Discussion in 'Horns' started by eclipse trumpets, Jan 12, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. eclipse trumpets

    eclipse trumpets Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    This Thread is for contest entries only please

    Remember ! you can post part of your entry if you have some ready and then add the rest later on if you wish.
    Or of course you could wait until you have it all completed and then post it, its up to you.
    Also your entries may be edited as much as you like right up until the end of the contest.
    You may even decide to scrap one part you have done and choose a different one even if it is posted.
    As long as there are the 2 chosen parts completed and the mandatory number 5 question done by the time the contest ends then thats fine.

    Best Wishes

  2. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 30, 2003
    Manchester / London
    I guess I'm the first one to open up the battle :D

    Back to School

    The Lego Trumpet


    A full-size trumpet made entirely out of Lego!

    Some details on what the Lego Trumpet consists of:

    • Mouthpiece is a recovered pirate ship's crow's nest :lol:
      Leadpipe is the mast from the same pirate ship
      Valve slides are made of cylindrical Lego barrels
      1st Valve Saddle, 3rd valve 'ring' and finger hook are all custom made out of various pieces of Lego
      Bell section made of castle walls, and castle turrets (with some extra pieces added for good measure)
      Everything else made of standard Lego bricks and pieces

    Many more photos (including a side-by-side comparison with my Bach 37) here:

    The Story

    October 15th, 1940

    Another day. The grey rain-clouds that had coloured the previous week had receded, leaving a softly streaked blue sky. It was early still, and quite cold. I pulled my flying jacket closed and did it up. My leather helmet and gloves lay on the small table in front of me. Cards. I’d never been any good at cards. Still, it passed the time, and kept my mind off things.

    “You’ve won again Paul,†I sighed, pushing my clumsy collection of cards towards him. Unlike me, Paul was a rather talented poker player. He was in newspapers before the war, and was a quick thinker. He had joined the RAF as a pilot officer much the same time as I did, and was assigned to 145 Squadron; that’s where we met. Here, at RAF Tangmere.

    Paul and I had become good friends during our time with 145 Squadron, and after losing several pilots over the last few months were now a wing pair. As more experienced pilots, we were responsible for looking after some of the newer arrivals at Tangmere - nervous young men whose training had been cut short to fill the gaps left in our ranks by Luftwaffe fighters. Paul was one of the best flyers in the squadron, and was one kill away from reaching the total of three required to attain the title of ‘Ace’. The ground crew had proudly painted two small swastikas below his cockpit window, in recognition of his two previous kills. When he bagged the next one there was bound to be a squadron celebration: he would become 145’s first Ace. He was always modest about his flying skills, however, and had faintly protested against the painting of the two symbols of Nazism that adorned his Hurricane’s fuselage.

    “I’m not proud,†he had said, amidst the flurry of backslapping that accompanied his second kill. I got the impression that Paul was acutely aware that the men in the aircraft he had downed were probably not unlike himself; normal, if slightly shy young men, who had been thrust into this... this thing. Thrust into this war, which showed no signs of abating, and which was constantly, startlingly, unrelentingly bleak, cruel and cold. It was never a subject I raised, for fear discussing it might make it more real; that the crude act of verbalisation might remove some of the numbness that came with the simple disbelief that this could actually be happening. I was afraid talking to Paul might, like a firm proverbial pinch, sting us both back into the grubby stench of the here and now.

    He smiled and gathered up the deck. He began to shuffle the cards again.

    “Better luck next time eh old chap?â€

    “If there is a next time.†Looking over his shoulder, I gestured with a nod to where our Commanding Officer was coming out of the control tower, walking ominously towards us, a piece of paper fluttering in his hand. Paul turned to look as he approached.

    “Fresh orders. We’re up again.†We both rose to our feet to greet the Squadron Leader.

    “Morning Sir,†I smiled.

    “Good morning Flying Officer. New orders just come in from Group. Better get ready, we’re down for a patrol. Take off two minutes: we’re going to London again.â€

    “London Sir?†I asked.

    “Yes, Charles, London. Uxbridge have picked up a large raid heading inbound, looks like they’re heading up the estuary and inbound for East London.†Uxbridge was where 11 Group was based. All the squadrons in the Group were vectored and assigned from there. “Strap in and roll out as soon as you can. Good luck.†Paul and I both nodded as the C.O. strode away from us, moving towards a small group of officers on the other side of the airfield.

    “They’re hitting the East End again,†said Paul, solemnly. “They always bloody well go for East London.†I didn’t answer, but I knew what must have been troubling his mind. His fiancé, Juliet, had recently volunteered her services as a nurse and was working at a hospital in the East End. Juliet, a very pretty girl, had been seeing Paul for quite some time now. He told me she had wanted to go to Oxford before the war broke out. That was all on hold for now, of course.

