Morgan Pappas Artist Interview

Morgan Pappas is an accomplished flutist and business entrepreneur.  A native of New York, she has performed with numerous orchestras and chamber ensembles in venues such as David Geffen Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Symphony Space. She has toured internationally, in concert halls and performance spaces throughout the United States, Western Europe, Northern Africa, and Mexico. Morgan graduated from Aaron Copland School of Music with a Master of Music in Flute Performance, where she studied with Susan Rotholz. She graduated with a Bachelors of Music from New York University, where she was awarded an annual talent scholarship and studied with Artist Faculty member Kathleen Nester.   

Morgan’s social media marketing and artist management experience has propelled the careers of musicians by developing social platforms, arranging unique performance and teaching opportunities, and producing high caliber concerts at venues such as Carnegie Hall. In addition, she is a Resident Flutist at the Flute Center of New York and the Operations Manager for the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass.

It seems that you enjoy taking care of the business side of music, how did this interest begin?

I have always been an organizer and a connector. My best moments: connecting with people and watching projects come to fruition. One of the first social media campaigns I launched was The Virtuosic Flutist for Nina Assimakopolous. Working with Nina, we created a platform that showcased the Flute Community while showcasing her innovative method book. The success of this project, the ability to connect the larger flute community, was incredibly inspiring.  I was thrilled by the ability to interact with, and gain from, amazing musicians around the world. This is the beauty of social media. From this point, I was hooked. My social media marketing expertise is now helping musicians in all parts of the world. My consultation and management services often blossom into more significant projects such as managing their tours and organizing concerts/ masterclasses. 

What percentage do you think an artist should dedicate to the business side of things?

A musician needs to be their own advocate. Even if you have the fortunate opportunity to be represented by a management company, it is crucial for a musician to take ownership of their art and how they share this art with the public. Bottom line: if it is your goal to be a full-time performing musician, you will need a business plan with goals, and a specific plan of action on how to obtain them. 

We are fortunate to live in a time of fast technology: at-moment communication with vast numbers of people across the globe. Virtual stages allow musicians to engage any audience they want to reach. I feel privileged to have been in on the ground floor of this movement in our industry, and I am excited by the prospects that can propel the careers of musicians using these tools.  What is most exciting to me? Social media connections lead to live audiences in concert halls, festivals, and tours. And those live events lead to more connections that unite musicians around the world. And so on, the flute community, the arts, endure. 

What is your involvement with the Flute Center of New York?

I am a Resident Flutist at the Flute Center of New York. I have been with Flute Center for three years, and love working in such an inspiring environment. We have a great team there and amazing clients. I have learned so much about the flute just by working there. We get to hear some of the world's most talented flutists, and it has helped me to understand sound and technique better. Everyone has a unique sound and approaches the flute differently. It is fascinating to see how each player picks up a new flute for the first time. Sound quality and tone color are very personal preferences, and it is fascinating how each person can have such a unique relationship to the process of deciding what flute best suites their artistic expression. 

Tell us about your social media background.

While I was finishing my masters in flute performance, I started to use Instagram to document my practice and to promote some of my concerts. I was surprised to find a flute community through this platform that was both inspiring and supportive. I was also surprised to find that I was making connections with musicians and artists that led to career developments.

Recognizing social media's ability to connect individuals and grow extensive platforms to reach audiences, I found that I could use these marketing skills and social media expertise to help others. After working with several artists and small businesses, I have designed systematic approaches to building successful social media campaigns to help clients reach their maximum potential through social engagement.

How is it that you became involved with The Flute View?

Before I started to work with The Flute View, I had met with both Barbara Siesel and Viviana Guzman to assist with some of their projects outside of the Flute View, such as Flute Mastery with Barbara Siesel and Viviana's Flutes by the Sea Masterclass. I loved working with both of them and learning more about what they do in the flute community. Last November 2018, I started to manage the social media for The Flute View. This was one of the more enjoyable projects I have had as I had a full year to work with the account and watch it grow and evolve to become a platform that was a resource for flutists. It has been a privilege to work with Viviana, Barbara, and Andrea, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue my work in the capacity as an Editor at The Flute View. 

What other projects have you been doing this year?

One of my most recent projects was Elzbieta Wolenska's debut recital at Carnegie Hall. Elzbieta is a fantastic artist (flutist) from Poland. She approached me last fall about organizing a concert at Carnegie Hall. This concert was a year in the making, and it turned out to be a great success; she had a stellar program and performed beautifully.

I enjoyed attending several flute festivals as a guest artist speaking on music entrepreneurship, including the National Flute Convention in Salt Lake City and Flutes by the Sea in Half Moon Bay, California. 

At the moment, I have several private clients whom I am grateful for the collaboration and look forward to seeing some exciting projects and flute events come to fruition. I can not express how vital networking and inclusivity is. It is so important to be part of a community to share your music with the world. 

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