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Thread: Recommendations for A new Horn for my daughter

  1. Question Recommendations for A new Horn for my daughter

    Hi all!

    I have searched this forum relentlessly now for a year or more, once I started planning on getting a new horn for my daughter. I must say all the recommendations are confusing at times, but I have read through them.

    My daughter is an incoming high school freshman and about 5'4". She is interested in going into Music Education when done here, with her eyes currently on UNT's program, where Dr. Bowman teaches. A great many of the current studio students are Besson or Willson users.

    I just want to get her a great horn that will carry her into college and beyond, and have a $7500 budget. I have looked over Adams (my daughter has become a fan of Dr. Werden's videos, especially Tico Tico), Sterling, Wessex Dolce(which was going to be what I pushed when I thought the budget was going to be much lower), and others.

    My downside is I want it to be her choice, but not any places to play such horns here in the Dallas, TX area. I am taking her to Texas Bandmastters in July, and they should have a display room, but know way of knowing these brands will be there.

    So, though hundreds of threads exist, I would appreciate a hand in sorting it out. Should I aim for those at her age (almost 15) or should I think about more intermediate models? She'd love to have her own marching horn too so if there are good models in the $4500-5500 range for concert horn so she could use the extra for marching, I'd like to here that too. She's a straight student who loves her music, so only want to give her the best for her. Her school horns have, frankly, been crap. Beginner was the same YEP-321 I likely played at the same school, and the last two years have been an Eastman with perpetual value and stuffiness issues.

    Richard Culver
    No longer playing, but former euphonist.
    Proud father of euphonist daughter.

  2. #2
    Hi there Richard,

    I am so glad that your daughter loves music and the euphonium!

    Here are a couple of my thoughts:

    1. With brands such as Adams, Sterling, Besson, Yamaha, Jupiter XO, and Willson there is little chance of finding a "dog" horn with any of their top models. At a point, it is really up to preference! Going the route of used with a $4500-5500 budget is very possible for many of these horns, with maybe the exception of Adams.

    2. I would consider visiting the TMEA (Texas Music Educator's Association) conference this coming year. That coupled with the Texas Bandmaster's association should provide a wide range of instruments to try!

    3. I think it is also wonderful that your daughter has interest in purchasing a marching horn, but I think that purchasing one is not necessary. Her high school should provide her one in working condition and even drum corps organizations provide a horn to use during the season. I think that purchasing one is not the most efficient use of money...plus they are a PAIN to hold!

    Best of luck on you and your daughter's journey to find an instrument! Keep us updated.

    - Jonah Zimmerman

  3. Quote Originally Posted by Jonahzee View Post

    1. With brands such as Adams, Sterling, Besson, Yamaha, Jupiter XO, and Willson there is little chance of finding a "dog" horn with any of their top models. At a point, it is really up to preference! Going the route of used with a $4500-5500 budget is very possible for many of these horns, with maybe the exception of Adams.
    Thank you. That gives a much better range of models for her to be on the look out for.


    2. I would consider visiting the TMEA (Texas Music Educator's Association) conference this coming year. That coupled with the Texas Bandmaster's association should provide a wide range of instruments to try!
    Not sure we can wait that long. Unfortunately all of her horns are lack luster at the schools so far.

    3. I think it is also wonderful that your daughter has interest in purchasing a marching horn, but I think that purchasing one is not necessary. Her high school should provide her one in working condition and even drum corps organizations provide a horn to use during the season. I think that purchasing one is not the most efficient use of money...plus they are a PAIN to hold!
    Yes, she grumbles about holding hers already. She was only considering it, as I said, because her school horns are frankly beaten to hell. The marching horns are from 30 years ago just after I switched from euphonium, where I marched play my YEP-321 (could use the uniform cummerbund to hold the back tuning valve), to tuba/sousaphone. She's at my alma mater so I recognize them pretty well. Just wanting her to have the best tools. Plus her first car will be worth far less as she gets my crappy Kia, so she could use something nice.


    Richard
    No longer playing, but former euphonist.
    Proud father of euphonist daughter.

  4. #4
    Trust me, if she's going to UNT, get the instrument the instructor wants her to get. Bowman is probably going to say go for the willson, so that's a safe bet. Contact him first.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by 58mark View Post
    Trust me, if she's going to UNT, get the instrument the instructor wants her to get. Bowman is probably going to say go for the willson, so that's a safe bet. Contact him first.
    I'd have to agree with this too. I am familiar with alot of the UNT guys, and while a fair amount of them play the Willson 2900, there are a handful of Besson's and Yamaha's in that studio as well.

    I actually live here in the North Dallas area as well, and I agree it's a huge pain to get around to trying instruments. If I remember correctly a couple of the Music and Arts have horns, I've tried the Jupiter XO, Yamaha Neo and Custom, and a couple of Besson Sovereign's. If you're serious about buying in new they can bring in just about anything now for in store trials and have the option if you pay for the whole horn you can take it on trial and return within a certain period.

