Right now, I'm playing piccolo in my high school's concert band, and rarely play the flute in band. I take private lessons for flute. But next year I'm moving up to the wind ensemble, and I will most likely be doubling as 2nd piccolo, and flute. I have my first flute still, but the pads are not the best, and to be completely honest, I need an upgrade. I know I should look for open-holes, and a completely silver body not plated, but I'm overwhelmed with brands.
My piccolo is Gemeinhardt, and my flute it Yamaha.
Which brands should I look into, I'm planning on playing in college, and maybe even afterwards.
Which brands do you suggest?
There are a few brands that are great to look into if you plan on playing flute into college. There's Altus 1107(which I play on), Haynes Q2, Miyazawa 402, Murumatsu EX, Pearl Cantabile, Powell Signature, Resona 300, and the Sankyo 401. If those are out of your budget, I'd suggest that you take a look at the Haynes Q1, or the pearl 795.
The reason I recommend these specific models over others is because all of these have the option of having a C-Sharp trill key, which IMO is the most useful added option on the flute as it allows you to trill more easily from B-C sharp in both octaves, F sharp to G sharp in the third octave and (most importantly) G to A in the third octave. It also facilitates dozens of tremolos throughout the range of the flute.
I hope this is of assistance to you! Happy Fluting!
I agree with Zevang. A flute is a very personal thing. You need to try many flutes to determine which is the best for you. Determine how much you can afford to spend, then try out whatever is available to you. If the local selection is limited, consider attending a flute festival in a nearby city. Vendors often have flutes on hand for you to try. Happy hunting.