Flutist gets solo for Mid-Columbia Symphony concert

Linda Doria picked up a flute when she was a kid and never put it down.

On Sunday, the flutist, who has been with the Mid-Columbia Symphony for 25 years, will be the featured soloist as the symphony performs its second concert of the 2010-11 season.

"I loved the flute so much as a child that I drove my parents crazy with all the practicing I did," Doria said. "I first wanted to play the clarinet, but because of my overbite, I was advised to play the flute. I never stopped playing it."

She earned her bachelor's in music education and performance from the University of Oregon in 1983, then began her first teaching job at Kiona-Benton schools. It was around the same time she joined the Mid-Columbia Symphony.

She remained at Ki-Bi schools for 15 years before leaving to pursue a master's degree in music from Central Washington University in Ellensburg.

She now teaches music at Oakridge Montessori School in Yakima and directs the band at Selah High School. She also gives private music lessons at her Yakima home.

But she never quit the symphony.

"Playing in the symphony is something I really love to do and am grateful to be part of it," she said.

On Sunday she will perform in Concerto for Flute and Strings by Gordon Jacob.

Doria describes the London composer born in 1895 as a diverse composer when it came to writing music. He wrote many compositions for instruments that mostly were neglected, such the French horn.

"He wrote the Concerto for Flute and Strings in 1951," she said. "The accompaniment part for the flute concerto is a kaleidoscope of string writing and never distracts the listener.

"The audience will enjoy listening to this flute concerto because it is very melodic and soothing to the ear. The last movement of the piece is technical with a lot of energy and drive."

The symphony's 66th season, under the direction of maestro Nicholas Wallin, is exploring the four basic chemical elements known to the ancient world as fire, air, earth and water, said Justin Raffa, the symphony's concertmaster.

"Each is the inspiration for one of the four main concerts," he said. "The 'Air' concert will feature Ottorino Respighi's The Birds, Woolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Symphony No. 41 in C Major and Gordon Jacob's flute concerto."

The Birds is based on Baroque pieces that imitate birds, Raffa said.

"Mozart's 41st symphony is the last of a set of three that he composed in rapid succession during the summer of 1788," he said. "It is possible that it was never performed in his lifetime."

The concert starts at 3 p.m. at the Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick.

Admission is $25 to $50 plus service charges. Tickets are available online at ticket master.com or the coliseum box office. Tickets bought at the box office avoid service charges.