2012 News Archive

Chamber Music Composition Contest

8/20 The Humboldt State University Brass Chamber Music Workshop announces its tenth annual composition contest. First Prize - $2000; Second Prize - $1000; Third Prize - $500. All works will be played and judged by the BCMW coaching staff. Winners’ works will be performed during the July 2013 Brass Chamber Music Workshop in Arcata, California. Amateur musicians will perform the music in a workshop format. Qualifying submissions will be added to the Workshop Library. Composition should be an original, previously unpublished, work for brass septet (2221)– 2 trumpets (cornets, flugelhorns), 2 horns (in F), 2 trombones (bass clef), & tuba. Contest particulars, including submission directions and qualifying guidelines are available on the web at http://www.humboldt.edu/brass/compcontest.html

Deadline for submissions is February 1, 2013.

World's Oldest Recording a Cornet Solo

10/26 - If you missed the national newscasts last night you might not have heard a story about how the world's oldest recording, an 1878 cornet solo recorded on a piece of tin foil, has been successfully played back using non-invasive optical analysis. The official website, with the recoding playable/downloadable is available here: http://websnap08.lbl.gov/Tinfoil.html

Also: if you recognize the tune, please let someone in the HBS know, because we don't recognize it.

Make a Trumpet with Cambridge Woodwind Makers

8/20 The Cambridge Woodwind Makers are delighted to be presenting the opportunity for you to make your own Long Trumpet with expert craftsmen Robert Barclay, Richard Seraphinoff & Michael Münkwitz.

This five-day course begins on Monday 17th June and we recommend you book your place immediately to avoid disappointment. This highly acclaimed course has been run successfully in Germany and the US and those who attend will make their own copy of a Hans Hainlein Long trumpet from sheet brass, using the tools and techniques used by 17th Century makers. The course is suitable for adults, students, musicians and craftspeople of all abilities.

The course is offered through Cambridge Woodwind Makers a new charity dedicated to the preservation and promotion of woodwind instrument making through participation. They are based in the serene setting of the Champion Workshop, Bury Farm, Stapleford, Cambridge CB22 5BP England.

For further information please see our website: www.cambridgewoodwindmakers.org, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01223 713101.

Christopher Monk Instruments News

9/20 - Course for wind players (shawms, curtals, sackbutts & cornetts) Meissen
Its still not too late to enrol for the workshop in Meissen with Capella de la Torre where I shall be coaching during the first week of October. All students, no matter what level, of the above instruments will be very welcome. If you play yourself, or if you have students seeking a few days of intense (but relaxed!) playing, please go to the link below. Or the next workshop is planned for around the same time in 2013. For further info visit here and follow the link to the workshop: http://www.capella-de-la-torre.de/en/home.html

If you are waiting for resin cornetts
Progress is being made with the instruments. And the new mouthpieces, which have considerably exacerbated the delay, are on the way too after many complications. I hope and expect to be able to release some 70 instruments over the next 4 months. I am also hopeful of clearing the waiting list altogether in the first half of 2013 especially if new manufacturing techniques prove serviceable. To those of you who have waited a long time for your cornett: THANKYOU! I really do hope that the end of the wait is in sight at last. I greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as well as the many warm wishes that so many of you have kindly sent.

If you are waiting for wooden cornetts
The news here is good! The new model cornetts have been in production for several months now and they are blowing really nicely. The waiting list is down to 2 to 3 months and I hope to be holding stock (i.e. to be able to offer players a choice!) around the turn of the new year. Currently, cornetts are mainly in rock maple, pear and cherry. I hope to be able to source some boxwood soon for those who prefer the harder timbers.

Tenor cornetts and serpents
are all in the very capable hands of Nicholas Perry. The new round-bodied tenor cornett is a beauty, blowing really nicely and sitting much more easily in the hands than its predecessors (Nicholas has 'squashed' the design to this end). In fact this instrument is now not so very different in hand stretch than the 440 treble cornett and I've purchased an example for myself very recently as a result. The serpents continue to wiggle along as ever with the new ones blowing really well (or so I am told!). For tenors and serpents info please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For cornetts please get in touch with Jeremy West at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I hope that you are happy and interested to receive this brief (and quite rare!) newsletter from Christopher Monk Instruments. If you think that your name has crept onto this list by accident, or if you would prefer no longer to be on the workshop's mailing list, please let me know and I shall remove your address right away.

