2008 News Archive

Louisiana State Museum's Music Collection

During Hurricane Katrina, the LSM's Old U.S. Mint, a National Historic Landmark located in the French Quarter and constructed in 1835, was severely damaged. Its copper roof blew off; water ruined interior finishes and the HVAC system ceased to function. At the time of the hurricane, the 71,000-square-foot facility housed exhibitions on jazz, Louisiana decorative arts, and the history of the Mint itself. In addition, approximately 60% of the LSM's collections were stored in the building - including its entire, internationally renowned jazz collection. While a relatively small number of artifacts were water damaged, the threat of mold forced the emergency evacuation of artifacts to a temporary, 20,000-square-foot storage facility in Baton Rouge.

The project was carried out over a period of eight months and involved both LSM permanent staff as well as professionals specially recruited for the purpose.

As repairs and renovations were completed in the Old U.S. Mint, LSM contracted Williamstown Art Conservation Center (WACC) to inventory, document, rehouse, and transport the collections back to the Mint.

The Louisiana State Museum music collection is now open to researchers and a new exhibit about jazz and other forms of Louisiana music is planned to open in 2010 at the Old US Mint building.

This project would not have been possible without the generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the Getty Foundation, and FEMA.

A full article entitled "Rehousing the LSM Jazz Collection" on the move with pictures of Louis Armstrong's and Johnny Wiggs' cornets is available in the Articles section of this website.

Keyed Trumpet Website
Will Russell has launched a website on all aspects of the keyed trumpet www.thekeyedtrumpet.co.uk This site stems from Russell's performance and research interests on the keyed trumpet.

Shofar Authenticity

Early brass musicians often debate the topic of authenticity. Discussion on the proper use of natural trumpets, horns, sackbuts and other instruments is common. But when there has been a rash of inauthentic shofars being sold as the genuine thing, well, as a certain kosher hotdog and salami advertisement used to say, someone has to answer to a higher authority! An article by Nathan Jeffay in the October 3, 2008 issue of the Forward reports that hundreds of shofars are being sold in Israel that are full of holes (vent holes??) and secretly filled with glue. This makes these horns not kosher or suitable for religious use.

William Dongois Cornetto Masterclass

William Dongois will present an extensive masterclass on cornetto technique, repertoire, rhetoric and improvisation at the Michaelstein Foundation on January 15-18, 2009. The Michaelstein Foundation presents many interesting conferences, workshops and masterclasses throughout the year and is located in Blankenburg, German. Information: http://www.kloster-michaelstein.de; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hunting Horn Workshop

The American Hunting Horn Society announces its second annual workshop in Chautauqua, NY, October 3-5, 2008. This year's event features two featuring two French Champion Trompe players. For more information go to: www.huntinghornsociety.org/home.html

19th-Century Band Conference

The School of Music at The State University of New York at Fredonia will present "The Band in 19th-Century America - A Symposium" from 3-4 October 2008. All events are free and open to the public. For more information contact Jim Davis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

12:00pm: "The Keyed Bugle"
Ralph Dudgeon (SUNY Cortland)
6:30pm: "Wind Scoring Practices in the 19th Century - An Overview of Writing from 1810-1890"
Donald Hunsberger (Professor Emeritus, Eastman School of Music)
8:00pm: Concert of Early American Music for Winds and Brass, Fredonia Concert Band

11:00am: "The Band in the Age of Gilmore and Sousa"
Frank Cipolla (Professor Emeritus, SUNY Buffalo)
1:30pm: "The Military Band in Civil War America"

3:00pm: Concert of Civil War Band Music, Fredonia Wind Symphony
6:30pm: "Band Composers of the Late 19th-Century"
George Foreman (Centre College)
8:00pm: Concert of the Music of Sousa and Contemporaries, Fredonia Wind Ensemble

New Review
See a recording review of a CD by the King Oliver Band in the Reviews section

26th Annual HBS Early Brass Festival and Vintage Brass Festival II

The Annual HBS Early Brass Festival will once again join forces with the Vintage Band Music Festival in beautiful Northfield, MN from 5-8 August 2010. The VBF II will feature fifteen bands giving "Fifty Concerts in Four Days". This is very early notice, but the organizers want vintage bands and vintage band enthusiasts to put this on their calendars. Ensemble interested in participating are should contact Paul Niemisto to discuss possibilities. Email <paul.niemisto>. Watch the website for more information. A call for papers for the EBF will go out at the usual time. Papers on band music, instruments, and personalities will be especially welcome.</paul.niemisto>


