Discussion in 'Horns' started by eclipse trumpets, Nov 23, 2003.

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  1. eclipse trumpets

    eclipse trumpets Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Entries for the contest must be posted in here!


  2. Liad Bar-EL

    Liad Bar-EL Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Jerusalem, Israel
    1. LEADPIPE – MAIN TUBE – CONTINUAL TAPER, SOLID NICKLE OR COATED INSIDE/OUTSIDE WITH NICKEL: Leadpipe (small bore) with O Pinky ring. I would like all finger “hooks†and bracings to be round ring, like the world and the sun from which they both make an Eclipse. Following the leadpipe, the main tube to be rounded and include an Amado water key. The continual taper from the leadpipe into the valve block of which is to be a medium large bore. If this taper cannot be made, you don't think that I will reject the horn do you? :) Well, we better talk first.:D

    Nickel is harder and thus smoother than brass. I am requiring this metal hardness and smoothness in order to brighten up the sound and make the horn resonate more plus prevent inside pitting of which happens with raw brass. If raw brass pits on the out side next to the hand, can you imagine what it does on the inside where there is constant toxic spit, food, etc? It is preferred to have the leadpipe and the main tube to be of solid nickel but if this is not available then use the standard brass.

    2. MOUTHPIECE It will be at my expense and it will be in the shape of the Ancient Trumpet’s mouthpiece which in effect was designed 2,000 years ahead of it’s time. In other words, through my research, I have found that the ancient trumpet mouthpieces as used in the Holy Temple trumpets were designed to have a built in Sound Enhancer. I informed Andy about this and he has the design. I would like it to be a solid nickel mouthpiece. Andy has my specs and design; so, I hope that you will be able to get his assistance to make this mpc fit the Eclipse and to give the horn balance in weight. Also, maybe a one-week supply of dog food would help Andy agree to this endeavor? :D

    3. GOLD PLATING: valve block, slides, bracing and 1st & 3rd screw slide stops.

    a. Bell should have a rapid taper and large diameter much like what the WT, Marching Brass trumpets and flugel horns have. I believe this taper is called a bugle taper.
    b. The bell should be soldered with silver and afterwards the whole bell should be silver-plated inside and outside. The silver-plating of the solder seams does prevent the bell seams from discoloring (turning black) and wearing away each time that the silver is polished. This was learned the hard way. :( The solder will wear away faster because it is softer.
    c. It is my understanding that the bell bend cannot be made in solid silver; so, the bell bend can be brass with silver plating. The bell bend should be silver coated its full length. While tuning, the silver color will then look the same and there will be no color breaks in the bell bend tuning setup. This may present somewhat of a problem if we go with the Equinox model design for this horn in that the bend cannot be made of pure silver; so, how would you attach a pure silver bell to this type of design? The Equinox seems to be fitting for the item #5 on this list.
    d. Would appreciate receiving the certified silver smith marking (.925) on bell. This is to verify to the Chief Rabbis in Israel that this horn meets the law of specifications for a trumpet as set down in the ancient holy documents.

    5. “FLOATING SLIDE.†It seems that the Equinox model would be fitting for this item with a slight change in design. The bell bend for tuning would remain as it is on the other Eclipse trumpets and the extra tube near this bell bend could be for a floating slide for fine-tuning. It would be operated by the thumb and it will replace the first tuning slide O ring. This may be operated by an O ring that would be able to go back and forth about 1†thereby causing the slide to move in or out according to the pressure applied with a center preset sort of “stopâ€. Maybe a valve guide with three stops (one at each end and one in the middle) might be of use. This “floating†slide item may be cancelled if it is found to be impossible to develop at this time in which case the whole trumpet tubing layout would revert from Equinox to the standard Eclipse trumpet design.

    6. THIRD VALVE SLIDE: Third valve slide ring. NO water key. I believe as does Schilke believe that this extra hole in such a tight bend of the tubing of the third valve slide interferes with the sound.

    7. VALVE BLOCK Medium large bore and from the same company that Taylor uses also with nylon valve guides for quiet operation. It is my understanding that the medium large bore, for trumpet makers, have more successes in developing better intonation especially with this type of bell taper.

    8. NAME IN HORN The Gold plated bracing will represent my first name. The name Liad in Hebrew is really four Hebrew letters that represent two words. I would like it to be written in Hebrew letters. I will nevertheless supply the characters via e-mail pictures so that you will know the design/shape of them. The first word of two letters, Li (Lee) that means in English “To Me†will be between the mpc leadpipe and bell. The next word of two letters, “ad†(ahd) that means in English “foreverâ€, will be after the valve block connecting the remainder of the leadpipe to the bell. These letters will be suspended in the middle of O ring braces; however, if you find it more advantageous to make the braces out of the Hebrew letters themselves or cut the letters from a solid brace, let me know. This name will fit in conjunction with the theme of the trumpet.

    9. AURA EFFECTS I would like the whole horn including the valve tops sparkle like an AURA. This effect is not just a reflection of light but a division of the light itself into colors that happen when a light hits a diamond or piece of crystal. Therefore, I think in order to get this light color division, one needs to put in the lacquer many very fine diamond or crystal pieces, chips or a large grain “dust†of one of these elements so as to give the whole horn an AURA. Which element do I prefer? Well let’s see………………………………………………………….Jade. What kind of a question is that? What ever increases the value of the horn. It would seem that the horn would have a very light 1st lacquer so as to make all the elements stick to the horn and then a 2nd lacquer so as to make everything smooth. Of course, what do I know about finishing off a horn?


    As a total Eclipse gives off an AURA of light, so does everyone have an AURA around them ... like a light of the soul. Some people have more of an AURA than others depending upon how good, righteous or peaceful that person is. Moses was one who had an AURA that everyone could see. The AURA can be increased by doing good deeds and likewise can be decreased with bad deeds. One may feel this AURA from others as soon as they meet them and others may not. Peaceful endeavors, however, help increase one’s AURA. This AURA is transferable to things as well and this is how we get a feeling from certain objects that we handle that belonged to others. It is known that artists put part of themselves (AURA) into their work.

    Leigh is an artist of a trumpet maker and puts part of himself (AURA) into his horns. Whatever he feels at that time of horn making is embedded into that particular horn and that horn will exemplify those feelings (AURA). This horn that I want you, Leigh, to make will used for PEACE (SHALOM) among the nations/peoples of this world. Leigh, what I request that you do in making this particular horn is to first put away from your mind that you are making this horn just for me. I humbly request that your main feeling for making this horn be of the following: We are all brothers and sisters, made in love and peace because we came from the same mother, Eve, and this transcends countries, nations, peoples and religions. This will bring us back to the basics of our being and living in peace as brothers and sisters. You know the feeling already from your wife now expecting her first baby. By you making this trumpet with this thought and feeling constantly in mind will increase your AURA. With every piece that you make and with every piece that you put together, you will be uniting these pieces as the peoples should be united as brothers and sisters together to live / function in harmony and in peace. This horn will then have an AURA that will exemplify, amplify and declare peace!

    One Day in the Life of a Trumpet Player (before 1936+ years & Nov 14, 2003)

    Once upon a time …. (conscience: come on Liad. This story is not a fairly tail. It’s true and very factual; so, please don’t joke.)

    Chaim Cohen, 32 years old and father of 3 boys, is sleeping apart from his family in the cold stone room of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, Israel that is especially set up for the people who are scheduled to do the religious services for the coming day. They all have to wake up about 2 hours before dawn; so, the music director has to be sure that he has his program in tack and secured well before it starts. There are many rooms for various people for the Temple service and likewise there are guards for these rooms and for each entrance to the courtyards of the Holy Temple so as to prevent people who are not of the Cohen family from entering these rooms and/or other special areas of the Holy Temple. There is one person who is in charge of these guards and his job is to keep every guard awake; so, he goes constantly walks around to see if any of them are sleeping. If he sees a guard sleeping, he will smack him awake. Chaim Cohen woke up when he heard the guard next to his room get smacked. Chaim was wondering if his trumpet (straight solid silver valve less) was all right for it was getting time for him to prepare for blowing the trumpets in the religious service. Chaim took off his trumpet from the wooden insert that was used to keep the trumpet from bending because solid silver is very soft. The trumpet was fine yet very cold. There was nothing he could do to get it warm. November is very cold at night. Chaim, just like all the other people serving in the Holy Temple, was not allowed to wear any shoes nor socks. He walked bare foot to a huge round copper container of water that had about 12 water spouts underneath it for him and many others to wash their hands and feet 3 times each. It was freezing cold!! Chaim went to the room to change into special clothes. He put on his robes of several layers one of which was all blue and the final layer of clothing was multicolored with real gold and real silver threads woven into the material. It really sparkled with the light. Covering his waist was a band of cloth with the colors of magenta, blue and purple. One particular garment he wears has a tassel on each of the four corners that has one thread of the color blue. This blue color was obtained from a special snail called the “Chilazonâ€. He put on his head a white turban and walked bare foot into the area just for trumpet players. In fact, the name “trumpeters†in Hebrew was cut in stone and the stone was mounted in this area [and we have this stone even today]. There were always at least two trumpet players at the minimum and sometimes there are up to 120 trumpet players. As the people were saying Psalms this day, Chaim and his friend would sound the trumpets at the end of each Psalm. They were standing at the top of a very long stair way and each time they sounded the trumpets, they would walk down several steps. As the service progressed, the animal sacrifices (lambs, goats, bulls, etc) were being readied for the service. As the sacrifices were being performed, the trumpet players would play when a white piece of cloth (something like a flag) was waved. This trumpet signal was made for the people to bow.

    WHAT NOTES DID THEY PLAY AND HOW WERE THEY PLAYED? The first note was hit head-on, very loud, straight and for about 8 – 16 seconds. The next notes were in a group of three in which the notes were not hit head-on but like a “gliss†upward toward the note. Following these three notes, the note was blown in two different ways. 1) rapid tonguing or 2) a lip trill/shake. [You jazzers think that you invented this style of playing and think that the sounds you play are new?] :) Finally, the last note was played the same as the first note. [Some of you pros pride yourselves that you can play loud? As is written in the Ancient Talmud] … The sounds that Chaim played on the trumpet could be heard from the Holy Temple in Jerusalem all the way to Jericho.

    Getting back to the sacrifices, not all sacrifices were burned completely on the altar and those animals that were not completely burned were divided up among the Cohen family to eat. Chaim Cohen got his share to eat as well. He particularly likes to eat lamb with a hot green spice called “soog.â€

    After the service, Chaim was called to the battlefront for there was a war against the Philistines near Bet-Lechem. He and his friend, Joseph, got on their horses and rode fast with their trumpets slung over their shoulders to where the generals were standing. The trumpeters were used to give signals to the troops in the field. Once, the general gave the command for the troops to charge. The charge command on the trumpet is a fast note repeated. While the trumpet players were trying to play one note very rapidly and straight (even) in succession, they were playing it with jumps in rhythm and pitch because they were bouncing on the horse during the charge. Thus, we have a modern day version (military bugle call for charge). As the battle ended near the end of the day, Chaim and Joseph rode back to Jerusalem to sound the trumpets again. This time the trumpets were giving a signal for the people to end their work and to prepare to rest for Shabbat. Chaim goes back home and nobody knows who he is and what he has done because he is just another name on the list of thousands of people to do this service once a year.