    Paul rubbed his temple, gazing down dolefully at the now splayed pack of cards. Slowly, he looked up. “I suppose we’d better get ready.â€

    We picked up our gloves and helmets, turned silently, and walked towards the ground crew who were already preparing our Hurricanes. I climbed up onto the wing of mine, and clambered into the crampt cockpit, lowering myself down into the seat. I strapped myself in, clicking closed the catch on my harness, checked the controls, and pulled the canopy shut. I turned on the radio and looked across to Paul. He was already in his seat, his Merlin engine throbbing away in front of him. I signalled to the Sergeant down by my nose to start my engine, and he pulled on the propeller as I engaged the throttle. It choked into life, sending oil and smoke back over the canopy. Applying the brakes, I tested the engine. As I pushed the throttle forward, the whole fuselage began to shudder.

    Like a domesticated dog on a lead that suddenly feels powerfully drawn to the openness, the expansive freedom of the local park, I felt the Hurricane tugging at me. She had smelt the scent of the sky, and now she was begging to be let go. Aching to fulfil her purpose as an aircraft, to consummate that primeval longing instilled in her every last strut and bolt since her beginnings as a sketch on a designer’s pad - to take off, to be airborne, to fly.

    Tower cleared us for take off, and we began to trundle over the bumpy grass runway. I pulled up and formed up on Paul’s left wing. We both flew out behind the rest of the squadron as we proceeded east. To London.

    As we climbed out over the clouds, the sun shone down on our formation. The people in the fields below grew smaller, and then vanished out of sight. Gaps in the cloud revealed scattered buildings and the occasional anti-aircraft position. I looked up. The sky was clear, near perfect visibility. Vectors and squadron numbers hummed over the radio. There were reports of enemy sightings, always followed by the familiar call of “Tally ho.†But, apart from the five aircraft in our formation, I could see no signs of smoke, or any aircraft at all. I lived for this. Above the clouds, up in the air where no one could reach you. Perfectly serene, perfectly calm. I watched some birds as they passed my left wing, wheeling around our formation as if to acknowledge us.

    My daydream was cut to a swift end as the Commanding Officer’s voice came over the radio. “Green Flight, this is Green Leader. Bandits reported entering our station area. Heads up.†London was just coming into sight. The Thames stretched away before us, like a huge green-blue snake trying to slither out into the sea. There were barrage balloons over the Docklands, trying to deter Ju87s from turning the quays below into smouldering rubble. I could see a few red dots in the streets below. I presumed they were fire engines, attempting to clear the rubble from yesterday’s raid.

    “Green Flight, this is Green Leader. Bandits approaching. 3 o’clock low.â€

    I looked down to my right. I made out about 30 or so bombers, with escorts riding above and behind. 109s. Our Hurricanes were no match for those yellow-nosed bastards.

    “Blue Three sighted escorts, tally ho.†Another voice. I looked up as a Spitfire squadron streaked over us, and began to dive towards the enemy formation. I checked on Paul. He waved at me, and I waved back.

    “Good luck Paul, I’m with you,†I called.

    “Roger, good luck Charles - and keep an eye on those escorts.â€

    “Green Flight, engage Ju-88s at 3 o’clock low. Tally ho, Green Leader.â€

    I banked across, and pushed my throttle forward. I centred the lead bomber in my sights, and put both my hands on the stick. It was still out of range. Wait... wait. I moved my trembling thumb onto the trigger. Wait. Almost there. The tail gunner began to fire at me. Tracers reached out above my cockpit, but none were on target. Now! I tensed my body, and began to fire. Tracers darted across the bomber. Go for the engine, I thought... go for the engine. The sound of tearing fabric told me I was taking hits. I rolled over, then opened fire again. On target... smoke! I threw my Hurricane across and down below the bomber. I looked up to check on it. Its right engine was on fire. I pulled up. The bomber began to spiral down. “Scratch one!†I called over the radio. My second ever kill.
    It wasn’t over yet though. Not by a long way.

    “Green Five! Heads up!†I had no time to react. A 109 pushed past me, followed by a Spitfire. My heart thumped. The bombers had scattered following our initial pass. Some were above me, some below. The 109s had been engaged by the Spitfires, but were still trying to regroup, and attack us. I saw one Hurricane below me, desperately trying to evade a 109. I recognised the markings - it was Paul. I dived after them.

    “Paul, break, break!†I called. He did. He swung left, trying to escape. It didn’t work. The 109 matched his turn, and fired after him. I was closing, slowly. Paul tried to dive away. The 109 followed. Wingman... where’s his wingman? I checked my six. Sure enough, another 109 was bearing down on me. I pulled up sharply, rolled over, and dived. It worked. The second 109 was going too fast to react, and continued to dive. I chased after it. It banked right, away from Paul and the other 109. I had to follow. I turned inside the 109, and began to lead it in my sights. It disappeared behind my instruments. I let loose a short burst, and nosed down. Still there. Still turning. Now it came into view, giving me a clear shot. I opened fire. My tracers hammered home across the cockpit of the 109, smashing the glass and billowing across the pilot’s body. I pulled up level, and watched the 109 fall away towards the clouds below. I didn’t call it this time, I was too worried about Paul. I searched the sky to try and find him. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing at all.

