2020 Retreats

There will be two 2020 Alto and Bass Retreats, one in Huntsville, Alabama (May 27- 31) and one in Marysville, Washington (June 17-20).

Registration deadline for Huntsville is April 22nd, Marysville is May 13th. You will receive your assigned music shortly after the registration deadline once I know how many people of what ability levels are playing which instruments.

There is more information below the photo.

Our music theme this year is Planets, Stars and Space!


Huntsville Retreat

At a Glance:

  • Dates: Retreat begins the evening of Wednesday, May 27th –  depart Sunday AFTER 6 PM or Monday morning, June 1st
  • Lodging: will be at the Homewood Suites 714 Gallatin St SW Huntsville, Alabama 35801.
  • Retreat Events: are at the First Baptist Church 600 Governors Dr SW, Huntsville, AL 35801.
  • Attire: for the performances, we will wear black with some sort of accessory with a star or stars on it.
  • Private Lessons: will be available on Wednesday during the day for $80 for an hour on a first-come first-served basis.
  • Required Workshop Books Seven Steps to Better Intonation  and  Vibrato Workbook
  • Retreat Registration   2020 Huntsville Retreat Registration
  • C Flute Session Saturday morning May 30th 9:15 to 12:15. Tuition is $45. 2020HuntsvilleRetreatCFLUTEApplication

A link to the hotel reservations page will be forthcoming. I do have rooms reserved, but that reservation expires April 29th. Mention the “Alto and Bass Retreat” if you make your reservation on the phone 855-504-8165.

We will be playing in a live televised church service on Sunday morning at 10:15 AM: our public performance is 3:00 at the church.

If you are interested in a private lesson, check the lesson box on the registration form and include payment with your tuition. Lessons will be at the hotel.

For the C Flute players, we will be in the First Baptist Church Student Center (address above). Bring a stand. Two workshops and a flute choir sight-reading session are scheduled during this time. The required books for the workshops are Seven Steps to Better Intonation  and  Vibrato Workbook . There is a separate registration form here for you  C Flute Registration. C flute players ONLY must register by May 20th to participate. Saturday morning is the only time c flute players will be participating.

Marysville Retreat 

At a Glance:

  • Dates: Retreat begins Wednesday evening, June 17th and people depart Sunday morning, June 21st or Saturday after the afternoon performance – group dinner extravaganza is Saturday night.
  • Lodging: sleeping rooms and most Retreat events will be at the Holiday Inn Express 8606 36th Ave, Marysville, Washington 98270. Retreat attendees will need to contact the hotel directly at 360-530-1234 and use the group name “Alto and Bass Flute Retreat” to get the group rate.
  • Private lessons: will be available on Wednesday the 17th during the day for $80 for one hour on a first-come first-served basis. 
  • Attire: for the performance, we will wear black with some sort of accessory with a star or stars on it.
  • Required Workshop books: Seven Steps to Better Intonation  and  Vibrato Workbook
  • Retreat Registration: 2020 Marysville Retreat Registration

Retreat attendees will need to contact the hotel directly at 360-530-1234 and use the group name “Alto and Bass Flute Retreat” to get the group rate.  No online hotel registration. The group rate expires May 17th.

To request a private lesson, check the lesson box on the registration form and include payment with your tuition. Lessons will be at the hotel.

We will play a concert on Saturday afternoon the 19th in an assisted living center, memory care,  or nursing home.

What Happens at the Retreats?

At both locations, we will be preparing and performing flute choir pieces that involve the whole group, a smaller choir piece and a few chamber pieces for a public performance.   There will be two workshops, Intonation and Vibrato.

This year’s pieces have a “Planets, Stars and Space” theme. Potential pieces include Jonathan Cohen’s Deep Space Heat Wave, For the Beauty of the Earth, Jupiter from the Holst Planets, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and a Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star variations. We may go so far as to play the Star Wars theme. Chris will be conducting the large groups and each chamber group receives at least two coaching sessions with Chris.

In the Intonation Workshop, you will discover how to anticipate what circumstances may result in being out of tune in a flute choir, band, playing with piano or in mixed chamber groups. Discover the common mistake when tuning in a flute choir. You will learn skills that will improve your ability to make the necessary adjustments. Don’t be the person in your group who is the most out-of-tune.

Required book Seven Steps to Better Intonation published by Falls House Press.

Do you want a more consistent and expressive vibrato? Exactly how does vibrato enhance and improve phrasing or, make phrasing less effective? In the Vibrato Workshop you will learn how to control the intensity and rhythm of air pulses and, how to develop the flexibility to create expressive phrasing. We will talk about where and when and how much vibrato is appropriate.

