Sunday, August 31, 2014


Sue Amstutz
We always enjoy seeing Powell instruments come through the shop that have had a long life and history.  This week, we were very pleased to have heard from Powell player Sue Amstutz, who has owned two Powell flutes over the course of her career.  In the account below, she shares her Powell story:  
My name is Sue Amstutz.  I have been playing on a Powell flute since the spring of 1956, my senior year in high school. My Powell is French style, with open keys, gold embrochure and extended B foot joint.....its model number is 1390. When "Frenchy" was most recently sent to the Powell factory for one of its periodic overhauls, I was told that its age classifies it as an "antique". It still plays beautifully and rarely needs any adjustment.
I was already playing on an American model Powell when the opportunity back in 1956 arose for my parents to purchase "Frenchy."  Its former owner was upgrading to a more professional Powell with overlaid keys and was willing to sell his older instrument which my parents bought for me for the grand sum of $435.00!   It was only a year old at that time, and after being renovated at the Powell factory, was presented to me in mint condition.
All I had to do was learn how to cover those open hole keys, which was rather essential since I was occupying first chair in our high school band and orchestra. I remember our high school conductor joking that someone had failed to finish Sue's new flute since it had big holes in the keys!  (I never did resort to hole plugs but determined to quickly figure out how to get my fingers in the correct position to cover the key holes, which I did.)
I will be 76 years old in December, and "Frenchy" and I are still going strong making music.  I am currently principal flute in the Celebration Orchestra of First Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a position I have held for the past 25 years. Thanks to the excellent workmanship of the folks at Powell who produced my flute a half a century ago and even though "Frenchy" and I are now both "antiques," my flute is still one of my most prized possessions.

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