    “Damn it, where is he?†I thought. I turned north to try and find the rest of my squadron. Suddenly I noticed it. Two dots, one trailing smoke. I throttled up again. Slowly, I closed in. Paul was still trying to shake the 109. Grey-black smoke poured from his engine, back over his cockpit. Bail I thought. Bail out damn it! I closed in. The 109 hadn’t seen me yet. I firmly pushed my thumb down to fire. Four tracers stretched away into the sky, and then nothing. “WINCHESTER!†I shouted. No more ammunition. Oh God...

    I stayed on the six of the 109 in the hope I could distract him long enough for Paul to make an escape, but I soon saw Paul’s engine stop. I cut my throttle and passed the 109, then Paul. He wasn’t looking up. He had one hand on his crimsoned chest, and the other trying to steady his stick. There were holes scattered across the side of his cockpit window. I frantically tried to raise him on the radio:

    “Paul? Paul! Answer me, damn it!†There was no response. “Oh God,†I thought. “Oh please God, no!â€

    I broke off and headed back west, towards Tangmere. The 109 pulled up and climbed out back towards the Channel, leaving Paul for dead. I watched Paul’s stuttering Hurricane falling away below my left wing tip. He was trying to ditch in a grass field, bordered with trees. His Hurricane came in far too fast. It ploughed into the field, tipped over, and burst into flames.

    I hardly noticed the flight back. The controller’s voice passed unheard. Wide-eyed, I numbly landed my Hurricane. The ground crews rushed over and lifted me down from the cockpit. Exhausted, I slumped from their steadying grasp, and fell to my knees. Gripped by a visceral, sickening sadness, I clenched my eyes shut.

    Paul was gone.

    Above me, the day’s sunlight was draining from the sky. Tangmere’s windsock quietly flapped and fluttered, accompanied softly by the murmur of distant aircraft; a squadron of Blenheim night-fighters venturing out on its evening patrol.

    Across the channel, German ground crews were readying their fighters and loading their bombers. The Luftwaffe would return tonight.

    Why I should Win

    I’ve longed after the Eclipse MY-C ever since playing that beautiful prototype in the factory last year.

    Aside from being astoundingly well designed and well put together, this trumpet really allowed me to sound like me for the first time. I like to think I make a fairly nice sound on my Bach Bb, but the Eclipse brings out the sound in my head - it feels more like singing than playing the trumpet. This is by a long way the best C-trumpet I’ve ever played (in fact, the best trumpet I’ve ever played) and winning it would put a smile on face for the next several decades or so!

    I put a lot of hard work and thought into my entry, so I would hope that will count in my favour.

    Building a full-scale trumpet out of Lego was quite a ridiculous, but fun challenge. I found it very difficult to replicate a trumpet that’s essentially made up of round surfaces with a material that’s made up of squares, but hopefully I had some success. I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I enjoyed making it!

    I spent quite a few late nights over the last few months re-reading and re-writing my story, trying to get it perfect. Before writing it, I also tried to research my facts thoroughly, to make sure I was as faithful as possible to reality. The story is fictional of course, but 145 Squadron and RAF Tangmere are real. I’ve really tried to do the best job I possibly could, because I think we all owe an incalcuable debt to those who served in the RAF during the Second World War for their very real sacrifices. The story is, very humbly, dedicated to their memory. (This site gives more detail on the actual events of October 15th, 1940.)

    Aside from the main prize, I’d also love the chance to hear Noel playing in ‘The Producers’ as I’m a great fan of his playing. I have heard brilliant things about this production: winning tickets would be simply fantastic!

    Finally, trumpet playing means a huge amount to me, and winning this contest would just be ... well pretty wonderful really. Being a student I don’t have huge amounts of money, and having a C-trumpet would really open up a lot of new repertoire for me, in preperation for my start at the RNCM next year.

    I really really really want to play professionally, and hopefully if I won this trumpet I could justify owning it by putting my everything into making it sound as good as it possibly can - now and for a long time to come.

    Thanks for doing this again this year Leigh, you’re an amazingly generous person.

  3. trombapaul

    trombapaul Pianissimo User

    Sep 30, 2004
    Detroit, MI
    Why I should win a new Eclipse trumpet……………by Paul Roache

    I feel that I’m the perfect future winner of a new custom Eclipse trumpet
    because I’ve had the wonderful fortune to have had my horns stolen and
    the replacements satisfied the insurance company but they are not quite
    up to snuff in comparison to the horns now AWOL. The five that were
    stolen (1 quad case containing a Yamaha Bb, a Besson C, a Schilke Eb
    and a Yamaha Picc, and a Flugel gig bag containing a vintage Cousenon)
    were, in my estimation, perfect. I saw myself finally at the end of my
    trumpet(s) safari, but that was not to be.

