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Cornet Soloist David Daws, Now Switching to Euphonium

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David Daws was a very successful and talented cornet soloist with the Salvation Army's International Staff Band. You can hear examples of his cornet playing here:

Videos of Cornet Soloist David Daws

But he has some scar tissue on his lip from a previous injury, and that is making it increasingly difficult to play the cornet to the standard he desires. So he made the decision to switch to euphonium, which will not be hampered by that ill-placed scar tissue.

Some readers already know that the Salvation Army has a very long, proud tradition of brass band music making. And many of you may know that an advantage of brass bands is that all instruments (except bass trombone) are written in transposed treble clef, pitched according to their instrument. So anyone playing a valved instrument can change to a different instrument and just keep reading the music they way they always have done. Same fingerings! This has proven useful in many ways, one of which is allowing aging players to move down from some of the demands of the soprano, for example, so an instrument that doesn't require the same stress on the chops.

In David's case he moved to euphonium because the mouthpiece fits differently and is more compatible with the scar. But now he has to learn how to use his left hand and the 4th valve, which he says is a little bit of a challenge. But many of us euphonium players have gone through that ourselves. I started on cornet (very briefly) and then switched to a 3-valve euphonium (which we called a baritone horn at the time). When I later got a 4-valve instrument, I had some re-learning to do.

But a player's musicianship (and heart) run much deeper than the brass machine he operates every day. I have not heard David's euphonium playing yet, but I have no doubt it will be as engaging and musical as his cornet playing (only with a mellower sound!).

He is now the solo euphonium with the Aveley & Newham Band, and he is also going to play with the Herdon Band (Salvation Army), which is part of the famed euphoniumist Barrie Perrins' background. He is getting some fine support in learning the euphonium, being advised by David Thornton and Trevor Groom!

I'm sure we all look forward to hearing David's work on the euphonium. I'll certainly any examples I find to my Euphonium Videos page when the time comes.

Read the article from 4barsrest here.

Welcome to the club, David!!

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