I'm trying to identify small and academically strong liberal arts colleges in the Midwest where I would have a realistic opportunity to play my flute in big or small ensembles even though I won't be majoring in music so won't be able to compete with the flutists who will be practicing 3 hours (or more) a day. I plan to major in biology or another science field where I'll need to put in long hours in the lab. But I love music, have a great flute, and am first chair in a really strong high school symphonic band (better than many college bands). We practice A LOT and play demanding music. Here's my dilemma. If I choose a college with a well known music program (e.g., Oberlin or Lawrence), I fear that I won't get a chance to play since flute is so competitive and there will be plenty of flutists who are majoring in performance to fill the available seats in the ensemble. On the other hand, if I choose a college that doesn't have much of a music program, I may find that there aren't opportunities to play at all or that I'll be disappointed since I come from such a strong high school band. This doesn't seem to be the kind of topic that can be researched on a college's website. Anyone have information that will be helpful or ideas for how to research this? I'm a strong student (34 ACT and very high GPA) so I think I will be able to get in to most of the midwest LACs. Thanks.