The International Trumpet-Making Workshop offered three courses this year, at Bloomington in Indiana; Rostock, Germany; and Kremsmünster near Linz in Austria. In the space of a week participants make a natural trumpet in brass by hand, from the flat sheet stock to a playable instrument. In recent years, with increases in efficiency and improved tools, some participants have even been able to finish their work in four days. We have noticed that decorative details and general finish have also improved over the time we have been teaching the course. As in the past few years, Michael Münkwitz joined Rick Seraphinoff and Bob Barclay again in teaching the workshops. Well over 250 people have now made natural trumpets under our direction, and the course appears to be as popular as ever. Often, the workshop is concluded with a concert on the finished instruments. This was especially the case in Kremsmünster, where the concluding reception in the courtyard at Schloß Kremsegg featured trumpet music by Paul Hainlein, (nephew of Hanns Hainlein, on whose design the workshop trumpets are based), Johann Ernst Altenburg, and pieces for trumpet ensemble by an anonymous composer of the 18th century found in the music archives of Kremsmünster, all played by the participants on their newly made instruments, and led by Jean-François Madeuf. It was exciting to imagine that this music could have been played in the same courtyard by trumpet players in the 17th and 18th centuries on similar instruments.
Interestingly, we hear rumours from time to time that European brass instrument makers feel our courses are in some way in competition with their products. Nothing could be further from the truth. Making one's own instrument in a course like this does not avoid the years of training and study that a true instrument-maker must follow. All it does is provide the participants with simple working tools for further exploration, and gives them a greater appreciation for the fine workmanship found on well made instruments. Often, they become customers of brass instrument makers, and few, if any, ever go on to make more instruments themselves. We have always maintained that our participants gain such an understanding of the instrument, and a heightened interest in the early brass world, that it can only benefit the whole community.
Details of future courses can be found at: