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May 11, 2016

To Whom It May Concern:


I am glad to write a recommendation for Hunter OBrien. He is an extreme talent, sweeping up Michigans
top musical honors for high school students in the last two years, but there is a bonus in that he is also a
delightful and positive person, enjoyed by his teachers and by his fellow students.
Hunter won the Michigan Music Teachers Association, Senior Division, Woodwind Performance
Competition, representing Michigan in the regional competition in January, won the regional competition
in Indiana, and went on to take second place nationally in San Antonio this April. Last spring, he was one
of four high school musicians to win the top concerto/aria competition in Michigan, for which he played a
concerto with orchestra at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival in April of 2015. In the fall of 2014, he won
the high school soloist competition of the South East Michigan Flute Association, and he has soloed several
times with the Central Michigan Area Concert Band. He has participated in the State Honors Band at the
Michigan Music Conference; in 2014 he was the principal flutist of the band in 2015 principal flutist of the
orchestra. In addition, Hunter attended the National Music Camp at Interlochen last summer, where he was
the principal flutist in the top band and attended the High School Flute Institute. He has been accepted with
a scholarship to the New England Conservatory in the studio of Paula Robison, one of the top flutists in the
world.
Hunter learns techniques and repertoire quickly and memorizes easily. He responds to suggestions, listens
to music, and reads about music. He intensely loves the flute and is a natural performer. He plays well with
piano or orchestral accompaniment, in small chamber groups, in groups of his peers, and has the respect
and admiration of his adult colleagues in the Central Michigan Area Concert Band. When Hunter attended
our flute intensive camp at Central Michigan University for two summers, the other students flocked
around him inside and outside of class. He was patient with them and helpful to them in class. His teachers
and his accompanists rave about him. He is fun, cheerful, and is a natural leader. From a small town,
Shepherd, Michigan, he only began private flute lessons as a high school student and has quickly risen to
be one of the most talented high school musicians on any instrument in the state.
As for details, I should mention that Hunter has a gorgeous sound, outstanding rhythm, sight-reads well,
and imitates nuance skillfully. He improves from week to week. He is curious, respectful, and ever
enthusiastic. Last night he gave a beautiful solo recital of difficult literature. I believe he will thrive in a top
program and survive in the competitive flute world.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
Sincerely,
Joanna White
Joanna Cowan White
Professor of Flute, Central Michigan University
Principal Flutist, Saginaw and Midland Symphony Orchestras
Flutist, Crescent Duo and Powers Woodwind Quintet
(DMA, University of Michigan; MM Northwestern University;
BM University of Southern California)
989-774-3319 989-560-0124 home
white1jm@cmich.edu