This is an article that appeared in BLICK, a major newspaper over here in Switzerland about the newest batch of fifes that I just built for The Old Guard. It is the original article in German with a translation done by a friend, Richard Sheryka. I hope you enjoy! -- Skip
Well Sounded in Washington.
(There’s a pun here … “Wohl” is “Well” … “Wohlen” is the name of the town.
By Roman Rey of “Blick am Abend” (“A Look at the Evening”)
Translation by Richard Sheryka
Inauguration:Tomorrow, Donald Trump will be promoted to office as US President with great drumming, and with flute sounds from Aargau (the Swiss canton).
Tomorrow is prepared: Donald Trump is officially US President. In the United States, the introduction of the law has a long tradition and is accompanied by many celebrations. The show also includes the Honor Guard of the President, the "Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps", and will have the best music.
Their flutes, so-called Fifes, come from Switzerland. For the past ten years, the instrument maker Skip Healy has been supplying the guards with the flutes he produces in Wohlen, Aargau. For Donald Trump, the company had to produce 30 fifes in a fast-paced manner. The order was not received until mid-December, says the US American to the SRF Regional Journal.
In order to be ready in time, he spent Christmas at the workshop instead of with the family. "Normally, I need two or two and a half months for 30 instruments," says Healy. For the production of a specimen, 127 work steps are required.
Ten years ago, Healy became the Fife builder of the official honor guard, after having prevailed against competitors from all over the world. "It was a great honor for me", he says. Already Barack Obama got to hear the Fifes from Switzerland.
For the outgoing president Friday is the last day in the White House. In the morning, he and his wife Michelle are to receive the future President Trump and his wife Melania. Afterwards Obama accompanies his successor in the capitol. At 12 o'clock in the morning (noon) (18.00 for us), Trump will [take] his office - and from that moment he is President.
Then comes the highly anticipated speech of the new President. Trump, not well-known as a brilliant rhetorician, enters the footsteps of the gifted speaker, Obama. To get into the history books, however, he has to compete with John F. Kennedy, who said at the beginning of 1961: "Ask night what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
Not everyone is joining the celebrations: More than 50 members of Congress (from a total of 525) have announced the boycott of the ceremony. The most prominent among them is the civil rights icon John Lewis, because of what Trump has already [done] on Twitter. Several groups have also announced that they will interfere [with] the celebrations in Washington with protests.
Captions: Number 45. Donald Trump will be in office tomorrow.
Proud producer Skip Healy from Wohlen, Aargau manufactures the Fifes.
Sorry I have been away for a bit but there has been A LOT happening...
It may not be news to all of you but I am now living in Wohlen, Switzerland. The BIG news is that I have now opened a second production shop here. Yes, I still have my original Flagship location in East Greenwich Rhode Island but now that I am here most of the time it seemed logical and practical to expand. I have been getting an increasing volume of orders from across Europe so this makes things much easier for me to manage. I have made a very large investemnt in new machinery and I am glad I did. My new machines are really fantastic and I am VERY happy with the very high quality of work I am now able to produce on them.
I have also designed several new instruments including:
After far too much thinking, I have added a revised fingering chart for my 10 hole Chromatic system instruments to the site. It may be a bit confusing but it's the best I could come up with, any suggestions for future editions of it are welcome. You will see this "For a 10 hole fingering chart, see this link; http://www.skiphealy.com/chart/" in all sections pertaining to 10 hole instruments. I hope it helps!!
Built just like our solid, six-hole fife, the ten-hole fife allows you to play in a full, accurate chromatic range without half-holing or cross-fingering. The Healy ten-hole fife is extremely popular for all forms of fife music but its tonal range truly shines in solo or ensemble work.
The first instrument developed by the Healy Flute Company, the Healy fife is built to last and can be played in tune across three octaves. The Bb fife is available with three (3) tone hole size options, "STANDARD" (smallest), "SPECIAL" (medium), and "DELUXE" (largest)and can be built as 6 or 10 hole fifes.
In conjunction with the world famous resort community of Arosa, Switzerland and their "MUSIK-KURSWOCHEN" (music course week), I will be teaching a week long series of classes on Irish flute and tin whistle music. The program will take place JULY 31 - AUGUST 4, 2017. I will be posting information and videos about the event very soon!!! Imagine, learning about traditional Irish music high in the Swiss Alps, staying in a beautiful hotel called "Hotel Hohe Promenade" a 3 star hotel with AMAZING food and service...