Greetings! In just one short day, I’ll be heading up to Chicago for the National Flute Association’s 50th annual convention! I haven’t attended convention since 2018, and it’s always such a great opportunity to catch up with my vendors and customers, try new instruments, and renew my passion for what I do. Here’s a sampling of what I’ll be checking out this week.

Arnold Jacobs’ Breathing Techniques
Chicago Symphony Orchestra tuba player Arnold Jacobs was legendary for his teaching relating to breathing and air use: Song and Wind. In this workshop, Angeleita Floyd, Kimberlee Goodman, and Alexa Still will introduce Jacobs’ ideas, cover the basics of anatomy and pulmonary function, detail the materials for DIY breathing bags (provided for the first 30 participants), instruct how to assemble the breathing bag, and share first-hand experiences with Jacobs and the exercises he taught.
I work with tons of younger students who don’t have a true grasp of the importance of the breath in flute playing, and I’ve been known to tell kids that it takes just as much air to play the flute as it does the tuba (I’m not sure they believe me!), so this will be some great concrete information to bring back.

Tradition and innovation: Simple system flutes by Theobald Boehm
Boaz Berney presents a lecture outlining the history of Boehm’s less well known simple system flutes. It will closely examine his innovations and compare this model to flutes by contemporary makers. It will follow the history of Boehm and Gréve’s partnership and the changes that took place in his flute-making after the introduction of his 1832 model. Finally, a discussion of the process of making a copy of Boehm’s eight-keyed flutes.
The history of the flute is super interesting to me and it also helps explain how we got to our modern instrument, so I’m excited to dig more into this.

Exhibitor Showcase: Wm. S. Haynes Co.
The Haynes Sound: Past, Present, and Future
Join Master Headjoint Maker, Aiven O’Leary, and Sales Manager, Korinne Smith from the Wm. S. Haynes Company as they go in depth about the legendary Haynes sound and the creation of Haynes headjoints. They will go over the sound differences between the current headjoint offerings as well as introduce their NEW custom headjoint cut! Come, see, and hear what Haynes has in store for your sound.
A new headjoint cut?? I’m getting the deets for sure!

Leave me a comment if you’re going to NFA and let me know what you’ll be checking out!