Thunder & Lightness flute player wins national award

Terry Flier (Courtesy photo)

Well-known Native American flute player for Newport’s Thunder & Lightness Duo, Terry Filer, has won a major national and global award for players of the Native American wooden flute. 

On Feb. 25, the global Native American Style Flute Association (NASFA) awarded Filer their Soaring Eagle Award, for active players who “share their hearts for others.”

“In keeping with indigenous tradition … the Soaring Eagle Award is a beautiful way to acknowledge players who volunteer to play their Native American Style Flute for non-profit type venues and events, such as nursing homes, hospices, fundraisers for charities, etc.,” the NASFA said in its announcement. 

Filer is a member of the Osage Nation, and last week, she was also announced as a finalist for the organization’s North American Indigenous Flute Player of the Year Award, for which the player must be a member or descendant of a North American tribe — all other NASFA award categories are open to people of all ethnicities.  

She is also a finalist for Outstanding Female Flute Player of the Year in the all-ethnicity, non-commercial category, and for the national Sacred Breath Award, “for inspiring others and promoting healing with the Native American Style Flute.”

Winners of the latter three awards will be announced, along with most of the other categories, in April, according to NASFA.

Filer lives in McMinnville and has been a performer with Lincoln County’s Thunder & Lightness duo and ensemble performance group for most of its 10-year existence, along with the Newport Drum Circle’s Chandler Davis on drums. She has been its primary flute player for about four years, Davis said.

Ellen Saunders, of Portland, who has been a regular guest flute player with Thunder & Lightness, was also awarded NASFA’ s Soaring Eagle Award last week. 

Thunder & Lightness performs regularly in Lincoln County at small and large venues and at charitable and non-profit community events. The larger ensemble has been a feature of the Lincoln County Fair for many years and produced the free monthly Nye Beach Summer Celebration performance series at Café Mundo for nine years. 

For more information, contact Davis at 541-272-4615 or [email protected]