Dr. Cate is a flute performer, scholar and teacher based in the Chicago area. She is an artist/scholar for Azumi flutes and appears around the US and internationally at music conferences, clinics and conventions. She is passionate about helping kids play the flute well and helping school music directors understand how to teach the flute more effectively to their students.

Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Cate has a DMA and MM from the Manhattan School of Music and a BM from the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts (later the University of the Arts). She’s been in the Chicago area for more than twenty-five years, where she has a large and successful private studio, has been teaching private lessons in public schools and taught at several colleges as an adjunct professor of flute. Currently, she is Adjunct Professor of Flute at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL. These days, you can find her on Zoom giving lessons, presenting workshops and leading online ensembles.

7 thoughts on “About”

  1. Sherry Vakharia said:

    I love your exercises. How can I purchase them?


  2. Kimberly Forbragd said:

    Hello Dr. Cate:

    I am an “older” adult returning to the flute after a 40+ year hiatus. I’m strictly an amateur. My hope is to polish up my skills so that I can play respectably in my church’s music ministry.

    So I bought an early 1970’s Gemeinhardt M3S off eBay. All silver headjoint and body, B-foot, open hole. It was in really good shape but I did have it re-padded and adjusted. I don’t have much $$$ into it. I really like it and I suppose it was a good flute in its day.

    I’ve been taking private lessons for about 5 months now, and I’m researching a newer flute with of course a modern scale. I’ll be buying this one from a proper flute vendor. The Azumi AZ3 is my current favorite.

    In the USA it comes with the Z-Cut Headjoint. I am wondering if the S-Cut Headjoint would fit on the USA AZ3 body? The S-Cut seems to be a European item with the Britannia silver versus the USA Sterling. So maybe they are different tube dimensions.

    Having said the above, would there be any benefit to having both head joints in my amateur use? The descriptions of each headjoint make each sound very appealing for different purposes.

    Thank you for having such an informational website. I am hopeful you can give me some advice since you are familiar with the Azumi brand.




    • Hello Kimberly,

      I have never heard of the S-cut Altus headjoint. How interesting! My dealings are primarily with KHS-America, so I had no idea they had different cuts for different markets. I would assume it would fit any Azumi body. Here in the States, we have the Classic cut, Z-cut and V-cut. If you get an S-cut and it doesn’t exactly fit, a qualified repair person can size it for you.

      I think a lot of people find the headjoint cut they prefer and stick with that rather than changing it up. That way, you learn how your headjoint responds and you don’t have to keep relearning how to play on your headjoint. For the record, my Altus 1607 has a Limited headjoint with a gold riser and a Classic cut. I have a strong preference for the Classic cut over the Z-cut and V-cut.

      Hope that helps,
      Dr. Cate


      • Kimberly Forbragd said:

        Thank you Dr. Cate 🌝

        I think the S-Cut is also called the Classic Cut. What is it about the Classic that makes you prefer that over the Z-Cut and V-Cut?

        I played the Azumi AZ3 at the recent Florida Flute Convention. Prior to playing it, I was keen on the Yamaha 600 series — which was brilliant but a bit more than I wanted to spend as a hobbyist. The Azumi pleasantly surprised me.

        I have a lot more research to do before I make a choice. And I will also have my treacher help me along the way.


      • Kimberly, the Classic Cut requires precise placement of the airstream to get the maximum response. It is pretty neutral in that it allows the artist to shape and color the sound without imposing a particular aesthetic on the player. It’s definitely a pro style headjoint. If I remember from trying them, the V-cut is the most forgiving, giving maximum response for players who are in the process of developing their embouchure control and the Z-cut is somewhere between the Classic and the V-cut.


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