Summer with Flute Center of New York by Stephanie Piazza

How it started

Many people have asked me how I found myself as an intern at the Flute Center of New York this summer and what exactly my job entailed.  It all started back in my apartment at Boston University, where I decided to call FCNY and ask if they would be interested in having a summer intern.  To my surprise they said yes!  Soon I had my interview with owner of FCNY, Phil Unger, CEO, Julian Rose, and Resident Flutist, Caity Massoud.  When I got my official offer to be an intern I was ecstatic.  What better summer job for a flutist than working at the world’s largest market place for flutes?!  The countdown began, I could not wait until my first day!    

The First Day 

I started my internship on May 20th, this was when the flute center was still located in Lincoln Center.  When I arrived at FCNY I had no idea what to expect, but from the very first moment I walked in the door I knew I was becoming a part of something extremely special.  One of my very first tasks was going through music in one of the trial rooms.  As I was flipping through stacks of Bach and Mozart, I heard just about one of the most glorious flute sounds I had ever heard coming from the other room.  I peeked out the door and to my disbelief it was Lorna McGhee!  There was no better way to start my time at the Flute Center and this just solidified in my mind that I was in the right place.  Where else can you find one of the best flutists in the world playing right in front of you on a typical Monday morning?

The Move 

One thing everyone knows about FCNY is—they moved!  I have been asked many times what the move was like as an intern, and to most people’s surprise I tell them it was smooth!  It was all hands-on deck and everyone did their part to help.  Hundreds of boxes, flutes, music scores, and accessories were packed, brought to the new shop, and unpacked in an extremely short period of time.  I could not believe it!  In no time at all we were open for customers in the new place! 

A Typical Day 

A typical day for me as an intern was always exciting and never dull!  One of my most common tasks was play testing flutes.  Before a trial is sent out, every flute needs to be thoroughly played through to ensure that every client is receiving a flute in pristine condition.  This was one of my favorite jobs at the flute center because it familiarized me with every flute brand.  I play tested every flute from a Yamaha 222 to the $84,000 platinum Haynes.  During my internship I also got to work hands on with some of the clients in the shop.  One of the most rewarding experiences for me was when there was someone looking for duets to play with their violin playing friend.  I gave her suggestions of some of my favorite duets, and she actually ended up purchasing some of them! 


I was lucky enough to be afforded the opportunity to attend the National Flute Association Convention in Salt Lake City.  I was both performing in the Collegiate Flute Choir and working at the Flute Center of New York’s booth.  This was an experience like none other.  Countless unbelievable flute players came over to our booth trying flutes, music, and catching up with each other.  As a flutist I have always been on the other side of the booth at flute fairs and other such events so it was remarkably exciting to work hands on with some of the world’s best flutists. 


When my time at FCNY came to a close I could not have been sadder to leave.  What Phil and the whole team have created in their shop is truly remarkable.  A day does not go by without a lot of laughter, love, and flute playing!  I am extremely grateful for all I have learned and experienced at the Flute Center of New York.  My time there was incredible the friendships and colleagues I made, I know, will last a lifetime! 

--Stephanie Piazza

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