A few weeks ago, I had the honor (or honour, as the case may be) of seeing Sir James Galway perform some of the greatest standards in flute literature at the Palladium Center for Performing Arts in Carmel. I also was fortunate enough to meet him briefly after the show. All I can say is…wow. It was a truly humbling experience to be able to listen to, and meet, the individual who helped fuel my passion for playing so many years ago, when I would listen to his albums on cassette tape–that dates me a bit, doesn’t it? From Faure’s Fantasie to Chaminade’s Concertino to traditional Irish pieces, Sir James executed every note with a tremendous attention to detail and apparent effortlessness. I think one of the things that amazed me the most was the fluidness and exactness with which his fingers moved over even the most difficult and technically demanding passages. And of course that sound…it just is unlike any other player!

Galway, of course, is still an international touring sensation, but along with his wife Jeannie, they have really kindled their devotion to music education and teaching beginners how to excel with the flute. One of their projects that has come from this passion is the Galway Crusader headjoint, meant for beginning to intermediate level players in partnership with Gemeinhardt flutes. He says, “I consider myself a crusader. That’s what we want to do. I’ve spent all these years in the battlefield, so to speak, and now I want to teach these kids how to fight. Music gives you an extra colour in your education, when kids are learning music at school, it gives them their own voice. More importantly than that, it teaches them comradeship, the importance of playing together and pulling together to make moments of great intensive beauty.”

The Galway Crusader C1 model headjoint kicks off the series with a design Gemeinhardt carefully constructed to Sir James Galway’s exacting specifications. Through the latest technological advancements, Gemeinhardt is able to replicate the headjoint design for each and every headjoint produced. The inconsistencies of the hand making process are taken out of the equation, and the flutist’s expectations for high quality sound production are guaranteed in every headpiece. The specs include: a sterling silver standard wall, a lip plate and riser of a proprietary mix of sterling silver and platinum. There is an evenness throughout every register, responsiveness, quality of sound and intonation–and the platinum mix in the lip really gives the instrument a huge sound. The flute shop carries the Gemeinhardt 33 series flutes–with open holes, a B foot, and French key arms–paired with the Crusader headjoint for a step up instrument that really plays like much more expensive instruments at an affordable price point. These instruments are available to purchase or on Paige’s Music’s rent-to-own plan. Stop by or send Erin a message to try one today!