    For the past three years, I’ve been struggling, trying to re-acquire the
    “perfect†horns, but alas, only to fail time after time. There hasn’t exactly
    been a whole lot of Dollars (Clams, Pounds, Rubels, Donero, etc.) to work
    with so to WIN a beautiful custom Eclipse would also keep my wife happy
    as opposed to having to pay for one, which I would happily do. My choice
    of custom Eclipse would be one of your C trumpets so I could once again
    be happy and proud going to orchestra rehearsals and performances.
    Besides, if I don’t win, I’ll just have to sit down in the middle of my living
    room and cry and nobody wants to see a 46 year old man cry. Do you?

    But seriously, I've played professionally for over 27 years and have never
    been truly happy with my C horns. I've had a few come close but none
    ever made me believe the search was over. I just have a very good
    feeling about the Eclipse line of instruments. If I don't win, I will have to
    buy one and that would without a doubt, throw me into an ugly divorce
    proceeding!!! Isn't it worth it to help a trumpet playing brother avoid
    that situation??

    A touch of poetry (so I'm told) Paul Roache

    "If you feel yourself getting shy or self conscious, think about the
    instrument you play. We have the greatest crutch known to man.
    We play an instrument that was used to knock down the walls of Jericho.
    It's used to play tearful good-byes and to announce joyous occasions.
    It's used to make people get up and dance. It can make people sit
    in silence and be reflective and awed. It can be Spiritual and devilish
    in the same breath. If you start to feel scared, think about how you feel
    when you play. The very nature of our instrument instills confidence in
  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    3. The Mighty Oak Trumpet:

    So I've never been much of an artist when it comes to building things, particularly curvy a trumpet. But, for lack of a better idea I ran a picture of an eclipse trumpet through my makeshift shop in the basement. It started life as a solid plank of oak and after many hours of trimming this is what popped out:



    In the fine English town of Dunstable,
    lives a man blessed with hands that are able,
    with patience and time,
    he builds trumpets sublime,
    the sound of which is quite sable.


    First, a huge "Thank You" to Leigh and First Class Brass. Sure, it's a nice gesture
    when a large music corporation or a big name artist sponsors a clinic or a school.
    It evens makes you feel good when you see someone on TV win a home makeover or a
    new car. BUt this isn't some big TV network doing this for ratings or a publicity
    stunt for a celebrity - it's a very sincere man making a heartfelt gift of his time
    and talents to one incredibly lucky individual.

    When you stop and think about the real cost to a small business like Eclipse trumpets,
    then you feel pretty silly explaining why you should win this contest, at least I do.
    Keeping that in mind, I'll try.

    Considering the magnitude of the prize, I don't think I have any life-stories that
    would make me feel I "deserve" to win. Certainly, I've had my share of painful
    experiences in my life, but honestly I feel very blessed with all the gifts God
    has given me, so I don't feel like I "need" a world class custom made trumpet to
    be happy.

    For 15 years after college I focused my energies on my engineering career and
    starting a family. This didn't leave room for playing trumpet regularly in any sort
    of group. Thankfully, we moved back to MN and in 2001 my wife pushed me to
    join an established swing group and play regularly. I didn't realize how much
    I missed playing in a band until I started again! Every time I go out on
    stage with a band I realize how lucky I am to have 'refound' my passion for
    the trumpet.

    Now, I'm not a professional player or instructor. I live in a small town and
    there's limited opportunities to make money playing trumpet so what little I
    do make playing goes for equipment and transportation costs.

    I play regularly with two very fine big bands, on special occasions at my
    Church and I sub for a variety of groups. I love playing the trumpet and
    sharing my musical talent with audiences, so I gladly play when asked
    as long as my lovely, understanding wife and three daughters don't object.
    It is always a privilege to me, it is never simply a 'job'.

    I think that receiving a gift like a custom Eclipse trumpet shouldn't end
    with the lucky winner. It should inspire the recipient to take that gift and
    share Leigh's generosity as joyfully and as often as possible with a higher
    level of musical excellence. That's exactly what I would do - everytime
    I performed I would be reminded of the generosity of God working through
    others and radiate that joy from the bell of my horn to the listeners' ears.

    I would project that generosity with joy and humility always mindful of
    how blessed I truly am.

    Being a Christian is all about sharing God's blessings with others. So I believe
    it is only fair that if I am fortunate enough to receive such a gift that
    I will share my gift by giving away my current Bb trumpet. That's right,
    with the help of Leigh and the past winners I will donate my Zeus trumpet
    to someone or some charity in need.

    Good luck to all and God bless!

    Greg Zent
  5. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Here goes...I may be changing this later.

    A story
    I often wonder what life may have been like had I chosen a different path. There are so many choices we each must face; each one significantly or insignifacantly impacting events we cannot imagine in our wildest dreams.

    Of the more significant choices we make, a career is certainly among the most significant, as we are so often identified by what we do.

    So, I find myself sitting and wondering, "What if?" What if I had chosen to continue my study and attend graduate school immediately upon graduating college and pursued performing upon completion as did some of my colleagues?