    At this time and era (Nov 2003) when there is no longer a Temple, Liad Bar-EL rises in the morning two hours before dawn, washes his hands and feet in hot water, dresses with shoes and socks, a suit and puts on the same type of garment with four tassels that Chaim Cohen once used but without the blue thread. It is not known what happened to the “Chilazon†so we don’t use the blue thread. Liad also puts on his head a small multicolor 6†head covering, not a full head covering white turban.

    Liad crawls into his 1984 VW for if he jumped into it, he would bang his head and break his legs because the car is so small. If it starts, he drives it and sometimes it bucks like a bull not a horse, to the very place where the Temple once stood in Jerusalem, Israel. After several car inspections by the police and showing his permit to get close to where the Temple once stood, he parks his car and starts warming up his chops inside the car. Later, he walks near the very place where the trumpet players of ancient times were located and he starts reciting Psalm 100 for Liad is “Entering HIS gates with thanksgiving, HIS courts with praise,†etc. Just to walk on the very ground that G-d showed Himself on and upon the very places that very righteous people walked is enough to increase one’s AURA. Liad feels this right through his bones.

    There are no sacrifices today, no white flags to signal the trumpets to start playing nor are the trumpets played for most occasions like they were played in ancient times but rather the trumpet playing has been limited to special prayers of repentance. No less that two trumpets are sounded together. The same notes are played as they were played in ancient times but there seems to be a major difference in how they are being played. In ancient times G-d was close to the trumpet players but today HE has hidden Himself. Liad and his friend Joseph have to play with more energy in order to get a feeling of powerful awl. When Liad and Joseph play, they feel like they are splitting the heavens open, they are covered with goose bumps from head to toe, they feel their hair rising up from their skin, their eyes are full of tears and their hearts are bursting with love, oneness, sadness and joy all together. It is like an expansion of our AURA to G-d Himself. It’s hard to describe. The people stand back in silence and stillness with their mouths open. After a few minutes, people come up to us saying that our playing went right through their hearts and that it was awesome.

    After the prayers, someone usually brings some cookies to eat and some wine to drink. Some times a Mid East food is served like Humus (ground up chick peas) with soog (extremely hot green spice) that will ream out your intestines and burn a hole through your horn.

    Later that day, Liad is called to the battle front near Bet-Lechem for there is an IDF military operation against Palestinian terrorists going on there. Instead of playing a charge for battle, Liad, on his modern day trumpet with valves, plays some very happy music which brings out the soldiers from their tanks and APC’s to sing and dance with joy. The soldiers are happy and encouraged to do their job to maintain peace and then jump back into their tanks and APC’s to protect our families from terrorism. Some of them, however, will not be coming back but they did have a little joy before they departed from this world.

    A photographer there from the Jerusalem Posts takes Liad’s picture and publishes it (Nov 14, 2003).

    As Liad comes home, the neighbors come out to get his autograph (joke, sorry couldn’t help it). Liad’s daughter, Hila (whose name means AURA in English), welcomes him home. Liad hears the sirens (no trumpets anymore) to remind everyone to stop work for the Shabbat is coming soon and the rest begins.

    Edit: The picture is true. One neighbor jokingly asked for my autograph. :)

    I am living in a holy land and this trumpet will be used for holy purposes and in holy places to promote peace. What are those holy occasions: Religious services, weddings, Circumcisions, Bar Mitzvahs (boy coming of age to accept responsibilities as an adult), a dedication of a hand written Torah to the Kotel or synagogue, a celebration of the completion of one’s studies of major religious works, and others. I have taken/used my present trumpet in holy places, for holy and peaceful purposes such as next to the Tomb of David and next to the place where the Prophet Samuel is buried to play for family celebrations and for the institutes of religious studies. I have taken my trumpet to the center of town many times to play in the very spots that there were suicide bombings so as to promote peace, bring the people out of hiding and give them feelings of happiness and peace once again.

    My present trumpet, however, is far from the specifications of which G-d required. After several years of researching ancient documents thousands of years old in order to learn what the ancient trumpets were composed of, used for and of what they played, I attempted to reconstruct an ancient trumpet but to no avail. I will have to modernize the application of my research for the present day in a post horn and also in a valve horn. The two types of horns cannot be exclusive from one another if we are talking about making music for peace these days. The specifications of which were in the ancient trumpets are some of the same that can be put into the modern day trumpet. The trumpets G-d ordered exactly 3,314 years ago were of a continuous taper and of solid silver. The continuous taper and solid silver bell will not only be in keeping with the design specifications of the Greatest Horn Maker but it will give the warmth and rich overtones in sound that only such a taper and solid silver bell can make. The flugel horn, the WT and some Marching Brass trumpets has proved this to be true already. The nickel material will help in the loudness and clarity, IMO. The Gold, Nickel, Silver and Brass, are most of the same metals that were used in the construction of the Holy Temple. The Holy Temple was constructed for peace not war and it is hoped that this trumpet will be constructed and used likewise. The Holy Temple and the solid silver trumpets were also very beautiful. This trumpet will have all these metals and will also look very beautiful thus helping to create in my mind a concept of sound that will be very beautiful, strong, warm and clear. It will also help to create in my heart and in the heart of others the feelings of peace because it will be made in peace. I hope to transfer this sound of warmth and peace to the thousands of people who live here that will hear me and for those thousands of people who visit here from all over the world. Many times tourists and TV reporters from all over the world want to take my picture with my horn while I am blowing it. Just once I would like to see myself on TV. (joke) Once I get a web site up, I hope to be publishing these pictures.

    I believe in peace and I would like to use this trumpet for the promotion of peace and not war. From me being in a very bad economic situation that is nation wide and in which the economy is only getting worse, there is no way that I could afford such a trumpet now nor in the future. I hope that I will win this trumpet to fulfill my dreams as a trumpet player of peace in the holy land. This trumpet will not only be a lead trumpet in sound and in design but it will hopefully lead others to peace, to feel peace and to promote peace. It will speak to the heavens!! It will be an AURA of peace.

    Liad Bar-EL


    I would like to say that if I do not win this prize, it has been fun creating this project, writing it up and I will miss the excitement to win. So, if you don’t see me posting here for awhile, you’ll know that I …….. :cry: (Conscience: Do you need a tissue here, Liad?) I neglected to put my patent numbers on the suggestions above; so, be careful here.(joke) Anyway, I will know that this horn was not meant to be made at this time and I wish the winner all the best with his/her horn. You’ve got a great horn, made with love, from a family of horns that are advertised, sold and distributed with integrity and honor. It is hoped that you will play it with the utmost respect and love as from which it was made. Peace.
  3. Still Trying

    Still Trying Pianissimo User

    Nov 23, 2003
    Lake Jackson, TX USA
    1. How I would improve an Eclipse trumpet.

    There are two areas for improvement, which might be considered. The first area is functionality. I played an OLDS Recording trumpet for years. It has a trigger operated third valve slide. I never met a Recording player, who did not appreciate this arrangement, which is very convenient for those of us with small hands. I would like to see this option on an Eclipse.

    I also wish someone would invent a way of extending both the first and third valve slides with the same lever/trigger device. Maybe it is because I do have small hands, but I’ve always found it awkward to operate tuning slides by extending both the left hand ring finger and the left hand thumb and still hold a trumpet securely. I’d like to see a variation on the old OLDS Recording trigger device that when operated in one direction extends the third valve slide, retracts to a center position where both slides are closed, and when operated in the other direction extends the first valve slide. But I don’t know if this is either possible or practical- just an innovation I would like to see some day.

    I would also like to see very fine graduation lines added to the tuning slide. It is not uncommon for a trumpet player to have to tune to different pitches with different groups. For example, in the jazz band I'm in, we tune to the leader's baby grand piano at rehersals in his den, but we tune to his electric key board for performances (different pitch). We tune to another different pitch for community band, and still another pitch for the piano/key board at church. I think graduated lines on the tuning slide would be a nice feature, when switching back and forth among various tuning pitches. It certainly is not a necessity, but it would prove convenient at times.

    The second area in which I would offer a suggestion is in the area of horn cosmetics. Eclipse is already beautiful-one of the most beautiful instruments I have ever seen. But I think you need to add the option of brushed silver to your finish line. In addition a time honored method of enhancing beauty in a work of metal, and truly converting it into a work of art, is with engraving. And I would like to see this option added to the Eclipse stable.

    2. Theme for my dream Eclipse: Gabriel’s Trumpet

    The details and rational for my trumpet theme are included in the story below. Leigh said to “write a short storyâ€, and I interpreted that to mean make one up. I’m certain all readers of the following, will have no trouble determining that it is the product of my imagination. The instruction was to also include several items, which were bolded in the original Word document, but which failed to carry over as bolded on TM. But all the necessary elements are there.

    3. Gabriel’s Trumpet (a story by Still Trying-this time I’m trying to win a horn!) This story has two chapters. The first chapter describes among other things the looks and importance of Gabriel’s Trumpet. The second chapter explains how Gabriel came to acquire his horn. As I thought about my entry, which at first consisted only Chapter One, the story seemed to me to have a loose end. The question was asked as to how Gabriel acquired his horn, but never answered. The question intrigued me until I figured it out. At that point I finished the story. I hope everybody enjoys this little saga.


    It all happened so quickly. There was really no time to plan and react-even if he had had the experience that only age can bring. But then if he had been an adult, his reflexes might not have been as quick as they were. In any case it would not have mattered. The car that hit him was traveling so fast on the slick street that no amount of age, experience, or reflexes could have prevented his being hit and thrown from the bicycle. It’s funny, he remembered thinking. He had heard stories of people whose lives passed before their eyes, when they were facing death. But all he could wonder about before he hit the pavement was how badly his trumpet in the case secured behind his bicycle seat had been damaged, and would his teacher understand about his being late for his lesson.

    He awoke with a start. He could not tell if he had been asleep for just a second or for days. But he felt fine-no pain or aches from the accident at all. Then he realized that he had this sensation of floating. He felt light as a spirit.

    “Welcome home, Scottâ€.

    A surge of surprised joy swept through the lad’s thoughts, as he recognized the voice. “Pawpaw!†he shouted and turned to see from where the voice had originated. His Grandfather had died two years earlier, but Scott recognized that voice as if it had just whispered, “Good night. I’ll see you in the morning†in his ear. In fact his Grandfather had whispered those words in his ear the night before they discovered that he had gone to be with the Lord in his sleep.

    “Pawpaw, what are you doing here, and where are we?â€

    “Well, Scott, This is where I live now. This is where you live now too. I know you’ll have a thousand questions, and I can’t wait to start showing you around.â€

    It was about then that Scott realized that something was very different. He and his Grandfather could see and talk to each other, but they were more like apparitions than real people. And his grandfather did not look old any more. Instead he looked like a young man in the prime of life. Before Scott could ask about that, his Grandfather turned, surprising agile for a man well advanced in years, in spite of appearances, and started walking down the most beautiful flower path Scott had ever seen. The path led to a large grassy meadow in which hundreds of people, all spirits like Scott and his Grandfather, were sitting and visiting around large tables. All were wearing white, flowing robes. The tables were piled high with what appeared to be food, but Scott could not recognize any of the dishes, except for loaves of bread and bottles of wine.

    Scott and his Grandfather found seats at a table and soon Scott was being introduced to family members going back many generations. There was much laughter around the tables and friendly chatter. Scott did not hear a single voice that sounded disturbed or irritated from any of the multitudes in attendance.

