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Meet the Spring 2024 YAMP Participants

Feb 6, 2024, 09:01 AM by Noah Cline

The National Flute Association Announces Spring 2024 Young Artist Mentorship (YAMP) Participants

Savannah Gentry, Maya Keys, and Shahid Osuna will participate in the spring 2024 semester of the NFA’s Young Artist Mentorship Program (YAMP). Over the course of the spring semester, these individuals will be mentored by Dr. Brittany Trotter, Flor Cruz, and Dr. Maria Castillo in one-on-one and group meetings as they discuss career goals, networking opportunities, and other skills essential to an arts career. Students will also complete a project of their choosing that supports their individual career goals. 

YAMP, supported by the NFA’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee, pairs college students and recent graduates who identify as belonging to a marginalized cultural group (BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, flutists with disabilities, etc.) with professionally established mentors from similar cultural backgrounds. Applications are accepted each semester, and there is no cost to participate. The program is coordinated by Dr. Jeiran Hasan. Learn more at

Meet the YAMP Class of Spring 2024:

Savannah Gentry is an award winning flutist who is committed to creating collective meaningful experiences. She was a National Flute Association Young Artist 2023 quarter finalist in Phoenix, AZ. Gentry won second place at the Kentucky Flute Fair Quartet competition, and was a finalist in the University of Oregon’s Concerto Competition. As a new music collaborator, Gentry has performed with Noise Catalogue, The BeComEnsemble, SPLICE ensemble, the Oregon Bach Festival Composer Symposium, and with Caballito Negro as a guest artist. As a recent graduate of the Contemporary Music Program at the Manhattan School of Music, Gentry had opportunities to collaborate with her teacher, the acclaimed Tara Helen O’Connor and the world renowned Lucy Shelton in concerts with the Tactus ensemble. She was drawn to New York’s music scene from attending “The Studio” where she was inspired by extended flute techniques, composing, and improvisation from the Project Trio members. Savannah has performed in venues such as Rockwood Music Hall, Opera America, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, and National Sawdust where she collaborated with Nia Franklin. Gentry is an active freelancer now based in New York City performing with many ensembles, notably Protestra, the Greenwich Village Orchestra, Newport Symphony Orchestra (OR), Orchestra Next, the Mostly Modern Festival Orchestra, and the Eugene Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist, Gentry created Human Nature, a thoughtful performance of flute and electronic works about humans and our relationship with nature. Under the tutelage of Thomas Robertello, she achieved her Masters of Music at Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music. Gentry holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Oregon with Molly Barth where she was given the Outstanding Undergraduate Award upon graduation.

“I am so excited by the NFA Young Artist Mentorship program because I am going to have the opportunity to work with amazing mentors and gain insight on how to make the next steps in my career. I can't wait to see how we can learn from each other and uplift each other's voices.”

Maya Keys is a rising star flutist based in Paris, France, originally from Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. She currently studies at Sorbonne University in Musicology where she plays in the Jazz Ensemble and Conservatoire Issy-les-Moulineaux for Flute where she studies with Mihi Kim (Hochschule fur Musik und Theater München and the Paris Conservatory) and plays in the Symphony Orchestra. Maya will also play with the Etesias Orchestra in early 2024. She has previously studied at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris and the University of Maryland, College Park. She has won various prizes in flute competitions in France, most recently a 3rd prize in the Perfectionnement Division in May 2023 in the Vanves Flute Competition. She previously won a 2nd prize with Honours in the Prodige Art Flute Competition in February 2023 and a 1st Honourable Mention in the Cle d'Or Flute Competition. Maya is also a recipient of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Education Advancement Foundation Launch Scholarship, an award for college students who have shown artistic success and leadership. She is also a regular masterclass student in the Toscana International Music Academy with Paul Edmund-Davies, who played with the London Symphony Orchestra for 20 years. Additionally, she has also taken flute and music arranging masterclasses from Gareth McLearnon and flute lessons from Lady Jeanne and Sir James Galway. Her performance highlights include being invited to play with the Chineke! Junior Orchestra for its 2022 European Tour for the Lucerne Festival at the KKL Luzern, the Konzerthaus for the Young Euro Classic, and the Concertgebouw.

“Learning from flutists who have professional experience in the music industry will be an incredible experience! I am taking steps to advance my education and career this year, so receiving their mentorship will be really helpful for me!”

Shahid Yasser Osuna is an LA-based flutist and teaching artist. In 2019, he graduated from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Wind Performance, where he studied with David Shostac. In 2021, Shahid completed his Master of Fine Arts degree in InstrumentalArts at the California Institute of the Arts under Dr. Rachel Rudich. Shahid has played with several ensembles across the Los Angeles area, including the Whittier Regional Symphony, Bellflower Symphony Orchestra, San Fernando Symphony, Armenian Pops Orchestra, and the LA Symphonic Winds. Currently, Shahid is the Flute Teaching Artist at the Laby Harmony Project which operates in Ventura, CA under the New West Symphony, as well as teaching privately through both local and his own studio in the San Fernando Valley.

“I first heard about the YAMP at the NFA Convention in Phoenix, AZ. As a recent graduate, I was excited to see a program that helps guide young flutists after graduation find their path. I am excited to make the most out of this opportunity that NFA has carved out for us!”