The Best Christmas Gift I Ever Received
FCNY Resident Flutists share their favorite holiday gifts of all time! Spoiler alert - they are flute-related.
Kim's New Gemeinhardt flute
I was in 6th grade when I got a flute as a gift for Christmas. It was a Gemeinhardt 53SHB - a special anniversary model with a gold plated lip. I had no idea that I was getting a new flute, so you can imagine my surprise when I opened up a beautiful shiny new flute on Christmas morning! I almost cried!
My mom was a band director, so I had been playing on a used student flute from her school for my first year of band. It was so special to get a beautiful new flute of my own! With my parents both being music teachers, they did have a base of instrument knowledge when buying the flute, and choose an open hole B foot flute with a solid silver head joint so that I would have something to grow into. I was definitely playing with all of the plugs in the keys until I started taking flute lessons in 8th grade, and my teacher helped me work on taking the plugs out. I used that flute all the way through my first year of college, when I upgraded to a professional flute. It carried me through so many concerts, recitals, competitions, and auditions. Now, my brother is a band director and uses the flute when he is teaching his beginning flute students! It was truly a gift that kept on giving for many years, and still is!- Kim Lewis
Jackie's New Altieri Backpack
In my sophomore year of undergrad, I received an Altieri backpack for Christmas! I was a double major in my undergrad, and all of my textbooks, music, and instruments were just not fitting in my LL Bean backpack anymore. I saw the Altieri bag over the summer at the NFA Conference and mentioned to my mom that "This bag would change the GAME!".
Low and behold, that Christmas it was waiting for me under the tree! I felt like I was officially a professional flutist. We had gone through the process during the previous year of trying flutes and finding my perfect fit in my new instrument, but having this bag made me feel like it was really official. I was a performing musician! Something about having a true instrument bag that carried everything I needed made me feel like nothing could stop me in the music world!
The backpack helped me stay super organized and prepared because I wasn't stressed about how to fit everything into a small backpack anymore! Feeling organized really helped me in the practice room! I'm always forever grateful for my mom, and her love and support of my music.
- Jackie Traish
Emily's New Yamaha flute
When I was in middle school, my band director mentioned to my parents that I would soon need to upgrade to an intermediate level flute. I had been playing on a beginner flute that previously belonged to my Grandfather George, who used it when he was a band director. My beginner flute was the perfect flute to start on, but I was playing more advanced music and was ready to move on to something new. I had no idea what was coming! My teacher hadn’t mentioned a new flute to me, so when I woke up on Christmas morning and I opened my brand new Yamaha flute I was shocked! I was so thrilled to receive such a grown-up gift, and felt extra motivated to practice. The new flute had all of the grown-up features I needed - a solid silver headjoint and body, a low B footjoint and open holes. After a hand-me-down beginner flute, I was particularly taken with how shiny and new it was. I ended up playing my new Yamaha flute until just before starting college, when I upgraded to a professional flute. It was definitely my favorite Christmas gift of all time!
Lauren's New Gemeinhardt flute
When I was 11 years old, I received a new flute for Christmas. I had wished for a new flute, but I never thought that I would receive one for Christmas - it seemed way too expensive for a present! I woke up on Christmas morning hoping that there would be a flute under the tree, but I didn't see anything that resembled the size or shape of a flute case. Finally, I opened a gift that was in a big box, and saw that there was actually a flute inside! I was ecstatic. My parents had wrapped the flute in a much much larger box to try and trick me. It was a Gemeinhardt flute with open holes and a B footjoint, and I felt like the coolest flute player in my grade to have a flute like that. It definitely made me want to practice even more and lasted me many years of practicing! It was one of the best Christmas presents I've ever received.- Lauren Wuerth