With good wishes, Jeremy West


HBS Symposium: Largest Gathering of Early Brass Musicians

(Caption: Crispian Steele-Perkins performs with the Humboldt Trumpet Ensemble; Don Simithers and John Foster)

The HBS Second International Historic Brass Symposium: Brass Instruments, Repertoire, Performance, and Culture (July12-15, 2012, NYC), proved to a great success and the largest gathering of early brass musicians ever assembled. Held for three days at the New School Jazz and Contemporary Music Program and one day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Symposium had over 175 participants and, likely would have had many more but for the decision to halt registration about 4 weeks prior to the event because the two venues did not have the capacity to hold such unanticipated large numbers of people. A wide range of musical topics were presented ranging from Don Smithers giving a talk on Roman period trumpets to Gunther Schuller discussing his involvement with musicians such as Miles Davis and Charles Mingus. Many of the finest early brass soloists and ensembles performed. A special concert was held at The Church of St. Luke in the Fields which included an “All-Star” Natural Trumpet ensemble organized by Friedemann Immer and a program of 17th century music led by Bruce Dickey and Ensemble Caecillia-Concert. As so many leading performers were in attendance and the 4 day event only had enough time to present a portion of those present, it was decided that a mass reading session would be a fun (and time efficient) way to involve more wonderful players. Bruce Dickey organized the reading session of cornett and sackbut players, chose 3 large-scale, multi-choral works by Gabrieli and Priuli, and assigned players for all of the parts. Placed in four corners of the church, each brass choir, assisted by a harpsichord or organ, the large ensemble was conducted by Gunther Schuller. A glorious sound ensued and fun was had by all. A similar reading session was on the last day of the Symposium when Schuller conducted an ensemble of about 30 natural trumpeters playing a number of works including the 24 part anonymous Sonata 54 from the famous Lisbon collection. The presentation of the 2011 and 2012 Chirstopher Monk Award to Rainer Egger and Ken Kreitner was followed by the HBS Membership Meeting where future plans for the HBS were discussed.  A common reaction expressed by many Symposium participants was the wonderful sense of camaraderie and feeling of community that was present in spirit at this event. The full program and abstracts of the presentations are included on this site.

-- Jeffrey Nussbaum

Call for Papers

8/19 The HBS has received a call for papers from Helen Rusak, the editor of the Journal of Music Research Online (JMRO), a freely accessible peer-reviewed journal for scholarly research in music. If you are interested in submitting research for review, please visit their website for details.

New Bucinia Series Book Available

8/15 The latest offering in the Pendragon Press Bucinia series, The Trombone in the Renaissance: A History in Pictures and Documents, by Stuart Carter, is now available for purchase from the Pendragon Press website.

With more than 130 illustrations and nearly 400 original documents, many of them not previously available in English translation, this book traces the development of the instrument’s physical form, musical use, and social function during the Renaissance. From its initial appearance with shawms in the alta band, the instrument moved gradually to a more refined position, joining with cornetts and violins and accompanying voices in church music. By the late sixteenth century it was one of the most widely used instruments in Western Europe.

Order from Pendragon Press by clicking here. Price: $82.00 hardback. Historic Brass Society members are entitled to a 15 percent discount on all books in the Bucina series, and a 10 percent discount on all other Pendragon titles.

HBS Session at IMS Congress in Rome

8/20 The Historic Brass Society presented a study session at the 19th International Congress of the International Musicological Society this past July 7th, 2012 in Rome, Italy. The session, The trumpet and the culture of power, was chaired by Renato Meucci, Music Academy "G. Cantelli "of Novara and included the following papers:

Trevor Herbert, The Open University (UK)
The trumpeter as power negotiator in England in the sixteenth century

Joseph S. Kaminski, Wagner College and the College of Staten Island/CUNY (US)
Asante Ivory Trumpets in the Pre-colonial Military Religious Rites of Ghana

