When Andrea Dinkel starting playing flute at age 11 in the fifth grade band in Olathe, it took nearly two weeks to get a single note out of her instrument.

When Andrea Dinkel starting playing flute at age 11 in the fifth grade band in Olathe, it took nearly two weeks to get a single note out of her instrument.
Since that time, though, she’s produced quite a few beautiful notes. The public will get a chance to hear some of them during the Southeast Kansas Symphony concert at 3 p.m. Sunday in Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium. This is the first concert of the 2008-2009 season.
Tickets, available at the door, will be $7 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens.
Dinkel, a Pittsburg State University senior, will be flute soloist in “Concerto in D minor for Flute and Orchestra” by Aram Kachaturian. She also played the piece in the annual PSU Concerto and Aria Competition in May.
“We tell the judges that they can select from one to three winners in this competition,” said Stella Hastings, symphony director. “Andrea was the sole winner this year — she literally blew the judges away.”
Dinkel said that the concerto was based on Georgian, Armenian and Azerbajani folk tunes Khachaturian heard while growing up in Tibilisi, Georgia.
“It was originally for violin, but was re-written for flute,” she said. “I’m very grateful for that, because it’s one of my favorite pieces. I love everything about it and it makes me feel good when I play it, so when I had the opportunity to be in the Concerto and Aria Competition, I chose to perform it.”
Dinkel was active in performing throughout school. She began playing a hymn every Sunday morning at a local retirement center when she was in sixth grade, and was playing in district solo competitions in eighth grade. She was flute section leader and drum major for the Olathe North Marching Eagles, participated in district band and played in community bands during the summers.
At PSU she has studied flute with James Hall and has played with the Pride of the Plains Marching Band, PSU Wind Ensemble, Southeast Kansas Symphony and PSU Chamber Winds.
She plans to graduate in December with a bachelor of music education.
“I changed my major to nursing for a while, then changed back to music education,” she said.
Dinkel is currently student teaching music to kindergarten through 12th grade students  at Grandview, Mo.
Other selections in the Sunday concert will be “Le Coq d’Or” by Rimsky-Korsakov, which opens the event, and “Symphony No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25” by Prokofiev.
“This is an all-Russian concert,” noted Hastings. “Khachaturian is actually Armenian, but we’re counting him as Russian for this.”
She said that “Le Coq d’Or,” based on a satire written by Pushkin, is an evocative piece that has a lyricism to it.
“But it also has a militaristic feeling of king and palace,” Hastings said. “It sets up a question, and I did this intentionally because I want people to be intrigued by what they hear and want to come back for more.”
The Prokofiev piece, also known as the “Classical,” is full of memorable tunes.
“It’s got one of the most virtuostic movements, especially for wind instruments,” Hastings said. “Several of my colleagues at PSU will be performing in this, and it’s pushing everybody’s abilities to the edge.”
She said that she is excited about the upcoming season.
“We have so many new students this season, especially in the string section,” Hastings said. “This includes four students from an academy at Nevada, Mo., and Samantha Hightower of Pittsburg High School. I’m getting a chance to work with my professional colleagues and to tap into the wonderful students that PSU attracts.”