Mercedes Smith is the newly appointed Principal Flutist of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. A Texas native, she served as Principal Flutist of the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet Orchestras for nearly a decade. She has performed with the Houston Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and served as Principal Flutist of the Pacific Symphony during the 2010-2011 season. Most recently, she was awarded First Prize in the National Flute Association’s 2010 Young Artist Competition. Ms. Smith was also the Second Prize winner of the 2007 Haynes International Flute Competition and top prizewinner of the Manhattan School of Music Concerto Competition. As First Prizewinner of Artists International, she gave her New York Recital Debut in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2002. Her debut featured solo and chamber works all by American composers including three world premieres. Also as a recitalist, Ms. Smith performed at the Kunming International Arts Festival, China, in a performance that was televised throughout Asia.
Ms. Smith performed at the Hot Springs Music Festival for three years and was featured in the nationally televised PBS documentary "Sound of Dreams" highlighting the festival. In previous summers, she has been a fellowship recipient at Tanglewood, Music Academy of the West, and was a member of the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. As a chamber musician, she has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, Bargemusic, Da Camera of Houston, and Musiqa Houston.
Ms. Smith was accepted as a scholarship student at the Manhattan School of Music at the age of 16 and is greatly indebted to her teachers Michael Parloff, Jeanne Baxtresser, and Dr. Ronda Mains.
Associate Principal Flute
Lisa Byrnes is currently Associate Principal Flute with the Utah Symphony where she has played since 2000. For the 2011-2012 season, she was Acting Principal Flute. A native of Northern California, Ms. Byrnes studied at the Eastman School of Music and graduated with degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her primary teachers were Julius Baker, Jeffrey Khaner and Timothy Day. Prior to playing with the Utah Symphony, Ms. Byrnes played with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson-Thomas. She also played Principal Flute with the San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theatre as well as the Sarasota Opera Company. She has performed in several music festivals including Tanglewood, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Chatauqua Music Festival, the International Music Festival in Evian, France, the Edinburgh International Music Festival, the Lake Tahoe Music Festival and the Bear Valley Music Festival. She has appeared as concert soloist performing works by Mozart, Ibert, Nielsen, Dubois, Rivier, Bloch, Vivaldi and Bach. She has also appeared as guest soloist with the Utah Symphony performing the Bach B Minor Suite and the Bach Brandenburg Concerto #4. Ms. Byrnes completed tours to Japan, South America and Europe with several orchestras, and she travelled extensively with tours of “West Side Story” and “My Fair Lady”. Ms. Byrnes currently serves on the faculty of the University of Utah, and she has been on the faculty of the Humboldt State University Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop since 1994. She has been a guest faculty artist at the Northern California Flute Camp, and she has also taught at Brigham Young University. She has enjoyed an active chamber music life performing with groups such as The Left Coast Ensemble, Alternate Currents, Nova, Intermezzo and Three Fish and a Scorpion.
Caitlyn Valovick Moore joined the Utah Symphony as piccoloist/flutist in 2008. A native of northern Michigan, she attended her final two years of high school at Interlochen Arts Academy and went on to receive her Bachelor of Music from DePaul University, and her Master of Music from Northwestern University. Caitlyn’s primary teachers were Walfrid Kujala, Mary Stolper, and Stephanie Mortimore. She has also performed in master classes for William Bennett.
Prior to her Utah Symphony appointment, Caitlyn was a member of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and she has also performed with the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra. She has appeared as a soloist with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and won second prize in the National Flute Association's 2004 Piccolo Artist Competition. Locally, she has performed chamber music with both the Nova and Intermezzo Chamber Music series. An adjunct assistant professor of flute at the University of Utah, Caitlyn has also presented masterclasses at the University of Wyoming, as well as for the Utah Flute Association and the Hampton Roads Flute Faire, in addition to teaching privately. Caitlyn shares her home with her husband, Craig Moore, a bass trombonist, and their Labrador Retriever, Samantha.