Julie Anderson completed a degree in music performance at the Youngstown State University Dana School of Music, in Ohio. As a student she learned under the guidance of the talented flutist Walter Mayhall.
Her orchestral experience includes playing with the Scottsdale Symphony Orchestra and currently as the principal flutist in the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra. Julie was the BHSO 2016 recipient of the Russ Mettler Service Award.
In addition to playing with Cantio Flutes, Julie enjoys creating beautiful music in the Black Hills as a member of various chamber groups and bands, including: Going For Baroque Recorder Ensemble, West River Winds Quintet, Silverwood Trio and Music Messengers. She also plays in the Rapid City Municipal Band.
Julie is well known as a flute teacher in the Rapid City, SD area. Many of her students have participated in the South Dakota All State High School Band and Orchestra.
Helen Van Dam
Helen Van Dam was born and raised in Birmingham, England.
At the age of eight she was inspired by the beautiful flute playing of an American flutist, Brady Allred, who performed at her local church. This was the beginning of her fascination with the instrument.
After initially learning with a local flute teacher, Helen went on to study with Colin Lilley before commencing undergraduate studies at the Welsh College of Music and Drama. There she became a flute student of Douglas Townsend and then Roger Armstrong.
After graduating from the WCMD, Helen went on to obtain a Masters Degree in Musical Performance from Trinity College of Music in London. In London her flute studies continued under the instruction of the late Ann Cherry.
Helen has played in master classes by Susan Milan and Nora Lee Garcia.
She has over 20 years of private teaching experience and recently taught flute and piano lessons at Zion Lutheran School in Rapid City, SD.
For the past four years Helen has enjoyed playing flute and piccolo with the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra.
She currently resides in Rapid City with her husband and three children.
Mary Ann Downs
Mary Ann Downs grew up in Rapid City, SD. She started learning flute in 5th grade at South Canyon Elementary School. She graduated from Stevens High School and later from South Dakota State University, earning a degree in mathematics.
Throughout her life, Mary Ann has been actively involved with music in the Black Hills. Whether serving as a judge for middle school music competitions, teaching private flute lessons, or playing the piano as an accompanist, she has always enjoyed helping young people discover and develop their talents.
For 25 years she performed with the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra. If she wasn’t on the stage, you might find her below it, supporting numerous theatrical productions of the Black Hills Community Theatre.
Together with her husband, Don Downs, former Stevens High School band director, Mary Ann has travelled extensively through Europe and to Morocco as a chaperone for the band students on their summer performance tours.
In addition to harmonizing with Cantio Flutes, she currently plays flute and piccolo with the Rapid City Municipal Band, and bass recorder with Going for Baroque Recorder Quartet.
Olya Bunger was born in Ukraine. She started her musical studies at the age of 5, taking piano lessons in the basement of an old, Russian Orthodox Church.
Her aspirations on the flute started after discovering an old Yamaha flute that her husband Mark had purchased long ago. He had intended to play the instrument himself, but had never gotten around to learning. Olya quickly developed a great interest in this beautiful instrument, and found to her delight that she had a natural affinity for playing it.
She has been playing the flute for six years now under the ‘toot-elage’ of Rapid City based teacher Julie Anderson.
In addition to Cantio Flutes, Olya also plays in the Municipal Band, Northern Hills Community Band and the New Horizons band. She is a member of the Black Hills Symphony.