Flute Roots is a professional flute ensemble who enjoy performing across the South, whether it is giving recitals, running workshops or playing background music for weddings or dinners. As their name suggests, they have known each other and played together for many years, sharing a strong foundation in music.
They met in the 1980s, through their flute teacher, Robin Soldan, and have since followed similar musical paths - playing together in Youth Orchestras, Flautissimo, then later in Robin's new flute group, Erithacus, and then coming back together after music college.
Education plays a big part in the lives of each member of Flute Roots. Between them they have taught hundreds of flautists of all ages and abilities in Hampshire, both privately and in schools. They conduct and coach many different ensembles, lead workshops and play in various orchestras.
Carrie Hensel - Course Director
Carrie Hensel is the Musical Director of the Hampshire Flute Choir, whom she has been conducting since 2004. The group are regularly invited to play at the National Festival of Music for Youth and Carrie has taken them on tour to places such as Estonia and Germany, and most recently to perform at the BFS convention in Warwick. Currently, Carrie teaches at Hampshire Collegiate School, flute scholars for the Hampshire Music Service and leads the flute sectionals for the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra and Hampshire County Youth Wind Band, as well as running a busy private teaching practice and performing regularly with various ensembles. Recent pupil achievements have included places in NYO, successful music college auditions, including scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, and Portsmouth Music Festival Concerto and Recital Prize winners, Newbury Young Musician of the Year and Beaulieu Music Award prize winners.
Carrie enjoys organising Hampshire Flute Days with world-renowned artists such as Peter Verhoyen (2017), Sarah Newbold (2016), Anna Noakes/INCA (2015), Niall O'Riordan (2014), Wil Offermans (2014), Kate Hill (2012), Ian Clarke (2010), Clare Southworth (2006). Carrie also teaches and conducts the flute choir at the Oxford Flute Summer School
Jo started playing the flute at the age of 9 and studied on the Hampshire Specialist Music course at Peter Symonds with Robin Soldan before gaining a scholarship to the Royal College of Music studying with Susan Milan.
During her time there she won the First Year Flute prize, Knights of the Round Table Award and was third prize winner in the British Flute Societies Young Artist Competition resulting in a recital at St James’, Piccadilly. She was co-principal in the European Union Youth Orchestra and performed throughout Europe including the Salzburg Festival, Edinburgh Festival and BBC Proms.
Since leaving the Royal College Jo has freelanced extensively with many orchestras including the Bournemouth Symphony and is currently principal flute with Southern Pro Musica. She enjoys teaching and coaches the flute section of the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra. Before children she also taught on the Hampshire Specialist Music Course at Peter Symonds successfully preparing students for music college auditions and diplomas.
Jo is married with two boys aged 11 and 14 who take up most of her spare time, plus a dog called Max who luckily isn’t put off by the flute!
Claire grew up in Southampton and has been involved with local bands and orchestras from an early age. After graduating from the Welsh College of Music and Drama with Honours and winning several prizes, Claire undertook a post graduate certificate in education course in Cardiff, then returned to Hampshire to pursue a career in teaching and playing. For several years Claire was employed by local music services as a flute specialist and also headed the Talented in Music programme in Southampton. In this project she arranged and led workshops, master-classes and performing opportunities for gifted performers. As Musical Director of the Southampton Flute Choir for fourteen years, she successfully initiated many generations of young flautists in the experience of ensemble playing, also extending higher level performing opportunities to more advanced players. Claire also coaches and mentors the flute section of Southampton Youth Orchestra with regular rehearsals and assisting on foreign tours.
As a passionate music educator, Claire continues to work in local private schools and colleges teaching the flute. She relishes the opportunity to pass her love of music onto younger flautists and enabling more advanced players achieve a career in music. She enjoys playing in local orchestras alongside developing chamber music groups and relishes the opportunity to perform as soloist whenever an invitation is presented.