An accomplished flutist, Carol Kniebusch Noe has had an extensive career in music, music education and dog judging. She got her start playing the flute when she was 9 years old and wanted to join her school band. Since she walked to school, she decided on an instrument that would be easy to carry, and the rest is history. First matriculating at Illinois Wesleyan University, she earned a Bachelor of Music and subsequently joined Indiana University to complete a Master of Music. In the early days of her career, she played with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and taught at the University of British Columbia in Canada before moving to Maryland and joining the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Noe also spent time as the principal flute for the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.
In 1973, Ms. Noe joined James Madison University, where she taught as a professor of music until her retirement. She also taught private flute lessons, played in the JMU Faculty Woodwind Quintet, and conducted the JMU Flute Choir, which was one of the first flute choirs in the United States and the first to tour England. Motivated by the beauty of music, she always enjoyed getting to see her students learn and excel, and her service to her students was recognized with a Distinguished Teaching Award from the university in 1991. In addition to teaching, she has parlayed her expertise through articles for various professional publications, such as Flute Talk, The Instrumentalist, Pan and Flutewise, and the 1996 book, “A Guidebook to Flute Choir Literature.”
In addition, Ms. Noe is incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to travel to teach and perform. In 1987, she was chosen by the United States government as one of 20 flutists to take part in a cultural exchange program with Tunisia, where they gave flute lessons and put on concerts. This was followed by a trip through the then Soviet Union in 1989. Another memorable moment for her came in 2001, during the 250th-anniversary celebration of James Madison’s birthday, when Ms. Noe was granted permission to play James Madison’s crystal flute in concert. The flute had been given to Madison by Alexander Hamilton and was made in Paris by Claude Laurent. Prior to the concert itself, she was loaned the flute for several weeks in order for her to learn and practice the flute’s unique fingering system.
Now retired from teaching, Ms. Noe devotes herself to her work as a dog judge with the American Kennel Club, where she has been an active member since 1998. With a love of dogs going back to childhood, she has owned Pekingese dogs for much of her adult life and bred them as show dogs for roughly 25 years. While she was teaching and performing, she never had much time for working with dogs beyond showing her own dogs. However, after she retired, she was approached and asked if she would be interested in judging. Following a series of seminars and exams, Ms. Noe was approved by the American Kennel Club to judge shows and can now judge roughly 50 dog breeds.
Today, Ms. Noe lives in the country on 11 acres of land, which gives her a stunning view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from her kitchen. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, playing with her two dogs, and traveling for dog shows. As with her performing, dog judging has taken Ms. Noe around the world to China, Korea, France, Scotland and England, as well as all across the United States.