Gary was born in New Castle, Pa. on January 6, 1950. He always had an unnurtured spark of artistic desire which didn’t ignite until 1995 when he took a stained-glass class which taught him patience and expanded his world of creativity.
In 2003, soon after he took an early retirement from Federal government employment, he discovered the Native American Flute. After finding, to his surprise, that he could play it, he proceeded to learn how to make this ancient instrument.
Gary was one of the founding members of the Pennsylvania Native American Flute Circle in 2006 and this ultimately led to attending Native American Pow Wows and invitations to sell his flutes at the events. A few years later a friend (and cold Pennsylvania weather) inspired Gary to move to Florida and vend his flutes at the various markets
Today Gary resides in Fort Pierce, Florida where he happily delves into his love of the Native American Style flute. He creates the flutes in his backyard workshop from scratch, mostly from local wood fallen by hurricanes and stored for years by a local chainsaw carving artist and arborist. Gary enjoys sharing his blissful playing of what’s said to be one of the oldest musical instruments in the world.
My flutes are the contemporary Native American style flute, pentatonic minor scale. I tune the flutes by burning the holes with heated steel rods, increasing the size of the hole until the desired note is achieved. I finish the flutes with 3 to 5 coats of clear natural shellac and then apply an organic beeswax, lavender, and sage paste, then buffing to a final finish.
The Native American flute is an ancient instrument easily played with no musical background. The Native Americans had no written music and the original flutes were 5 holes. The sixth hole is added today in order to play written music; however, they can be played beautifully by using only 5 of the holes. The technique is to keep the third hole from the top of the flute always covered. Then while playing lift your fingers from the bottom and close coming back down from the top, always leaving the holes open below what holes you have covered and it’s always harmonious.