Martha Alford

Handbell Ensemble

Bach sometimes expressively improvised hymn arrangements, as a child Martha Alford fell asleep every night listening to her mother play piano. She always found ways to join the music; her green singing bear had to be left behind at concerts because she'd wind him up to participate! Her parents nurtured her love for music as she competed in both flute and piano throughout high school. Since they deemed teaching more practical than performance, Martha earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Houghton College. Later, to prove to herself that she could, she earned a Master of Flute Performance from the University of Idaho. 

Once she started teaching, however, pedagogy became a passion. She authored a beginning flute method book and developed a general music theory and history curriculum using handbells as practical application. Martha serves as adjunct professor of Woodwind Methods at Eastern University. She taught muusic history, Basic Experiences in Music and flute at Lancaster Bible College, directed the concert bands at Delaware County Christian School in Newtown Square, PA and the orchestra at The Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, PA. She taught general and instrumental music at Westminster Academy of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL and in the South Colonie School District in Albany, NY. 
Love of performance continued: Martha played principal flute with the Washington Idaho Symphony, the Gold Coast Opera, the Florida Symphonic Pops, the Florida Wind Symphony andthe New York State Band Director's Association Intercollegiate Band. Winning a Northwest collegiate orchestral competition, she soloed with the Spokane Symphony. She studied with Gary Schocker, David Cramer, Kimberly Reighley, Christine Nield, John Oberbrunner, Richard Hahn and Joanna Bassett, and has performed in masterclass with Bonita Boyd and James Galway.