    At one point in my teaching career, I acted upon this question. Checking the ITG Employment opportunities turned up an opening in an orchestra a few hours drive away. The audition date was set for August, with a June (I think) application deadline. The job: Principal Trumpet in the Albany (NY) Symphony. It's a good orchestra: a per service job with recording and chamber opportunities, travel reimbursement, and they play alot of contemporary American works. I submitted my resume, not expecting anything in return.

    A few weeks later, I recieved the repertoire list, directions to the audition facility, a season schedule, description of salary (which I still have). And, sometime later, a telephone call. I was given a time to audition. My excitement at that was unbelievable. Here was my chance to find my answer to the "what if?" I had asked.

    I prepared the audition material. Some I didn't have, so I went to the local college, borrowed a score for Zarathustra from the library to copy the required excerpt, asked my former trumpet teacher to photocopy his posthorn solo excerpt, and got copied parts for Bach Magnificat opening mvt from the orchestra library. (The rest I had). I was off and running, practicing many hours a day (much to the dismay of my wife...the house needed painting!) I even burst a button on my shorts!:lol: I would drive the 20 minutes to "break" into the big hall at the music school I graduated from to play my material there. I remember thinking that I hadd everry chance to win the job. Never having been at a professional audition, I had no basis of comparison.

    The day of the audition arrived. I did my warm-up in the morning, and drove from where I was staying (about half an hour) to the site, and was given the number...1. I had to go first. I was given a warm up room (a practice room...the audition was held at a college). I began to do some flow studies, and touch on the material in the first round. I think it consisted of Mahler 5 opening, Tchaik 4 intro, Petroucka ballerina dance, and I think the Pines offstage solo. Across the hall, I heard someone else. "Well, our style and technique is not far apart. I should be ok!" Then, the door next to me closed...

    I remember walking to the table at the determined time, waiting, and being escorted into the room to audition. I brought all of my horns with me, because I was afraid they would get stolen if I didn't. While waiting, I could hear the person who was in the room next to me. He was such a strong player, I remember thinking "He is going to burst the door!" I thought "Yes. Play strong. They want strong...this is principal trumpet you're looking at." At that point I saw him come out of the room.

    I was escorted into the room (a college classroom, with hard tile floor and cinder block walls painted white) to audition. There was an arrow on the floor pointing directly at a white screen, a chair, and a music stand. Behind the screen was the audition commitee. I turned the chair, remembering my professor telling me at my first performance in major class: "face your bell at an angle to the audience".

    I played, remembering what I heard in the room next door. I don't think I could have played louder. After Tchaikowski, I remember seeing stars. (Not the good kind...I nearly blacked out). My 1st valve on my C decided "I don't want to go up" during the Mahler. ("I don't want to go up, I'm a Yamaha valve" the tune of the Toys R Us jingle...):shock:

    My turn ended. I packed my horns into the case, and headed outside, where some of the other auditionees were gathered. The atmosphere was not at all what I expected. People were very freindly; these were people (30) all competing for 1 position. There didn't seem to be any one-upmanship or belittling at all. They all seemed to know each other. I met a few, and we talked about what we did. I remember one individual saying he had just flown out from Chicago, where he had done a series of concerts and was on his way to somewhere else next week.

    The person from the room next door was assigned number 2. He came out a short while later, introduced himself, and asked how things went. Very congenial, freindly. I asked him how he felt it went, and he said "well, ok I guess. We'll see." He ended up winning the job; I was dismissed (released, as they put it) after the first round. The results were postedd immediately after the first five candidates:1. Released; 2. retained; 3 released; etc. I remember seeing another candidate on a payphone. It took all of an hour or so.

    I remember thinking on the way back home. Remembering the lifestyle of that one individual flying from Chicago. The winner of the job maintains a very active presence in both Boston and Baltimore. I have a wife and four children. For me, seeing that world helped me see a bit more clearly my own world. It cased me to see what is really valuable to me. Had I won the psotion, I would have a 3 to 4 hour commute, on winter roads, after teaching school. On concert weekends, I would need to take up residence closer to the area, meaning many weekends away from home. Being a per-service job, it would not be worth uprooting my family from freinds and grandparents so I could perform once or twice a month. Could I lead the lifestyle of Chicago to New York to who-knows-where and raise a family that way? Probably not. I would take the audition again in a heartbeat; but for different reasons now. They would be to keep myself motivated to play; to find an orchestra nearby (that is 2 or so hours drive) to supplement income.

    I am a different person because of that experience. I am a different player now, largely due to some reading and discussion on this forum (thanks, Manny!) A professional audition would be handled differently now. I hope to have the chance again. I would like to be at least in the second round next time. (And not play so loud I almost black out!)

    Why should I win this contest? As you read above, my own C is shot. Dead. Kaput. However you want to put it. Even when it plays ok, it is not the right horn. It feels too much like a chamber horn; very light. The sound has no weight. Not enough lows, too many highs. The valves, as you read, are unreliable. It is simply not in the financial plan for me to get a new one; my teacher's salary is the sole income for a family of 6; yet I still keep my eyes on the audition circuit looking for an opening within a few hours of here. The barrier (in addition to my location) is my C. I would like to supplement my income with some orchestra gigs, some weddings, etc. But to do that requires a C.

