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by legendary euphonium soloist, Arthur Lehman U.S. Marine Band, retired

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It just occurred to me today. When I listened to music off a new CD I'd just acquired, of the Salvation Army's International Staff Band from England, that for years when I have written many articles, I have unintentionally overlooked the English euphonium players. When I would, for instance, say something like this, "of all of the euphonium players I can think of, Harold Brasch had the best tone." well, I was automatically thinking of only the American youffers, forgetting completely about the English youffers. Now, that was a really huge blunder for, of all the world's best tone, the English youffers are far ahead of everyone else anywhere in the world. Far ahead!

How could I overlook them? Well, I guess we are too far apart geographically for one thing. And we don't get to hear many English bands any more, either, unless it is off of some CD or other. But that isn't much of an excuse. I simply overlooked the obvious. The English have it all over us Americans in the matter of euphonium tone. That's the fact of the matter, as I see it.

I know for a certainty that Harold Brasch revered the English euphonium tone. He tried to copy it. He did get somewhat of an English flavor to his fine tone but he couldn't get it exactly right unless he were there and playing in some English band for time enough to get the style and type of tone they have and he wanted. He succeeded well for someone so far from the source but he couldn't equal the normal English euphonium player's tone let alone come close to that of the best ones. That was too much for someone so far away from England. No, as good as Harold's tone was, it did not approach those of the English youffers. You just have to go to England for that.

So, again let me apologize to you youffers in England for ignoring you in my discussions of tone. You are the ones who "wrote the book on tone" so you should have been mentioned in every discussion of euphonium tone I ever wrote an article about. I really goofed and I am very sorry that it took until the last day of the year for me to apologize but here it is again:
"I apologize."

Written by Arthur Lehman, December 31, 2008

 

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