Is That the Flute or the Piccolo Playing?

SaddleBrooke Singer Barb Quarantino

SaddleBrooke Singer Barb Quarantino

Cheri Emahiser

Can you tell? Is it the flute or the piccolo you hear playing? Will it be possible for the SaddleBrooke Singers to perform our concert in November? If so, you don’t want to miss listening to the lovely musical sound produced by Barb Quarantino playing one of her woodwind instruments. The SaddleBrooke Singers are looking forward to performing their “Lest We Forget” concert as Veterans Day nears. On Nov. 6 and Nov. 8, we hope to honor our veterans and enlisted men and women with our wonderful patriotic music.

Barb, a soprano with the Singers, will have more than enough time to master the nuances of piccolo playing before then. The flute is an instrument Barb has played for years. Not so the piccolo. When our director, Tanya Elias, asked Barb to play the piccolo, she readily agreed, despite not even owning such an instrument at the time. While the flute is well-suited for most types of music, Tanya obviously knew the piccolo’s distinct sound and range was best for some of the orchestral works to be performed during our concert.

Barb took piano lessons for five years beginning at age seven and then taught herself to play the violin and flute. By high school, her focus was on performing as first chair flautist for the concert and marching bands at her Kingston, N.Y., high school.

Barb previously served time on the SaddleBrooke board as our secretary. She has sung with the Singers for eleven years and with church choirs for the past 20 years. As an accomplished musician, Barb is comfortable singing in duets, octets, or trios and she always enjoys her time onstage. She is obviously a music lover and believes, “Music says things that words simply can’t.”

Barb and Ron, her husband of 58 years, have lived in SaddleBrooke for 21 years. Way back in 1987, while residing in Tucson they witnessed the earliest homes being built here. They loved what they saw and vowed to return from a transfer to Atlanta. When Barb retired as a registered nurse, she and her husband began enjoying their new life here in SaddleBrooke.

One of Barb’s hobbies besides singing is designing and making greeting cards. Every Friday, Barb collaborates on her card creations with one of her two daughters who lives in Oro Valley. Barb also is a member of SaddleBrooke’s Paper Crafters Club. The club makes hand-made cards and donates many of the cards to Senior Village volunteers. The volunteers provide simple non-medical services to residents here in SaddleBrooke to help them live independently. Many of the residents are isolated and rarely find anything personal in their mailbox. The volunteers know they brighten their senior’s day when they present them with one of the club’s specially made birthday or personal cards.

Come sing with Barb. You will enjoy spending time with her and the rest of the Singers. To learn more about the Singers, please contact Stephanie Mattie at 309-714-2474. Visit for more information.