Copyright © 2000, 2001 by Richard I. Schwartz
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Well-known Soloists from All Walks of Life
Louis A. Saint-Jacome
(b Paris 13 May 1830; d London 15 July 1898)
Louis began his musical training at the age of seven on the piano and violin, taking lessons from his stepfather, Martel, bandmaster of the Bal de la Cour. He later studied the cornet at the Paris Conservatory from which he graduated in 1850, winning first prize on the instrument. Between the years of 1855 and 1858 he played solo cornet with the Chasseurs A Creval de la Garde and on the keyed bugle as well. He later moved to London, played cornet with the Alhambra Orchestra first under Revierre’s baton, and then solo cornet and flageolet under Jacoby’s baton.
He became musical arranger also for the Messieurs La Fleur Publishing Company in 1870 and during his tenure with this company he wrote his famous Grand Method for cornet (See Chapter 5 in this document). It is considered by many cornetists as second to none, except perhaps for the Arban’s Grand Méthode for the cornet. Even Herbert L. Clarke recognized the importance of St. Jacome’s method for the cornet, believing that the Arban’s method complemented the St. Jacome method, and that the two of them together comprised a complete education on the instrument.
In 1883, he became cornet tuner and tester for the BESSON Company in London and remained so until his death in 1898. In his life, he played the cornet, the flageolet (an instrument he thought was invaluable for development on the cornet) and even was considered a "connoisseur " of the violin. Information for this entry appears in Pioneers in Brass (Bridges , 80-81).
(b Koblenz, Germany 13 Jan 1827; d Los Angeles 4 Aug 1910)
He toured Europe twice with the violinist Ole Bull and Adeline Patti (Bridges , 76) before resigning his position as cornet professor at the Cologne Conservatory of Music, coming to America in  with Sigismond Thalberg (1812-1871), pianist and composer. Thalberg went back to Europe, but Schreiber decided to stayed in New York City.
As soon as Schreiber arrived he began performing with the New York Philharmonic Society and stayed with the organization through the 1864-1865 season. Schreiber performed at least six solo engagements on cornet with the Society, including four of his own solos for cornet. On 8 September 1858, he performed three solos with Fiske’s Cornet Band, Matthew Arbuckle conducting and was advertised as "the greatest cornet player now living" (Fiske’s Cornet Band 1858). His accomplishments also include performances on the violin and piano, and composition. During the 1872-1873 season, he played principal trumpet [on cornet] with the Theodore Thomas Orchestra. He was also one of the founders of the New York Philharmonic Society.
In 1858, he formed the Schreiber Cornet Manufacturing Company to manufacture brass instruments, but his name and any company associated with him disappears during the Civil War years. In 1865, however, his name appears on his own patent (US #49925) for improved touch pieces for the fingers of the right hand and in 1866, he patents an improved valve action in Great Britain (GB #2468) with William Edward Newton. Newton had worked with Richard Carte and G. Macfarlane in England prior to his association with Schreiber. His name appears again on American documents in 1867 when he patents (US #63760) metal mandrels for construction of brass instrument bells. Another patent of 1867 is for his own design of rotary valve bell-upright instruments (US #64582) in contrast with the bell-back instruments of the Saxhorn. The instruments were easier to handle and to clear of condensation than the bell-back instruments. Rotors and valve casings were each cut from a single piece of brass, reducing the number of separate pieces (and therefore joints) from thirteen or more to just three (rotor, casing, and cap).The stop for the rotor was an internal piece of rubber, and not the usual piece of cork. Furthermore, the patent also included a rotary valve escape system for water accumulation. The valve could be opened with the left hand, thereby releasing water into a reservoir, which would then drain by gravity. Valve tubes were drilled by machine, and bells were shaped over metal mandrels. The machines used to shape these bells were patented for Schreiber by Lewis West Spencer. His company received a First Prize Medal for his entry at the Universal Exposition of Paris in 1867. Schreiber instruments were used by Claudio Grafulla’s Seventh Regiment New York National Guards Band in c1868. Also in 1868, his instruments were represented by Marius J. Paillard & Co. at 21 Maiden Lane. Paillard was active for many years as importers and retailers of music boxes. The company finally failed in 1870.
Schreiber’s home address between 1870 and 1883 was 57 E. Ninety-first Street and his last home address (4571 Pasadena Ave., Los Angeles) is now unfortunately buried under the Los Angeles Freeway. His businesses were located at various places, i.e., 231 Sixth, 363 Bowery, and 23 Union in New York City.
Sometime after his company failed in 1870, Schreiber became the American sole selling agent for BESSON (London) band instruments. In 1876, he represented the company with a display of instruments at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.
In 1881, he retired from active playing to teach and manufacture band instruments full time. A highly respected teacher and performer of the cornet, he had total control over the instrument and could play pianissimo over its entire range. Information for this entry appears in the Newsletter of the American Musical Instrument Society (Farrar 1985, 4-5; Farrar 1987, 3), Pioneers in Brass (Bridges , 76-77), The New Langwill Index (Waterhouse 1993, 281,363), and Correspondence (Eldredge 1999).
Thomas Vowler Short
(b Melbourne, Australia 24 Oct 1856; d St. Petersburg, FL 4 Oct 1931)
At the young age of fifteen, he was selected to be the director of the Talbot Band of Victoria, and at age eighteen, he became the conductor of the Hamilton Band of Australia. He toured New Zealand, South America, and Australia as director of the Cooper & Bailey Show Band, and directed bands and played cornet solos in Melbourne and New South Wales, where he received a silver-plated COURTOIS cornet from the Governor General, Sir Hercules Robinson.
After Short arrived in New York City in 1878, he became the director of the Thirteenth, Sixty-ninth, and Seventy-first Regimental Bands, and in the 1880’s, Clapp’s Band. From 1888 to 1891, he played solo cornet and was assistant conductor of Innes’ Band. The band traveled to many places including the Dallas Exposition of 1890 where Herbert L. Clarke actually played assistant first cornet to Short. He later became the conductor of the Second Regiment Band of Springfield, Massachusetts. He constantly played as special cornet soloist in the 1880’s with many bands including Gilmore’s and Cappa’s Bands.
Short’s accomplishments include organizing and directing band programs throughout Massachusetts. He composed cornet solos and wrote for the band medium as well. Our Band, Brooklyn Eagle, and My Florida March were three of his most well-known marches for band. On New Year’s Eve, 31 December 1921, Short played a cornet solo on radio from the top of the Municipal Tower in Springfield, Massachusetts. It was the first broadcast of the "Chime Concerts" series. Information for this entry appears in Pioneers in Brass (Bridges , 88a) and The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music (Rehrig 1991, 689).
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