The Quarter Tones Flute Ensemble was founded over fifteen years ago by Tara Semple and Linda Lucyk. The Quarter Tones perform a wide variety of music: sacred, jazz, classical, ethnic, baroque and modern. They are known for their unique and colorful sound performing on a combination of bass, alto, C flute and piccolo. The members are constantly looking for new arrangements and composers interested in showcasing their flute ensemble.
The members of the Quarter Tone Flute Ensemble each bring their knowledge and diverse experience to the modern flute from Irish and Baroque flutes and ethnic flutes from around the world. The musicians of the ensemble, Tara Semple, Linda Lycyk, David Popoff and Marie-Véronique Bourque are currently all members of the Regina Symphony Orchestra.
In recent years the group has commissioned much needed works for the flute quartet repertoire:
David McIntyre composed “Argyle Street” for the Quarter Tones, a wonderful work with several small movements using the flute in C, piccolo, alto flute and bass flute. This piece won an award at the International Flute Convention 2012 in Chicago. He also composed ‘'Rainbow'', for the Quarter Tones Flute Ensemble, a piece in 7 movements for flute in C, piccolo, alto flute, bass flute and piano. The group performed this work for the first time as part of the Diversity Project concert they gave celebrating Pride Week 2018 in Regina, SK.
The Quarter Tones also commissioned the work titled “Figurines” from Jason Cullimore. Jason was the winner of the 2013 Western Canadian Music Award for the category Classical Composition of the Year. The group was very pleased to share his success. They performed ‘'Figurines'' in Calgary at the BreakOut West Festival highlighting the Western Canadian Music Award Nominees organized by the CMC.
In June 2015, the Quarter Tones released their first CD titled “Combine - New Works for Flute Ensemble.” The CD features works from Canadians David McIntyre, Jason Cullimore and Pierick Houdy, and also works from Sören Sieg and Michael Bakrncev. Critics praised it as a great selection of modern works with a spirit of “shimmering tone and pure intonation,” “elegance and engaging tone colors,' “rhythmic drive and diverse new compositions.”
Since its founding in 2002, the Quarter Tones Flute Ensemble has performed in the Francothon, the CBC Christmas celebration, the Cathedral Village Festival, recitals, the Regina Public Library series, corporate, religious, social and multicultural events. The group was recorded and aired on Radio-Canada and CBC radio. The Quarter Tones has also performed in schools and has mentored flute students and adults interested in performing in a flute ensemble setting through the Rusty Flute Club and the Flute Project.