    Just then, Scott heard the most beautiful trumpet playing he had ever heard in his life. The sound seemed to come from both very close and from very far away. The tone was absolutely flawless-crystal clear with body from overtones ordinary human ears cannot even detect, and with lyrical qualities that gave Scott the impression he was listening to the most beautiful sun set he could imagine converted to music. The unseen trumpeter played melodies spanning unheard of ranges with ease and with a technical mastery that simply could not be believed.

    “Pawpaw, who is that trumpet player, and can I go watch him?†Scott’s face reflected pure awe.

    “Oh, Scott, I nearly forgot about your interest in trumpet. Sure-you can meet that fellow. His name’s Gabrielâ€.

    Before Scott’s Grandfather had time to fully stand up, Scott was running toward the source of the sound. When Scott found Gabriel, the angel had his eyes closed, almost as if he were in a trance and was playing softly, singing some internal, soulish lyric through the bell of his horn. The lad was hesitant to even make noise, much less actually interrupt the musician. So he stood very still and listened and watched, as the angel serenaded heaven with song after song suitable even for the King of Kings, Himself.

    Time means nothing in Heaven, and Scott was not the least concerned with how long he listened patiently, understanding from the music one of the things that makes Heaven to be Heaven. At length the angel removed the trumpet from his lips and without turning or even appearing to notice that the boy was present, he said, “Welcome, Scott. It’s always nice to have another trumpet player join usâ€.

    “How did you ever get so good?†Scott blurted out in amazement. I could never play that good-not in a million years. Gabriel laughed. “Well, we’ll see after you’ve had a million years or so to practice. Just think how good people get on earth with only 50 or 60 years to practice and limited by twenty-four hour days. Up here we aren’t handicapped with time. Neither are we handicapped with fatigue or physical limitations of any sort. And you will discover that your mind works better also. You can play as long as you desire and never stop improving. If you like, I will even give you lessons for a thousand years or so to get you started.â€

    Scott found himself really attracted to this angel. But he found himself also really attracted to something else. “Mr. Gabriel, Sir, would you mind, if I looked at your horn for a second?â€

    “Sure, look at it as long as you likeâ€.

    Scott examined the horn. The trumpet looked vaguely familiar somehow, but he couldn’t quite place it among his distant memories. It looked just like an Eclipse trumpet, he had seen once, finished in gold and silver, except that it had a brushed silver finish. The valve caps, top and bottom, were polished gold. The slides were polished gold. The inside of the bell was polished gold. On the bell was an engraving in gold of a sheep, a cross, and a lion. Scott noticed the tuning slide was part of the bell curve, not like most trumpets he had seen, and it had a continuous lead pipe all the way from the mouthpiece receiver into the third valve casing. The third valve tuning slide had a trigger control on it so that one extended the slide by flexing his ring finger instead of by extending it. The main water key was of traditional design, but the third valve slide had an Amado water key. Just down from the mouthpiece receiver, etched into the side of the leadpipe was the inscription, “Gabriel’s Trumpetâ€.

    “This is the most unusual horn I have ever seen. Do the pictures mean something? And where did you get it? Did somebody up here in Heaven make it?†Scott had a lot of questions about the horn.

    “Everything about this horn has a meaning, Scott. To begin with the horn is brushed silver because it’s my horn and the silver represents me. I’m pure, as that is how God made me, but my glory is to glorify Him. I do not wish to receive any of the glory due only to Him or attract attention to myself. So the part of the horn that represents me, is pure, but brushed in finish so that it does not compete with the polished gold for dominance. The gold engraving of the lamb, the cross, and the lion represent the ministries of the Lord Jesus Christ. As a Passover lamb He died on a cross for the human race. But when He returns, He will reign as king, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The gold color of the engraving refers to the fact that He is deity, either as a sacrificial lamb or as a king. The valve caps, the slides in polished gold can all be seen from either side of the horn. The polished gold is a reminder of His deity where ever it is found on the trumpet. The inside of the bell is gold because I will play this horn as His messenger one day, the most important performance of my existence. And as it will be His commands coming from the end of my bell, the bell is finished in gold. You can see gold representing God from any direction, as you examine the horn. No one would ever play this horn in a setting, which did not glorify Himâ€

    “But where did you get it,†Scott asked. Again the angel smiled. “It was custom made for me by a very skilled craftsman in England.â€

    “Oh sureâ€, said Scott, skeptically. “You just waltzed into a shop in England wearing your robes and all, and ordered a hornâ€.

    “Not quietâ€, said Gabriel. “The horn craftsman, a man named Leigh, thought he was making it for someone else. But that’s another story.â€

    “How did you pay him for it? Angels don’t carry money, do they?â€

    “Believe it, or not, Scott, this trumpet was made and presented as a gift. The artist, who made it, could have sold it for many thousands of dollars, but he gave it away as a gift. It was a very, very generous thing to do. And had he not chosen to give his skill and artistry away freely, we could never have used it here. God doesn’t buy things from the human race. He chooses to bestow His gifts and blessings on mankind freely. And He only accepts from men what they freely give back.â€

    Scott was silent for a time as he thought about what the angel had said. It truly was unusual for a man to give away something from which he could have profited. Finally he said, “You spoke of a very important engagement you would play with this horn some day. What did you mean by that?â€

    “Scott, you may have noticed that you don’t have a physical body, just a spiritual body. But one day God will send me to earth to blow this horn, and your physical body will be resurrected from its grave. Not only your body, but the bodies of every one here in heaven will be raised. That’s called Resurrection Day, and this horn will sound the command that announces it. For hundreds of years people have gone to sleep in the Lord expecting to hear me play trumpet on that day. As yet, no one on earth has ever heard me play-not yet. But one day that will change. That day is very special and demands a trumpet worthy of the occasion. I was commissioned to locate the finest trumpet that could be found any where-in Heaven or on earth. And you’re holding the trumpet that was selected as being worthy of heralding the great event about which I spoke. Scott, that’s the significance and the uniqueness of Gabriel’s Trumpet.â€


    “Gabriel, if the trumpet was built in England, how did it get to Heaven?†It had been a while since the first meeting between the angel and the boy, but Scott’s curiosity to know the answer to that question had grown stronger and stronger since their first meeting.

    “How do you want your answer, Scott? I can tell you the story or just let you watch it.â€

    “How can I watch it?†Scott asked. “We’d have to go back in time.â€

    “Actually once in heaven, you can observe things, which happened in the pastâ€.

    “How can we do that?†Scott had a puzzled look on his face.

    “It’s kind of an advanced concept, Scott. But eternity doesn’t have a beginning, or an ending. And time is kind of a sub set of eternity. Being part of eternity, it always is. What has happened in the past from the perspective of time, is still part of eternity and therefore still is. And what is still future in time, is also an element of eternity. Therefore, it also exists, even if it has not occurred yet. That’s one of the ways God knows what is going to happen in the future, because He’s already seen it. Any of us in heaven can observe what is going to happen, but unlike us, God also controls it.â€

    “You mean we can just go back and look at any thing in history we wish-like we’re watching a movie?

    “Something like that. From our perspective we can also sense what someone in time is thinking too. Do you want to get started?â€

    “Lead on, Gabriel, I’m right behind you?â€


    Thomas looked up when his office phone rang-two short rings signaling an outside call. He picked up the phone and answered it.

    ‘Babyâ€, his wife spoke on the other end of the line, “The doctors have just diagnosed Scooterâ€.

    “Again? They’ve already diagnosed him three times before thisâ€. Thomas mentally rehearsed the list of pathologic conditions previously and erroneously ascribed to Scooter’s condition. First it was failure to thrive. Then it was cerebral palsy. Then it was Russell-Silver Syndrome.

    “This time they’re certain. They ran some genetic tests that confirmed it.â€

    “What did they find out?â€

    “It’s not good. It’s really, really bad. It’s something called Cockayne Syndrome.â€

    “That’s a new one on me. I never heard of that before.â€

    “It’s so rare there are only about 60 known cases in the whole world. But it’s very bad. Scooter’s life expectancy is only 12 years, and there are all kinds of degeneracy things that are likely to happen before the condition finally takes its toll. His body will slowly atrophy and deteriorate until it can’t sustain life any longer. He was born with a genetic condition that makes him allergic to ultra-violet light. Being exposed to it triggers an irreversible reaction in the way his DNA synthesizes proteins. The first time he was exposed to ultra-violate light, maybe from the hospital lights when he was born, or maybe from carrying him to the car in sunlight, his fate was sealed. There’s nothing doctors can do for it.â€

    Thomas had already entered the grief process before he hung up the phone. He mechanically started an internet search for whatever information he could find about Cockayne’s Syndrome. Thomas and his wife had always called their grand son “Scooterâ€, although that wasn’t his real name. But the child had always been crippled and under sized. He was five years old now, but could not walk or speak clearly, and he scooted on his behind to move from place to place. It hurt him to try to crawl.

    But Scooter always had a smile on his face, and was the best natured kid Thomas had ever seen. And the kid was gutsy too. After navigating laboriously across a room to reach a chair in which he wanted to sit, Scooter would strain and strain, his little emaciated muscles twitching and shaking, to climb into the chair. By the time he pulled himself into the chair, he would be sweating from the effort. But he wanted to do it by himself. And one could see how pleased he was with his accomplishment, when he finally attained the seat. Everyone, who met the kid, was impressed by his courage. Everyone, who met him, fell in love with him. But while friendly to everyone, he with the innocence of a child, only openly displayed his love for Thomas and his grandmother (Pawpaw and Grammer).

    The lad was the product of two teenagers getting married too early because of necessity, and the mom taking flight from both the marriage and the child, as soon as it became evident that the baby was going to require much more of her time than she was willing to share. Taking care of Scooter was a full time job because he never reached the stage of independence expected of normal children. There did not appear to be anything wrong with Scooter’s mind, but he had no control over his muscles. They just wouldn’t do what he told them to do. The mom panicked, when she contemplated the years of “imprisonment†ahead of her, and she never loved the child’s dad anyway. Besides, the baby’s paternal grandparents (Thomas and his wife) were more than willing to take care of the baby, and could do so better than the mom any way-or so she reasoned.

    Scooter’s dad loved the baby and willingly accepted responsibility for the child to the extent he could. But he was a single parent and had never completed his education. And now, due to a youthful indiscretion, he was faced with the task of entering the workforce and providing for a family, when he lacked the necessary training or job skills. Still he worked at any job he could find to meet his baby’s needs. Nevertheless, he could not work and take care of the baby all at the same time. Day cares would not keep anyone with Scooter’s health issues. So Scooter’s dad finally gave in to the requests of his parents to allow them to raise Scooter as their own. But it was with the understanding that the dad would get Scooter back, as soon as he found a way to care for him.

    For the first year or two of his life Scooter couldn’t sleep at night. He woke up crying out, as if having bad dreams, every few minutes. So Thomas learned to sleep in a recliner with the baby sleeping on his chest. That way he could comfort Scooter and calm him, whenever the child would scream out in his sleep. Scooter’s first full night sleep, came on his grandfather’s chest.

    Eventually, Scooter’s dad learned a craft and remarried-this time to a woman trained as a nurse. The dad had had to move to a different town to accommodate his job, and he decided to take Scooter with him. Actually, one of his chief motivations for selecting the woman he married was her ability and willingness to help him reassume his responsibilities as a parent. And he was anxious to be reunited with his son.

