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Shannon Finney, Associate Principal Flute

Shannon Finney is the associate principal flute of the Kansas City Symphony. Additionally, she is currently plays the flute and serves as artistic advisor with the local chamber music ensemble, Summerfest. In 2006, she began serving on the faculty and as principal flute for the Birch Creek Music Center in Door County, Wis. Finney was the winner of the first National Flute Association Piccolo Artist Competition in 1993 and a fellow at Tanglewood in 1994. She has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra and the Chicago Sinfonietta. Her teachers include Walfrid Kujala, Mary Stolper and Karla Flygare, and her degrees are from Northwestern University. Finney enjoys cooking and baking, is a voracious reader, and partakes in many outdoor and sporting activities.

Ten questions about me:

Other than your Kansas City Symphony concerts, where else can audiences catch you performing in town?

I perform with the local chamber music ensemble, Summerfest. Many of the musicians in the ensemble are friends as well as colleagues and we have a wonderful time working together in an intimate setting. I recently began serving as an Artistic Advisor and have found this new role to be rewarding, particularly the programming work with the Artistic Committee. We generally perform works that are off the beaten path, so it's fun to discover overlooked gems.

What songs/albums are in your iPod/MP3 Player/CD Player right now?

A sampling: Eric Clapton Unplugged, Rhianna, Black Eyed Peas, Gypsy Kings, Eagles Greatest Hits, Prince Greatest Hits, Soundtrack to "Once," classic jazz, kd lang, Stevie Wonder, etc. My embarrassing secret: John Denver! When I was little I used to listen to him on the 8-track in the car with my mom. (OK, there are some disco tracks as well!)

What is the best part about being a musician in the Kansas City Symphony?

The people! I always feel privileged and grateful to work with such a diverse, interesting, creative, intelligent group of people.

What's your "top pick" for downtown dining, or for a post-concert drink or dessert?

For lunch: Just east of River Market, in Columbus Park, is Happy Gillis. The. Best. Sandwiches. (And soup). For a little post-lunch treat: Christopher Elbow Chocolates at 18th and McGee. Rosemary Caramel, need I say more? Well, yes, because there is also the Drinking Chocolate-go for the Peanut Butter. For an afternoon pick-me-up: The new Latte Land on Main. For dinner: It's not quite downtown, but I adore Pot Pie in Westport.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

Not necessarily my "greatest," but I am ridiculously proud of completing the international distance of the Chicago Triathlon in 2007.

What is your favorite city that you've visited or lived in and why?

I grew up between Seattle and Tacoma. I would be hard-pressed to think of someplace with as much natural beauty as the Pacific Northwest. Within just a few hours one can experience the crashing waves of the Pacific, the sparkling blue waters of the Puget Sound, the grandeur of the Olympic or Cascade mountain ranges, and a seemingly infinite number of lakes, rivers, and waterfalls.

What quality do you most admire in others?


What good book have you read recently?

Good book? As if I could pick just one! Some of my favorite nonfiction reads: The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin, Open by Andre Agassi, Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond, Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, and Swimming to Antartica by Lynn Cox. As for fiction: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Maus I and II by Art Spiegelman, Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett, Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak...

What particular websites or blogs do you visit often?

I am a tennis nut, so I go to four tennis sites on an almost daily basis. And there is a fairly hilarious blog I occasionally click on: Hyperbole.com.

What is a "must-have" in your fridge?

Milk (1%). I am a cereal freak.