News & Events

Updated 7-18-22 -- Fourth Volume of Sabine Klaus’s Trumpets and Other High Brass Now Available

The fourth volume of Sabine Kalus's definitive series, Trumpets and Other High Brass -- A History Inspired by the Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection, is now available. Subtitled Heyday of the Cornet, Volume 4 explores the history of the piston-valve B-flat cornet.

This new volume describes the beginnings and initial model standardization of cornets in Paris and London, and the arrival of European designs and makers in the United States. It traces the unique exuberance of cornet models by American manufacturers and their advertising practices. The social phenomenon of the cornet as an affordable, mass-produced commodity in the most remote places of the American heartland is investigated through cornets made by central European manufacturers, modeled after American designs, and sold through dealers. Related developments of the E-flat cornet, the pocket cornet, the echo cornet, and some cornet cousins in the alto, tenor, and brass ranges, such as the balla horn and mellophone, are also considered.

Available only in hardcover, Volume 4 includes 352 pages in an 8-1/2" x 11" format. It features more than 800 color illustrations and includes a DVD of musical examples performed on instruments in the Utley Collection at the National Music Museum. Previous volumes in the series are also available:

Volume 1: Instruments of the Single Harmonic Series (2012) explores western and ethnic trumpets and bugles without slides, tone holes, keys or valves.

Volume 2: Ways to expand the Harmonic Series (2013) presents the history of the slide trumpet, the cornetto and serpent, the keyed trumpet, and the keyed bugle.

Volume 3: Valves Evolve (217) explores and documents the invention and development of valves for brass instruments.

In 2017 Sabine Klaus received the Historic Brass Society's highest honor, the Christopher Monk Award.

European orders should be made through Edition Whitehall.

Orders from the US and outside of Europe should be made through the National Music Museum directly. Use code CCXXII to receive a $25 (US) promotional discount through July 30, 2022.

20220711 TrumpetsV4FullCover Klaus

Coiled Cornet at the Met

Frank Hosticka and Jeff Nussbaum recently visited Metropolitan Museum of Art musical instrument curator Bradley Strauchen to examine a fascinating coiled 19th century instrument by Jahn of Paris.

John Wallace awarded The Queen’s Medal for Music 2021

The Queen has approved the award of Her Majesty’s Medal for Music for the year 2021 to John Wallace CBE.

An internationally renowned Scottish trumpet soloist, composer and educator, John Wallace is the seventeenth recipient of the award, following the celebrated organist Thomas Trotter, who received The Queen's Medal for Music 2020.

First Issue of Historic Brass Today Available to All

It's here!

The inaugural edition of Historic Brass Today, an all-new publication of the Historic Brass Society to be published two times a year, bringing you news items from the historic brass community around the globe, articles on a wide variety of topics, interviews, instrument reports, reviews, and even a cartoon!

Calling for Submissions to Our Social Media Accounts

The Historic Brass Society is happy to share goings-on in the historic brass world to our followers on our social media accounts, including Facebook and Instagram. Please feel free to submit information about past or future projects you think would be relevant to our audience, including but not limited to:
• Concerts / Events
• Videos of performances
• CD releases
• Educational workshops
• Publications / Podcasts
• News / Announcements

For more information, Submissions to Our Social Media Accounts.

5 Minutes That Will Make You Love the Trumpet

The online edition of the NY Times has been running a series of articles exploring the beauty of many different types of music and instruments with short blurbs by leading composers, writers and musicians. The latest in this series is on the trumpet and accompanied by short audio clips. Among the excerpts chosen were the "Itrada" by Honegger played by Hakan Hardenberger, Terrence Blanchard chose his own performance of his "Funeral Dirge". Louis Armstrong would, of course be on the list and he was chosen twice. A NY Times writer chose a 1947 recording of "Dear Old Southland" rather than the famous virtuosic recordings from the late 1920s and early 1930s. The second selection was Armstrong's 1929 recording of "Black and Blue." Joan Tower chose her own composition "Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, No. 5" performed by the American Brass Quintet. Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith chose Miles Davis's "Calyspso Frelimo". The Post Horn solo from Mahler's 3rd played by John Ware with Bernstein conducting the NY Philharmonic was another great choice. Perhaps a surprising vote was "I had the Craziest Dream" played by Kenny Dorham. No list of great trumpet music could be without "The Trumpet Shall Sound" from the Messiah and the recording selected was by Dunedin Consort with Chris Dicken doing the honors. The conductor Leonard Slatkin chose "Bugler's Dream" by Leo Arnaud, a piece that was commissioned by Felix Slatkin. This piece has gained universal acclaim as "The Olympic Fanfare." Two more surprising choices were Witness" as performed by Ron Miles and Johnny Coles playing Sunken Treasure"  by Gil Evan. A transcription of an oboe concert by Marcello as interpreted by Tine Thing Helseth on piccolo trumpet was on the list.  Susan Slaughter's recording of "A Trumpeter's Lullaby" was next and the last selection was Markus Stockhausen's performance of his father's "Michaels Reise um die Erde".