Conference on Brass Metallurgy

The Historical Metallurgy Society's annual conference "Metals in Musical Instruments" will be held from 12-14 September 2008 in Oxford. The conference will be held in the Holywell Music Rooms of Wadham College, which is the oldest surviving purpose built concert hall in Europe. The Holywell Rooms were built in 1748 and Handel is among the many famous musicians and composers who have appeared there. Papers will reflect the theme of the conference on the technology of metals with particular relation to musical instruments. As well as a full lecture programme there will be concerts on the Friday and Saturday evenings, themed to the conference, and opportunities to see “behind the scenes” at the Bate Collection of Historical Musical Instruments. There will be a number of other relevant venues to visit on Saturday afternoon. A full program for the event can be downloaded from www.hist-met.org/conf2008prog.pdf Further information can be obtained at www.hist-met.org/conf2008.html"

Greenberg Award

The AMS Noah Greenberg Award is intended as a grant-in-aid to stimulate active cooperation between scholars and performers by recognizing and fostering outstanding contributions to historical performing practices. Both scholars and performers may apply, since the Award may subsidize the publication costs of articles, monographs, or editions, as well as public performance, recordings, or other projects. The award consists of $2,000 and a certificate, conferred at the Annual Business Meeting and Awards Presentation of the AMS by the chair of the committee.

Deadline: 15 August 2008

Full details: www.ams-net.org/awards/greenberg.php

Civil War Band Organization

The National Association for Civil War Brass Music announces the publication of its first newsletter. Information about the organization is included in the newsletter, which is free for download here. Future editions will be distributed to members only, but information may also be found at the website www.historicbrassmusic.com. Membership information is also included in the publication.

Roman Reliefs Show Roman Trumpeters

A series of previously stolen 1st-century B.C. reliefs depicting images of gladiators and two musicians, a tuba player and a cornu player has been recently recovered. Archaeology magazine has an article and photos of these reliefs. The images of the tuba and cornu player are remarkable for the detail in which they show the mouthpieces, players embouchures, and playing position. An abstract of the article can be read at www.archaeology.org/gladiators/.

Pictures of the gladiators and musicians can be seen also at http://gladiatorprime.com/site/cpage.asp?cpage_id=10108&sec_id=504

2008 Natural Trumpet-Making Workshop

The International Natural Trumpet Making workshop, which has been held each year since 1993, in Bloomington, Indiana, and in various European locations, will be offered again during the week of June 16 - 20, 2008 at the Hoosier Hills Career Center in Bloomington, Indiana, and in Rostock Germany, July 28 - August 1, 2008.

Under the supervision of Dr. Robert Barclay, assisted by instrument makers Richard Seraphinoff and Michael Münkwitz, participants will make a natural trumpet using the tools and methods described in Dr. Barclay's book, The Art of the Trumpet-Maker, and also illustrated and described in Making a Natural Trumpet, the new workshop guide for the course.

The design which participants will make this year will be based on an original by the Nuremberg maker Hanns Hainlein (1632). Familiarity with tools and metal working techniques is desirable, but not by any means necessary. In past workshops everyone has been able to complete a playable instrument over the course of the week. The work schedule consists almost exclusively of hands-on workshop time from 9:00am to 5:00pm each day, Monday through Friday. Most participants finish their instruments by Friday early afternoon, making it possible to depart from Bloomington that afternoon or evening.

Tuition for the Bloomington workshop is $660.00, which includes all materials, tools and supplies which will be used during the workshop, as well as a copy of "Making a Natural Trumpet - and Illustrated Workshop Guide", published by the University of Edinburgh. Enrolment is limited to 12 participants, and reservations are made on a first come, first served basis.

To reserve a space, send a check for $50.00 (payable to Richard Seraphinoff, organizer of the course) to the address below. This deposit will be refundable until May 1, 2008. The balance of $610.00 will be due on the first day on the workshop. Non-US participants may pay the entire amount on the first day, due to the costs of currency exchange and transfers.