    But to Scooter mom and dad were just words with little meaning. Grammer and PawPaw had always been mother and daddy to him. He couldn’t understand that he belonged with his dad, who genuinely loved him with all his heart. The dad had worked long, hard hours every day for several years and gone to school at night to acquire the skills and financial means to reassume his responsibilities to Scooter. But all Scooter could understand was that he wanted to live in “PawPaw’s houseâ€. This kept both Scooter and his dad unhappy and depressed after they were reunited. PawPaw took up the habit of playing trumpet again, an activity he had forsaken long before as a necessity for caring for his own family, in an attempt to keep his own mind occupied with different things.

    About one weekend a month, Scooter got to visit PawPaw and Grammer. By this time PawPaw had acquired some recorded accompaniment CDs of hymns and church music, and found some time to play along with them nearly every day. On the weekends when Scooter visited, whenever Thomas started to play, it was just a matter of minutes before Scooter found him. He would scoot into the bedroom on his butt and announce he wanted to play “Frumpet†with PawPaw. Thomas had set aside an old cup mute and a mouthpiece especially for Scooter. Scooter would place the mouthpiece into the mute and practice “frumpet†along with PawPaw. When Thomas placed the trumpet on its floor stand, Scooter would scoot over and gaze at the trumpet for the longest. Sometime he would reach out and caress the horn like he was petting a puppy. He always did so with extreme tenderness. When PawPaw wasn’t practicing, but had the stereo playing, Scooter would sit and listen to the music for hours and try to dance to it.

    Then Thomas won a contest for a custom made Eclipse trumpet. Part of the contest had been to describe how he wanted the horn to look, if he were to win. Because church music had become such a bonding point for him and Scooter, he thought of Gabriel’s Trumpet as a theme for the horn and had tried to imagine how he would want it to look, if he were Gabriel and ordering a horn for himself.

    The trumpet was a prize and a half. A custom made trumpet had always been a dream, but never a mental reality. And then he won this fantastic horn. Thomas felt very grateful, not only to the Eclipse folks, who had awarded him the trumpet, but also to God. After all, it was God who had given him the ability to write the entry, which had been selected as the winner of the contest. So he dedicated the trumpet, which had a Christian theme, to the purpose of glorifying God, when ever he had the opportunity.

    Opportunities to do just that were not long in coming. It started slowly. A lady, who played in the community band with Thomas, saw the trumpet and invited him to come play a solo for a worship service at her church. The horn had a most beautiful sound. It drew appreciative comments from both trained musicians and ordinary listeners. Thomas played it from the depth of a very emotionally filled heart. And all who saw or heard the horn were fascinated by being able to actually look at and hear “Gabriel’s Trumpetâ€. Somehow the word spread about the horn and Thomas’s willingness to play at worship services, and within a year, someone was inviting him to play nearly every Sunday. Many of the churches, which invited him to play, were in other towns. In time Thomas found himself away from home on many, if not most, weekends.

    “Thomas,†his wife warned him, “I’m concerned about your priorities. Scooter was over last weekend, and instead of spending time with him, you drove 200 miles away to play your trumpet in another church filled with total strangers to you. You had to leave Saturday to practice with their organist, and you didn’t get back until after Scooter had gone back home on Sunday night. He spent the whole weekend asking where PawPaw was, and watching out the window for you to come back. And that wasn’t the first time. It’s getting so it happens all too frequently. One of these days you will regret the time you are not spending with Scooter. It’s not like we have all the time in the world with him. You know how much he loves me, but he loves you even more. It breaks his heart, when he sees you just for a few minutes and then you get in your car and drive away for the weekend.â€

    “It breaks my heart tooâ€, Thomas responded, “but we never know ahead of time, when his dad’s work schedule will allow him to meet us half way, so we can pick up Scooter for the weekend. And I have usually already made a commitment somewhere to play for someone’s church service. I don’t know what to do. I feel a responsibility to God to play for His glory, whenever I have the opportunity, and when it is announced that a congregation will have the opportunity to see and hear Gabriel’s Trumpet, there is always a good turn out for the service. Many people are enticed to hear the gospel of Christ, who might not hear otherwise. My conscience rips me apart, when I drive off and leave Scooter crying for me. But my conscience also rips me apart, if I think about some soul departing this earth for eternity without Christ, if I might have done something to prevent it. I don’t know what to do about it. I love my horn like no other material possession, but I feel such an obligation, as its owner. If I stay here I feel guilt. If I go, I feel guilt.â€

    The conflict in Thomas’s life continued for many months, but he still had not found a way to resolve the conflict. He prayed continuously for God to give him wisdom. And then one weekend, God gave him the solution he had been seeking.

    In heaven God turned to one of the cherubim, who were always found about His throne, and instructed him to summons Gabriel. Instantly, the angel responded to God’s call. “Gabrielâ€, God said, “I have an assignment for you tonight. Remember when I asked you to locate a source for a one-of-a kind trumpet to be played at the resurrection? And you selected Eclipse as the finest available trumpet. Then I whispered in Leigh McKinney’s ear to conduct a contest with an Eclipse to be awarded as a prize. I wanted the generosity of his heart to be manifested to all, and I will reward him accordingly. When he arranged for the contest, I had you whisper in Thomas’s ear a description of the trumpet you wish to play at that very special day. It’s time to bring the trumpet home, Gabriel, and when you do, deliver this message for Me.â€

    That night, Thomas played for a very responsive congregation in a rather large church several hundred miles from his home. Thomas had never played more beautifully, and the horn’s voice seemed to grow more lovely every time it spoke. He was constantly aware, as he sang praises to God through that horn, how fortunate he was to be the owner of Gabriel’s Trumpet. There truly was none other like it anywhere. But it was another week end that required leaving Scooter at home in tears, and the depression of knowing Scooter would be gone, when he returned, left a pall hanging over the joy he would otherwise have felt. After the completion of the service he lingered in the semi-darkened auditorium, wiping the trumpet down with a polishing cloth, as was his habit, before returning it in its case. His cell phone rang. He punched in the code for caller ID and saw a number he did not recognize. If it’s another church, they are calling kind of late, he thought. Then he answered the phone.

    “Thomas!†He could hear the concern and the desperation in his wife’s voice. “It’s Scooter. I’m calling from the hospital. Scooter’s heart is failing, and he’s in critical condition. Thomas, the doctor said Scooter is dying. Please try to get home as soon as you can. He’s calling for you constantly, and we don’t know how long he can hold on.â€

    The spontaneous sobs from inside Thomas came with such violence that he felt physical pain in his chest and throat, and his hand was shaking, as he returned the phone to his pocket. He felt like screaming in pain from the agony caused by the mixture of grief and guilt. All the times he had left the baby at home and gone off to play engulfed him like a tidal wave, and he found himself struggling to breathe. The church altar, standing in the center of the auditorium, was illuminated continuously by a beam from an overhead spot light. Thomas found himself drawn unsteadily toward this light, Gabriel’s Trumpet still in his hand. He gently placed the horn in the center of the blue velvet cloth covering the altar. The overhead spot light captured the trumpet in its beams. Truly, Gabriel’s Trumpet had never gleamed more beautifully. Thomas collapsed to his knees in prayer.

    “Father, You know how much I love You and how I have tried to honor You in the manner in which I played this trumpet. It was a wonderful gift. But Scooter is also one of Your wonderful gifts. Ever since I received Gabriel’s Trumpet, I have been making choices between Your two gifts. If Scooter dies before I see him, I don’t think I can live with the guilt. I feel as if I abandoned him, not once, but many times. But, Lord, I couldn’t have lived with the guilt of not using this horn to bring the lost into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ either. This load is too heavy for me, and I am too weary and confused to be able to carry it any longer. I am returning to you Gabriel’s Trumpet. I pray You find someone stronger and more deserving to play it for You. And I pray with all my heart that you spare Scooter. Please let me be able to make up to him somehow all the times I have left him.â€

    Thomas didn’t know how long he prayed, but when he looked up, he saw Gabriel watching him. He had heard no one approach and the sudden sight startled him. “Who are you?†he stammered partly in amazement and partly from fear.

    “I’m not God, so please stand upright. One only kneels before Godâ€. As Thomas found his feet, the angel continued. “My name is Gabriel, and God has sent me in response to your prayer. He told me that I am to assume the responsibility for playing this trumpet for His honor and glory. He knows you have come to the end of your strength in that endeavor, but He is well pleased with your efforts.â€

    “Thomas,†the angel continued gently, “you need feel none of the guilt from which you are suffering. The Lord has seen your heart, and knows that the struggle in your conscience was in trying to determine the correct choices. He also knows you consistently chose what you thought would most please Him. He told me to convey to you this promise. He has restored to you the years the locusts ate.â€

    Thomas recognized the quote from the prophet Joel in the Old Testament. But it was a passage dealing specifically with the Children of Israel, and the end times. He did not see how it applied to him. “But what does that mean?†he asked.

    “What does it mean?†the angel repeated the question and looked thoughtful for a moment. “You are shortly to discover that no one can out give God.†And with that final word the angel disappeared from Thomas’s sight. And so did Gabriel’s Trumpet from the altar.

    For a few moments the excitement of meeting the angel had almost made Thomas forget about Scooter. The whole event had been so surreal that he would have thought it an illusion, but for the fact that the trumpet was missing. His cell phone ringing brought him back to reality. This time he recognized the number on caller ID as coming from the hospital, and his hand started shaking again as he reluctantly answered. He was scared of the massage he was about to receive, and dreaded to take this call.

    “PawPaw!†The voice on the other end of the line was strong and excited and bubbling with joy.

    “Scooter! Is that you? You are speaking so clearly!†The tone of Thomas’s words were pure incredulity. He could hear a plethora of excited, laughing, joyous voices in the background.

    “It’s not Scooter any more, PawPaw. It’s just plain Scott. I can walk now. And something’s happened that no one can explain. I’m well! Grammer said it’s a miracle from God. I can’t wait to see you. And Grammer said you would teach me how to play trumpet now. See. I don’t have to call it a “frumpet†any more.â€

    Back in Heaven Scott had been following this whole drama attentively. At this point he erupted with “Gabriel, I knew I’d seen that trumpet somewhere before!â€

    Gabriel started laughing. “That’s true. You used to scoot up to it on your bottom just so you could touch it.â€

    “How come I didn’t recognize my grandfather until now?â€

    “I kind of clouded that for you,†confessed Gabriel. “I like surprise endings.â€

    “What did my Grandfather say, when he saw you playing Gabriel’s Trumpet in Heaven?â€

    “I asked him, if he wanted it back. He said to show him the trumpet. Then he asked me whose name was on it? When I said Gabriel’s, he smiled and said that was correct. Then he told me that as much as the trumpet meant to him, the years the locusts ate being restored to him meant so much more.â€

    “So, Scott, now you not only know the significance and the uniqueness of Gabriel’s Trumpet, but also its history.â€

    4. Why should you make Gabriel’s Trumpet for me?

    I would like to think that I am a candidate for winning the Eclipse because of the effort I put into my entry. It might not be a great story, but I literally spent weeks working on it. Stories are designed to be read for enjoyment, and I wanted the reader to feel he had not wasted his time by reading this one. I tried to make this composition appealing enough so that people would keep reading it, once they started, even if it were not just another entry in a contest.

    I really want to win an Eclipse trumpet-enough to have spent all the talent, mental power, and effort I possess in trying. To me winning this contest would be the trumpet world equivalent to winning the Super Bowl. I still can’t believe Leigh is just going to give one of his trumpets away. I think I must have spent more time on my entry than Leigh will require to build a trumpet for the winner. If I don’t win, I at least gave it my best shot. I didn’t hold anything back.

    I also tried to be reasonable and conservative in the suggestions I offered to improve the horn because I would really like a trumpet that has the same sound and playing characteristics as the Eclipse trumpets reviewed by Noel, Bruce, and Jarrett. I don’t want a horn with a different lead pipe, bore size, bell design, etc. because I do not see how a horn with these types of changes could still play like an Eclipse. I would prefer a horn without a lot of ornamentation added. I’m afraid the extra weight will affect the response and sound of the horn. Besides that type of cosmetic change detracts from the natural beauty of the horn-at least for my tastes. So I limited my suggestions to small functional improvements and cosmetics. But if Gabriel’s Trumpet does get built, I don’t think Leigh will be ashamed to add its picture to his custom page. It should still be a very beautiful example of his skill.

    I would also like to thank Leigh and Trumpet Master for arranging this contest, and allowing me to compete.
  4. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!

    1. This trumpet will prove the old adage that “there is beauty in functionâ€. It does not need to be “in your face†to look beautiful but rather it’s appearance will complement it’s MAIN PURPOSE which is always to provide a beautiful sound, in tune, easy to play, and to make the listener think that of celestial beauty. By taking the basic “building block†of the Eclipse design (the tuning bell bow), adding the skill and artistry of Leigh McKinney and the folks at First Class Brass, and adding the custom touches that I have detailed, an instrument which is uniquely beautifully, beautifully functional, and functionally unique will be the result. Like a Solar Eclipse, it will be perfect, completing the circle “to the beginningâ€.

    2. The theme (quite obviously) is “Solar Eclipseâ€. It will outshine (both aurally and visually) anything else that is available to trumpet players today. My “dream trumpet†will:

    a) Have a solid core to the sound which will allow it to be used in situations where it will be capable of playing a 3rd part and “float the rest of the section along on top of its solid soundâ€, play 2nd parts where it will need to blend but still provide those “highlights and counter melodies†that 2nd trumpets are often asked for, or play 1st parts where it provides its unique, effortless sound under which the rest of the section follows. It will be able to “lead†a whole band of 50 to 60 people when asked to do so. Most of all it will be EFFICIENT, allowing that harmonic resonance with a minimum of energy while still projecting its voice into the performance venue.
    b) It’s solo characteristics can be as mellow as a cornet or flugelhorn or as bright as a flute but not piercingly so, negating the need to carry a “box full of axes†onstage. Push it and it’ll soar, sting it for some ‘zap’, or back off and just let it blend with the group.
    c) The impedance (or resistance if you prefer) will be medium-low. It will feel much like an un-braced, lightweight horn with reverse tuning slide. (Yeah, you know the one I mean without mentioning the “S†name here.)
    d) With the belief that there is beauty in function, it will not be ostentatiously glitzy. The finish will speak volumes and complement the sound. Bead blasted outer bell, leadpipe, and valve block finished in gold plate. Slides, inner bell, top & bottom caps, Amado water keys, all other “removable†components and the mouthpiece receiver to be bright gold plate. This finish combination will both hide fingermarks, and allow the core sound to project out from the medium red-brass bell. Naturally the leadpipe will also be red brass to help reduce the chances of red-rot. The viewer will think “smooth as silk†when they see OR hear it.
    e) The 1st slide will have a thumb ring (location and mounting angle provided when needed for assembly). Both 1st and 3rd slide rings to be the “traditional†Eclipse design. The leadpipe hook is to have a shape that reminds one of the “Eclipse†crescent graphic in the Eclipse Logo. It will be made by taking one of the “coil†finger rings used on the “Vortex†and opening up the “front†of the coil, then tapering so that it is fairly thick at the back and thinner towards the front ends.
    f) Opposed Amado water keys on both 3rd and main. “Functionâ€, remember? One hand operation.
    g) Leadpipe and tuning (bell) bow braces will be slender, crescent shaped "solid" braces with a cutout of a miniature eclipse approaching totality in the leadpipe brace only.
    h) A custom GR66*** mouthpiece will go used with this horn. The mouthpiece to be satin gold plate on the outside of the rim and cup, bright gold plate on the outside of the shank, but silver plate on the rim and inside of the cup (I prefer Silver to Gold on my chops…better grip…it’s all about form following function, remember?). This will keep the appearance of the horn “as one†with the mouthpiece flowing “into†the trumpet.
    i) The "innovation"? Simple. Since most (many?) trumpeters are gearheads obsessed with things like "venturi", bore diameter, and end gap, let's help them out a little. A small "scale" etched on the outside of the mouthpiece receiver, beginning PRECISELY at the end of the leadpipe and with marks every 0.02" will allow the owner to simple insert their mouthpiece, hold their thumbnail right at the juncture between the receiver and mouthpiece shank, remove the mouthpiece and hold it along the outside of the receiver to know what their end gap is. This will simplify the search for mouthpieces, eliminate the need to be sticking bits of wire, etc. down inside the receiver to "find" the end of the leadpipe, and give them something blame their playing problems on! The scale should be etched or engraved on the left side of the receiver rather than the outside (or 2nd valve slide side) so that the etched words "SOLAR ECLIPSE" will be clearly visible on the receiver and to make it easier for the owner can "read the scale" from left to right.

    The gold plate will augment the theme of "Solar Eclipse" . Mankind has always thought of the sun’s appearance as that of a “golden orbâ€. Given that I live in the sunniest city (and one of the windiest) in the country of Canada, which has been favoured by the Creator as the most naturally beautiful country in the world, where the air is so clear that you can see for up to 100 miles (more on a really good day), this trumpet’s appearance will fit in with the surroundings. The prevailing Westerlies will carry its sound for miles across the wide-open spaces, the perfect canvas upon which to display a "Solar Eclipse’s" limitless palette of sounds. It will get played on mountaintops and in river valleys, in dark woods and under the bright lights of the concert stage.

    When our ancestors came across the Great Atlantic Ocean in their flimsy sailing ships in a desperate attempt to escape the yoke of British tyranny and the starvation that it gave rise to, little did they know that they would become the forefathers of two great nations. (For historical simplicity we have not included Mexico, which was settled by Spaniards on what could best be described as “looting missions†and who had no real interest in settling down and raising families. By equal token I do not include the militaristic British nor French who were only interested in raping the natural resources of the northern lands and hauling the furs and timbers back to “Merry Oldeâ€. I speak only of the true settlers seeking a better life than what there would have been had living in slave conditions under their monarchistic lords.)

    Arriving on the shores of New England wearing what meagre clothing they had been able to bring with them, these hardy individuals were fortunate to be befriended by members of the First Nations peoples who taught them the necessary skills of survival, including trapping which allowed them to make clothing of hides and furs. They made sturdy coats and leggings of hide, eschewing the beaver hats that were the rage of the European nobility. Indeed, highly appropriate at this time of year they were gifted with corn, tobacco, and other crops that were virtually unknown in their native lands. They gave Thanks by knocking the heads off some of the local poultry (which they called “turkey†… no reference to Istanbul) and baking them up. Indeed, they even modified the Scottish tradition of making haggis by using the local produce and stuffing the bird instead of the sheep’s stomach. (Sheep were, after all, needed alive for dead ones don’t produce much wool; Or other sheep).

    These Irish and Scottish venturers gradually spread out across the landscape, taking their tin whistles, bagpipes, and other instruments with them. This was a GOOD THING because television reception was “rudimentary†to say the least. (Even had Cablevision been around, “Monday Night Football†and “the Simpsons†had yet to be created.) Crossing the great continent in ox and horse drawn carts they managed to haul pianos all the way to the Pacific Ocean and north to Alaska (but only after a real estate deal with Russia had been satisfactorily completed).

    Thus did those early European immigrants settle the great continent of North America. As they moved west they dotted the landscape with their settlements. With these settlements, invariably somebody could be found with a fiddle or a banjo to provide entertainment for social gatherings of all stripes. Soon other instruments followed the simple stringed ones; wind instruments were brought from Europe; the bugle, the tuba, the sackbut and the cornet. Little bands were formed in many of these communities. Those first musicians had no idea that in some cases they were forming groups that are still carrying on the tradition over 100 years later.

    Today the land is almost completely tamed and turned to the hand of Man. Very little of “Wild†is left in the West, virtually none in the East. We drive on paved highways in fast, comfortable vehicles that can transport us across distances at speeds unimaginable to those hardy souls who first came west by cart or on foot. We dine on gourmet foods that are imported daily from far off countries. For entertainment we only need flick a switch for our choice of television, radio, or recorded music. A musician of one hundred years ago had to travel or be ‘in person’ to be enjoyed; that of ten years ago had to get recorded to be heard by an audience around the country; today we have but to record our sound clips and post them on the internet to be heard almost instantly world-wide. Our instruments have improved dramatically; today we have custom made trumpets, cornets, flugelhorns. Mouthpieces are built to meet virtually any whim of a customer. Valves have been made that are slick and fast. Even our written music can be easily transposed or rewritten by just a few keystrokes of our computers.

    Yes, we’ve “come a long way, babyâ€. But we have further yet to go. According to one psychologist, mankind has “needs†which are arranged in a pyramidal fashion. At the base are the rudimentary needs of “survival, shelter, securityâ€. As we arrive at the top of the pyramid we come across the need for “self actualizationâ€. We humans NEED to arrive at a point where we do things “because we WANT toâ€, not because “we HAVE toâ€. We need to CREATE. We also realize that we NEED to pass along to our children a future in which they, in turn, can find their own self-actualization. They need security, survival, a future. And they will need ART AND MUSIC.

    This is why I feel that I should be blessed with the gift of the "Solar Eclipse" As the circle is completed and begins it’s next cycle I would like to feel that I have, in some small way, contributed to the future of my children and my children’s children by giving them the gift of music. My forefathers passed along a gift for music, which I have realized only in midlife. I would like to be able to use my gifts to the enjoyment of my neighbours, friends, and fellow members of our society. And I firmly believe that the "Solar Eclipse" will help me accomplish my goals.
  5. SteelyDan

    SteelyDan Pianissimo User

    Nov 19, 2003
    Phoenix, Az
    "1. Tell us how you would improve a trumpet with a new feature or design."

    First of all, I would like to thank Eclipse Trumpets and TM for the opportunity to participate in this contest. Their combined generosity is undoubtedly appreciated by all of this forum's members. Secondly, although I had originally envisioned a base finish from of NP3 or Metacol III, I have since been informed that neither can be easily applied in the long tubing of a trumpet. With that in mind, I would choose to go with a horn that yields a responsive, "open" feel with lots of projection. a) Large Copper Bell. b) Expanding bore to .470. c) Finger rings(no hooks) for 1st, 3rd, and pinkie fingers with an angled ring for 1st valve. d) Amado water keys, of course. I've come to the realization that I don't know near enough about horn design as you guys so, I'll trust whatever advice you give.
    "2. Give us a theme for a trumpet!"