Now, if you don't end up loving the trumpet after hearing those wonderful recording, well, ... I just don't know.


Jeff Nussbaum

North American Baroque Trumpet Competition and Conference

The North American Baroque Trumpet Competition and Conference will be held April 11-12, 2022, at the University of Kentucky. The event consists of concerts, masterclasses, paper presentations, and a competition For full details, or to register, visit the website at:

Competitors and paper presenters must apply by January 15, 2022, and will be notified of their acceptance by February 1.

Host: Jason Dovel This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Competition Chair: Stanley Curtis This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Call for Papers Chair: Sarah Herbert This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Check out the Facebook page North American Baroque Trumpet Competition and Conference for forthcoming updates about the event.

Review of On the Breath of Angels

On the Breath of Angels is the second release from Bruce Dickey, Hana Blažiková, and the Breathtaking Collective dedicated to exploring the natural and much sought-after affinity between the cornett and the human voice. To read Helen Roberts's full review, click here: The Breathtaking Collective: On the Breath of Angels.

Peter Downey (1956–2020)

Dr Peter Downey was a dedicated music educator, scholar, researcher and composer. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on 14 February 1956, the son of Gerard and Elizabeth (O’Neill) Downey. He began his musical career in the Belfast City Youth orchestra playing the trumpet moving to become a brass instrument teacher in the Belfast School of music from 1976–1981. He gained his Diploma in Trumpet Performance in 1976, a BSc Hons in Physics in 1977 from Queens University Belfast – a slight detour in his musical career – followed by his Diploma in Music Education from the University of Ulster in 1978 and finally his PhD in Music Research from Queens University Belfast in 1983 during which he was a recipient of a research scholarship from the Danish Government in 1978. He spent 6 enjoyable months in Copenhagen, researching the musical repertoire of the Danish royal trumpet establishment in the second half of the 16th century; returning to visit there following his retirement for a fantastic visit to share his love of the city with his children.

New Book from Doug Yeo: Homer Rodeheaver and the Rise of the Gospel Music Industry

In case you are looking for something to add to your summer reading list, the University of Illinois Press has just published long-time HBS contributor Doug Yeo's new book, co-authored with Kevin Mungons, Homer Rodeheaver and the Rise of the Gospel Music Industry. Students of gospel songs may remember Rodeheaver’s name for the many hymnals and songbooks he published in the first half of the twentieth century, and some may have read that he was Billy Sunday’s trombone-playing songleader. But for most people, Homer Rodeheaver is the most famous person they never heard of.

Christopher Larkin (1947-2021)

Christopher Michael Larkin was born on 1st  September 1947 in Wigan, Lancashire. His father was a schoolmaster and an amateur pianist, whilst his mother, a nurse, was busy bringing up their two daughters and three sons. Chris attended Thornleigh Salasian College in Bolton aged 11 and sang in the school choir. He started playing a cornet in 1959 and was given free lessons from a Mr. Murphy. Many years later Chris wrote this memory of going to a concert at The Royal Albert Hall as a twelve-year-old. “In 1959 my father took me to my first Prom concert during what was also my first visit to London. All that I remember now about the holiday was that I divided my time between a long-established interest in the doings of steam locomotives and a new love – music”.

Alan Lumsden, 1934-2020

Alan Frederick Lumsden passed away peacefully on the 30 September 2020. An exceptionally versatile musician on a large number of early brass and woodwind instruments, he was a founding member of the London Trombone Quartet, the London Cornett and Sackbut ensemble, and the London Serpent Trio. Alan held the positions of Professor of the Sackbut at the Royal College of Music, Professor of the Recorder and Early Music studies at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and Head of Brass at Malvern College.