Richard Seraphinoff 2256 Birdie Galyan Road Bloomington, IN 47408 Tel/Fax: 812-333-3114 E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Web site: www.seraphinoff.com

For tuition and other details on the workshop in Rostock, or to reserve a space, see www.trompetenmacher.de

New Trombone History Association

The Society of Trombone History of Central Germany (Verein für Mitteldeutsche Posaunengeschichte e.V.) has been founded in the city of Halle near Lipsia (Leipzig) by a small but enthusiastic group of trombonists, trombone manufacturers, and trombone collectors.

The region of Central Germany, with Saxony in particular, added fresh momentum to the trombone’s technical development: the modern trombone with its large-sized bore and bell was invented in Lipsia during the 1830ies by C.F. Sattler. His apprentice and son in law J.C. Penzel further improved Sattler’s invention, which later on was adapted by many other manufacturers in Central Germany. Migrants from Saxony disseminated the “Lipsia” or “Penzel” model; not only all over Germany, but also to Russia and America. Characteristics of the historic German Trombone are the snake ornaments and, frequently, the so called “Heckelrand” (i.e., the broad German silver bell-rim). The large bore and bell together with the relatively thin brass result into the typical dark and smooth sound with an extreme dynamic range as compared to its predecessor from the Renaissance and baroque epochs.

The Society’s objectives are to perform research on the history of the trombone with regional focus on Central Germany (Saxony and Thuringia) and about biographies of trombone players and manufacturers. Another important aim of the association is to collect, conserve, classify and catalogue antique instruments with focus on the late 19th and early 20th century. Finally and importantly, expositions, workshops and concerts with historic trombones will be organized in order to keep Central German trombone tradition alive.

The Society’s official inaugural celebration will take place in Halle in the Gertraudenkapelle on June 15th, 3 p.m. The Society’s members will play compositions for four to twelve trombones on historic instruments. Dr. Enrico Weller from famous musical instrument manufacturer’s town Markneukirchen, who is an expert on Saxon wind instrument history, will give the commemorative speech about trombone makers from Vogtland (South-Saxon central region of musical instrument producers).

Contact (chairman): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monk Workshop

Jeremy West provides a first-hand report on activities at the Monk Workshop in the aftermath of Keith Rogers's death.

I spent last week at Keith's home and workshop with Kathryn and with Nicholas Perry. Nicholas has now completed his first serpent (that is to say the pieces are all cut and together in one piece, prior to being finished and the whole prior to being leathered and keys fitted). This serpent is one that Nicholas started making with advice and guidance from Keith during the last months of his life. Keith's wisdom was poured out from his armchair in the sitting room (this an utterly uncanny echo of the situation in 1991 during Christopher Monk's decline, when I would visit him by his fireside at Stock Farm in Surrey for advice and guidance). Nicholas is encouraged by this first instrument; by the way he is getting the hang of Keith's copy router (the big Bridgeport cutter from Christopher had to be sold when we moved out of commercial premises in London to go to Norfolk); and he is (cautiously) expressing interest in carrying on serpentine work for the next generation. It is still too early to say how, or even if, this will happen, but the preliminary signs are promising.

---Jeremy West

The Hunt for Arban's Recording

The following is a reproduction of Ed Tarr's letter to the editor of the HBS Journal regarding news of a recording of J. B. Arban

Wouldn't it be a revelation if we could hear how Arban played? Up to now it was thought that he lived too early for him to have made any recordings.

It has recently come to my attention, however, that J.-B. Arban in fact made at least one recording on a cylinder for the Edison Phonograph Co. shortly before his death in 1889! This was publicized in a Helsinki newspaper, Hufvudstadsbladet (no. 96, from April 11, 1890, p. 2), announcing two sessions in which the new-fangled phonograph was to be demonstrated in public. My Dutch friend Eric Roefs recently made this text available to me.

Here is a translation of the pertinent part of the text (from the original Swedish):

Phonograph: Today Mr. Gillin and Droese will give the first two phonograph shows in Helsinki. The lecture and demonstration of Edison's phonograph will take place in F. B. K.'s assembly hall at 2 and 8:30 [p.m.] with an admission fee of 2 [Finnish] marks.

Edison's phonograph will make its debut with us today with a rich phonograph repertoire such as speech, song, musical instrument solos, vocal and orchestral phonograms [i. e. recordings, translators' note].

