Helen Blackburn is the newly appointed Artist Teacher of Flute at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX. Ms. Blackburn is also principal flutist with the Dallas Opera Orchestra, a core member of the nationally acclaimed modern chamber music ensemble “Voices of Change”, and the principal flutist of the Dallas Chamber Symphony for its 2012-2013 inaugural season. Ms. Blackburn has numerous credits with major performing arts organizations, both as a featured soloist and as a member, including the Breckenridge Music Festival (where she is currently principal flute), Aspen Music Festival, the South Bohemia Music Festival, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, the Brevard Music Center, and the Chicago Civic Orchestra. She appears frequently in recital across the country and in Europe as a soloist and also with her husband, Drew Lang, in their flute/marimba duo. A prize winner of the Myrna W. Brown Artist Competition, the Ft. Collins Young Artist Competition, and the Aspen Wind Concerto Competition, Ms. Blackburn has previously served on the faculties of Texas Christian University, University of North Texas, Stephen F. Austin State University and McMurry University. Ms. Blackburn received her bachelor of music degree (summa cum laude) from West Texas State University and her master of music degree from Northwestern University.
Born and raised in the great city of Chicago, Kareen studied flute with members of the Chicago Symphony because that's what you did when you come from a family of musicians. She really saw herself as a harp player but settled for the flute when school band director squashed her ambitions. Kareen earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music from the University of Illinois. She performed in 10 South American countries as part of the U of I Orchestra on a State Department tour, played Carnegie Hall and toured Europe with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and traveled to Graham and Stephenville with the Fort Worth Symphony. What started as just a job in 1989 has become a real passion for opera art form. She and her husband Thomas, three children and five grandchildren live in Oak Cliff. They are all good-looking and above average.
Jenifer McKenzie joined the Dallas Opera Orchestra in 1989. She is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and holds a Masters Degree in Flute Performance. She has taught on the faculties of California State University, Fullerton, Texas Woman's University, and Texas A & M University, Commerce. Before coming to Texas, she held the position of Co-Principal Flute of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico for six years. Ms. McKenzie also enjoys teaching private flute lessons and coaching the younger flute players in our community.