2014 News Archive

2015 UK Natural Trumpet Building Course

12/9 - The 2015 Annual Trumpet Making Course with Robert Barclay, Michael Munkwitz & Richard Seraphinoff will run from Monday-Friday June 22-26 in Cambridge, England. Information and registration can be found at: http://cambridgewoodwindmakers.org/info/courses/trumpet-making+102.html. Those interested in attending are encouraged to register as soon as possible, as the course typically fills up quickly.

New Ophicleide Repertoire Website

12/9 - Nicolas Indermuehle is pleased to announce a new website dedicated to the ophicleide repertoire: ophi.referata.com. The site includes a searchable database of composers and works as well as links to libraries and archival materials.

New Louis Armstrong Documents

12/26 - A brief news item by William Grimes in the December 24, 2014 edition of the New York Times reveals some important information about the great trumpeter's youth. It is well known that young Armstrong was placed in the Colored Waif's Home in 1913 but the report of the incident that placed him there in the New Orleans Times-Democrat of January 2, 1913 described Armstrong as "an old offender" a description that has caused researchers confusion for years. Information known since 1980 but only now fully explored has shown that through daily census records kept by the home that Louis Armstrong was sent to the home previously in 1910. Also, a previously unknown news item about the brass band at the home lists Armstrong as the band's leader. 

Reine Dahlqvist 1945-2014


Reine Dahlqvist was born on September 2, 1945, and died on October 17, 2014 of complications arising from prostate cancer.

A highly important researcher into the history of the trumpet, my Swedish colleague and friend Bengt Eklund acquainted me with him from the very start of his work. As a trumpeter, he was self-taught. He could play high notes on his piccolo trumpet, but I am not aware that he ever participated in orchestra performances. Dahlqvist’s groundbreaking dissertation—Bidrag till trumpeten och trumpetspelets historia från 1500-talet till mitten av 1800-talet med särskild hänsyn till perioden 1740-1830, two vols. (Gothenborg University 1988)—was written in Swedish but had a long summary in English that enabled non-Swedish speakers to gather important information.

Reine Dahlqvist wrote other important articles, including one on Anton Weidinger and the invention of the keyed trumpet: The Keyed Trumpet and Its Greatest Virtuoso, Anton Weidinger (Nashville: The Brass Press, 1975). In addition, he was concerned about bringing out a new edition of his dissertation that would be written in English and would present information that he had not known about in 1988. This work went on for decades, and since I was the one who helped him put his language into a presentable English, we were constantly in contact. About two years ago, his transmissions of texts in “Swinglish” (i.e., his brand of English) ceased, and we were only about one fifth through the text.

Reine lived alone in the house which formerly belonged to his parents. He is survived by his sister. He never held an academic position; throughout his life he subsisted through scholarships that he had received to continue his research. During the past decade he worked part time as a postman while continuing his research in the Gothenborg University library. Several years ago he developed prostate cancer. The treatments seemed to be successful for a time and he was optimistic to the end. He seems to have died a lonely death some two days before his neighbors discovered him in his house.

The trumpet world is much the poorer without Reine Dahlqvist and much the richer for his contributions to brass history. We can only hope that he typed the results of his research into his computer at the university library and that it is preserved in a state that will someday permit its contents to be made available.

Edward H. Tarr

Cornett and Sackbut Workshops

11/7 - Starting in January 2015 Sam Goble will be presenting workshops for cornett & sackbut ensemble on a regular basis in Berlin, Germany and a Summer School with Master Classes in Northern Germany for three weeks in August courtesy of the Renaissance Workshop. Goble is a member of the English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble who is also well-known as a mouthpiece maker. For further information information visit www.renaissanceworkshop.org.

Sounds of War and Victories: Military Musicians on Battlefields and Promenades

10/13 - The thirteenth conference of the Research Center for Music Iconography will be held at the City University of New York Graduate Center on 11 November 2014. The conference theme will commemorate the centennial of World War I. It has been organized by Zdravko Blažeković with support by the Historic Brass Society.
For conference program and information please follow this line: http://rcmi.gc.cuny.edu/parent-page/sounds-of-wars-and-victories-military-musicians-on-battlefields-and-promenades/.

