Appointed principal flute of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in 2012 at the age of 22, Sonora Slocum maintains a burgeoning solo and orchestral career. "Slocum's solo work continues to impress. She plays with a clean, well-tuned sound, easily floating through the hall rather than slicing the air...always creating graceful phrases." (Shepherd Express).
Slocum has performed with orchestras around the country including guest principal flute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; She has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra on flute and piccolo. Her collaborations as guest principal include touring and audio recordings with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as well as visual recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York at Lincoln Center. Slocum has worked under such renowned conductors as Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Sir Simon Rattle, Edo de Waart, Otto-Werner Mueller, John Williams and David Zinman, among many others.
A regular soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony, Slocum is recognized for her “pure, sparkling sound” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Slocum's performances of Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Johnson City Symphony earned her critical acclaim. “Slocum takes in vast quantities of air and spins it into gold. Hers is a dynamic range that whispers clearly and coherently and grows without tearing at the edges. Slocum has a HUGE sound...and a wizard’s bag resplendent with technical prowess and musical freshness. Slocum played with full-blooded intensity, convincing artistry, and astonishingly, she did it from memory.” (William Barnewitz, Urban Milwaukee).
Sonora Slocum has conducted master classes at the Curtis Institute of Music, NYO2 Carnegie Hall Youth Orchestra, DePaul University, New Jersey City University, East Tennessee State University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Slocum is a faculty member of the Curtis Summerfest program.
Sonora spends her summers performing at a variety of prestigious music festivals, including the Lincoln Center Festival, Strings Music Festival, Twickenham Fest, and Lakes Area Music Festival. She performs regularly with the chamber music series It's Frankly Music, led by MSO Concertmaster Frank Almond and has collaborated with the contemporary group Eighth Blackbird. In 2019, she was a featured performer at the National Flute Association Friday Gala performance at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City, UT.
Born into a musical family, Slocum grew up in New York City where she attended The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Divisions. Slocum holds a Bachelor's Degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and Master's Degree in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. She attended the Music Academy of the West, as well as the Aspen and Pacific Music Festivals. Slocum studied with principal flutists Jeffrey Khaner, Robert Langevin, and Bart Feller, among many others.