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Lost and Found: A Hero in Our Midst

April 26, 2021

Brett Walberg '12, Lasell Adjunct ProfessorThe New York Times highlighted a nine-year reunion between musician Heidi Skyler and her flute, a $10,000 instrument, facilitated by Lasell University alumnus and adjunct professor Brett Walberg ’12. 

Walberg, a woodwind specialist who plays saxophone, clarinet, and flute, teaches classes in popular music and music design at Lasell to elevate students’ understanding of the arts and the business behind it. In addition to his six years as a member of the Lasell faculty, Walberg has additional ties to the University — he is a Class of 2012 graduate and alumnus of the men’s soccer team, too. 

Walberg also works at Virtuosity Musical Instruments, where he conducts appraisals a few times a week. It was at Virtuosity that Brett evaluated a silver flute with an odd story.

"[As a musician] You know brands, characteristics, and models that take up rarified spaces in terms of equipment,” said Walberg. “The flute that came in is from a very small maker in Massachusetts, and it would require a very particular player to pick it out.”

When he analyzed the rare value of the instrument in comparison to the customer’s confusion about it, he took a picture of it and noted the serial number. It was this thoughtful step, aided by Walberg’s expertise, that helped crack the nearly decade-long unresolved case in which Skyler left her flute in a cab and was not able to track it down after. He attributes making the connection to quick thinking, and as a testament to the sense of community there is in the music scene.

“I emphasize being in community as often as possible as a professor,” he says. “Creative musicians are constantly moving in and out of different communities with each other, and those connections strengthen and inform both the local and global culture.”