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A special reed

Montrose flutist will play concerts from San Diego to Bakersfield to launch new CD of inspirational music.

November 18, 2009|By Joyce Rudolph

When Elizabeth Velez Urie found a lack of published flute repertoires in the Christian gospel genre, she decided to re-create works that feature the instrument.

The 28-year-old Montrose resident, who grew up playing the flute for events in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said she was surprised by the dearth of appropriate music.

“It was very frustrating,” she said. “When I had a performance, I’d have to compose on the spot or had to dig through what was out there.”

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She performs for worship services and concerts coordinated throughout the year by different churches. She also plays Christmas music concerts and jazz with another group that performs in Hollywood clubs from time to time, she said.

Velez Urie just released her first CD “Amazing Grace” and is doing a Southern California Christmas concert and CD-signing tour at Borders and independent book stores from San Diego to Bakersfield and local organizations in Glendale and Burbank, she said.

She called the CD “Amazing Grace” because she believes help in putting it together came from above, she said.

“I felt there was a lot of divine intervention that helped make this happen,” she said.

Several selections feature just the flute and piano, and the rest of the pieces are for flute, harp, violin and cello, she said.

“I wanted to get high-class musicians like Jenny Oaks Baker,” Velez Urie said. “She has eight albums on the market and travels all over the world performing.”

Velez Urie made a list of the top musicians she wanted, and all of her first-choice musicians were available, she said.

Oaks Baker, who lives in northern Virginia, performed the violin on the album.

“It’s a very nice selection of tunes on a CD,” she said. “Very calming and very easy to listen to.”

While the musicians were in the recording studio, Greg Hansen, an independent record producer, was working on his own project and Velez Urie asked him for guidance, he said.

“I gave her some suggestions for the CD,” he said. “I thought it sounded nice and told them so. I found her to be a gutsy and talented musician with admirable aspirations and the ability to make it happen.”

Adapting classical material and hymn arrangements for flute is a fresh direction for an instrumental album, he said, and the top names, like Oaks Baker, help a lot.

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