Required book Vibrato Workbook  published by Falls House Press.

There will be the ever-popular informal sight-reading sessions, so bring copies of your favorite duets, trios and quartets to share with others. Pieces already for combinations of alto and bass are especially useful. C flute duets, trios and quartets can also be played by all altos or all basses if the range is not too high.


for the 2020 Huntsville Retreat is $425 and $450 for the 2020 Marysville Retreat. Send a check with your registration form: my address is below. C flute players attending Saturday morning May 30th 9:15 to 12:15 in Huntsville will pay $45 and must have both required books.

For a payment through PayPal, send to cpotter@mac.com. If you send as a “friend”, they do not charge a fee. If I request the money, they charge a fee which amounts to an increase of 5% in your tuition.  To pay for a private lesson, add $80 to your check or include an additional $80 in your PayPal payment.

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Contact me at chris@chrispotterflute.com if you want more information about either Retreat.

  1. Download and complete the retreat application.
  2. Use these guidelines to determine your Repertoire Level, which you’ll need to know when filling out the Retreat Application.
  3. Registration forms: scan and email completed form and to cpotter@mac.com. Or, snail mail the completed Huntsville registration and tuition check so that it is received by April 22nd. Mail the Marysville registration so that it is received by May 13th, along with the Retreat tuition (Huntsville $425 or $505 with private lesson, or Marysville $450 or $530 with private lesson), to:
Chris Potter
2985 18th Street
Boulder, CO 80304

50% tuition refund until April 22nd for Huntsville; Marysville, May 13th.  No refunds after those dates.

Huntsville Directions

The airport in Huntsville (HSV) has non-stop flights from Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Orlando, Dulles and Reagan National. You can rent a car there or arrange for a hotel shuttle Huntsville Airport Shuttle . Airlines include American, Delta, United, Silver and Frontier. The hotel, Homewood Suites 714 Gallatin St SW, is three blocks north of Governors Dr. SW and east of State Hwy 431. The First Baptist Church 600 Governors Dr SW.  is six blocks away from the hotel, access from St. Clair Ave or Governors Dr.

Marysville Directions

Marysville is 25 miles north of Seattle and the Holiday Inn Express 8606 36th Ave is just off Interstate 5 at the 88th St NE exit. For those flying in, we suggest going to Paine Field Paine Airport which is north of Seattle. Car rentals available there. United and Alaska airlines fly into Paine with service from Denver, Los Angeles, Orange County, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco and Spokane.

For a selection of transportation options to and from the airport Paine Airport Shuttle options

The 2019 Alto & Bass Flute Retreats were resounding successes! Check out photos from recent retreats!

2015 Retreat Photos2014 Retreat Photos2013 Retreat Photos2011 Retreat Photos | 2010 Retreat Photos | Older Retreat Photos

“I really enjoyed meeting others with a shared interest and playing with them (I hate practicing alone).  I learned a lot and next time plan to sign up for one of Chris’ private lessons.” —Steve B.

“Add me to the list of those who thought this retreat was a wonderful experience.  It was great seeing old friends from last year, as well as meeting others for the first time. The air management class will definitely prove beneficial, and the alto and bass workshops and sight reading were just plain fun!  One highlight for me had to be the small group rehearsals and performance. As a member of a very small flute choir, it was a blast to get to actually play alto and bass with other alto and bass players.  The hotel setting was a huge improvement from the University dorms, and the staff was genuinely helpful.  I also highly recommend signing up for a private lesson with Chris.  It was well worth the expense.”—Linda in TX  

“I had the opportunity to attend Chris Potter’s Alto & Bass Flute Retreat last month in Boulder, CO. We had a great time and learned a lot about the BIG Flutes. She taught alternate fingerings, intonation, phrasing, playing better in a group setting, etc. We were able to work at the level we felt we are at: beginner, intermediate or advanced. She had some great music for us to learn. We played for a local church service on Sunday morning; then on Monday we played a recital at a piano gallery. It was all for us amateur adults which made it especially nice. Everyone had a great time.” —Mary in TX

“I attended Chris Potter’s 6th Annual Alto and Bass Flute retreat in California a few years ago. I was a beginning alto player at the time and had no idea how different the alto is from the c flute—in embouchure, intonation issues, idiosyncrasies, and more. The Retreat packed a lot of information and opportunities in just a few days, and it was a treat to meet ad work with low flutists from all over the US. I came away from the Retreat more skilled, more knowledgeable, and definitely inspired!” —Deb in COIMG_1785