Wish Upon A Star with Anndell Banks interviewing Delandria Mills
Flutist, Songwriter, Educator, and Author Delandria Mills is carving a place in the music industry with her unique combination of jazz, classical, and gospel music. A native of Houston, Texas, Delandria holds music degrees from Prairie View A&M University. She earned two graduate degrees from The Peabody Conservatory of Music: a masters degree in classical flute and a graduate performance diploma in jazz. As a classical flutist, she has served as principal flutist of the Baytown Symphony and assistant/associate principal flutist while at Peabody. Her teachers included Dr. Wendy Issac Bergin, Hubert Laws, Emily Skala, Paula "Boots" Hatcher, Horace Alexander Young, and Marina Piccinini.
Delandria's musical approach combines her beautifully velvet style, soulful interpretation, and extensive musical training to add dimension to her work, with the influences of Hubert Laws, Freddie Hubbard, Kim Burrell, and many other classical, jazz, and gospel artists, to produce a distinct sound.
Since beginning her musical journey Delandria has collaborated with a number the industry's finest jazz and gospel artists. Delandria has performed all over the world from Texas to Croatia. With a fluctuating ensemble which she is founder of, The Global Presents, brings forth music that inspires a global audience. Her impeccable skills earned her the top prize at the National Flute Association's Jazz Flute Competition in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2003 and led to her being selected as one of six international young women to win the International Association of Jazz Educators' Sisters in Jazz Collegiate Competition in 2005, which resulted in a European tour. She served in the critically acclaimed band behind gospel pioneer Tye Tribbett Soundcheck from 2003 until 2008, in 2011 she toured with one of her mentors, famed jazz flutist, Hubert Laws, and in 2012 with tenor saxophonist the legendary Billy Harper.
As a recording artist, Delandria has been featured on recordings by Fertile Ground (Black Is, 2004), The Kevin Robinson Ensemble (The GOD Factor, 2004), Adidam (Adidam, 2004), Tye Tribbett (Ideas and Concepts, 2004, Life, 2004, Victory, 2005, and Standout, 2007), Judith Christie McCalister (Sound the Trumpet, 2008), and Baltimore's own Micah Smith. Fall 2010 marked her release of three CDs on which Mills is showcased her versatility: Kingdom Goes Classical,Be Opened EP, and Be Happy. Since then she has released a breathtaking project entitled Just Breathe (2011), an award winning holiday CD entitled Home for the Holidays (2012), Ephphatha (2014), and Resonance is to be released in 2015.
Mills has extensive teaching credentials. She taught Jazz and Classical Flute Performance in the Preparatory department at Peabody from 2011 to 2015. In addition to running the Baltimore Flute Academy, Mills currently teaches Applied Flute at The New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City and General Music/Band at the Henderson Hopkins Partnership School in Baltimore City. In 2010 she founded a summer camp “Kingdom Flute Works,” held annually for all ages.
In 2015, her gifts as an artist and teacher led to a new stage in her life. She's the author of a new book about a preteen discovering the world of sound and music around her. Demi's Flute fills the hearts of young music students and others alike, who are learning to express themselves while finding value and substance in the world around them. For readers between the ages of nine and thirteen, but a fun read for all ages.