Move over Jean Pierre Rampal (oh, I don’t mean move over for meeee)

So, remember when the stereotypical high school/college flute player was a skinny white girl with long blonde hair? That was me albeit looking pretty dern scraggly in the pic. Or maybe it was always scraggly. Whatever, boys didn’t seem to mind.

Us flute players were actually a bit more diverse than that. In the yooperland and the northern lower, we were mostly Caucasian but when I got to go to the Interlochen All-state summer camp, there were at least a few boys among our ranks (also Caucasian). Back in those days, if I am remembering correctly, most *professional* flutists were male. It was VERY HARD to carve out a “creative” career then (and now) so maybe some of the better female flutists gave up their dreams to marry doctors/lawyers/Indian chiefs. Or maybe they did what I did and fell off a cliff into an entry-level IT job and turned it into a career.

I joined a flute email list many years ago and via that, I know that it’s still hard nowadays to make a career playing or even teaching classical flute. But people do and there are a LOT more women making a success out of a flute career than when Rampal was still around and many of them are not blonde. I am not dissing Rampal. I saw him at Hill Auditorium once and he was wonderful.

And then there is Lizzo! Holy toledo! You’ve probably heard of her and so have I but this evening is the first time I have checked out her flute playing! She is the antithesis of skinny little blonde girls nervously lining up for chair auditions (although I bet she has done those damn auditions, because everyone with a music degree has). Besides being classically trained, she incorporates the flute into her rap routines. She ROCKS. Honestly, in my day, I had her technique. That’s about as far as it goes. I struggled to find a *decent* link to Lizzo and her flute playing. This one was pretty much the best I found. OMG. I am now following her on Twitter and will be watching what she does.

P.S. The pic shows a bit of, uh, can we even call it cleavage? My BROTHER took this pic! I am sure he did that on purpose!!! Jeebus, what a character. He’s been dead since 2005 (long after he took this pic). He was an accomplished jazz trombone musician (and auto engineer) and I’m guessing he’d’ve liked Lizzo as much as I do.

2 Responses to “Move over Jean Pierre Rampal (oh, I don’t mean move over for meeee)”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Even as a violinist, I had heard of Rampal. I had long blond hair back in my teenage years too. (and no bangs) I think making a living as a classical musician is very difficult. I noticed that the people in our local symphony all have “day” jobs. The concertmaster is the head (professor) of music at one of our local universities.

  2. jane Says:

    Lizzo is da bomb! She just got 8 Grammy nominations, and her Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross a couple months ago was interesting Terry was pretty much a total fan girl!