People Behind the Reed

George  Koregelos 

In 1960, George Koregelos—equal parts musician, inventor and master craftsman —opened House of Woodwinds in Oakland, California. In a few short years, his talent as an instrument repair technician was attracting such world-renowned performers as Jean-Pierre Rampal, James Galway, Stan Getz, Lew Tabackin, and Richard Stolzman, to name just a few. From 1980 – 1995 he produced top-of-the-line hand crafted flutes in gold and silver.These instruments are now sought after by serious players and collectors.

But repairs were never enough to satisfy George. In time he invented such popular accessories as the H.W. Pad-Saver® and H.W. Brass-Saver® brush. George's agile and productive mind set ernestly upon the problem of synthetic reeds for woodwinds late in life. In conjunction with engineer-musician Shun-Hwa Chang, many formulas were tried and rejected until the perfect balance was reached:

  • Reeds that were non-toxic, inert and recyclable.
  • Reeds which in every way resembled cane reeds: mouth feel, response, resonance.
  • As a manufactured product, every reed is exactly alike.
  • The advantages of scale—allowing the retail price of the reeds to be very low.