What can be said except what a beautiful instrument?
I have the privilege of performing on a Besson 10-10. It is a little
stuffy, however it plays well. I recommend trumpet players to
experiment with cornets, it may seem a little different but I
guarantee that it is like that with any new instrument at first.
Now here in the United States there seems to be little use for the cornet.
How wrong that is and how stereotypical of people to think there is very
little need. The only exceptions seem to lye in the Salvation Army bands
such as the International Staff Band or the Chicago Staff Band or
other brass bands not affiliated with evangelical ministry of the Salvation Army.
It is in the brass band that the repertoire calls for cornets such as Eb
soprano and Bb cornet. There is not a problem using the cornet in brass
bands: the problem lies in wind band music. Certain conductors might
respond to that as insulting. No insult is intended and the composer
clearly asked for the cornet to be used and not the trumpet on that
particular part. I understand the financial situations in the public
schools of the USA however in private schools and institutions of higher
learning there must be funding made available to purchase cornets. It is
due to the lack of funding that has caused cornet playing to become a lost
art in the USA. To the music directors out there, please do something
about this problem. Fundraise if possible, music education is so important
and a complete education is even far greater.
Another problem that I encounter is the negative bias against the cornet.
Why is that the case? Probably because the offenders are ignorant and fear
what they do not understand. Maybe that they just have a bad attitude and
are self-centered morons looking to bash something different. The answer that
would best fit this question lies within the individual who made the negative
remark. Perhaps someday that they would find the willingness to change and grow.
When we stop growing and learning, we stop living and only exist.
I feel and think so stronly about the cornet because I have become an accomplished
cornetist. I am not just another trumpeter but I am a cornetist. Some of my
cornet influences have been, Peggy Thomas, Clifford Marshall, David Daws, and Phil
The trumpet is co-equal in greatness with the cornet. It is an instrument that
requires dedication of the highest standard and discipline. One is lost and
inconsistant in their performance without discipline and dedication. It takes a
special drive and willingness to succeed and with a lot of effort, one can accomplish
their goals. One may obtain these traits by simply studying with someone who can
guide them in the correct direction and practicing on a regular basis.
My favorite representation of the trumpet is in orchestral music. Even though it does
not constantly play like strings or woodwinds, it does get the attention of the patron
who listens. It could be a pianissimo passage in a symphony or a fortissimo fanfare, it
Now some trumpet players believe that need "tone enhancers" on their mouthpiece or valve
cap weights and all else of what is known as trumpet voodoo. On some of these "sound
boosters", the design makes the mouthpiece look larger than it should be. My mentor
once told me that my mouthpiece weight looked funny. He said, "So, let me see this tumor
on your mouthpiece that you were telling me about." A few weeks after that discussion, I
removed the grotesque appearing weight from my mouthpiece and have not used one since.
This mentor of mine is not the average trumpet player. He is a retired member of the
Chicago Symphony Orchestra and I heed his advice with the utmost assurance that
he is correct. This man owes his success to God, his family, his former co-workers
Adolph Herseth and Arnold Jacobs. I once asked him what kind of trumpet to use, he told
me that it was the musician who make the music by hearing the sound in their head. He
prefers to use Bach Stradivarius as well as the trumpet section of the CSO.
One observation I have noticed among amateur trumpet players and students is the arrogance
that is prevalent among each other. It is on behalf of the more advanced students and it
corrupts music in the worst way. I have had the privilege to meet some of the great trumpet
players and they were very humble about their playing. They were aware of their greatness,
but they did not flaunt it. That is what the trumpet is about, not our egos. We must be
friendlier to each other and encourage success no matter what our position in the world of
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