Immer Masterclass Ferrara, Italy, 27-29 March 2015

9/29 - On 27-29 March 2015, the association Amici della Musica di Sant’Agostino from Ferrara (Italy) under the artistic direction and contribution of the Ensemble Ottoni Romantici, will hold the 7th International Masterlclass on Baroque Trumpet. The Masterclass is taking place in Sant’Agostino (Ferrara), and will be led this year by Friedemann Immer. Both individual and group lessons are available and masterclass topics will include performance techniques, historical interpretation of the trumpet repertoire for soloists and orchestra, and the trumpet and timpani ensemble. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request further information.

World Record Shofar Ensemble

9/29 - 1043 shofar players blew their way into the history books on Sunday in Whippany, New Jersey, setting a new record for the world’s largest shofar ensemble. Participants blasted the shofars in unison for five straight minutes in the parking lot of the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus. The purportedly "meditative" sound of the horns gave way to jubilant cheers, as instrumentalists and spectators celebrated the achievement. New Jersey now can ring in the Jewish New Year on Wednesday with bragging rights as home of the biggest shofar band on the planet, at least according to Guinness World Records.

Big Carl Resurfaces

9/29 - Big Carl, the giant tuba that was on display for decades over the entrance door of the music publisher Carl Fischer has resurfaced after mysteriously disappearing in 1999. There is still much mystery about Big Carl, all 8 feet tall, 60 feet of tubing, 100 pounds of the BBBb monster. An article in the September 27, 2014 issue of the New York Times describes much of what is known about the instrument (it's valves are not functioning). The instrument was made in Bohemia by Bohland and Fuchs. Carl Fischer had Steve Dillion restore the instrument and there is talk of Big Carl making an appearance at he Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and at the Tuba Christmas Concert in Rockeffeller Center in New York. The instrument currently resides in a small conference room at 48 Wall Street in New York.  A NY Times video describes the instrument.

Low Brass Conference: From the Serpent to the Tuba

9/17 - A special conference on many aspects of low brass instruments will take place from November, the 7th to 9th., 2014 in at the Stiftung Koster Michaelstein in Blankenburg, Germany. Of special interest to HBS members will be the presentation of the HBS Christopher Monk Award to Arnold Myers.

Click here for the pdf of the program with further information: tubakonferenz_2014.pdf Click here for the English-language program: programme_eng.doc. Click here for the full website: http://www2.kloster-michaelstein.de/de/start

2014 HBS Christopher Monk Award to Arnold Myers


9/17 - The distinguished organologist, Arnold Myers will be the recipient of the 2014 Historic Brass Society Christopher Monk Award. The Award will be presented to Arnold Myers by HBS member Sabine Klaus, at Michaelstein during the special low  brass conference, From Serpent to Tuba,  which will be held  on November 7-9, 2014. The Christopher Monk Award was established to honor distinguished members of the brass community for significant and life-long contributions to the field.

A special plaque will be inscribed with the following: Arnold Myers is one of the most distinguished organologists and musical instrument curators of his generation. Throughout his career he has worked tirelessly and with the highest scholarly standards to increase understanding of brass musical instruments. His work has benefited performers, other researchers, his students and the public at large.

2014 Vintage Band Festival


8/6 - Paul Niemisto once again organized the Vintage Band Festival on August 2, 2014 in Northfield, MN. There were 12 bands presented in concerts over a period of 12 hours. Pictured above are the "Roving Ophicleides" (Paul Schmidt and Clark Wolf), who have been present at each of the past VBFs. The next VBF will be held on July 28-31, 2016 in Northfield, which will be held in conjunction with the annual HBS Early Brass Festival conference.

Kickstarter Campaign for Horn Recording

8/6 - Anneke Scott is looking to raise money to fund a recording project on J.-F. Gallay's Opera Fantasies. For further information on the project and information on how you can support her work, click here.

