Friday, May 8, 2015

Verne Q. Powell - The Flutist

Verne Q. Powell

This week, we had the pleasure of corresponding with Verne Q. Powell's gradndaughter, Gail Powell Dearing.  She had written an article for the Winter 2013 edition of The Flutist Quarterly, detailing some very interested yet not widely known facts about her grandfather. In this excerpt, we learn about Mr. Powell's earliest days as a wind player...

Excerpt from "Second Wind: The Powell Spoon Flute at 102" (The Flutist Quarterly, Winter 2013)
By Gail Powell Dearing
It’s not well known that Powell was an accomplished flutist.  He started playing the ocarina when he was 8 years old, and at the age of 10, started a small fife and drum corps with a couple of his friends.  When he first heard a piccolo, he had to have one, so his brother bought him one for $3.40.  Powell said he shined his brother’s shoes for the rest of his life to repay him for the piccolo.  Then he expanded his group to six piccolos, six snare drums, and a bass drum; the group played at local ball games for the price of admission.

He bought his first Böhm flute when he was 17, and four years later purchased his “first good flute,” a Rundall-Carte wooden flute.  Largely self-taught, Powell had a reputation as a superior flute player long before he became better known as a fine flute maker.

Thus, his spoon flute was born of the combination of his skill as a jeweler and engraver with his love of music and facility with the instrument.

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