George Pope, who served as principal flute for the Akron Symphony Orchestra from 1978 through 2002, is the 2018 recipient of the National Flute Association’s Distinguished Service Award.
The award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated profound, dedicated service and commitment to the National Flute Association, according to a press release from the association. Pope will be honored at the 46th Annual National Flute Association Convention in August.
“I was overwhelmed when I learned that I had been chosen to receive the NFA’s Distinguished Service Award,” Pope said in the news release. “During my years in the NFA, what mattered to me most were the duties, experiences, and friendships within the organization that have been so important to me personally and professionally.
“I am deeply honored to know that my efforts have been valued, have perhaps at times made a difference; and that my colleagues and mentors have allowed me the opportunity to contribute in my own ways, from my own strengths, and to grow along with them to create a better future for generations.”
A graduate of Northwestern University and The University of Tulsa, Pope studied with Marion McNally, Maurice Sharp and Walfrid Kujala. He moved to Akron in 1978, becoming a member of the Orchestra as well as an admired and dedicated flute professor at the University of Akron, a position he held until 2013. Pope joined the faculty at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory in 2002, a position he still holds.
“Certainly, George Pope has earned the distinction of the Distinguished Service Award,” said Kyle Dzapo, association president. “Not only has he served the NFA through exemplary teaching and artistry, he has also been an important leader through his work as Board Member, Program Chair, Board President, and committee member. We are extremely grateful for the support he has shown our organization over the years.”
Pope served as program chair for the 2000 NFA Convention in Columbus. Following that event, he served as the NFA’s vice president (2000–2001), president (2001–2002), and past president (2002–2003). He was the first chair of the new Past Presidents Council (2015–2017). In between years of board service, he has contributed countless hours of work on committees and judging panels.
“As gratifying as it is to receive, this award is an expression of the generosity, inspiration, humanity and joy that each member offers — all reinforcing the belief that our creative and educational ideals are important and worth struggling for, worth sharing, worth remembering,” Pope said.
Outside of the NFA, Pope is well known in the Cleveland area for his involvement as a founding member of the Chamber Music Society of Ohio and the Solaris Quintet. He is active with the Tuesday Musical Association, now in its 130th year.
About the National Flute Association
Since its inception 1972, the NFA has grown to be the largest flute organization in the world, with more than 4,000 members from 50 countries. Its annual convention includes 19 competitions, many with cash prizes. The NFA has commissioned dozens of major works for flute, piccolo, and chamber ensemble and awards scholarships and outreach prizes for flutists of all ages and from countries worldwide.
(Photo courtesy of the National Flute Association)