    My biggest suggestion for trying horns is to attend TMEA next February as well as TBA. TBA doesn't have as many horns out to try, because it's mostly targeted towards band directors, where TMEA is for every musical thing you can imagine.

    I wouldn't rush the process about getting the horn, most of this first semester will be spent on her marching instrument, if you're worried about her being competitive in the all-region process, I had a guy who competed in area auditions on a 3 valve Yamaha-201 that was probably older than both of us. For me at least, I wasn't nearly as developed both physically and musically to purchase a horn, until my senior year of high school. There's alot of time for her to grow and change musically to the extent she might even want to study overseas in a brass band/european setting that wouldn't favour the Willson that Brian Bowman prefers.

    Is she in any sort of private lessons at the moment?

    As far as marching horns go, I personally wouldn't put the money in to buy one at all, the only situation I could see myself going out to buy one is if she wants to audition for a Drum Corps in college and doesn't have access to a horn, but at UNT my friends have been allowed to use horns from the college.
    Last edited by Msan1313; 06-04-2017 at 10:41 AM.

  6. Well, the Willsons are a minimum (retail) $1100 past what we have as a budget. And UNT is just a broad goal, though TWU is as much an option.

    I will contact Music and Arts and see if we can do trials with some. Thanks!

    Richard
    No longer playing, but former euphonist.
    Proud father of euphonist daughter.

  7. #7
    I live just outside of Dallas, and if you ever want to try my packer 274s, just say the word. I bought mine because I liked it better than ANY instrument at tmea (other than Adams)

    They can be had for less than $1500

  8. #8
    I DEFINITELY would try and get a different horn for marching band than a high-end horn. Kids are relentless in their ability to trash horns - heck, adults are known to have accidents with them too.

    You will hear a lot of recommendations for some of the lower-cost instruments like Wessex, John Packer, and maybe Jin Bao. Even though your daughter expresses interest in playing beyond high school, she's young enough where that desire might become derailed.

    Hasn't Brian Bowman indicated retirement? Perhaps not immediately, but in a couple-three years?
    U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-Fifties)
    Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
    Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
    Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
    Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
    Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)
    Shen 3/4 upright bass (who cares?)

  9. #9
    Richard,

    This is an interesting discussion so far. Certainly there are some fine horns in your sights right now. Adams is my choice, but Besson is also a great horn. Your budget is not unlimited, so that could rule out the Willson, for one, even though Willson is also a fine horn.

    Eupher6 makes a good point about the age of your daughter, and I'd like to amplify that thought a bit. Even if you are 100% sure she will continue to pursue serious euphonium playing, she is pretty early in the development spectum yet. I lean toward suggesting a cheaper horn, like the Wessex or the Packer 274 mentioned above. Either would be a big improvement on what she has been playing. By the time she is in college, her feeling about which brand she wants may evolve and/or solidify. This will also give her more time to get to some of the big tuba-euphonium events and try various horns (not to mention hearing some inspiring players live). Then you can either sell/trade-in the cheaper horn, or she might want to do what John Morgan (and I think another member or two) have done, and keep the cheaper horn for "bad" gigs where it might get dented or be otherwise at risk.

    However, we don't want to discourage her. If you feel she needs the inspiration of a top-notch horn, that can work out, too. If she does later develop interest in a different brand, the horn you choose will still have good resale value and trading up may not be too painful.

    She is not a very large person and I assume her arms might have trouble managing some of the larger models. For example, the Miraphone 5050 is a real armful and might be avoided. The Adams E1 and E2 are mainstream as far as "holding size" but the E3 is larger and might be less comfortable.

    Sorry if this confuses the issue, but this is not a simple 2+2=4 kind of decision.
    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

  10. Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    Richard,
    I lean toward suggesting a cheaper horn, like the Wessex or the Packer 274 mentioned above. Either would be a big improvement on what she has been playing. By the time she is in college, her feeling about which brand she wants may evolve and/or solidify. This will also give her more time to get to some of the big tuba-euphonium events and try various horns (not to mention hearing some inspiring players live). Then you can either sell/trade-in the cheaper horn, or she might want to do what John Morgan (and I think another member or two) have done, and keep the cheaper horn for "bad" gigs where it might get dented or be otherwise at risk.
    I had her read this, and she actually agrees (like what the hell do I know, but a stranger is always right). She wants me to look into the Wessex, which I was actually pushing when our budget was much lower (thank the heavens for supportive grandparents). If she gets one, we will put the rest into savings for later if she upgrades or to pay for other playing opportunities. She is very smart but also practical.



    Richard
    No longer playing, but former euphonist.
    Proud father of euphonist daughter.

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