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Louise Townsend.jpg
Louise Townsend (principal flute) has played flute and piccolo with the Alderley Edge Symphony Orchestra since 2008. She took up the flute at the age of 10 and was a member of the Lancashire Schools Symphonic Wind Band, in which she enjoyed various concert tours including to Denmark, Germany and Austria.

 Louise played in the Durham University Orchestra during her time as a law student. Keen to continue playing when she started work as a trainee solicitor in Manchester, she joined the Altrincham Concert Orchestra in which she played for a number of years.

 Outside of work as a lawyer and her music, Louise enjoys park runs and walks with her family and their West Highland Terrier.

Although the flute has been around for many centuries, it did not come into general orchestral use until the early 18th century.
The mechanics of the instrument are relatively straightforward: a silver or wooden tube is closed off at one end and an aperture is cut into the side, across which the players blows to produce the required note. The modern design of flute owes much to the German maker Theobald Boehm who, in the 1830s, worked out the correct position for the holes along the length of the instrument which determine the pitch of each note and developed the system of keys that enable the player to finger the notes with ease.
The range of the standard orchestral flute extends some three octaves above middle C; it is not a transposing instrument and music is therefore notated at concert pitch. Higher passages require the tiny piccolo which has a similar compass above top D (although the upper notes can be difficult to control), whilst at the other end of the scale the alto flute makes an occasional appearance to provide notes down to a low G.
An outstanding characteristic of the flute family is its tremendous agility and the repertoire is full of dazzling sequences that enable the player to demonstrate his or her skills. The great solo in Ravel's Daphnis and Chloé culminates in a tremendous exhibition of flute virtuosity, and amongst other well-known orchestral works for the flute are Mozart's flute concertos, the Serenade for flute, violin and viola by Beethoven and Bach's Suite in B minor.