    In college, I used to write poetry quite often. I have never taken any formal poetry classes, but have always enjoyed the free style of E. E. Cummings.

    Part I: Prelude
    ~~~~_Sight. _______heart_____one.____pure_______humilty~~~~~~

    Part II: The Gift
    In one fleeting moment's glance a fire has caught in my ear
    The gifts of a heart from ages past or recently born
    To put into the world another world resembling the larger one present
    ++++++++Through my lips pass the stuff of my life:+++++++++++++
    ~~~~my thoughts go through there my heart goes through there~~~~~~
    ~~~~~my waking moments shimmer as water through there~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~my sleeping, my horror, dying, loving, hoping~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~to make this moment come alive with~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~passion, love, anger, despair, soul~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~and give into the heart of others~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~a gift beyond measure ringing~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~with the very highest~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~simplest, sacred~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  6. bandman

    bandman Forte User

    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA
    The story you are about to read is true. Unfortunately I am the subject of this story. After you read it you can feel free to check out all the details with anyone you please. It may sound a bit unbelievable, but rest assured all the details are in fact true.

    My story begins with a frustrated band director in 2001 (that would be me). My band had won the Universal Studios Orlando Festival of Music in 1999, and the Disney World All-Star Festival of Music in both 2000 and 2001. Things were going about as good as a band director could ask, and then my principal chose to change the manner in which the band program was set-up. He basically disassembled one of the more successful programs in the Southern United States.

    The 2001 school year had started and it was not going well. My program, which was made up of 411 students from lower middle class and desperately poor lower class students, was starting to falter. The signs were clear that my band, which I held together for over 20-years by working 12-hour days, was falling apart and I was going to fall apart with it. For what I thought would be my self-preservation I resigned my position and left music. I took a job as a technology coordinator in a private school.

    I was never really happy with my new job, but I did get to spend time with the kids while teaching social studies and religion in addition to my duties as computer lab teacher, Webmaster, and technology coordinator for a school that had two campuses. While my time with my students was special, it was never the same as being a band director. I really missed the band, and I really missed teaching music. I thought things could not get worse, and then my world came crashing down around me.

    On February 18, 2004 I awoke at 6:00 AM feeling rather poorly. Within a minute I realized I was having a massive heart attack. By 6:20 I was in the back of an ambulance, starting a new chapter to my life. I had a quadruple bypass at 10:00 that same morning. There I lay in the hospital wondering what my future held. One’s life story at 46-years-old is not supposed to include a heart attack.

    For some reason early in my recovery I asked for my trumpet. I have no idea why, but guess I thought that would bring some normality back to my life. During my recovery I started out not being able to blow for several weeks, but I got some joy from just holding it and doing fingering exercises. Having it in my hands brought back feelings from something I loved that had been part of my life from childhood into my adult life.

    After a several weeks my doctor cleared me to start playing again. I started out just making easy little sounds, wondering if the horn was going to push back. It did, but the pain was not severe, and I found more comfort than pain while playing my horns. A couple weeks went by and I found myself in a church loft playing for a wedding, and life – thanks to my horn – seemed to be returning to normal.

    Then a set back; I found out that 3 of the 4 bypass grafts didn’t work. They were 80% or more blocked after just 10-weeks. Back into the hospital for emergency surgery to start rebuilding my heart. After 4-days of total uncertainty they decided on a plan of action. They would clear my native arteries beginning with my left anterior descending artery, and then 3-weeks later my right coronary artery. The third artery was gone, too much damage, but there was some blood flow to all parts of my heart. The scariest thing is that this was new and experimental surgery. I was very lucky to have one of the world’s finest cardiologists doing these procedures.

    Throughout all of this, the one thing (other than my wife and daughter) that brought me comfort was my trumpet. I started playing more and more and soon I was back in love with music and my trumpet, just like in years past. Then out of nowhere a principal of another private school phoned my home offering me a position rebuilding a faltering band program! Music, kids, my trumpet, and a position back in front of a band! Life was good again…but unfortunately the story does not end here.

    I took over a band program with 41-students (10% of the number I had at my previous school). With in a couple of months we were up to 101, and I’m a happy man. The students work harder for me than any students I have ever had in the past. I had only one older clarinet student in the band, so 12 of my beginner clarinets progress enough that they play with the older students after just 15-weeks. We work during and after school, even taking our lunch periods to improve our skills.

    The Christmas season arrives! The band is playing very well, and I’m personally playing better than I have in 20-years. We play 2 concerts and things are really going great. Then the hammer falls again! I fail a stress test, and after further testing I’m back on the operating table with 99% blockage in my right coronary artery just 3mm from my aortic heart valve. Yes, the same brilliant cardiologist works another miracle and the next week I’m back at school with yet another stent in my heart – two days later we give our major Christmas program with me playing my trumpet as a special part of the program. The parents give us a standing ovation, and the comments are that the band is now better than it has been in over 20-years. We have worked a small miracle in half a school year…but unfortunately the story does not end here.

