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Thread: Euphonium Accidents

  1. Euphonium Accidents

    Hello everyone,

    The other day, I got my very first dent in my Besson Prestige 2052-2 Euphonium and it absolutely gutted me and it got me thinking about the many other people who have had bad accidents with their instruments which made me rather curious to hear your own personal stories of accidents which you have had with your instruments.

    I hope this can be a thread where we can share some of our own horror stories.

    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    This happened when I was 10 or 11.
    We had finished marching through the village at at the local fair and were packing in our instruments when my baritone (open-wrap Besson New Standard) that I was holding by the bottom bow slipped out of my hand and fell on the floor of the band room. Result: Clean fold in the bell of almost 90.

    I remember feeling shocked and incredibly guilty (mostly because it was a band-owned instrument), luckily the repairman we frequented repaired it, but the folding lines stayed visible after that.

  3. #3
    So sorry to hear that, Micah. A dent in a beautiful horn is indeed a tragic circumstance. However, I must be unusual. My wife tells me I am really unusual all the time. I don't get dents and stuff like that in my horns. Because I am overprotective. When I see some of the beaters that come out of the schools, it both amazes me and saddens me that people are so careless with their horns.

    Now Micah, I am surely not saying you are careless, things happen for sure, and in fact and truth, I got a tiny, tiny pin prick of a dent in my Adams E3 that I had fixed to perfection by Lee Stofer (I have absolutely no earthly idea how this happened, and I am thinking it was an extraterrestrial event most likely). But when I have my horn in public, at band rehearsals and concerts that is, I guard it like Ft Knox (where a ton of gold is kept). I always put it up when not present, I don't ever walk away from it in band practice, it gets put up when we go on break. And when people get close to me, like walking to their chair in front of me and passing by my music stand, I lean over and guard my horn. Pretty much all of my many horns I have owned over the years looked virtually brand new when I went to trade them in or sell them for a new euphonium.

    Where is the dent in your lovely horn? Hope it is easily fixed. Do you have good brass repair technicians in your neck of the woods? Here is wishing you a speedy and completely perfect repair of your dear horn!!

    Almost forgot. I did have a horn goofed up in transit. When I sold my Hirsbrunner for a Besson Prestige in the late 90's (that horn, the Besson, was a real lemon, I did not try it out before buying - big mistake), I made the trade-in and purchase deal on line with pictures and a full description of my Hirsbrunner. Once the Besson was on its way to me, I packed up the Hirsbrunner sufficiently, I thought, and sent it on its way. When it arrived at the dealer, the bell was wrinkled!! I am sure that was due more to really rough handling of the package in transit, than my packing of the horn, but it could possibly have been a little of both.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  4. #4
    My Kanstul has precisely one dent in it, acquired a few months after buying the horn. I was playing a beer garden event and put my horn down in my K&M stand for a moment adjust something on my music stand. Drunk woman close to the stage managed to elbow my poor horn out of the stand. Clang. Fortunately the dent was not very big (or deep), and I've never wanted to part with my horn long enough to get it out, so I still have it.

    Now, when using the K&M stand on a stage like that, it stays to my side and out of reach of the audience. If I don't have room for that, I skip the stand and hold the horn.
    Adrian L. Quince
    Composer, Conductor, Euphoniumist

    Kanstul 976 - SM4U

  5. Hello everyone,

    I have to admit, I am exactly like you John, I guard my horn with my life and as we are working from home it is pretty much by my side all day. It was a total freakaccident that I could not have prevented but a dent is a dent especially when I am so careful with my instrument. I have to admit, I never even put the instrument on it's bell.

    It is amazing how these things always happen when we least expect them.

    Best Wishes,

    Micah Dominic Parsons

  6. #6
    I think everyone who ever bought an instrument, especially a new one, once had this feeling when bumping their precious shiny into something. That moment for me with my current instrument was at school where an ill-placed chair made acquaintance with the side of the bottom bow, resulting in a a tiny, shallow dent. I sucks big time of course, but you get over it.
    A good thing to remember is that musical instruments are tools in the end, made to be used. While some of them are pieces of art no doubt, in the end they are made to be played. In my case, I play mine every day for multiple hours most of time so it is only realistic that my instrument will pick up some signs of use over time. Of course, a responsible person will try to take care of their gear and so do I. It's like buying a car or a smartphone where you know that one day, hopefully a long time from then, it will pick up a scratch and a dent.