Trevor Herbert Receives Baines Prize

8/6 - The Galpin Society has awarded the 16th Anthony Baines Memorial Prize to Trevor Herbert. The Baines Prize, established in 1997, is presented to musicians who have made important contributions to the field of organology. Trevor Herbert was noted, not only for his important scholarly contributions to the field of organology and the history of music and instruments but his important contributions as a teacher and performer as well. Herbert has written or co-authored many important books and articles including; "The British Brass Band", "Music in Words", "The Cambridge Companion to Brass Instruments", "The Trombone", and most recently, "Music and the British Military in the Long 19th Century." Trevor Herbert is a long-time member of the Historic Brass Society Board of Directors and the HBS Editorial Board as well as a past recipient of the HBS Christopher Monk Award. 

Adolphe Sax 2014 Bicentenary Conference

Adrian Steiger Trevor Herbert and Arnold MyersAl Rice and Arnold Myers

7/8 - The Historic Brass Society joined forces with the Musical Instrument Museum of Brussels and Belgian Society of Musicology in presenting a conference celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of great Belgian instrument maker, Adolphe Sax. The conference held in the beautiful city of Brussels on July 3-5, 2014 was a great success and paved the way for future research on Sax as well as other 19th century brass topics. Click here for the Program and Lecture Abstracts.

Photo captions: Adrian Steiger (left), Trevor Herbert and Arnold Myers (center), Al Rice and Arnold Myers (right)

Danny Lucin Cornetto Mouthpieces

6/6 - Danny Lucin is now making cornetto mouthpieces and has a variety of styles with a range of different shapes & sizes to suit individual requirements.
Mouthpiece Specs:
Total length: 34mm
Cup diameter: 14mm or 15mm (or larger if required)
Rim: 2mm, 2.5mm or 3mm (trumpet style mouthpiece)
Shank length: 18mm
Shank diameter: 8mm - will fit a Monk plastic instrument
Throat: 2.9mm with a tapered back-bore
Material: Black buffalo horn

Price: $80 AUD

For further information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bugles Across America

5/29 - In response to cutting back of the playing of TAPS in live performance by buglers for American military men and women, in 2000, Tom Day made it his mission to have TAPS played by a bugle player at every military funeral across the country. He created Bugles Across America to achieve that goal. For further information please visit  www.buglesacrossamerica.org.

Call for Papers

5/12 - The HBS has recently becoming a supporting organization for an upcoming conference, "Sounds of Wars and Victories: Images of Military Musicians on Battlefields and Promenades." This conference will be presented at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York under the direction of the Research Center for Music Iconography and held in New York on November 11-13, 2014. The conference will focus on the iconography of military musicians of all times and performing in any occasion. The submission deadline for abstracts of proposals (200-300 words) is June 15, 2014. Submissions may be sent to: Zdravko Blazekovic at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  More information is available at http://rcmi.gc.cuny.edu.

Natural Horn Events This Summer

5/29 - Natural horn virtuoso Anneke Scott will be involved in a number of workshops and symposia coming up this summer. She's sent the following information about her activities: The first course (Ironwood Developing Artists Chamber Music Winter School) is being held at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music from  Monday 7th of July – Saturday 12th of July and will focus on aspects of playing the classical natural horn. The course is open to anyone over the age of 17 and both period horn players AND modern horn players interested in gaining some insight into the natural horn or elements of performance practice are very welcome. http://vcam.createsend1.com/t/ViewEmail/r/68D32EE4FABD5B2E2540EF23F30FEDE


The second course (Ironwood Developing Artists Baroque Orchestra Winter School) will be held in Bundanon (near Sydney) from Wednesday 16th of July until Sunday 20th of July (although my participation is just for the first three days) - this course will be more focused on aspects of playing the baroque horn, though again people new to the instrument are welcome to apply. The application form says entries by 1st of May but I understand they're still accepting applications. http://www.ironwoodchamberensemble.com/IRONWOOD_Application_Form_2014.pdf 

46th Annual Symposium of the International Horn Society - I’ll be giving a natural horn masterclass as part of the IHS festival in August, on Thursday 14th August. Anyone is able to apply for this masterclass, see http://london.hornworkshop.org/index.php?option=com_rsform&formId=7 for the application form and further details.

