Spokane Symphony musicians remember flutists Gale Coffee and Bruce Bodden

Posted on: April 26, 2022

“Over the past few months, Spokane has lost two leaders in the flute-playing community: Gale Coffee, 83, and Bruce Bodden, 57,” writes Stephanie Hammett in Sunday’s (4/24) Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA). “Bodden won the role of principal flute with the Spokane Symphony in 1990 and held the role until January, when symptoms related to his 2018 cancer diagnosis prompted him to step back. His last concert was the symphony’s New Year’s Eve performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Following his death on March 24, the symphony dedicated [last weekend’s] performances … to Bodden’s memory…. Coffee held the role of second chair flute and principal piccolo with the symphony from 1970 until she retired in 2008…. On March 8, Coffee died from complications due to a recent cancer diagnosis. Friends and family will hold a memorial service for Coffee … on May 6.” Bodden’s survivors include his husband, Steven Radcliffe. The article includes reminiscences by Bodden’s and Coffee’s musician colleagues, including Colleen McElroy, the Spokane Symphony’s current piccolo/second flute chair, and flutist Alaina Bercilla, who in her first year with the Spokane Symphony in 2007 “sat next to Coffee on one side and shared a music stand with Bodden on the other.”