Filipino-American flutist Norman Menzales joined the Great Falls Symphony of Montana
as Principal Flute in September 2012 and holds the same position with the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra and Colorado’s Fort Collins Symphony.
Praised for his “...warm, attractive sound” by the Winston-Salem Journal, Menzales has performed with numerous ensembles including the Buffalo Philharmonic in New York, the Erie Chamber Orchestra in Pennsylvania, the Boulder Philharmonic in Colorado, and the Western Piedmont Symphony in North Carolina. He has appeared at the Aspen, Bowdoin, Colorado College, Eastern and Sarasota Music Festivals.
As a soloist, Menzales was awarded top prizes in Young Artist Competitions sponsored by the Atlanta, Central Ohio, Pittsburgh, and Rochester Flute Associations and performed concerti with the Fort Collins Symphony, North Carolina School of the Arts Solisti Symphony, the Eastman Chamber Orchestra, and Ars Nova Musicians of New York.
An artist dedicated to sharing and spreading his passion for chamber music, Menzales performs as solo flutist of Montana’s premier woodwind quintet, the Chinook Winds. The group strives to bring live, classical music to rural communities throughout the United States and stresses the importance of music education in schools. The Chinook Winds have toured and performed throughout the Northwest and was invited to perform at the 2015 International Horn Symposium in Los Angeles and the 2015 International Double Reed Society’s Conference in Tokyo, Japan.
As an enthusiastic educator, Menzales is on the music faculty of Western Nebraska Community College and the Interlochen Arts Flute Intensive. He also maintains a private studio of in-person and online students and has given masterclasses at numerous institutions across the United States, Canada and South America. Menzales is a founding member and president of the Montana Flute Association, a non-profit organization whose goal is to cultivate, promote, sponsor, and develop the appreciation of the flute and flute music among its members and the general public.
As a first-generation Filipino-American, Menzales is an active advocate for the rich culture and musical traditions of the Philippines. He founded the Sampaguita Flute Project, a community of musicians that performs classical works inspired from the Philippines. In the summer of 2023, the group toured the state of Montana and has future performances scheduled in New York. The project will culminate in an album ranging from early Filipino repertoire to new commissions from living Filipino composers.
Born in Georgia, Menzales began studying the flute at the age of twelve and played in a variety of community ensembles. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music with Dr. Tadeu Coelho at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, he continued his graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music where he served as a teaching assistant for world renowned flutist and pedagogue, Bonita Boyd. While at Eastman, he was a flute instructor at the Eastman Community Music School and served as a mentor for the New Horizons Band Programs in Rochester, New York. He graduated with a Master of Music, a Performer’s Certificate, and completed two years of doctoral coursework before leaving and assuming his position in Montana.
When not playing the flute, Norman enjoys hiking, eating, binge-watching tv shows, reading, drag performances and spending as much time as he can with his husband.