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Flutist Meghan Shanley Alger explores sounds on everything from harmonica and beer bottles to live electronics, knitting needles, and pencils. With an uncanny ability to create specific atmospheres, even the New York Times has noted her “singing into her flute to produce surreal and eerie timbres.” She ventures into the extreme with composers, pushing the boundaries of what is possible to create new worlds. Her performance credits include the Kennedy Center, AMP by Strathmore and Peabody Library of Baltimore, as well as Symphony Space and Carnegie Hall.

Shanley Alger uses commissioning and programming to advance social change, designing concerts that provoke reflection and audience participation. Current projects include Making Waves, a debut recording of commissions for flute and voice by women composers, with works by Lunon, Socolofsky, and Nourbakhsh, giving women an expressive platform in a world where we are often dismissed. Other projects include a participatory concert in which audiences honor lost family and friends by co-creating a temporary memorial flower wall at the venue, using paper remembrance notes to write messages for loved ones.

The ensemble she co-founded, Balance Campaign (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion), is a laboratory of sound and experimentation. Balance Campaign collaborates with composers to reimagine the concert experience and surprise listeners. The ensemble’s debut recording features a work by Nathan Lincoln de Cusatis that highlights human evolution and our impact on the planet. Thanks to the generous support of Opera America, they recently premiered Ashi Day’s Waking the Witch, a chamber opera examining the danger of mixing authority and religion. Upcoming collaborations include a commission from DC-native, Jeffry Mumford, funded by Chamber Music America.

As a teaching artist, Meghan is Adjunct Instructor of Flute at Harford Community College and has presented workshops and residencies in Italy at the Alba Music Festival as well as University of Maryland and Catholic University. Committed to connecting with students and audiences through shared experience and insight, Meghan regularly presents community engagement performances at schools, universities, and festivals.

Concert Programs


Living Local

A group of works for flute and piano by living composers, including those with ties to the Baltimore/DC area:

  • Jeffrey Mumford - an evolving romance for flute and piano

  • Gemma Peacocke - Albatross for flute and piano

  • Alexandra Gardner - Fade for flute and soundtrack

  • Jonathan Bailey Holland - Sonata for flute and piano

  • Elena Ruehr - Rumengling for flute and piano



From Grief to Resilience

This program has grown out of my research into finding works for flute and electronics that challenge and reimagine what it means to heal through music: 

  • Alexandra Gardner - Fade for flute and soundtrack

  • Anna Clyne - Hopscotch for solo flute

  • Christopher Cerrone - Liminal Highway for flute and electronics

  • David Lang - Thorn for solo flute

  • Eve Beglarian - I will not be sad in this world for alto flute and prerecorded audio

  • Mary Kouyoumjian - Peony for solo amplified flute and audio playback


Universal Call

Flute and pitched percussion, including live audio processing, come together to create shifting landscapes:

  • Torū Takemitsu, arr. Nonoka Mitsukami - Toward the Sea for flute and marimba

  • Roshanne Etezhady - Hot Water/Burn Baby for flute and marimba

  • Steven Snowden - Mobbing Calls for flute and vibraphone

  • Ian Dicke - Isla for flute, vibraphone and live audio processing

  • Gareth Farr - Kembang Suling for flute and marimba

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Train-dreaming: A Children’s Concert

Children love this engaging and interactive program for flute and narrator, where we go for a train ride, look out the windows to watch the trees pass by, and daydream about an emperor and his colorful bird of paradise:

  • Ian Clarke - The Great Train Race for solo flute

  • Daniel Dorff - Trees (after the poem by Joyce Kilmer) for solo flute with narration

  • Alan Ridout - The Emperor and the Bird of Paradise for flute and narrator

*Additional activities and interactive supplies included.*

Want to create a custom concert experience for your audience?



Extended Techniques: Today’s Performance Practice

  • Learn extended techniques so you may share a wider range of music with your audience

  • Discover new applications for extended techniques to improve your tone and articulation 

  • Begin applying the extended techniques to a new piece and add it to your repertoire!



Save Your Breath: Play Longer Phrases With Ease

  • Study the anatomy of breathing and learn several exercises to breathe better while playing

  • Use your breathing bag to “see” how you breathe so you may utilize your air supply more effectively

  • Apply this better breathing practice to relevant technical warmups, as well as repertoire and orchestral excerpts to expand your lung support

Are your students preparing for All State auditions or Ensemble Festival?

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