Among the phonograms a particular one must be mentioned: a solo on cornet à pistons, played by the famous French virtuoso, Monsieur Arban, called “Fanfare d'Edison;” [another is] a phonogram for large orchestra, “Marche d’Exposition Universelle 1889” by Olivier Métra. This march was played by 60 military musicians in the presence of Edison when he visited the Exhibition [Universelle] in Paris last year. Further, a solo on the piccolo-flute, played by Monsieur Damaré, member of the orchestra of the large opera in Paris; [etc. etc.]

A Norwegian friend of mine, Ole J. Utnes, who helped with the translation, has put the pertinent information (including a facsimile of the article in question) on his website:


Since other recordings from this time period still exist, it is not too far-fetched to think that Arban's recording of the "Fanfare d'Edison" might survive in somebody's collection. I hope that ITG members with connections to record collectors and dealers will make a serious effort to locate this historic cylinder.

Best wishes,
Ed Tarr

EBF 2007 Recording

Sabine Klaus reports that there is an official recording of the 2007 Early Brass Festival available. It is available for $US 5.00 per CD. The access money (after making the CDs and shipping them) will go to the Joe Utley Student Travel Award Line Item. To order, contact Sabine Klaus at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pre-College Brass Day at Julliard

The Julliard School of Music will be hosting a series of masterclasses and chamber music playing sessions offered by the pre-college faculty on March 1, 2008, commencing at 1:00pm. Faculty include Per Brevig, trombone; Julie Landman, horn; and Raymond Mase, trumpet. For more information or to RSVP contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Keith Rogers 1943-2008

Keith Rogers, cornett, serpent and oboe maker at Christopher Monk Instruments (CMI), died on the 21st January after a lengthy struggle with pancreatic cancer.

Following a career in teaching, which culminated in the positions of Director of Music at two leading Northern Ireland grammar schools, as well as spending several years as a recorder maker, Keith joined the Christopher Monk workshops in April 1992. Here, in partnership with the cornett player Jeremy West, and succeeding the late Christopher Monk (founding father of the cornett and serpent revivals), Keith spent the remainder of his life making copies of historic wind instruments. Building on his skills and experience as a recorder maker, he quickly adapted to the demands made by “all instruments that wiggle” (as they are affectionately known at CMI); instruments which are demanding on both player and maker alike. Using the treasure trove of clues and evidence extant in Christopher Monk’s own workshop, Keith picked his way through this mysterious and vexing labyrinth. But it was his unique mix of powerful intellect and enviable manual dexterity that enabled him so successfully to create fabulous wind instruments. Examples of his work live (and play) on and may be found across the world from New York to New Zealand, Aberdeen to Argentina.

An experiment to make an oboe da caccia using the same methods employed to manufacture a serpent, lead to a lasting partnership with leading oboe player and authority, Dick Earle. A da caccia (eventually built in the traditional way rather than using the method above), along with several models of historic oboe, became available as a result. For more than a decade these beautiful instruments have been sent to appreciative players from five continents.

Keith Rogers was born and brought up in Sussex; he studied music at the University of Wales at Bangor (BA Honors 1st Class 1965), lived in Belfast, then in London and, most recently, in rural Norfolk. He is survived by his wife, Kathryn, four daughters and six grandchildren.

--Jeremy West

Mary Rasmussen 1930-2008

One of the pioneers of historic brass research and recipient of the HBS Monk Award, Mary Rasmussen died on January 26. Her articles in the Brass Quarterly and A teacher's Guide to the Literature of Brass Instruments sparked the interests of those who launched the historic brass movement.

I only met Mary once. It was at the 1998 Early Brass Festival where she was awarded the Christopher Monk Award for her exemplary scholarship in historic brass. I found her to be a warm and vital woman who was genuinely honored by the event.

Her colleague, Prof. Mark DeVoto has kindly agreed to let us publish his remembrance of Prof. Rasmussen


With sorrow I inform our fellowship of the death of Mary Helen Rasmussen, Professor emerita of Music at the University of New Hampshire, on 26 January in Durham, New Hampshire. She was 77 years old and had suffered from cancer, intermittently but eventually finally, since the early 1970s.

Mary was a splendid colleague and a treasured friend of many of us, a "true polymath," as the minute on her retirement described her in 1997. We knew her as a self-taught musicologist of remarkable ability and accomplishment and amazing versatility, skilled in many areas of music-making and a tireless researcher in a wide variety of areas. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor's degree in 1952 and then went to the University of Illinois, receiving a Master of Music in low brass performance in 1953 and a Master of Library Science in 1956. For two years, she taught public school in Gorham, New Hampshire, and was always proud that of all the music faculty at UNH, where she was appointed in 1968, she was the only member to have actually taught in the New Hampshire school system.

