Working with Rachel and Katie at The Flute Gallery has been wonderful as a professional flutist and educator. They are an amazing resource. They offer one of the largest varieties of top quality student and professional flutes and piccolos, sheet music, recordings and accessories. I trust working with them for all my flute needs.
Bianca Najera is Manager of the Schmitt Music Flute Gallery and a Flute Specialist. Bianca established The Flute Shop (now The Flute Gallery) in 2014, and in addition to her current roles, she has served as Manager of Schmitt Music Brooklyn Center and Social Media Manager. She has traveled around the country with flute specialty shops and on behalf of flute manufacturers to flute industry events, assisting musicians in finding their perfect instrument. Bianca maintains a flute studio in Minneapolis and performs with local bands and orchestras.
Bianca graduated with a B.A. in Music – Flute Performance from Luther College in Decorah, IA, where she studied with Dr. Carol Hester and performed as principal flute with the symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra, and concert band. She participated in masterclasses with Roma Duncan Kansara, Lorie Scott, and Rebecca Johnson. While touring the United States, Austria and Japan with Luther ensembles, she performed on world renowned stages such as the Wien Konzerthaus.
Bianca has also performed with the Rochester Symphony, Kenwood Symphony, Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra, and has been a featured soloist with the North Suburban Concert Band. She served on the Executive Board of the Upper Midwest Flute Association and has worked and taught at the Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival, the Lawrence Academy of Music, and served as a clinician for middle and high school bands.
Outside of flute performance, Bianca enjoys spending time with her fiancé Joel, dog Oakley, and cat Zee.
Dr. Rachel Haug
Rachel E. Haug is a freelance flutist, orchestral musician, and private instructor in the Minneapolis area. In addition to her responsibilities as Director of Flute Sales and Specialist at Schmitt Music, she is the Flute Instructor at Winona State University and maintains an active private flute studio in the Twin Cities; her students are frequently accepted to summer festivals and honors ensembles. Dr. Haug also holds the Piccolo position with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra and frequently performs with the La Crosse Symphony and Winona Symphony, in addition to past professional experiences with the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra and the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra, among others.
Dr. Haug earned her DMA and MM in flute performance from The Ohio State University, where she studied with Katherine Borst Jones, and BA from Luther College under the instruction of Dr. Carol Hester. Her research, An Introduction to Twentieth-Century Flute Music by Norwegian Composers: With Emphasis on Øistein Sommerfeldt and Publications by Norsk Musikforlag, seeks to broaden awareness of the available flute repertoire. During her time at Ohio State, Dr. Haug served as principal flute in the Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra while also performing as a member of the Ohio State Fife and Drum Corps. Additionally, she assisted in planning the annual Central Ohio Flute Association Festival at Ohio State, serving as newsletter editor, exhibits coordinator, and president.
Dr. Haug is the recipient of the OSU Graduate Achievement Award and past winner of the DMA concerto competition. She is featured on the Naxos recordings Network and Rest, and in the 2008 Emmy Award-winning production Christmas at Luther. She has toured with ensembles throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan.
Katie is known around the country and the world as an expert in flute repair. She has consistently worked with many of the best repair technicians and is constantly learning about and trying new techniques and materials. Katie has earned a reputation for honest and open customer service, and she works with each individual to ensure that their instrument is in the best possible playing condition.
Katie grew up in Massachusetts where she studied with Sue Kurian. She received her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, studying with Ernestine Whitman. After completing the course in woodwind repair at Red Wing Technical College, she was employed by Verne Q. Powell Flutes, where she worked as the sole repair tech until 1990, when she relocated to Minnesota and opened her own repair service.
Continuing her relationship with Powell, and recognizing a need for custom flute sales in Minnesota, Katie became a dealer for Powell Flutes as well as other custom flute makers such as Burkart, Miyazawa, Muramatsu, and Altus. In 2016, Katie joined forces with the Schmitt Music Flute Gallery. Offering her flute repair and sales expertise as well as flute industry relationships, Katie helped establish The Flute Gallery as Minnesota’s go-to stop for advanced through custom level flutes and flute resources. Katie maintains an independent flute repair business in addition to her partnership with Schmitt Music, and she enjoys connecting with the flute community through interactive master classes and flute repair clinics.