    Once in a while, you come across an older instrument in a very good to pristine condition. Most of the time, that will be because the horn was rarely used and when used, was taken good care of. People like John who use their horns a lot more and still manage to keep it as-new as possible are a much rarer breed. A used instrument that was made decades ago that shows a couple of incidental dents is in my regards still a solid, good condition horn. Dents and other signs of use tell that the instrument is a player and was used to what it was supposed to do.
    2019 Besson Sovereign 967T silverplated - Denis Wick SM4U

  7. #7
    As many others here on the forum, I am VERY careful with my horn. Many precautions are simply a matter of habit by now, though often a little inconvenient.

    For Christmas Eve, 2018, I played in church. I followed my usual precautions and all was well, despite being in a very crowded sanctuary with choir and other instrumentalists moving around me. After that, all I had to do was drive 2 miles home. The horn was in its Bonna case in the rear of my 3-row SUV. Background: the car was new and had just gotten a rustproofing and fabric treatment. Because of those, the fold-down rear seat was up, so there was less space behind it. Also, the car came with summer floor mats, which were in plastic bags in the rear area. Consequently the horn was not sitting on a flat floor, and was close to the hatch. Oh, and we have a VERY steep driveway at its start, which tends to throw cargo to the rear of the compartment. I pulled the car into the garage and hit the power button to open the hatch. The horn/case tumbled out onto the pavement. The car sits pretty high off the ground (it's terrific in deep snow!) so the fall onto the concrete floor was somewhat substantial.

    When I examined the horn inside the house, at first it looked OK. Then I noticed on the back side that there was a significant wrinkle in the soft, sterling silver bell. Even more distressing, the first valve would hardly move. The distortion that wrinkled the bell put enough pressure on the valve casing to interfere with the piston's movement.

    We live about 6-8 hours away from Lee Stofer, a master repair person. And he lives only an hour outside the town I grew up in. So my wife and I went for a little trip. We dropped the horn off with Lee and had a nice conversation. Then we spent the night in my home town and had dinner with my 9th-grade music teacher. Next day we picked up the horn and came home. During that time I got to watch Lee take out the dent in the bell. It was really interesting to watch - he made it look so easy! Now the bell looks as good as new.

    But the experience was a bit traumatic, so I went to my car dealer and bought the accessory cargo net for the back! Now when the horn rides back there, there is a net in place so it can't fall out when I open the hatch. (That is probably overkill, because I don't have the extra mats in the back and the 3rd-row seat is almost always folded down, but...)

    Here are photos of the wrinkle, Lee working on it, and a brochure photo of the cargo net.

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  8. #8
    I remember your unfortunate incident, Dave, and in fact, your experience with Lee Stofer led me to him as well to fix my little pin prick of a dent (and one side of the hand grip came unsoldered, so he fixed that, too). I also used Lee to do a little restore/finishing touches on my 1956 Boosey & Hawkes Imperial that I got a few years ago in excellent condition. He took out the two small dents in the horn and did some other magic. He is indeed "Da Man" when it comes to instrument repair technicians and restoration experts.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  9. #9
    My worst accident was while driving to rehearsal, I got cut off and had to brake hard. My miraphone 5050 was in the back of my suv in a gig bag, and rolled forward and back, so that it was right against the tailgate. When I opened the tailgate at my destination, the horn fell to the ground.

    it was pretty badly mangled. Matt Walters at Dillon got it playable, but it was never the same. I ended up replacing it. I e since replaced the gig bag with a Marcus Bonna case, and I never open the tailgate unless I’m standing next to it.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Don’s story is similar to what Carlyle Weber (retired Army Field Band) had happen to him a few years ago with his Willson. After hearing stories like that I now put my horn in its gig bag on the back seat. There’s more ‘soft padding’ around to soften the blow if you have to brake hard. I’ve even sometimes attached a seat belt around it too.
    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)
    Russian Sailor's Dance (Reinhold Gliere

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