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WRTI is proud to highlight the accomplishments of young artists in our local communities. You can donate now to champion and support WRTI's education initiatives! Learn more about what inspires and motivates these musicians through the interviews in this series.

WRTI Young Artist Spotlight: Flutist Nicole Hom

Flutist Nicole Hom
Joseph V. Labolito
Flutist Nicole Hom

Nicole Hom is a third-year undergraduate flute performance major at Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance. Originally from Paramus, N.J., Nicole studies with Patrick Williams, Associate Principal Flute of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Nicole’s flute and piccolo playing has been recognized in multiple ensembles, including the New Jersey Youth Symphony, The Chamber Music Center of New York, Yamaha Music for All’s Honor Band of America, Temple University Wind Symphony, and the Temple University Symphony Orchestra.

She has had the opportunity to perform in venues including Verizon Hall, the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Frederick P. Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and various venues around Florence, Italy. Whenever she isn't playing, Nicole loves taking an occasional long stroll, cooking, and baking.

10 Questions with Nicole Hom:

1. What inspires you?

Envisioning my future and knowing that as long as I dream it, I can achieve it.

2. When did you start playing piccolo?

I started playing flute at age nine and piccolo at age 12. I didn't start getting into other flutes (baroque and alto, for example) until late high school and college.

3. Do you have any hidden talents? 

I don't follow recipes; I freehand and improvise as I go and have still made something a little more than edible. Even if you prompted me with a recipe, I will go off the rails somehow.

4. How would you describe the role of the flute in an orchestra?

Timbrally, we represent some sort of animal. Primarily birds and anything light and not threatening. Almost always, we represent a sort of bright, shimmery idea, and if we don't, we are warm and inviting. It is very easy and yet so hard to project in an intense manner as a flutist, especially if texturally we are to float over deep strings and extroverted brass and percussion — there is so much to mimic

5. What was your dream job as a kid?

I wanted to go into psychology or law. Maybe even culinary school. But, I knew from very early on I wanted to be a musician.

6. What was one thing about your instrument that surprised you when you started learning to play?

Flute is an abs workout. As Marina Piccinini said, "When in doubt, support." So much of your sound isn't air — spiritually and physically, the core is sound — but not just sound, YOUR sound. Spiritually and physically, no one can knock you down if you ground yourself. You could try it right now: put your legs hip distance apart and ground yourself by supporting your abdomen. Have someone lightly push you — if you don't budge, you're doing it right.

7. What’s your favorite thing about Philadelphia?

Anything you need is at reach. The people you meet in this city will help you get what you need, wherever it may be. The right person is always there.

Flutist Nicole Hom
Joseph V. Labolito
Flutist Nicole Hom

8. What type of ensembles do you enjoy playing in and why?

I much, much, much, much, much prefer performing in any ensemble than solo or solo with accompaniment. I feel like the teamwork aspect of the orchestra or the band is such an integral part of being a musician. Being an ensemble player is fulfilling as solo playing would be.

9. What are you currently reading?

I am a big sourdough bread fan, so I picked up Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson. It's a whole comprehensive cookbook strictly on sourdough bread and the science behind sourdough.

10. What was an experience with a teacher or peer that was impactful to you in your music education?

One of the biggest moments in my music education that helped me relax when it came to auditioning or being judged by a panel was a Q&A panel at a college I was touring. Someone had asked about what the jury expects from the player when they come in to audition for their school. A professor in the panel chuckled, and they said, "These aren't auditions to me. These are free concerts." Since then, my auditions have consistently been more authentic and true to me.

Nicole's Recommended Playlist:

Lydia Veilleux has worked in music education and arts administration for the past 20 years, and has taught students of all ages in various community settings. As WRTI's Education & Outreach Manager, she oversees educational partnerships, sponsorships, events, and coverage.