    The "Phoenix"(Voice echoes around room.) Just as the Phoenix rose from its mythological ashes, so has my city risen from the Arizona desert. (Dramatic pause between sentences) In keeping with the hot nature of our climate, food, and culture the horn would have a deep candy-apple red(metallic) "paint job" over the majority of its outside surface. The bell will display "hot rodder" style yellow, and orange flames streaming out of the throat and back a significant distance towards the bell bow/tuning slide. Furthermore, lightweight sheet-bracing(for effects not added weight) will be shaped into flames and placed in such a manner that they too trail towards the back of the horn(thus giving the illusion of movement.) Of course, the "flame" bracing would have my initials and a "hot rod" paint job to match that of the bell. Gold plated accents(heavy top/bottom valve caps, finger buttons, 1st & 3rd finger rings and slides, and a pinky ring up top.) There you have it folks; a responsive, free-blowing horn that can really turn up the "heat" to cut through the crowd!
    Here's a thought: maybe "Firebird"(tribute to "The Boss") would be in order. We do, after all, have several things in the area named in such a manner (Firebird Raceway etc.)

    3. Storytime!!!

    Fall had come to the Vermont countryside and flora, fauna and the people of the town in the valley below the shadow of the mountains were all busily preparing for winter’s deep sleep. Much has been made of the proverbial beauty of this grand state’s autumn leaves, but even the most hardened, cynical heart would not be able to ignore the natural splendor of the forest’s twilight celebration. Every possible shade and variation of crimson from a dark, deep, maroon to burnt cayenne was furiously washing and blending into the firebrick-orange and canary yellow leaves that hung in a last, gleaming, colorful song of life. The squirrels, woodchucks, and chipmunks had long since filled their coffers with acorns, and the few remaining birds were already hunkered down in the warmth of their winter roosts. Outside his living room window Willie Nelson Mandela could hear the sounds of neighborhood children playing in the street. Halloween had come and gone which meant that Thanksgiving was right around the corner and with it the promise of a winter break from school in the not so distant future. Too much time had passed since Willie had last spoken with his only daughter and it was days like this one that made the emptiness in his heart swell and consume him.

    As twilight slowly gave way to dusk Willie fought the aching feeling in his heart long enough to get up from his tattered easy chair and turn off the garish neon sign that hung from the awning on his porch. With this action the neighbors would now know that the Mandela residence would not be conducting any more private lessons on this day. Moreover, they also knew it was time to bring their kids indoors for once the “Poultry in Motion: Trumpet Lessons, Fried Chicken While You Wait†sign went off, the rusty Jeep inside the Mandela garage would start squeaking it’s way over to the Fromage d’Amour, a local watering hole and no sidewalk within fifty miles would be safe. Once inside, Willie normally began his usual custom of deliberately sipping mug after frosty mug of ice cold bliss, but on this day there would be no comfort; there would be no rest for the memories of what once was would torment him for hours until the darkness came up to swallow his mind.

    Before he’d even gotten half way through his first pitcher of Guinness Willie couldn’t stop thinking about that fateful day one year ago when Dolly Mandela, his only child and last surviving relative, left home in dishonor and disgrace. The tears that welled up and blurred Willie’s eyes did nothing to change the vivid picture that was burned into his soul with such ferocity. The Fromage d’Amour was packed to the limit and a local DJ was doing his best to keep the unruly crowd of Hell's Angels happy, but Willie was oblivious to all of this; he wasn’t even aware of the “Live to Ride, Ride to Live†t-shirt that someone had shoved into his hand on the way in. As he absentmindedly lifted the heavy glass to his lips for the umpteenth time, Willie’s mind traveled back…

    “Daddy, I have something important to tell you,†her voice was nervous and shaky but there was a definite note of brassy resolve to it.

    “Dolly, is this important or just some more of your usual nonsense?â€

    The obvious impatience in Willie’s statement only served to steel Dolly’s conviction that this was something that she not only had to do; it was the only right thing to do.

    “Daddy, I know that you had really big expectations for that guy you set me up with, but he’s just not my type.â€

    “Guy!? That’s not just some guy off the street! He’s my protégé and long time student! You don’t call the guest artist at ITG some guy!!! You speak and treat him with the same respect that you’d give me! Besides, what isn’t there to like about him?â€

    For a moment it seemed as if she’d quietly turn around and go back to being her normal, obedient self but when he locked in on her bright, blue eyes Willie saw an ice cold fire!

    “You wanna know what’s not to like? For starters, there’s that dry, tight, tiny little pucker that he calls en embouchure; it’s like kissing a miniature suction cup!†Dolly’s defiance was growing with every syllable.

    “Okay, please, calm down,†Willie pleaded in an uncharacteristically desperate urgency, “You don’t have to go out with him. Have you thought about Steve?â€

    The last time he’d seen her like this was when Alice, his ex-wife and her mother, ran away with that cursed rebel-without-a-clue of a French horn player from the Boston Pops.

    “Steve! Do you have any idea what kissing a tuba player is like? Those huge, flapping, slabs of meat that pass for lips are just gross! Daddy, PLEASE, stop trying to hook me up with people you know and PLEASE stop and listen. I’m in love with someone.â€

    “So that’s what this is all about. Dolly, why didn’t you just say so?â€

    There was an awkward pause before she finally spoke again.

    “Well, I think I should tell you a little about Charlie. His kissing is okay, but I just LOVE the way he holds me!â€

    Now it was Willie’s turn to be confused.

    “Daddy, Charlie plays French horn in an alternative punk ska band… “Dead Dog in Grass.â€

    “NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! You can’t possibly be serious! Do you have any idea what the only difference is between lowlifes like this Charlie and a large pizza? A large pizza can feed a family of four!â€

    “Daddy, that’s not funny!â€

    “What makes you think I’m joking? The only thing that moron got on his IQ test was saliva! For crying out loud he doesn’t even play a real instrument; he barely has control of a crudely designed, cheaply built, wind driven, manually operated pitch approximator.â€

    As strongly prejudiced as Willie’s opinions were concerning horn players, for indeed anthropologists had recently discovered evidence of rudimentary intelligence in horn playing cultures, his concerns regarding Charlie Cousteau a.k.a. “Jack†were entirely well founded. A close personal friend of Willie’s had some time ago told him about a renegade French hornist that had recklessly floated through a full semester of introductory theory in the upstate college where he was tenured. Among his countless, nonsensical, and rather quirky answers in class were the following precious gems: “All female parts were sung by castrati. We don’t know what they sounded like because there are no known descendants… The principal singer of nineteenth century opera was the pre-Madonna… Music sung by two people is called a duel; if they sing without music it is called Acapulco… The main trouble with the French Horn is that it’s too tangled up.â€

    Willie knew just how much trouble Charlie was and he desperately tried his best to help Dolly understand that he would do nothing but turn her life upside down, but the urgency in his voice and the emotion in his heart worked only to make his words sound like the ravings of a madman. In a futile attempt to express how dangerous it is to play with fire, Willie instead blurted out “If you ever catch on fire, try not to look at yourself in a mirror because I bet that’ll REALLY throw you into a panic!†From that point on things only got worse.

    “Dolly, that’s not what I meant to say… I’m just trying to remind you how important it is to find someone with a TRUE appreciation of music; Charlie, for instance, is the kind of guy that thinks boxing is like ballet except that there’s no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other… No, that’s not right… it’s more like this: Think of Jack or whatever his name is as an animal that’s boring its way into your head to lay its eggs; someday you may think your having a good idea when it’s actually those stupid eggs hatching!â€

    At this juncture there was no coming back from the inevitable fall into the abyss which lay before them. Willie increasingly made less sense and Dolly’s young feelings were so hurt that she didn’t look back once as she blindly ran from their once happy home. As his world came crashing down around him Willie’s mind focused on one thing and nothing else: The belief that it’s bad luck to be superstitious and that everything would somehow be okay.

    As time went on, Willie would intermittently receive letters from his beloved daughter informing him of the latest gig she and Charlie “Jack Cousteau had landed. First they were playing with a band named “Carnage Asada†then it was “Pepto Dismal†and for months it seemed as if there would be no end to the instability that marked their new lives together. On an almost weekly basis the list of counter-culture bands grew to a staggering number and included such memorable names as “Pro Midget Mafiaâ€, “The Albino Toilet Boysâ€, “Cap’n Crunch and the Cereal Killersâ€, “Lawn Piranhasâ€, “Screaming Iguanas of Loveâ€, “Zulu Leprechaunsâ€, “Potatoe Peacemaker†and “Penguins of Fire.â€

    During this time Willie neglected his own practice and study routine to the point that his mind could no longer comprehend simple musical notation. This led to several unfortunate incidents where his diminished playing abilities resulted in the loss of a paying gig in addition to the musical fines so customary for trumpet players in his part of the country: 1) Raising hand after mistake- $15. 2) Vibrato on unison passage- $50. 3) Being told by conductor to play louder- $400. 4) Missing last note of “In the Moodâ€- $200. 5) Getting marble or similar object stuck in bell- $50; doing so while on stage-$75. 6) Farting on bandstand- $25. 7) Continually asking, “Where are we?â€- $10 per incident. 8) Pretending to be friends with a t-bone player- $200. 9) Actually being friends with a t-bone player $750. 10) Loaning money to a t-bone player- 4x amount loaned. 11) Failure to swing- $1000.

    If his skill as an instructor would have remained untouched Willie may have still survived, but this alas, this was not the case. Willie was unaware that he was teaching his students that “Tonic is what is enjoyed after a gig…†and “The chromatic scale is what you use to give the effect of drinking a quinine martini and having an enema simultaneously." Eventually, after the gigs dried up and his students left him Willie turned to a diet of imported beer, kettle cooked potato chips, fried chicken, and high fructose pizza for consolation.

    However, hope had not been completely forgotten by either of the remaining Mandelas. Willie miraculously stumbled into an old nutritionist friend who put him on a strict diet of steak, eggs, and low fat tree bark. As he shed the excess weight and lowered his insulin to a healthy level Willie found new purpose in his life: One day while trying to combat a particularly virulent carb-craving, he frantically began chewing on a boxful of Lego’s and discovered that a broken tooth hurts a whole lot more than a broken nail! Some time afterwards he graduated from a dental assistant program at the head of his class. Dolly, in the meantime, did come back to her senses. Late last year she heard about a contest to win a trumpet on a relatively new online forum and while she didn’t even bother to register for said contest, the passion which she saw in all of the forum members entries rekindled once lost memories of life long ago forgotten. You see, while some people’s lives may have a short, happy story and others may endure a lifetime of suffering the Mandelas, like most of us, have experienced and will continue to live a little bit of everything that life throws at them. Even during their darkest hours they realized that wishing for a “normal†life was pointless since there is only the life one is given and everyone must play the hand they have been dealt; beauty, humor, comfort, and peace can still exist in the midst of suffering.

    While neither Dolly nor Willie have spoken since that fateful day, Dolly has since dumped “what’s his nameâ€, is now majoring in business, has very nearly completed a twelve-step counseling program for co-dependants, and is thinking about her father on a daily basis. Willie, on the other hand, is enjoying his new career and has contacted a private investigator to help him find his daughter. Both are now much more responsible and empathetic towards others because of what they’ve been through and perhaps that is a lesson we can all learn from.