Wanted: J.W. York Catalogs

5/13 - I am seeking catalogs or other early J.W.York, York & Son or York & Sons printed materials. I have always thought that the J.W.York Monarch cornets and some of the Professional models, as well as the New Model Monarchs and New Model Professionals are among my favorite early 20thcentury cornets. Many have passed through my hands and virtually all have been worth the effort and money to restore. I have accumulated a dozen or more that I am restoring now and I have noticed that there are many different bell sizes and shapes as well as different engraving patterns through the years but I have almost no literature in my files that details their offerings, only articles in the Grand Rapids newspapers about the store and factory.
Rich Ita
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jeffrey Snedeker Name National Phi Kappa Phi Artist

4/29 - Jeffrey Snedeker, natural hornist, frequent HBSJ author, and professor of music at Central Washington University, has been selected as the 2014-2016 Phi Kappa Phi Artist by The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi — the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline honor society. The award is in recognition of his accomplishments as a musician, professor, and campus leader. “Dr. Snedeker has had a sustained career as one of the foremost proponents of the historical importance of the natural horn. His extensive range of performances, compact discs, journal articles and presentations at international conferences have garnered widespread accolades throughout his impressive career,” said Dr. David Northington, chair of the Phi Kappa Phi Artist selection committee. Snedeker has been a performing artist and scholar for more than 25 years. He’s played concertos, recitals, and natural horn and jazz performances throughout the world. He has released two critically acclaimed solo recordings featuring the horn in a jazz setting and two solo recordings of the natural horn.

Snedeker has received numerous performance and teaching awards; most notably, first place in the Natural Horn Division of the 1991 American Horn Competition. He also holds the 2012 Washington Music Educators Association Higher Education Educator of the Year and the 2014 Washington State Ormsby Award for Faculty Citizenship. Since 1991 Snedeker has been at CWU where he teaches horn, music history, and brass literature and pedagogy. He was the 2012 CWU Distinguished University Professor for Service, and the 2008 CWU Phi Kappa Phi Scholar of the Year. “What the artist award represents to me is a wonderful acknowledgement of day-to-day work and taking risks. It’s really nice to get a pat on the back,” said Snedeker, whose decision to pursue a career in music came later than many musicians. “I wanted to be a baseball player,” Snedeker said. “Basically, when the obvious shortcomings on my part finally ran their course, I was looking for something that would sort of resemble that. And the act of practicing music, making music, has an athletic approach to it.” Playing an instrument and performing took the place of his athletic ambitions. Sports have an artistic aspect, says Snedeker, who sees music as a worthy alternative to baseball. “I don’t have rotator cuff problems and knee problems and I still play every day,” he said with a laugh.

First presented in 1983, the Phi Kappa Phi Artist Award recognizes the achievements of those who, in addition to their outstanding scholarship, have displayed talents in the broad realm of the arts—creative, graphic, performing, visual, and fine arts, according to a Phi Kappa Phi news release. The award is given once every two years. Recipients receive a $1,000 honorarium, a life membership, and a trip to the society’s biennial convention on August 9 in St. Louis, MO, where the award officially will be presented. “I still have much to learn, and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead,” Snedeker said. “I pride myself on my versatility, but as much as I want people to appreciate the wide range of possibilities of the horn, I also know that any musical instrument is limited first by the performer, and I embrace my responsibility in pursuit of my goals.”

For more information on Phi Kappa Phi visit www.PhiKappaPhi.org.

New Trumpet Book

4/21 -  Elisa Koehler has just had her new book, Fanfares and Finesse: A Performer's Guide to Trumpet History and Literature published by Indiana University Press. This fine book is guide for modern trumpet players on how to best to apply historically informed performance practice. Click here to see the Amazon listing.