John Wallace Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (UK)
Innovative virtuosity as a messenger of power in the millennial trumpet

Tom Perchard , Goldsmiths College, University of London (UK)
Jazz Trumpet and the Semiotics of Vulnerability

A theme of this session was to explore the place held by the trumpet (or instruments that function as trumpets – such as animal horns) in defining and symbolising authority and power. The evidence for this is formidable and it is found in many societies and historical periods. The purpose of this session was to explore similarities and differences in the identity of the trumpet and its music in four discrete cultural domains – the European court in the sixteenth century, African ivory trumpets (and their link to ancient civilisations), the innovative virtuoso trumpet art-music repertoire of the late twentieth century, and the trumpeter in jazz. The IMS holds its International Congress every five years and this session was the 4th presentation of the Historic Brass Society at an IMS conference. Past events included presentations in London (1997), Leuven (2002), Zurick (2007), and Rome (2012).

Further details and the paper abstracts are available by clicking here.

HBS Christopher Monk Awards Presented


(Above: Rainer Egger receives the 2011 HBS Monk Award)


(Above: Kenneth Kreitner receives the 2012 Monk Award)

8/6 The HBS Christopher Monk Awards for the past two years were announced and presented on July 15th in New York City at the HBS Symposium.

The Monk Award for 2011 was presented to instrument maker Rainer Egger. A plaque, inscribed with the wording; “For his contributions as an early brass instrument maker and his research and collaborations with performers to help reawaken the sounds of early music”, was presented by HBS President Jeffrey Nussbaum along with trumpeter Friedemann Immer. Immer recounted a number of his past experiences working with Egger and the dedication in which he works. Rainer Egger gave a brief speech in German which Immer translated in which he called for a collaborative conference involving brass instrument makers to explore the many issues facing our community in terms of producing fine instruments.

The 2012 Christopher Monk Award was presented to Kenneth Kreitner. Keith Polk presented the Award with a plaque which read, “To Kenneth Kreitner For his support of early brass music and his scholarly research ranging from the brass bands in American small towns to the wind bands of Renaissance Spain.” Keith Polk outlined many of the fine scholarly contributions that Kreitner has made as well as his activities as an important leader in the scholarly community. Ken Kreitner gave some brief remarks expressing his gratitude to be recognized for his work.

Tuba Thefts

2/13 - The New York Times has reported on a rash of tuba thefts in California. Locks have been picked, doors unhinged, and lockers smashed but not a single computer or any other high priced bit of equipment has been stolen, only tubas! Trumpets, flutes, and violas (well, of course violas) remained safely in place. School music teachers have attributed the tuba raids to the growing popularity of banda, a traditional Mexican music form in which tubas play a dominant role. No arrests have been made. For the full story, click here.

Publication Announcement: Trumpets and Other High Brass

2/13 - First volume of a new series just published: 

Trumpets and Other High Brass: A History Inspired by the Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection, by Sabine Katharina Klaus

Trumpets and Other High Brass is a series in five volumes, illustrated with instruments from the Utley Collection at the National Music Museum, and in other major collections. It is informed by the most recent scholarship and latest imaging technologies, and will comprise a comprehensive history of the trumpet and related instruments, along with a complete photographic catalog of the Utley Collection.

Volume 1: Instruments of the Single Harmonic Series

This volume traces the development of high brass instruments without valves or keys from antiquity through the 20th-century Baroque trumpet revival. It covers ethnic instruments from many cultures, the emergence of the trumpet in Europe and dominant designs of the 16th through 18th centuries. The inclusion of military and signal trumpets, bugles, and such oddities as bicycle bugles and walking-stick trumpets enhances an already rich survey.

Hardcover, 358 pages, 8½ x 11", approximately 1000 illustrations, more than 800 in full color.
Includes DVD with musical examples performed on instruments from the Utley Collection.

ISBN: 978-0-9848269-0-2 (book) and ISBN: 0984826904 (DVD), $ 120.00 US

National Music Museum, University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street, Vermillion, SD 57069

Maurice André 1933-2012

Maurice André, the most influential trumpet soloist of his generation, passed away on February 25th, 2012 in Bayonne, in southwest France. Born on May 21, 1933 near Alés, in the south of France, he came from humble beginnings. He worked in the coal mines at the age of 14 for four years and learned to play the cornet as a child. He was encouraged to study at the Paris Conservatoire, but his family could not afford to send him. Learning that members of military bands received free tuition, he joined the Eighth Regiment Band. André eventually graduated from the Conservatoire and, after playing trumpet in a number of French orchestras, embarked on a career as a trumpet soloist. From 1967-1978 he was the trumpet professor at the Conservatoire. An enthusiastic supporter of the piccolo trumpet, he specialized in Baroque repertoire, playing numerous transcriptions of violin and oboe concerti. He also commissioned a number of contemporary trumpet solo works including music by Jolivet, Romasi and Langlais. In the 1960 he recorded extensively, almost single-handedly elevating the status of the trumpet to that of a solo instrument in the public’s eye. Maurice André was a brilliant musician with a masterful technique and beautiful lyrical quality who inspired generations of trumpeters.

2012 International Historic Brass Symposium

9/20 - 2012 HBS Symposium in New York

Schedule, Program, and Abstracts for the Symposium (updated 4/3/12)

You may remember the Symposium that the Historic Brass Society presented at Amherst College in 1995. It was the largest and most important gathering of early brass performers, scholars, collectors, and enthusiasts ever assembled. This coming summer, on July 12-15, 2012, in New York City, the HBS will present the 2nd International Historic Brass Symposium: Repertoire, Performance, and Culture. This event looks to be as great as, and possibly surpass, the 1995 symposium in size and scope. You will see the names of the most distinguished personalities in the brass field in the list of participants below.

The Symposium will take place at the New School Jazz and Contemporary Music Program on 55 West 13th street in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village section (Thursday, Saturday, Sunday), a full day (Friday) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (82nd Street and Fifth Avenue) and a Friday evening concert and social event will take place at the Church of Saint Luke in the Fields, a few blocks from the Museum.

Symposium Housing
Participants in the upcoming HBS Symposium in New York (July 12-15, 2012) who wish to stay in the New School dorms must print, fill out and mail to the New School a PDF application together with full payment. There are a limited number of dorm rooms available so it is advised to secure your space ASAP.

The Symposium will consist of formal concerts, lectures on a wide range of topics from Antiquity through to the jazz age, round-table discussion sessions, interview sessions, informal playing sessions for all instruments, and a social event. Brass instrument makers will have displays of their instruments. An auction is planned. A special panel is planed to discuss the state of the brass community including performance practice, pedagogy, and scholarship. The Symposium will offer a rare chance to meet and interact with like-minded brass musicians.

Symposium Program Committee
Stewart Carter, Trevor Herbert, Jeff Nussbaum, Keith Polk

To register, please use the Symposium Registration Form (linked here). Please print the Registration Form and mail with Payment to: HBS 148 West 23rd Street #5F New York, NY 10011 USA. In addition to payment by check, the HBS, can accept payment through PayPal. www.paypal.com If you plan on staying in the New School dorm, you must send an additional form and seperate payment to them directly.

2012 Clifford Bevan Award Call for Nominations

The 2012 Clifford Bevan Award for Excellence in Research

Call for Nominations

The International Tuba Euphonium Association established the Clifford Bevan Award for Excellence in Research to foster excellence and to encourage the highest level of research pertaining to the tuba, euphonium, and/or related instruments. Low-brass scholarship genres represent research on contemporary and historical topics related to acoustics, composition, theory, scoring, organology, and pedagogy and may include methodologies of oral history, biographical and ethnographic, historical, quantitative, statistical, and survey research.

The Bevan Award is presented at the biennial International Tuba Euphonium Conference in conjunction with the presentations of the Harvey G. Phillips Award for Composition and the Roger Bobo Award for Recording. The recipient of the Bevan Award receives a $500 stipend and an excerpt of the research is published in the ITEA Journal.

Click here for the 2012 ITEA Bevan Award Forms
For more information, send queries to
Craig Kridel, Coordinator, 2012 ITEA Bevan Research Award Committee,
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Roger Bobo, Harvey G. Phillips, and Clifford Bevan Awards were established by ITEA to foster, encourage, and recognize excellence in the fields of recording, composition, and research. These awards recognize the very best artists, composers, and researchers who have produced work of the highest distinction and are indeed given to those whose work illustrates the highest level of artistry and scholarship, regardless of popularity or other factors.

HBS to Have Session at IMS Congress

1/23 - The HBS will have a half-day session at the International Musicological Society Congress in Rome on July 7th. Having participated with HBS Sessions in London (1997), Leuven (2002), and Zurich (2007) we are now pleased to join the IMS for the 4th time in the "Eternal City," Rome. The HBS session "The Trumpet and the Culture of Power" looks to be a great contribution to the Congress and will include: Trevor Herbert (The Trumpeter as Power Negotiator in England in the 16th Century), John Wallace (Innovative virtuosity as a Messenger of Power in the Millennial Trumpet), Joe Kaminsky (Asante Ivory Trumpets in the Pre-Colonial Military Religious Rites of Ghana), and Thomas Perchard (Jazz Trumpet and the Semiotics of Vulnerability). The session will be chaired by Renato Meucci.

Barry Baugess Workshops

2/14 - Baroque trumpeter Barry Bauguess will be presenting workshops in May and July at Oberlin Conservatory and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Click on the respecive school for more details.

Make a Natural Trumpet with Cambridge Woodwind Makers

3/28 - The Cambridge Woodwind Makers are delighted to be presenting the opportunity for you to make your own Natural Trumpet with expert craftsmen Robert Barclay, Richard Seraphinoff & Michael Münkwitz.

This five-day course begins on the 28th May and we recommend you book your place immediately to avoid disappointment. This highly acclaimed course has been run successfully in Germany and the US and those who attend will make their own copy of a Hans Hainlein Long trumpet from sheet brass, using the tools and techniques used by 17th Century makers. The course is suitable for adults, students, musicians and craftspeople of all abilities.

The course is offered through Cambridge Woodwind Makers a new charity dedicated to the preservation and promotion of woodwind instrument making through participation. They are based in the serene setting of the Champion Workshop, Bury Farm, Stapleford, Cambridge CB22 5BP.

For further information please see our website: www.cambridgewoodwindmakers.org or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Maryland Early Brass Festival

2/14 - The Maryland Early Brass Festival will take place at Goucher College on Saturday February 25th. The event will feature Baroque trumpet soloist Josh Cohen who will perform and give a masterclass. Festival Director, Elisa Koehler will present a lecture/demonstration on the evolution of the piccolo trumpet. There will be a showing of instruments, and performances. For more information: www.goucher.edu/earlybrass.

Natural Horn Workshop

3/5 - Rick Seraphinoff will be directing his annual Natural Horn Workshop on Jun 11-16, 2012 at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, Bloomington IN. The program will include daily master classes, ensemble sessions, and lectures. Info: www.music.indiana.edu/precollege/adult/natural-horn

East Coast Band Conference

2/29 - The 3rd Annual East Coast Band Conference devoted to Band History and Research will be held on 14 April 2012 at Rider University. The Conference focuses on the history and influences of both American and European Bands and Composers. Attendees are welcome to give a research presentation or talk about some aspect of military or concert band history or repertoire (please contact the organizers by 1 April). For more information visit https://sites.google.com/site/eastcoastbandconference/.

Brass Symposium Full Program

4/3 - We've posted the full program and schedule for the July Brass Symposium. For registration and other information, please see the events page.

HBS Symposium Registration Closed

5/30 - Because of the unprecedented large registration turnout for the upcoming HBS Symposium this July in New York, we have now exceeded all expectations and must unfortunately close further registration. We simply have more participants than the size of the venues can accommodate. If you are in New York during this time the one part of the Symposium that could accommodate more people will be the Friday evening concert and social event at St. Luke's Church. If you have not as registered for the Symposium and would like to attend that Friday evening event, please let us know. The cost will be $15.

We apologize for any disappointment the closing of further registration may cause but there is simply no more room. Next year the Early Brass Festival will once again join forces in Northfiled, MN with the Vintage Band Festival on the weekend of August 2-4, 2013. We hope you can join us then.