    4. Why should I win?

    Well guys, I can’t really think of a real reason why I “should†win this contest. While I definitely need to get a new horn there are a lot of professional players out there who are more deserving of that honor. Additionally, some of these entries are absolutely spectacular! I had been thinking of changing my entry to a proposal for an all copper or all sterling silver horn, but I’ve since realized that one has already been built and the other has been submitted by a well deserving entry. I play mostly in church related activities, but I believe that Liad has a more deserving position in his quest to play holy music. In short, I can think of dozens of reasons why others should win but only one for myself and it’s not a very good one: Simply that you may find my proposal entertaining and inspiring because that is what I strive to do with my playing no matter what horn I’m holding.

    Everyone, keep up the good work!!!
    Good Luck,
  6. latinjazzcat

    latinjazzcat Pianissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    West Virginia
    1. Specifications: The horn would have a ML bore, heavyweight valve caps (top and bottom), and a medium weight bell. It would also have sheet bracing to on the crook near the leadpipe, that would, if possible, be shaped as a globe to represent my aspirations of people to perform for. There would also be sheet bracing on the tuning slide (the Eclipse tuning slide), and if possible, this would be cut as a violin, which would inspire me to play with what I hear as the beauty and grace of that instrument. It would have to Amado waterkeys in their traditional spots, and have scratch gold finish. Short stems on the valves would also be used. One feature I would like to see is, instead of the usual ring or hook where the pinky finger goes, a "T" shape, slightly curved at the top would be a good place to put the finger, while discouraging using too much pressure. As far as I know, this hasn't been done. I'd also like to have the back of the 3rd valve casing and the front of the first scratched so that it would be easier to grip with the tips of my fingers, once again reducing pressure playing. This, along with the specs, would make a flexible horn lending itself well to my playing preferences.

    2. Theme: Mr. Music. This is the theme because the instruments design would help me make the kind of music I wish to make, and would serve as a reminder that musicality is the most important aspect.

    3. As he finished his sandwich, he took several deep breaths. The panic had yet to set in, and he hoped it would stay that way. The last thing he needed was the anxiety that caused him to botch his last performance. Case in hand, he walked out of the cafe, towards the bus stop. He had about two hours before he needed to board the bus, but he wanted to use that time to make himself comfortable in the hall. The more at home he felt, the better.
    Being there so early probably appeared somewhat eccentric, Dillon thought, but there were consequences to being a perfectionist. An hour of thought passed. Many things went through his mind, none of which involved the forthcoming performance. He was slightly amazed, seeing as how most other major performances were preceeded by shaking and nausea. Finally, the other musicians arrived and began to tune and warm-up, so he decided he should do the same.
    Even though no one else questioned his ability to perform, he constantly did. After his last performance, if you could even call it that, he decided it was time to stop all of those demons. His new approach was to think like a professional, practice like a professional, and perform like a professional. Almost too simple. As he took the stage, he was completely focused on his interpretation of the music, which was the professional way, right? He heard his violin sound without warning. It happened naturally, which was a very good start. He began to feel his reward for all of the work and stress. His violin acted as a passport to places, eras, feelings, and anything else he could interpret. He could travel to Russia or Ireland, mourn the loss of something or someone, feel content, or experience complete ectasy. And regardless of what the piece represented, the end result is always pure ectasy, knowing that he can communicate these feelings to an audience. That night, he put his violin away, picked up his coat, and left to his home to practice; not because he needed to, but because he understood what it meant to be a musician, and he was absolutely in love with everything about it.

    4. Why I should win: Although I have trouble saying I should win, I feel that this horn would be representative of my aspirations to perform for as many people as possible. Being a student, this is a rare opportunity to own a horn like this, and should I win, I would hope that, as I improve and perform more, it would showcase Eclipse trumpets to people who may otherwise not be exposed to them. The concept of the instrument is meant to lend itself well to my diverse playing needs as a serious student, while still favoring my prefered tonal quality and catering to me to help me play properly. It would be a testament to the skill of those at Eclipse, and I believe it would be a positive situation for everyone involved (although I could be somewhat biased) :lol: .
  7. Vessehune

    Vessehune Pianissimo User

    Oct 31, 2003
    Sunnyside, WA
    1. Tell us how you would improve a trumpet with a new feature or design!

    I would add two valves. A 4th valve that acts much like the 4th valve on a flugelhorn. This would allow those crazy people who insist on playing the Hummel on their Bb to reach that Pedal F!! This valve would also allow for possible alternate fingerings that would make tuning certain notes less painful. The other valve would act as a quarter step valve. It would function much like the 2nd valve, but instead of lowering the pitch a half step it would lower it a quarter step. I have loved the sound of quarter tone trumpets ever since I was introduced to the music of Don Ellis, and this great sound is not common at all. The configuration of the valves would be the tricky part. One way is to have the 4th valve be the quarter step valve, while having an attachment much like a trombone F attachment rotary valve, which can be placed for either the right thumb, or an unused finger of the left hand to play. If both valves cannot be accomplished the quarter step valve would have to stay. This not only gives a unique sound, it also fits in best with the theme. Both valves would be preferable.

    The bell should have two important things. The bell should be very light. Like the 6 ½ ounce bell on Chase’s B6. Then the bell should resemble that of a piccolo trumpet. It should hold its tight bore as long as possible and then flare out to a full 5†at the last possible second. These two combinations for the bell should allow better slotting and a nice sound in the upper register.

    2. Give us a theme for a trumpet!

    I would call the trumpet Indian Lady. Mostly after a tune by Don Ellis of the same name. Having some of the bracing on the horn (between lead pipe and bell etc.) look like arms with hands on them, would pay homage to Shiva! Lotus flower finger buttons would also be a cool touch. The trumpet should be a nice Hindu God Blue color. Here is a link to a picture with the colors: All Hindu gods seem to be blue, plus it’s my favorite color. Some other shapes of India would be great as well. Maybe work in some sheet bracing that has that Taj Mahal look. Maybe some elephant heads as well. All things Hindu or Indian.

    3. STORY: (requirements in Bold)

    BOMBAY, INDA 1951

    Adventures are generally not things people seek out. Especially if those adventures involve people wanting to hurt you, and possibly even kill you. That is why Will Ford never intended to get out of bed. He would stay in bed until he was sure adventure had passed him over and chosen someone more willing to accept it. His plan would have worked too, if only the phone hadn’t rang.

    Still half asleep Will fumbled with the phone for a few moments until he was able to figure out which end he needed to speak into. “Hello?†Will said with a dull half awake tone.

    A thick Scottish accent was all that greeted Will’s ears. “Mr. Ford? This is Bob McIntosh from the museum. We spoke briefly yesterday.â€

    “Yeah, I remember. The guy that wants me to “acquire†an ancient artifact for him, right?†Will replied. Trying to recall what exactly the artifact was.

    “Yes, that’s it exactly Mr. Ford. Have you thought it over?†The Scott seemed very anxious for a reply.

    “I’d like to go over the details again before I agree to this. I’m not exactly clear on what it is I’m supposed to find.†Will figured he might as well be honest rather than start looking for something that he had no clue about.

    “That’s fine Mr. Ford, but I would like to not do this over the phone. Perhaps we can get together and have coffee or maybe some curry. Why don’t you meet me at the Café de Leigh at 12:30.†This coming across as more of a command than a request for lunch.

    “That’s fine I’ll see you then.†Will was less then enthusiastic about getting out of bed. If only he had let the phone ring maybe this adventure would have passed him by.

    Two hours later Will stepped out of his hotel and was assaulted by the sight and sounds of Bombay. The streets were small and crowded as today being market day everyone was either going to the market with goods or returning with baskets filled to the brim. Not being a native to this part of India Will stuck out like a sore thumb dressed in his business suit. This was not his intent as travelers were often sought out by the local street urchins, but Will wanted to present himself as a professional when he met up with McIntosh. Luckily for Will the street urchins were busy pestering the market goers as they returned from the market. A quick ten minute walk and Will rounded the corner to the café and saw McIntosh sitting at a table waiting.

    “Nice to see you made it with your belongings Mr. Ford. The street folk must have heard about your reputation.â€

    “Nice to see you again McIntosh. Those street creatures were too occupied trying to snatch the purses of merchants than to be bothered with me. So what is so important about this object that I need to find for you?â€

    Looking around the Scott seemed very hesitant to begin the conversation. “This is no mere object Mr. Ford. This is a weapon of terrible destruction.â€

    “WHAT? I’m no arms dealer McIntosh I’m an archeologist. Despite what you may have heard about my past I think you have the wrong guy.â€

    “No Mr. Ford. I know you are the right man. Yes, the object is a weapon, but it is not an ordinary weapon. It is a trumpet designed by the Goddess Kali herself. It is said that if the right series of notes are played on this trumpet that Kali herself will come to destroy the world. This trumpet is known as the Indian Lady. As there has never been a trumpet crafted that is as beautiful in look and sound as this one.â€

    Will sat with a blank look on his face. An image of Dizzy Gillespie playing a horn that shot out an A-Bomb kept running through his mind like some kind of screwed up cartoon.

    The Scott continued, “There is another problem Mr. Ford. I have it on good authority that the KGB has sent some of their best agents to find this horn. So you must find this object and bring it to me so that it may be kept out of the hands of the communists.â€

    Will couldn’t believe the story McIntosh had just told him. He thought the same thing for the next few minutes “the KGB and a magical trumpet of death; how come I get the best jobs?†Finally resigned to his fate will asked McIntosh where he should start looking.

    McIntosh then hailed a cab and both he and Will got in the cab to begin the search for the Indian Lady, trumpet of the Apocalypse.

    4.Why I should win:

    I currently am a student. I have re-dedicated my life to music and to teaching music. I left a successful career in the computer industry in order to return to school and get a degree in music education so I can share my love of music with the world. Winning this contest would give me another avenue in which to help spread my love of music. The Indian Lady trumpet would help me to spread the music of other cultures to future generations. For these reasons I feel I should win this contest.
  8. Nonsense Eliminator

    Nonsense Eliminator New Friend

    Nov 2, 2003
    Since Leigh has stipulated that he will build only a B-flat trumpet for the winner of this contest, I got to thinking: What in heck do I need a B-flat trumpet for? I can count the number of times I've played my B-flat in public in the last year on the fingers of one hand. In general, there are three kinds of situations in which I will pick up my B-flat trumpet:

    1.) Pretending to play "jazz", which believe me, is not a pretty picture;
    2.) Reading quintets while too drunk to transpose; or
    3.) Playing low notes not available on the C trumpet.

    Since I spend most of my time playing in a dark, uncomfortable hole in the ground, this all leads me quite inevitably to the theme and function of this instrument:


    The main characteristic would be a rotary valve on the end of the third valve slide (as found on some piccolo trumpets -- eg. the Yamaha 9820) that would allow the third valve to function as a regular third valve, or, with the rotor engaged, as a longer valve. There would be two slides provided: One, as is most typical in these arrangements, would allow the third valve to function as the fourth valve on most piccolos, that is, it would lower the pitch by a perfect fourth; the other would be longer and would lower the pitch by a perfect fifth. This second option would allow THE BOTTOM DWELLER to truly dwell in the murky depths, all the way down to a written D.

