Flutist Yvonne Chavez Hansbrough was born and raised in a small town in New Mexico. She comes from a Mexican-American family and proudly identifies as Latina. Music was important in the home and she grew up hearing all types of music including big band, Mariachi, classical, and of course rock and pop music of the 70's. Her community had strong music programs and she and her four siblings all participated in music. When a music teacher demonstrated the flute to 5th graders, Yvonne loved the sound of the flute and chose that as her instrument. Initially, she was not able to participate in beginning band because her family could not afford to buy an instrument. About a month into school, her dad scraped up $50 to purchase a used flute and surprised her on the playground during recess. From that day on, she received support from her family to pursue her dreams as a flutist and educator.
Yvonne has a music career spanning over 20 years in teaching and performing nationally and internationally. She holds music degrees from New Mexico State University (BME) the University of Arizona (MM). She received her Doctorate in Flute Performance in 1991 from The Florida State University, where she was a recipient of a University Fellowship and was a graduate teaching assistant. She has held faculty positions at New Mexico State University, Middle Tennessee State University, The University at Albany, and The College of Saint Rose.
Yvonne has performed at many venues across the U. S. including Piccolo Spoleto Chamber Music Festival, Blair School of Music, Arthur Zankel Center at Skidmore College, Troy Music Hall, Saratoga Arts Center, Saratoga City Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, WAMC Linda Norris Auditorium, WPLN "Studio C Live" In Nashville, and the Basilica Industria (Hudson, NY), and Proctor's Theater in Schenectady. Summer 2015 she toured as a soloist with the Varna International Chamber Orchestra in Bulgaria in Greece. She appeared as a soloist with the Szeged University Wind Ensemble and taught masterclasses in Szeged, Hungary.
As a two-time winner of the National Flute Association Performer’s Competition, she performed at NFA Conventions in Orlando and Kansas City, MO. She was invited to perform at the convention in Atlanta, 1999, in New York in 2009 and Las Vegas in 2012. She appeared at the 2014 British Flute Society Convention in Coventry, England.
She has performed with many orchestras including the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Huntsville Symphony (Alabama), the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, the Albany Symphony, Glimmerglass Opera, Shaker Mountain Opera, Hudson Chamber Opera, and Appalachian Spring with the Martha Graham Dance Company. She appears frequently at Proctor's Theater in Schenectady and played several national touring shows including Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, and Miss Saigon. As a soloist she appeared with the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra, The Huntsville Symphony, The Nashville Symphony, The Middle Tennessee Symphony, and the El Paso Pro-Musica Chamber Orchestra.
She has recorded with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra (Angel Records, Alabaster Music), the Albany Symphony (Albany Records and NAXOS) and released her solo CD “American Flute Music: Leaving the Twentieth Century’ in 1997 (Fanfare).
Holding a strong interest in historical flute performance, she plays baroque flute in solo, chamber. and orchestral settings, and is a member of Empire Baroque, an Albany based ensemble. Her baroque flute playing has been described as “haunting and memorable” (Times Union, June 2006). She performed at the 2009 and 2013 Boston Early Music Festival fringe concert series, the Baroque Festival in Greenfield Center, NY, and is currently a member of Empire Baroque, based in Albany, NY. Her solo recording “Eighteenth-Century Solo Works for Flute” is due for release summer 2021. She also enjoys her collection of over fifty flutes, including instruments from various countries and ethnicities (Native American, Latin American, Indian, Chinese, Irish, antique, and replicas of early flutes) and has played some of them in shows such as Miss Saigon and Wicked, and presents them to her students in lecture/demonstrations.
Having premiered several works by living American composers, Hansbrough is a strong advocate for new music. She has performed premieres of works including the Sonata for flute and harp and the Sonata for flute and guitar by Robert Baksa, and the Sonata for flute and percussion, Construct, and Soundings by Dr. Bruce Roter. She also premiered works for solo flute and wind band including Lindisfarne Rhapsody by Philip Sparke (U.S. premiere); Concerto for by Frigyes Hidas (U.S. premiere) and Divertimento by Alfred Reed (NY State premiere). She has collaborated in performances with several composers including Max Lifchitz, John Anthony Lennon, and Mario Davidovsky. Her solo CD “American Flute Music: Leaving the Twentieth Century” represents important compositions of the late 20th century for solo flute and flute and piano.
In 2003 Dr. Hansbrough founded Saint Rose Camerata, faculty chamber ensemble in residence at The College of Saint Rose. She served as Artistic Director for the ensemble until the group ceased performances in 2021. As a regionally recognized ensemble, Saint Rose Camerata was nominated for the 2019 and 2020 Thomas Edison Music Awards (The Eddies) in the Classical Artist of the Year category. The ensemble performed an average of four concerts per year to great acclaim, often appearing in feature articles and reviews in the Capital Region.
While in Tennessee she formed the Middle Tennessee flute Society. Hansbrough attracted hundreds of flutists and teachers to the annual Middle Tennessee Flute Festivals and master classes 1990-1999. She hosted many notable flutists including James Galway, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Susan Milan and many others. She continued organizing Flute Day events at The College of Saint Rose hosting many flutists including Elizabeth Rowe, Linda Chesis, Alexa Still, and Gary Schocker.
Hansbrough is currently Professor at The College of Saint Rose, where she teaches courses for all four music majors. In addition, she is principal flutist with the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra.