Carroll Community Wind Ensemble Trumpet Players

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Welcome to part of the Carroll Community Wind Ensemble out of Carrollton, Ga.

The ensemble is a community outreach program of the Carroll Symphony Orchestra that began 3 years ago and has performed at many community events. This is their second time performing with the University of West Georgia. Two years ago they combined with members of the CSO to provide the pit orchestra for the opera Carmen.

They currently have 5 trumpet players in their trumpet section. The photo includes, from left to right, Bob Johnson, Jen Houck and Chris Davis. Their other two trumpet players are Terry Strickland and Lee Ritchie.

The Carroll Community Wind Ensemble is open to any musician that previously played a wind instrument in high school or college. Many have not played in an organized group for many years.
2014-10-15 22.18.41(This pic is of Lee, Jen and Terry from Monday night’s dress rehearsal)

Protecting the Finish of Your Instrument

In an earlier post I covered the essentials for keeping your brass instrument in good working order. This post will cover the importance of keeping the outer service of your instrument in good shape. Whether you have a silver or gold plated instrument or a lacquered or even bare brass surface, it is important to protect the outside from damage and wear.

Bare brass instruments

Instruments without plating or lacquer will eventually turn ugly. The reason that bare brass changes with time is the fact that the brass, when exposed to the air over a given period will tarnish and this tarnishing will distract from the original high luster it had after its first polishing. Brass is a wonderful material for making instruments for it is a relatively cheap material and is very easy to manipulate into curves and flares. It is also easy to solder parts together. After a simple polishing, the brass is beautifully restored to its original high luster. Brass is a wonderful material but, as I said, if left to the elements, it will return again to the dull, tarnished condition it originally began.

The outward appearance might not be a concern to you and many players are seen performing on these instruments. There is one concern which you may not be aware of and that is without a protective layer between you and your bare brass instrument, you run the risk of brass poisoning. The skin will react to the brass in the same way your tongue will react to licking exposed brass. It is not a good idea to play on an exposed brass instrument for that reason. Many performers prefer the sound and response of these horns and I am not going to debate the value of bare brass tone qualities in this article. Many performers will take a lacquered instrument and have the lacquer stripped in order to get the quality of sound that they want. I remember visiting with Mr. Schilke one day when I asked him why he did not offer lacquered trumpets. His answer was short and to the point, as they always were: “You can’t control the thickness of the lacquer as well as you can with silver and/or gold plating. Without this control, you can’t be sure how the instrument will perform”. Again, I have no problem with this choice but do know that the player runs the risk of brass poisoning and areas of contact that will turn green with extended contact just as a cheap brass ring will eventually turn your finger green.

If you prefer an exposed brass instrument, think about the risk and consider coating your instrument often with a good furniture polish to separate your hands and fingers from the bare brass or consider adding a leather cover where your hand makes contact with the instrument.

Lacquer covered instruments

If your instrument is lacquered, it is protected from the air and until the lacquer wears off, it should stay in the same condition for a long time. If the surface begins to wear through or sustains scratches, the underlying brass will eventually tarnish. Fortunately, a stripping and buffing session at the repair shop will bring it back to is original high luster. Brass is so forgiving. To prolong the original surface, be sure to apply a good coating of high quality furniture polish once a year. This will sustain the condition of the lacquer for a longer time.

If you are the type of person that wants your instrument to shine forever and you intend to have it buffed often, forget it. You must remember that each time the repair shop buffs your brass; they are taking a small amount of brass off each time. Eventually you will begin to find weak spots where they leaned a little too hard on the buffing wheel. I have a beautifully playing early Bach cornet which I enjoy playing. It is old, as I am but I will put up with the tarnished areas in order to sustain the original thickness of the tubing.

Silver and Gold instruments

When I bought my first Schilke trumpet, I wanted it to last forever. I asked Mr. Schilke what I should do to keep it in good shape. He told me to only use Tarni-shield on the outside. That is what I started using and I still use it on all of my silver plated horns. It works great and each application has lasted for a long time. The accompanying photo is the original bottle I purchased with my first Schilke horn and there is still enough in there to last longer than I will last. Great stuff, use it.

I will caution you about using this product on your mouthpiece for it will leave a slight greasy feeling on the silver and if you use it on your mouthpiece rim; you might be sliding around on your lip for a while.

Additional protection for the outside of your instrument

Check  the inside of your case for any loose objects which might roll around and scratch your horn. And while you’re at it, check the felt on your trumpet stand for any sharp materials. You don’t want to set your beautiful bell down on a piece of metal for the scratches will be hard to hide from your audience.

Three Cadenzas for Del Staigers Carnival of Venice

This needs no explanation. I just got tired of the same written cadenza and thought some of you might like something different. You will obviously need to take liberties with the tempo of each cadenza, slow at the beginning and fast at the end of each run. The piano part and the trumpet part are in the same key as the original so all you have to do is give your accompanist one of these sheets and take off.

Download here 3 Cadenzas for Staigers Carnival of Venice

Listen to examples Carnival of Venice- Cadenza