’21 Retreats Swing Low!

Join us for the 17th Annual
Alto and Bass Flute Retreats!

Chris Potter, Retreat Director
Ali Ryerson, Special Guest (May)

Retreat Dates

May 21 – 23 with Ali Ryerson (online only) – Application Form
Daily Retreat Schedule

Registration for the May Retreat with Ali is closed.

Click on the Marysville or Huntsville link below to go to the page with those details.

September 17 – 19  Marysville, Washington State (in-person)

October  14-17 in Huntsville, Alabama (in-person)

All the below information is Old News. There is nothing current to be learned.

The 2021 May Retreat will focus on jazz and jazz-influenced pieces for low flutes with guest artist Ali Ryerson! So cool! April 9th application deadline. The Fall 2021 Retreats will include a few jazz-influenced pieces but will also cover more standard low flutes repertoire.

Jazz repertoire for the May Retreat includes these pieces arranged/composed by Ali:

  • Bach Siciliano (All Three Retreats)
  • Sacramento River Ramble
  • Daytime Blues
  • In the Shade
  • Try and Catch Me
  • Blues in Bb

Other repertoire for the 17th Annual Retreats being considered: 

  • Winter Wonderland by Felix Bernard arr. by Kenji Konno with play-along-video by the Japanese Jazz Flute Big Band with Yuko Hoshi.
  • Sonnets and a Night in Greenwich by Mike Mower
  • Sidewalk by Hilary Taggart
  • Ballade by Daniel Dorff 
  • Karuna by Bill Douglas

Retreat Repertoire for Fall Retreats only

  • Flexion and Imperial Topaz by Nicole Chamberlain
  • Spanish Love Song 
  • Love Letter to Sharyn by Jonathan Cohen
  • and others TBD

Workshops for 2021

  • Improving Breath Control
  • Beginning and Intermediate Improvisation (online May Retreat only)
  • Bach Siciliano (Reimagined) 
  • (still thinking about a 2nd topic for the fall)

SIGN UP on our google form to be notified when more Retreat information becomes available.

The May Virtual Retreat is currently accepting applications. Application deadline – April 9th.  Application Form

Daily Retreat Schedule

You will receive your assigned music shortly after the application deadline once I know how many people of what ability levels are playing which instruments.


What Happens at the Retreats?

At the May Virtual Retreat, there will be three workshops, Improving Breath Control, Beginning Improvisation, Intermediate Improvisation, and Siciliano (Reimagined). We will also work on several pieces online (see repertoire above) and performers will submit individual videos of the ensemble pieces at the end of the Retreat. These will be combined and turned into a movie which will be posted on YouTube.

In the Improving Breath Control Workshop offered at all three Retreats, you will discover how to organize yourself to increase the length and expressive range of phrases, learn the importance of constructing a breath plan, practicing the plan, adjusting the plan and implementing the plan.

Beginning and Intermediate Improvisation will be taught by Ali Ryerson only at the May online Retreat.

There are two required books: Bach Siciliano (Reimagined) by Ali Ryerson and published by Presser and Four Jazz Duets for Two Flutes also by Ali. Four Jazz Duets includes Daytime Blues, In the Shade and Try and Catch Me. Previous issues with the availability of the duets have now been resolved. Both books are available from Ali or from the major flute sheet music stores.

Recommended books:  Chris’s Bass Flute Method and/or Alto Flute Method. They are available from the Flute Pro Shop, Flute Specialists, Carolyn Nussbaum’s, West Valley Music, Flute World, Just Flutes (UK), and world-wide via Amazon.

The Retreats will include the ever-popular informal sight-reading sessions. Online, you will play along with a previously recorded video of selected pieces. At the in-person Retreats in the fall, 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.


Tuition is $275 for the May Virtual Retreat. April 9th deadline for receipt of payment. PayPal or Venmo is the preferred payment method. Or, send a check with your application form: my address is below. People wanting to attend two Retreats will receive a discount on the 2nd tuition payment.

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. Payment via Venmo – send to ChrisPotterFlute.

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Contact me at chris@chrispotterflute.com if you want more information about any of the Retreats.

      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. Application forms: scan and email or snail mail the completed form to cpotter@mac.com. Send the May Retreat application so that it is received by April 9th, along with the Retreat tuition ( $275 or $355 with private lesson), to:
Chris Potter
2985 18th Street
Boulder, CO 80304

50% tuition refund available until May 1st.  No refunds after that date.

“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