    This option, I feel, would be superior to an additional valve in four important respects. First, the additional weight and design expense of a fourth valve would be eliminated. Second, adding a fourth valve would also add another twist in the air column which would negatively affect air movement. Third, the instrument would also be supplied with a standard third valve slide (yes, folks, that's three, count 'em, three third valve slides!) which would return it to "normal", which would obviously not be the case with a four-valve instrument. Finally, once developed for THE BOTTOM DWELLER, this special third valve slide could be sold as an aftermarket add-on to existing Eclipse customers, or modified slightly to work with other makes of trumpet, and even other keyed instruments. I can even propose a name for this device: "The Big Bottom".

    On most piccolo trumpets, the rotary valve is activated by a ring located where the third valve ring would be. This would prove problematic on THE BOTTOM DWELLER, as it will be necessary for me to be able to operate the third valve slide as usual without fear of accidentally engaging The Big Bottom. To facilitate this, since I usually operate the third valve slide with my ring finger, the ring attached to The Big Bottom would be located beyond the regular third valve ring, and would be operated by the pinky finger. This might necessitate moving the third valve ring slightly closer to the valve casing than would normally be the case, but since I have fairly large hands I am confident that a satisfactory design could be accomplished.

    This is the major "innovation" -- I hope to come up with a few minor tweaks for THE BOTTOM DWELLER, but as entries are starting to pour in I wanted to get this in ASAP. Watch this space!

    The visual aspect of the instrument would harmonize with its specialized nature, and how I often feel about trying to play B-flat trumpet, especially when expected to swing. THE BOTTOM DWELLER should look as if it had been dredged from the bottom of a fetid swamp. The predominating colour -- that of the bell and perhaps the leadpipe -- should be a mottled olive green, preferably looking as diseased as possible. The various components should be a riot of clashing earth tones -- fecal browns, purulent yellows, vomitous oranges, plain old corroded raw brass, and so forth. No two adjacent parts should be the same colour. Even the valve buttons should be mismatched.

    As an additional aspect of the gruesome appearance of THE BOTTOM DWELLER, braces should be designed to look like worms, maggots, snakes, and bits of filth. The braces between the bell and leadpipe should, after being fastened securely, appear to drape over the leadpipe like rotting strands of pond scum. The tuning slide brace should look like a tiny snake, coiling its way across the tuning slide. The finger hook should look like a worm bending back upon itself. This instrument should be deliberately ugly in every way possible.

    You have already seen my short story:

    "Once upon I time, I was on the bus in Toronto when a guy tripped over his own shoes and spilled ice cream on my trumpet case. The End."

    Why should I win this contest? Simple. I have never played a tricked-out trumpet, and have always thought I would feel silly playing a decorated instrument. Leigh, you know you want to prove me wrong.
  9. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Greg Zent's Entry

    The fit of the mouthpiece in the receiver and the receiver gap will be set at the factory to ensure optimal performance for my mouthpiece.

    This trumpet must be fashioned to spiritually inspire anyone who plays it, hears it, or sees it. Well, sounds like a tall order? Yes, without a doubt!

    The AlphaOmega.
    A testament to the Lord Jesus Christ, the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega.
    This horn will be based on the standard Eclipse trumpet with a scratch gold finish. The inspirational sound and musicality of the horn arise from the outstanding design, skill and dedication of the men who create it with unprecedented care.

    The horn will be an inspiration to behold at any distance. From afar the sound will be full and more powerful than any other horn. Within visual range, the incredible gold finish will shine like a beacon. At a closer range the dedicated bracing will announce that there is something very special about this instrument and draw listeners closer. Up close you will see the horn is inscribed with inspirational Scriptural passages visible from all angles. A totally one of a kind instrument and testimony to our Lord Jesus Christ!

    Here are some pictures that attempt to capture the theme:

    Jingle-Jingle-Boing-PLOP-OOF! Keesha, my furry, fun-loving Keeshond decided it was time for me to get out of bed! "Keesha, you crazy pup! Its Sunday. Can't you let me sleep for another hour?". Well, she cocked her head and clamped my wrist in her mouth and gently started pulling. "OK, OK, I'm getting up."

    It's an absolutely perfect spring morning in Stewartville, Minnesota; sunny, 65 degrees and not a cloud to be seen. It will be great for going to church today. But today isn't just any Sunday. Today is the day our new church is being dedicated by our Bishop. Years of planning, work and sacrifice have culminated in the completion of a wonderful new sanctuary, the first at St. Bernard's in over 40 years!

    I throw on some bluejeans and a sweatshirt, jump in the car and run down to Casey's to pick up donuts for breakfast. Keesha greets meet with a smile when I return home and I yell "Donut Man!" as I walk in the door. I, my wife and kids make short work of the donuts and get ready for church. I grab my music and 2 Bb trumpets and out the door we go.

    At church I practice a couple of pieces on my "old" horn with the organist and keep the second horn out of sight. I go back and finish practicing our vocal songs with the choir and we're all set. As I sit in our beautiful new sanctuary I thank God for the many blessings he has given to me and my family, and the new church we have thanks to His guidance.

    Its time to begin and I pull out the second horn, the AlphaOmega. This horn was made to give glory to God and I play Stanley's Trumpet Voluntary reverently as I play the AlphaOmega for the first time in public and the dedication begins. Everyone is excited to be here celebrating the dedication with the Bishop and you can feel the presence of God as the Bishop challenges us to use this new church as an inspiration to proclaim and live the Gospel with a new and vigorous purpose.

    Following the completion of mass, I play another inspiring voluntary as the congregation leaves. I take a moment to pray and reflect and thank God again for this great day! It is really amazing what is possible when you follow Christ and surrender your will to do God's will!

    When this contest started I was determined to win. I spent a lot of time and effort working on a design I believed would win. I became consumed with putting forth a stunning design that would best all others.

    I didn’t realize how much I was obsessed with this contest until I caught myself mentally reworking the design during a Scripture reading in church. Well, that's when I knew (or God was telling me) that I was too wrapped up in this contest and had the wrong priority. I asked for forgiveness and guidance. I prayed that Jesus would guide me to act as he would have me. If that meant not entering the contest then that would be what I would do.

    Later in that week, when I started thinking about the contest again, I would pray that I would do what God wanted through the guidance of Christ. I continued to read Scripture and pray and was lead to describe this design, the AlphaOmega. I am not concerned with "winning" at this point. I'm just trying to do what I feel is right. Today so many people are working to remove all references to Christianity from
    public places. This trumpet would be my response to those people.

    What would I do with this horn that would be so great? At this point I don't know. I am not a virtuoso artist or a great evangelist or anything like that. What I do know is that I would pray that I use it in a way that is pleasing to God and that some day I will pass this magnificent trumpet on to my daughter so that she may also use it to serve God. Playing this horn at her wedding (someday) and later being able to watch her play it at my grandchild's wedding would truly be inspirational!


    Greg Zent
  10. uatrmpt

    uatrmpt Piano User

    Nov 29, 2003
    The Heart of Dixie Horn

    1. Have you ever been in the middle of a performance when your valve starts to feel like it's been greased with molasses or seizes up entirely? Your only rest for the next 50 bars is a short four measure rest that is approaching quickly. You're the principal trumpet and have a solo right after the rest, which heavily utilizes the seized valve. You hit the rest and start unscrewing the valve cap -- there goes two bars. You pull the valve out and slosh some oil on and manage to get the valve back in the casing, valve cap unscrewed though, so you can make it back in for your solo; unfortunately, the valve is in backwards and you get the stare of death from the director when you miss your solo.

    This is where Quick Release Valve Caps come in. Either through means of shorter threads (similar to the Reeves mouthpieces) in which you can get the cap off in two turns or less or through a spring-loaded push down and twist & lock system (like on a pill bottle) you can get those valve caps off, the valve oiled and back in place, with the cap on, in less time.

    2. How many people have large hands, or smaller ones, that don't fit the standard placement of third slide rings on professional trumpets, but don't have the resources to get them moved? How many people change grips depending on the genre or ensemble (all fingers on top for concert, two over and two under for jazz, etc.)? Yes, you could get an adjustable ring put on, the kind that are on student horns. But those look ugly, and give the connotation of your horn being a student horn. This is where the Fields Adjustable Finger Ring comes into use on the Eclipse. Comprised of a standard Eclipse third slide ring fastened to a padded band (which is the same color/finish as the horn), the band is secured directly to the top pipe of the third valve slide by means of a tiny screw. When you're ready to change your grip, simply loosen the screw and move the ring to your desired position. Click the following link for a very bad drawing of the Fields Adjustable Finger Ring: CLICK HERE FOR ILLUSTRATION

    The theme will be The Heart of Dixie. One of the main eyecatching features of the horn will be the engraving of the bell, featuring symbols of my home state, Alabama, which is known as The Heart of Dixie. Along the top side of the bell, next to the bell bead, will be engraved two statements: Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere (the state motto, which translated means We Dare Defend Our Rights) and the state's nickname: The Heart of Dixie. Further up the bell, where the name stamp is usually located, will be engraved the coat of arms for the state ( "The coat of arms consists of a shield on which appears the emblems of the five governments that have held sovereignty over Alabama. The flags of Spain, France, Great Britian, the Confederacy are bound by the flag and shield of the United States. This shield is supported on either side by bald eagles, symbolic of courage. The crest is a model of the ship, the Baldine, that Iberville and Bienville sailed from France to settle a colony near present day Mobile (1699). The motto beneath the shield is "Audemus jura nostra defendere." Beneath the motto is the state name." Continuing up the bell, to the tuning slide, will be engraved the flora and fauna unique to Alabama -- The state flower, the Camelia and the state wild-flower, the Oak Leaf Hydrangea. As I attend the University of Alabama, the valve buttons will be in-layed with a material similar to the school color of Crimson, perhaps a garnet.

    The horn will be designed so as to be free blowing with a full sound, which will be able to blend into a wind ensemble section, play a part in orchestra, hymns in church or a senior recital.

    There once was a trumpet player who had a very horrible teacher, one who’s only suggestion for every playing problem was to just use more air. The trumpet player became discouraged with his playing and changed his major to history. He even thought of changing instruments to something like hoseophone or oboe (both horrible sounding horns). The trumpet player was at home one summer when he got his marching band music in the mail, he had been bumped down from second part to third. He was angry because the trumpet teacher was also the band director and he had been having a disagreement with the teacher. Since parts were assigned, he knew that he could do far better than third part. He knew it was time to change schools. He got in his Toyota Tacoma (aka The Yoda) and drove to Tuscaloosa, to the University of Alabama where he enrolled as a music education major, determined to give trumpet another shot. He lucked out. There was a new trumpet teacher in town, the principal at the local orchestra. The new teacher totally changed his outlook and playing was enjoyable again. Nothing could beat the pride he felt the first time he put on the band uniform at that school and played Yea Alabama. On top of all that, he auditioned and was put on lead part! In the Spring semester, he auditioned and got in the Wind Ensemble, the top college performing group in the state. One day, as he was at the local pizza place, eating a calzone, he thought, “things are going great now.†As the trumpet player sits here typing, things are still going well, because this is a true story.

    In an environment dominated by Bachs, I want my own sound. I want to aurally AND visually stand out from my peers. Unfortunately, in high school I didn't take care of my current horn and now it's looking fairly horrible. I'm a junior and I have a senior recital coming up in a year. I want a horn that I will be able to step into that recital hall with and give the performance of my life, but I can't afford a horn like that. Only if I win the Eclipse will I be able to fufill that part of my dream.
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