Gay Kahkonen (b. 1968)
Gay Kahkonen earned her degree in music composition from Oberlin Conservatory. For over twenty years, she taught flute lessons, served as a marching band coach, and directed several middle and high school flute choirs. Her compositions have been performed across the country, most notably at National Flute Association conventions, at Mid-Atlantic Flute conventions in Washington, D.C. (including serving as a guest composer/director for the 2020 Junior Choir), and at Penn State University Flute Days in State College. She has received commissions from the Pittsburgh Flute Club, Slippery Rock University, Wendy Webb Kumer Flute Studio, Dan Parasky Flute Studio, Kathy Blocki, the Michigan Flute Orchestra, and others. Gay scored incidental music to a production of Death of a Salesman at Pittsburgh Public Theater (2017). Her composition, SPY! won an award for best flute ensemble piece in the 2020 National Flute Association Newly Published Music Competition. Gay enjoys writing for the flute, and her music, spanning in style from the satirical to the sublime, is always thoughtful and fun to play.