amy Porter’s flute studio.

Students in Amy Porter’s flute studio pose with the new Waller Practice Room

Susan Waller (MM ’72, flute) and her husband Roger (MBA ’72, business) made a gift to name a practice room in the E.V. Moore Building. “The Susan and Roger Waller Practice Room represents a big step in the right direction for our building and the facilities we offer our world class flutists,” said Porter. After getting her degree at U-M, Waller went on to earn a DMA from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and then served on the faculty of the University of California-Santa Cruz from 1981 to 2002. She performed with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra for 25 years and made numerous other appearances throughout northern California. The Wallers previously made a planned gift to SMTD to sponsor the Susan Waller Scholarship in Flute.

John Wummer

Dr. Joel Behrens (MM ‘68, flute), a recently retired professor at Millersville University in Lancaster, PA, has donated his complete music collection of flutist John Wummer (1899-1977) to SMTD. Wummer was the renowned first chair flutist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, NBC Orchestra (under Arturo Toscanini), and the New York Philharmonic. Behrens, a long-time student of Wummer, was asked to steward his mentor’s collection upon the latter’s death. Along with his own students, Behrens organized this enormous archive—containing historic music from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as Wummer’s own music, memorabilia, and signed photos from the NY Philharmonic—and brought it to Millersville University. When Behrens retired, he chose to donate the collection to SMTD. “U-M was his choice as a home for the collection because it’s his alma mater, it’s where performance and scholarship combine, and it was where he wanted this collection to take on new life,” said Porter. The collection will be scanned and archived, loaned out to students, and donated to libraries at U-M and elsewhere. Porter adds, “The grandeur of this collection is not lost on me and I am brimming with excitement.”

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