    In the testing after my surgery to make certain that things are okay, the hammer drops yet one more time! During a CT scan to check for blood clots in my lower abdomen and legs (something that is done regularly for post-op heart patients) they notice a mass in my right kidney. Further tests determine that it is indeed a tumor, and it is calcifying. Things look bad, but I do see another very good doctor and things are on track again.

    At my appointment I learn that I need to have my right kidney removed, and at the same time I need to have my gallbladder removed. My new doctor, knowing that I have been through a very tough year, recommends that we wait a month prior to one last CT scan and then the operation. I asked if I could wait a little longer than a month and he says I can wait until April.

    I chose to stay at school until April to prepare my bands for their spring festivals and also for their spring concert. I played for a wedding several hundred miles from home (in Alabama) and have played several local gigs during the past month. Life has returned somewhat normal with my working as hard as possible as both a band director and as a freelance trumpet player. I know that this April will bring a hard time for me with an 8 to 12 week recovery period, but I know that I will have my horns and music to return to after my surgery.

    I have plans to return to my current position teaching music again after my surgery, and I am so very thankful that music, and specifically the trumpet, has been such a major part of my life. So for now the story ends here…updates will come after our spring festivals, and of course the removal of my right kidney and my gallbladder in April.

    One addendum to my story is simply this. I may not win your wonderful trumpet, but even more important to me at this time is that I have your prayers and good wishes. This has been a very scary year for me. I have a 10-year-old daughter and a wife of 27-years. My true wish in life at this time is to spend many more wonderful, and music filled years with them!

    My picture is of my daughter practicing. I call it "Dedication!" She is a great young person who wanted to play the flute, but last year when I got this beautiful C trumpet her desires changed from flute to trumpet. She plays my new horn whenever she practices. She still sounds very much like a beginner, but as you can see, she is very dedicated to her practice time.


    Why do I think I should win this contest?

    I have been a band director for over 23-years, 21 of those years in a very poor school. I have dedicated my life to spreading the joy of music to thousands of young people. When I arrived at my second school we had 76 band members. Within 2-years we had over 300, and when I retired from that position we had 411.

    In order to spread music to students who came from a very poor area I bought used instruments and fixed them up, putting them into playable condition. In many of those cases, I gave the instruments to my students at no cost because they could not have afforded the cost of even a very inexpensive instrument. My only rule was that when they stopped playing, or got a better instrument, that they pass the instrument I got for them on to another student.

    We raised a small fortune and bought instruments for the school. When I left my position at that school we had over 100 students playing on school instruments. My students paid me back by doing well in school, playing well in the band, and many of them used music as a way to get into college via a scholarship.

    This has been a rough couple of years for me. I have been trying to get my main playing instruments up to a very high level by selling off several of my old horns and buying new ones. My horn that I had hoped to replace next was my Bb, but with another round of medical bills coming into 2005 because of my next surgery, there is no way I can make the purchase of a new Bb trumpet.

    Winning this contest would allow me to replace my own Bb trumpet through the generosity of another person. I have always been told that what goes around comes around. I’m hoping that this is the day for me to be the recipient of a wonderful gift!
  7. trumpet_dude_1

    trumpet_dude_1 New Friend

    Jan 15, 2004

    No finer a horn can be found,
    that creates such a glorious sound.
    With hammers and tools,
    Leigh creates veritable jewels,
    whose beauty make him world renowned.
  8. silverstar

    silverstar Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 6, 2005
    "Mr. Xeno, is the woman of your dreams bachelorette number one, bachelorette number two, or bachelorette number three?"

    My brainchild:
    Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting

    Made with:
    *Silver pipe cleaners
    *Silver pony beads
    *Gold pony beads

    This horn features an ultralight design and beautiful craftmanship. With gold accents and a goldplated, custom-designed mouthpiece, you'll be sure to wow your fans at your next gig.

    Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting

    5.)Why should I win?

    I would love to go to Europe, seeing as I've never been out of the US-not even to go to Canada! It would be a learning experience for me, as well as something I would remember all my life. I would also love to have a beautiful instrument that I could bring joy to all the people who listen to me, now and in the future, with. It would be my pride and joy. I also am a very curious person who would love to see how a trumpet is made. I love to know how things work, and this would be a great chance to see how my favorite instrument is built, from beginning to end!

    Thank you Leigh for putting on this contest. It has been a very exciting and rewarding when I see all the finished products! Thank you everyone who has submitted something, too! It's good to know that there is a little creativity in all of us, no matter what age or where we're from.

  9. Dan Millheim

    Dan Millheim Pianissimo User

    Sep 4, 2004
    Fort Worth ,TX
    Mud Trumpet Entry

    I discovered Eclipse Trumpets last year when I heard about their selfless act of kindness and compassion for a trumpet player who was battling a life threatening disease.Eclipse made a contribution of a custom horn on E-bay to help with this persons medical expenses. As I recall, I don't think Leigh even knew this individual but just wanted to help? In a day and age when businesses, especially young ones, are so bottom line conscience, this really resounded in my heart and I became a huge Eclipse fan ever since.

