Sharyn Byer: A Forward-Looking Flutist

by airturn

There! I’ve resolved that silly contention between the words “flautist” and “flutist” once and for all!  A guitarist plays the guitar, an organist plays the organ, and a flutist plays the flute.  It simply doesn’t make sense to think of a “flautist” playing a “flaut”, does it? You may disagree with me if you are on the other side of the pond we call the Atlantic ocean, but for right now I’m putting my etymological foot down and sticking to my flutes!

Sharyn Byer, Flutist

Sharyn Byer, Flutist, is another example of a forward-looking musician who enjoys a very active performing and touring life.  Here’s a look at Sharyn’s 4-C setup for her digital sheet music needs.

1. What do you do as a musician?

I graduated from the University of Miami School of Music and am Principle Flute of The Capital City Symphony in Washington, DC. I teach at Columbia Institute of Fine Arts and direct The Columbia Flute Choir ( I tour with the International Flute Orchestra, and have performed in Europe, Russia, China and South America. I also play in First Light Ensemble and have performed locally in the DC area including at The White House.

2. Why did you switch from paper to digital sheet music?

I love having all my music available on one device, my iPad, and being able to easily take it all with me when I travel. Page turns are no problem with the AirTurn Bluetooth foot pedals! I can keep both hands on my flute at all times!! Dark stages are not a problem, either. I don’t even need a stand light because the scores are back-lit on the iPad! Also, I don’t feel like I’m hiding behind a big music stand because the iPad is so small. I can even position the music as close to me as I want and still see the conductor or the audience!

3. What are your “4-C’s”?
a.Computer (for reading music)?

iPad 2

b. Content (what kind of music do you read and where do you get it from)?

I scan music into my computer and transfer to the forScore app on my iPad through iTunes. I can also open emailed PDFs with the forScore app. Once in forScore, I can store music by title, composer, genre, or keyword. I can even annotate the music and create setlists for different ensembles or performances.

c.Container (do you use any special holders for your computer)?

TheGigEasy & iPad vs. Music Stand

I have two holders that I like. The Gig Easy Mic Stand Mount is very secure and sturdy. I also like the CrisKenna Xclip which is actually the one I travel with because it is less bulky. When I play C flute in First Light Ensemble, I am seated and use the iPad holder on a Mic Stand Concertino. When I play in a symphony orchestra, I use the Mic Stand Concertino with a goose neck extension because I need the iPad a little higher so I can also see the conductor. When I play the Contrabass flute, I need to stand to play so I use both the 13” and the 6” goose necks on the Concertino stand and that works great! I can fit the Concertino and both goose necks in one of my old folding music stand cloth cases and it goes easily in my gig bag. That’s what I used in Croatia this past May with the International Flute Orchestra! If I am playing locally, I can also just use a mic stand but that won’t fit in a carry-on bag for flying!

d. Controller(s) (do you use any special controllers for reading or working with your
digital sheet music)?

I use the AirTurn BT-105 Bluetooth transceiver and 2 ATSF-2 foot switches for hands free page turning (I need to keep both hands on my flute!) It works great on any floor surface and I am amazed how long the charge lasts! It is so easy to recharge with the iPad charger, even overseas!

Sharyn Byer,

Sharyn Byer and the Columbia Flute Choir at The White House