Friedemann Immer Master Class

3/18 - The Tertiary College of Church Music of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bayreuth, Bavaria, will host the 12th International Baroque Trumpet Seminar with Prof. Friedemann Immer (Cologne, Amsterdam) on 24-27 April 2014. For more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Peter Barton 1930-2013

3/18 - My mentor and teacher Peter Barton died late in autumn 2013 aged 83, after a short illness. After an initial career as a sports and Latin teacher Peter was taught brass repairing by an eccentric Hungarian called Villi Hertzeg, whose own formal apprenticeship, Peter told me, had been for fifteen years. Peter at first began working on historical brass instruments at the Bate collection in collaboration with Jeremy Montague, and then also for the Horniman and the Reid collections and for Cyrfatha castle. His work for the antique instrument dealer Tony Bingham may  be found in collections across the world. At a time when restoration to playing condition was the fashion, Peter was always very careful to work in the least destructive way that he could  and to preserve as much historical evidence as possible. He wrote articles for GSJ on his work on the Calcott radius horn, the Shaw trumpets in Warwick castle, and  also on the Woodham Rodenbostel slide trumpet which stimulated his  own interest and research into the English slide trumpet.  His last major project, before arthritis forced a return to his other interests of miniature boat building and painting, was the restoration of the silver William Bull trumpet in the Ashmolean museum. Peter would most often spend substantially more time on an instrument than he could ever charge for, but aside from his great skill and patience (and his great generosity to me as a teacher) what most people will remember will be a very warm hearted and genial man with a huge store of entertaining stories and things to talk about. 
-- Nicholas Perry

Brussles Conference on Adolphe Sax

7/11 - A conference entitled "Adolphe Sax His Influence and Legacy: A Bicentenary Conference" will be presented at the Musical Instrument Museum (Brussels, Belgium) on July 3-5, 2014. Keynote speakers will be Steve Cottrell and Trevor Herbert. For information on submitting a proposal and/or attending the conference, please click here.

UPDATE: The conference schedule has been set and everything you need to prepare for it has been posted here: http://www.mim.be/adolphe-sax-his-influence-and-legacy-a-bicentenary-conference

UPDATE (3/21): The conference schedule has been tweaked somewhat, so please use this updated version: http://www.mim.be/adolphe-sax-his-influence-and-legacy-a-bicentenary-conference

3D "Printed" Cornetti

3/14 - There has been a flurry of discussion about 3D Printer cornetti recently. One maker is Ricardo Simian (http://www.ricardosimian.com/3D_Instruments_Home.html. Bruce Dickey is reported to have said that they play very well at A=466, but maybe not quite as well as the best wooden ones. This is encouraging. He also says that they haven't been scaled to A=440 yet, but the website seems to indicate they are available. Discussions on the "Cornettozink" group on Yahoo have revealed another website of interest: http://www.3dmusicinstruments.com/.

A Mute Cornett has been designed by instrument maker Steven Silverstein as well (silversteinligature.com). Steve reports, "I did nothing but take his measurements and put them into stl files. The Cornett needed to be cut into four pieces to fit into my print area. To facilitate gluing the pieces together I created alignment cones meant to keep the pieces aligned in the X-Y plane during the glue up. These truncated cones are the negative space at the center of the Cornett. I glued each piece together with two part epoxy. To keep the internal alignment cones from getting glued as well I wrapped the alignment cones in silicone embedded parchment paper. Both the alignment cones and the pieces of parchment paper came out with no fuss". You can click here to watch a youtube video showing some of these instruments.

-- Jeffrey Nussbaum

UPDATE (3/18): 
Cornetto player, Jamie Savan has sent this report ." Having noticed the post about 3D printed cornetti on the HBS website, I thought HBS members might be interested to know about my 'CyberZink' project which also uses CAD modelling and 3D printing for cornetto research: I started printing copies of historical mouthpieces around 18 months ago, and got my first cornetto printed in July last year. I'm using the dimensions for the Christ Church cornetti in the first instance, and the results so far have been very promising. There's further information on the project website: www.cyberzink.org, and I made a little demo video for You Tube: http://youtu.be/kHV55IiH65U."

