Meet Central Coast Conservatorium’s Scottish-born flute tutor Derek Galloway, who has played professionally for many years and was the founder of the award-winning Zonda Flutes trio based in Glasgow.
The son of a professional opera singer, who performed with Scottish Opera, Derek’s first introduction to music was playing piano, recorder and then tuba in the school band in Kilmarnock. “I was made to play the tuba and I hated carrying it around – it didn’t even have a case!” he says.
“Our conductor was the brass advisor for the area and we practiced every school morning at 8am and recess and lunchtime then two or three after-school rehearsals a week.”
The practice paid off and the band was crowned Butlins Youth Brass Band Champions of Great Britain three years in a row and played at Royal Albert Hall. “It was there that I got the music bug.”
Despite his brass band success, Derek’s dream was to play the flute. So at 14, he made the switch, and has been playing ever since. Derek went on to study flute with Sheena Cochrane art Napier University in Edinburgh and with Sheena Gordon (Scottish Chamber Orchestra).
“The only teaching job I could get out of Uni was two days a week on the Isle of Arran – only accessible by boat. If the boat got stuck you would be stuck there for days!” Instead, Derek performed in the evenings with orchestras – including Glasgow Wind Band (one Europe’s premier symphonic wind orchestras) – while also pursuing a career in catering and teaching privately.
Since moving to Australia in 2008, Derek quickly established himself as a popular music educator and flute teacher, guest conductor and ensemble coach.
In 2021 Derek launched Flute Connections, an organisation that provides professional flute workshops and events in NSW. Derek also owns and runs Syrinx Music – a specialist flute and woodwind print music shop in Lane Cove.
Derek is an Associate of Trinity College of Music London and has a Diploma in Music from the Open University, he is also a body-minded practitioner. He is the NSW representative of the British Flute Society and is a committee member of The Flute Society of NSW
Derek teaches flute in the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music’s Schools Program and also takes one-to-one lessons at the Conservatorium campus in Gosford.
“I love it when they ‘get it’. When the student ‘gets’ that note for the first time,” said Derek. “My lessons are shaped for each individual personality and musical tastes and they are always going to be fun.”
When not teaching flute, Derek likes musical theatre, eating good food, cooking and gardening.