That Mary never received a doctorate was of no consequence to her productivity and learning. She was the recipient of a Fulbright award and grants from the Ford and Guggenheim foundations. She was a regular contributor to the CMS and to AMS meetings locally and nationally, and lectured at many different institutions, including Harvard, Boston University, and the University of Wisconsin. On the UNH faculty she taught several historical courses but also directed the string methods program, finding time to become a decent cellist who performed regularly, and achieved a statewide renown as a skilled repairer of stringed instruments.

Mary published articles and reviews in a number of different journals, but also became her own publisher. She founded Brass Quarterly in 1957, merging it soon with Woodwind Quarterly, and the combined journal continued until 1969. From the 1970s she became increasingly active in the field of musical iconography and collected photographs from all over the world. Her magnum opus, Musical Subjects in Western European Art, was the focus of more than two decades of effort, but it remains unfinished.

A memorial service for Mary is in the planning stage, to occur sometime in the spring.

--Mark DeVoto formerly Associate Professor of Music and the Humanities, the University of New Hampshire, 1968-1981

Jean-François Madeuf News

Trumpeter Jean-François Madeuf sends us news of his many activities. He writes, “Things are going well for the revival of the real baroque trumpet (without holes). More and more players are interested in playing in this way because they hear that it is possible now to play safely, in tune and musically, and all with authentic instruments and performance techniques. So many students are coming each year in Basel and Lyon and I obtain the same results, in a shorter time, than a few years ago. It is like they don't have the mental limitations that we have traditionally in the brass family. I am very busy and have concerts not only in France but throughout Europe and occasionally in Japan. It seems that things are changing in Germany and the UK where it is now possible to play without holes, thanks to people who studied in Basel in recent years. Makers such as Graham Nicholson (Den Haag) or Markus Raquet (Bamberg) are producing fine instruments and have full list of orders.

I performed the 2nd Brandenburg twelve times in concert in 2007 (8 times connected with the 1st Brandenburg on horn and ensemble La Petite Bande with Sigiswald Kuijken). We know that this very difficult piece is playable like it was done in the past on a natural instrument with an appropriate and historically accurate mouthpiece. I recorded it last August for a little label. I will play it again in 2008 in France and Japan and perhaps record it again. In 2009 a tour is planned with La Petite Bande as well as a recording. Another important project will be the tour of French ensemble Le Concert Spirituel in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Japan the following October, performing the Handel Water Music and Royal Fireworks. This ensemble recorded these works with 9 natural trumpets and 9 natural horns.

On 19th-century music for period instruments great progress is also being made. I participated recently in a project performing and recording the Dvorak 9th Symphony and Schumann's Konzertstück for 4 horns and orchestra. David Guerrier played a Viennese pump system horn (1st) with Antoine Dreyfus (2nd) Emmanuel Padieu (3rd) and René Schirer (4th). The orchestra was La Chambre Philharmonique conducted by Emmanuel Krivine. With Les Cuivres Romantiques, we continue the exploration of 19th-century brass band repertoire. Patrick Fraize (Bourges) made for us very good 19th-century natural trumpets with crooks after Raoux (1800-1830).”

Classical Period Trumpet by Graham Nicholson

Trumpeter and instrument maker Graham Nicholson has recently developed a classical trumpet after a 1794 Viennese Huschauer. He reports that there is only one left in the world and it is housed in the Edinburgh Colelction of Historic Instruments. He says that it is sublime as a classical trumpet, there is nothing that comes close to it. The bore is 12.2mm which is a lot bigger than the baroque bores. As a 3 holed trumpet it has the advantage of the other models that it does not go flat in the bottom and sharp in the top range as you add crooks. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Storied History of Two Gilded Horns

The September 18th issue of the New York Times ran a news story about two small guilded horns with a remarkable history. A pair of gilded horns which were reproductions of the fifth-century originals stolen 205 years ago and melted down by a debt-ridden watchmaker and goldsmith, were stolen from the Jelling Museum in South Jutland, Denmark. They were on loan from the Danish National Museum. Two days later the Times ran another story with a happy ending. The horns were recovered by the Danish police and the gang of bad-guys were arrested!