New Contrabass Serpent (Anaconda) Available


3/3 - J.c. Sherman, an instrument maker in Bedford, Ohio, has built a new musical instrument, a contrabass serpent. Often referred to by players of the serpent and musical instrument historians as an “Anaconda”, the instrument is an octave below the usual serpent, and thus twice the size and length. The contrabass serpent named “Gabriel”, first completed in September 2013 and revised in 2014, is the fourth full instrument of this pitch. It has 6 holes covered by copper keys, and is made completely of metal, making this the only metal contrabass serpent extant. "Gabriel", this contrabass serpent/anaconda, is on 16-foot CC, and is made entirely from brass and related metals. For pictures, additional information, and purchasing inquiries, please contact J.c. Sherman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or view his website at jcsherman.net.

Natural Trumpet Events in Switzerland

2/24 - Mike Diprose will be teaching a natural trumpet course in Arosa, Switzerland 17th-23rd August. The course, taught in both German and English, is geared towards the "unvented" natural trumpet and for those wishing to improve their playing technique without the use of tuning holes. For further information: http://musikkurswochen.ch/kurse/detail/247. He will also be hosting a number of workshops throughout the year in various locations, and will be posting those items on this website http://margreet.ch/MARGREET/Workshops.html.


2014 Mountain Collegium Early Music Workshop

1/3 - The 2014 Mountain Collegium Early Music Workshop will take place 29 June - 5 July 2014 at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. Erick Schmalz will be teaching brass this year. Classes include technique, improvisation, consorts, folk, Sephardic, and contemporary music.  Continuing Ed Credit is available to teachers.

For further information and registration, click here for their website or contact Jody Miller via email.

Upcoming HBS Events

2/8 - The 2015 HBS Early Brass Festival will be held on Friday July 10 - Sunday July 12, 2015 at Oberlin College. Of special interest will be an up-close view of the Selch instrument collection which is housed at Oberlin. The 2016 event will be the HBS Early Brass Festival which will be held, once again, in collaboration with the Vintage Band Festival in Northfield, MN. Those dates are July 28-31, 2016. Long range plans for another large International Historic Brass Symposium to be held again in New York City. That Symposium will be held during the Summer of 2017.

Query for Shofar Study

1/20 -Jeremy Montagu, president of the Galpin Society, is working on a detailed study of the shofar, including its use and history from Talmudic times onwards, and he is currently concerned with its typology. He has only just over a dozen in his own collection, from north-eastern Europe (18th and 19th centuries), Israel (late 19th century onwards), Morocco, and Iran, and needs help to fill the gaps with typology from other areas of the world and different periods in history. If you have any information, or know of any museums or collections that could assist in this study, he would very much appreciate being contacted This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on Facebook. For further information on his research, visit his website: www.jeremymontagu.co.uk.

Third International Romantic Brass Symposium

7/8 - Revised 10/27 with new dates. Originally scheduled from noon on Feb. 4 to noon on Feb. 6, it will now be from the morning of Feb. 4 through Feb. 5.

The Bern University of the Arts will host the third International Conference on Romantic Brass, to be held jointly with the Historic Brass Society (HBS) in Bern, February 4 - 5, 2014. The theme of the conference is The Saxhorn in Opera and Military Music. 

The conference is organized in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Adolphe Sax (1814-1894). The Program Committee welcomes proposals for papers, lecture-recitals, lecture-demonstrations, performances, posters, and panel discussions on topics relating to the history, design, use, care, and acoustics of Romantic brasswind instruments. Proposals relating to the following themes are particularly welcomed: 
  • Innovation in nineteenth-century wind-instrument engineering
  • From handwork to mass production: the industrialization of wind-instrument making 
  • Restoration, documentation, and ethical treatment of nineteenth-century wind instruments 
  • Performing nineteenth-century wind music in the twenty-first century

For information about the Bern University's plans and schedule, click here.

For full details on the HBS side of the event, click here: PDF.