She’s just at the start of her musical career.

But 11-year-old Ruby Agnew knew if she wanted to get on, she needed help from the best.

The Netherton schoolgirl penned a letter to the man renowned as the world’s greatest flautist, Sir James Galway.

And she and her family were delighted when the musician responded with a lovely personal letter and photo to Ruby - even though she had only addressed the letter to Sir James Galway, Switzerland.

Her mum Christine said: “It’s such a lovely feelgood story that we wanted to share it.”

Young flautist Ruby Agnew, of Newsome, receives a letter from celebrity flautist James Galway.

Ruby, a pupil at South Crosland Junior School, took up the flute recently and now enjoys lessons with Kirklees Music School.

Christine said: “We wanted to flag up how brilliant Kirklees Music School are and how local people should work to support them, after a terrible year where ‘austerity’ cuts let to many redundancies and cutbacks.

“Ruby is getting ready to take her Grade 1 Flute with Kirklees Music School and her music teacher Heather Heath has been inspirational in coming into South Crosland as part of the KMS scheme and tutoring her, and encouraging her to get interested in the work of Sir James Galway.

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“It was her grandad, Brian Longden, who encouraged her to find out about the life and career of Sir James. The first ever CD that Ruby has bought was James Galway’ ‘Best’ and she plays it at night to help her get to sleep.

“It’s so nice that someone so famous has taken the time to get in touch with a young player”.

In the letter to Ruby, accompanied by photos, Sir James talks about the flutes he has owned and gives advice to Ruby.

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Ruby, a Year 6 pupil said: “It’s the most incredible music that you can ever listen to.

“I’m so excited that he wrote to me and it makes listening to his music even more precious.”

Sir James Galway
Sir James Galway


  • James Galway was born in Belfast on December 8, 1939 and now lives in Switzerland
  • He learned to play the flute at the ager of five
  • He went on to play with the Sadlers Wells Opera, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra before going solo
  • To date he has sold more than 30m records
  • He played with Pink Floyd at a famous concert in Berlin and on the soundtrack of The Lord Of The Rings film trilogy