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Thread: 25 year break from Euphonium

  1. #1

    25 year break from Euphonium

    So what does an old band nerd do for an early mid-life crisis, after watching the movie Whiplash and having flashbacks of his maniacal high school band director?... Buy a horn, of course!!

    I was a fairly accomplished Euphonium player in my fairly accomplished and respected high school band, 25+ years ago. Always used school horns, never owned my own, and when high school was over, never could justify the cost to buy a horn. Haven't played since, but all these years later, I still work through fingerings in my head of songs I hear on the radio. Even now, I'm hesitant to commit too much money on a feeling that might pass, or for chops that just might not return.

    So I did it. I bought a (beautiful) eBay, 1920's Conn 3-valve baritone on the cheap. It's in good shape, and seems to play well. I like the CG Conn story, love the horn, am still cleaning it up. Have questions for the group of experienced players...

    Is this going to be a decent horn to "begin again" on?
    Could it turn out to be a horn I could perform with, or will I need to buy a modern horn to be considered serious?
    Is there a reputation of good quality/tone quality on this era/manufacturer horn?

    Any feedback appreciated...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Welcome to Dave Werden's forum, and welcome back to playing euphonium.

    As to the 1920 Conn you acquired, not real sure on how much performing you can do with it. Have to tried playing it to know if the pitch is correct? It might be high pitch and not at today's A=440.

    Again, welcome to the forum.
    Last edited by RickF; 03-25-2015 at 02:07 PM.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank

    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
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  3. #3
    Thank you Rick. I was able to verify that it is a 1927 low pitch 64 I.

  4. #4
    Hi, Wpydad.

    I still have the 1923 Conn horn that my dad bought in '60 (see my sig; full disclosure -- we lived about 3/4 mile from the Conn factory). It was good enough for me to start playing again in '05, but eventually I did get a new horn, a Chinese clone which turned out to be a really good choice for an adult amateur player. After you get your chops and fingers back on the 64I, you might want to consider looking at one of the clones from Wessex or Mack Brass.
    David Bjornstad

    1923 Conn New Wonder 86I, Bach 6 1/2 AL
    2018 Wessex EP100 Dolce, Denis Wick 4ABL
    2013 Jinbao JBEP-1111L, Denis Wick 4AM
    2015 Jinbao JBBR-1240, Denis Wick clone mouthpiece of unknown designation
    Cullman (AL) Community Band (Euph Section Leader)
    Brass Band of Huntsville (2nd Bari)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Anderson, Indiana
    I also returned to playing euphonium when I retired, after not having played in nearly 40 years. I am enjoying the experience very much. Don't forget about community bands and brass ensembles - great places to improve your playing and meet fellow "old band nerds". Keep reading this forum for its many informative and educational postings.
    I also recommend joining the International Tuba and Euphonium Association (ITEA) and attending a regional or international conference. There you can learn from workshops and hear recitals of the best tuba and euphonium players in the world. You can visit vendors where you can play some of the new euphoniums and discover how much instruments have improved in the intervening years.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Pine Bush, New York
    Rest assured, your chops will come back. I'd say work with the horn you have for now and as enhite suggests find a local band to play with.

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