Originally from Austin, Texas, Katherine Velasquez is the Principal Flutist of the Missouri Symphony and the Artistic Director of Virtual Flute Music Festival. She previously held the position of Principal Flute with the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale, where she was a member of the West Texas woodwind quintet. During her tenure in Midland-Odessa, she served on the faculty of the University of Texas Permian Basin and Odessa College.
Ms. Velasquez has performed with orchestras across Europe and the United States such as the San Antonio Symphony, the Austin Symphony, the Colburn Orchestra and the American Youth Symphony, and is a substitute player with the Houston Symphony and the New World Symphony. She previously held the Principal Flute position in Benjamin Zander’s Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Third Flute/Piccolo in the YMF Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles. Through her orchestral performances, she has worked with conductors Kirk Trevor, Gary Lewis, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Robert Spano, Carl St. Clair, and David Newman.
Ms. Velasquez has been highly involved in the National Flute Association throughout her career and is among only a coveted few flutists to have ever won First-Prize in two NFA Competitions; she was awarded First Prize in the inaugural Alto Flute Artist Competition (Salt Lake City 2019), won First Prize in the Orchestral Audition & Masterclass Competition (San Diego 2016), and was a Finalist for the High School Soloist Competition (Charlotte 2011) where she and the other finalists gave the world premiere of Greg Pattillo’s Three Beats for Beatbox Flute.
Ms. Velasquez has also received top awards from the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition and the U.S. Marine Band Concerto Competition. Her festival experience includes fellowships with the Orchestra of the Americas, the National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute, Hot Springs Music Festival, and the National Music Festival. Outside of classical music, Ms. Velasquez has performed with the Indigo Girls and country stars Crystal Gayle and Lee Greenwood. In TV and Film, Ms. Velasquez appeared as a flutist on Freeform’s “The Fosters” and can be heard on the soundtrack for the short film “The Ballerina, Her Shoemaker & His Apprentice” (LA Short Film Fest).
Ms. Velasquez holds an MM in Flute Performance from West Texas A&M University and a BM magna cum laude in Flute Performance from Boston University. She was also the Paul Owen McLarand Memorial Music Scholarship Recipient at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and attended the New England Conservatory of Music. She is indebted to her mentors Helen Blackburn, Jim Walker, Linda Toote, Elizabeth Rowe, Aralee Dorough, Paula Robison, Rebecca Garfield, and Ann Kjerulf Knien.