Instructor of Flute at Simpson College since 2005, Dr. Kimberly Helton has also taught at Grinnell College (1995-2005) and Drake University as a visiting professor (2000-2001). She has performed and given master classes at festivals in Russia and is in demand throughout the Midwest. Helton hosted 2016 Iowa Flute Festival, featuring Marianne Gedigian at Simpson College. Ms. Helton has been a member of the flute section of Orchestra Iowa since 1997 and has performed with the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra since 2002. In January 2017, Helton was selected to act as DMMO principal flutist for David Little’s Solider Songs, performed at Camp Dodge with composer in residence. Helton plays regularly with the Des Moines Symphony and was acting 2nd flutist for 2013-14. As a chamber musician, Ms. Helton is a member of the Simpson Lyric Wind Trio, Vivo Chamber Players, and founder of the Polaris Wind Quintet. Polaris commissioned two new works in 2011, performed the world premiers, and recorded a CD release in 2012. The group is featured annually at the World Food Prize Inaugural meeting and was selected to perform for the 2017 NFA convention. Ms. Helton maintains a large private studio in Des Moines, IA. She has taught music theory classes from the Des Moines Area Suzuki School for the past 20 years. She and her husband, Jay, have four children.
Orchestral Performance, Chamber Performance, Solo Performance, Flute/Piccolo Private Instruction, Flute Repertoire and Pedagogy, Music Theory, Music History
Awards/ Performance Opportunities
As a featured concerto soloist, Ms. Helton performed with numerous symphonies, including Utah Symphony, Utah Valley Symphony, Cedar Rapids Symphony (Orchestra Iowa), Arapahoe Philharmonic, Des Moines Community Orchestra, Drake University and Grinnell College Orchestras. Helton was awarded the prestigious Performance Fellowship from the University of Iowa during her doctoral studies. She was invited to performed on the evening gala concert, including distinguished students honoring former University of Iowa teacher, Betty Mather, at the National Flute Convention in Las Vegas, 2012.
As a chamber musician, Helton was selected to be chamber music artist-in-residence at the Aberystwyth Music Festival in Wales. With Polaris Wind Quintet, she won the 2002 NFA Chamber Music Competition. Ms. Helton also performed and recorded with Dr. Dave Camwell and Ron Albrecht, released on CD in 2012. In 2017, she was selected to perform in multiple venues at the NFA Minneapolis Convention. Ms. Helton performs regularly both as a soloist and in chamber groups on Salisbury House Chamber Music Series, Nielsen Concert Series, and Brenton Arboretum Series, and St. John’s Noon Day Series. She also performs and presents annually at the Iowa Flute Festivals, hosted at different colleges and universities around the state.
Ms. Helton has performed in master classes for: Frances Blaisdale, Louis Moyse, Julius Baker, Keith Underwood, Brooks De Wetter-Smith, Joan Marie Bowman, Harvey Solenburger, Jim Walker.
Dr. Helton received her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from Brigham Young University (1991), Master of Music from Drake University (1993), and Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Iowa (2002). Teachers include Susan Goodfellow, Nathan Jones, Betty Mather, Anita Miller-Reider and Tadeu Coelho.
Simpson Flute Studio Opportunities
Dr. Helton hosted the Iowa Flute Festival in Grinnell in 2002 and was delighted to bring the Festival to Simpson College for the first time in 2016, featuring Marianne Gedigian as guest artist. She invites guest artists annually to Simpson to perform and give master classes for the Simpson Flute Studio. Several recent artists include Jan Gippo, John Bailey, Sonya Giles, Erika Boysen, Kayla Burggraf, and Lisa Bost-Sandberg. All students have an opportunity to perform for and be instructed by guest artists in a master classes setting.
Simpson flute students also attend the Iowa Flute Festival annually, allowing students opportunities to perform together as an ensemble, and individually in master classes for renowned guest artists.