The quartet was founded and led, and the repertoire was gathered, by Louisa Creed. You can find out more about her other work, including her famous rag rugs that feature on the CD covers here. Louisa's husband Lewis Creed has been a mainstay of the quartet throughout its life. He has diligently supplied cakes and tea to virtually every quartet rehearsal and has often served as the warm-up act at concerts.
Louisa writes: This York-based flute ensemble has been very active in York and Yorkshire since before the beginning of this century.
We took our name from a composition my husband and I commissioned for our silver wedding in 1997 from Thoma Simaku, a young Albanian composer who currently teaches composition at The University of York.
I retired from flute-playing at the beginning of 2018, and, looking back over the many, many concerts our quartet have given since its establishment, I feel myself exceedingly fortunate. We have rehearsed weekly (or almost) in our flat overlooking the River Ouse - my husband providing the all-important refreshments, and enjoyed working together and exploring the repertoire for various combinations of flutes.
Apart from flutes in C we have included in our programmes music for Alto and Baroque flutes, piccolo, and various recorders and pipes.
We have played for all kinds of charities (notably Jessie’s Fund, which helps children with additional and complex needs or serious illness to communicate by using music), at festivals, weddings and parties; we have given concerts in churches, National Trust properties and Castle Howard; we have made two CD recordings, one of Christmas music and the other of music that has been written for our ensemble.
Our programmes have included a variety of styles, from 17th Century to the present day, and various composers have provided us with highly original arrangements of folk songs, carols and classical movements. One of these, Sefton Cottom, (late head of music at Pocklington School) tirelessly fed us with both arrangements and original compositions after his retirement and more recently Ben Heneghan supplied us in a similar way. His beautiful (and meaty) work “Three Scenes for Four Flutes” is a very valuable addition to the 4-flute repertoire, as are all these gems which we have so enjoyed playing to appreciative audiences.
My aunt, Eve Clarke, never became a professional musician, but she had a gift for making delightful medleys of folk songs and carols, and it was unusual for us not to include one or other of her quartets or trios in our programmes.
Creating a website (with thanks to Bob, Lindsey’s husband and Chris Sketchley) from which these unpublished works can be downloaded free of charge for a wider group of musicians and pupils to enjoy, seems a fitting legacy from all the years of our playing together. Although I have used the past tense because of my own, reluctant retirement, “A Garland of Flutes” will live on, and its fruits will be shared.