    Here are my entries:


    Task 3: "Back to School" Build a Trumpet.

    The "Mud Trumpet" is made out of materials found in my garage and back yard. NO instrument parts were used and everything was hand build from sticks, wood, wax, hot glue, paper, styrofoam, paint and varnish to create the "wet mud" effect (no mud or clay was used!). I wanted this horn entry idea to be fun and whimsical like life should be despite how difficult it can be at times! Project time was approx. 25 hours.

    For more pictures and build process click here: NEW Pictures added!

    Task 2: The Story.

    In writing "The Last," I wanted to honor the integrity of this company and the people that are involved with it. Leigh, you are letting your hands speak for you through your horns as well as your compassion for others-that is a life worth living. I also came to know you through Bruce Lee and was equally impressed with his desire to be a servant to trumpet players around the world. He represents you very well! In this fictitious story I wanted the "art" to connect with "the heart" and say something that encouraged. I hope you like it?

    "The Last"
    A tale of virtues from a life well lived.
    Dan Millheim

    Chapter One

    “Careers are for a lifetime while legacies are eternal.â€

    Despite a youthful face, he had the weathered hands of a master instrument maker that betrayed his real age. They were hardened and scarred and never quite clean enough for him not to feel a twinge of embarrassment at summer social functions when his arms were bare. This was of little importance, though. Parties and pretense were not his everyday world. His most comfortable moments were always found within the quiet security of his workshop. Raw brass was his canvas and paint, and the sound his instruments made, with moistened breath, his very life. It was in this world, a world of humble tools and metal scraps, that his calloused hands felt most alive and the artist within him stirred.

    As long as anyone could remember he was simply referred to as "The Builder." An odd name, considering that many of his fellow townsmen also worked with their hands. Yet they knew he was special and to show their profound respect, this was the name reserved only for him. A lesser man would have allowed such honor to go to his head but not the Builder. A sign above his work bench summarized his uncommon perspective on this life work. It read:

    "Let thy hands alone, speak for thee!"

    And speak they did! His “children", as he liked to call his instruments, filled the finest concert halls across the land. His one indulgence, which he so thoroughly enjoyed, was to travel in the spring to hear his various instruments. The splendor of creation, with all its sights and smells, inspired his work and connected him to the gift he was entrusted with like no other time of the year. The Builder called these orchestra halls his “sanctuaries,†for while others hear music and saw the talents of men, the Builder saw his God. He saw Him in the fingers of the violinist. He heard Him in the thunderous melodies that filled the air. And when the tears streamed down his face as the clarion tones of his instruments, fashioned by his own hands, resounded to the heavens, he felt God’s loving touch!

    “Net worth should never be confused with self worth.â€

    This profound sense of gratitude gave his simple life purpose and worth. While some men traded their youth for rich bank accounts, the Builder had long ago learned that his wealth was best invested in that which could never be lost, his relationships with people. While others might also grow bitter and alone as they aged, the Builder’s friendships only widened and his joy was infectious, so much so that his humble shop attracted the finest performers of his day. Each fragile ego, no matter how great the skill, was equally welcomed with sincere encouragement and a loving embrace from the tattered hands of the aging craftsmen. What often began as a frustrated quest for the “perfect†instrument to attain fleeting fame invariably ended with a far greater treasure -- a “retuned†soul to fall in love with making music all over again for oneself.

    “Encouragement is the greatest of teachers.â€

    Chapter Two

    “Instant success lasts only for an instant.â€

    He did not order his days by clocks or calendars or even by deadlines. The Builder’s life was measured instead, by the passing of the seasons and the number of instruments he was able to finish within their divine timing. One could imagine this caused some obvious frustration from eager patrons, but his response was always the same: “ When it breaths... then it leaves!†Except for a very special trumpet he was now building, his instruments bore no markings or numbers of any kind. The story is told of a famous musician who brought along his beautiful young daughter when he came to pick up his prized instrument. Upon inspection he questioned the builder: “How would anyone know this was his handiwork when it contained no branding or numbers?†Reaching down with his oversized hands he picked up the man’s small child. “How do you know this precious child is yours?†he teased. “Would you flaw her beauty with a number?†No further explanation was needed and the lesson learned that day gave the performer much delight each time he embraced the Builders “child†on his stage.

    “One sees clearest through a lens fashioned by time.â€

    In autumn the prized trumpet he had been building was completed and entrusted to his young music teacher friend for safe keeping. The Builder would spend much of his day now warming his softening arthritic hands by the small fire in the corner of his shop. Time had a curious way of filtering what really mattered and what had turned out to be useless pursuits in life and these vivid recollections by the fire warmed his soul. He didn’t venture out to hear his “children†anymore. Yet, he never lacked for companionship. There were always two chairs by his fire and his friendships, like the afternoon tea he served, were never stronger. He did miss the music. To remedy this, he approached his friend the music teacher and offered free rent if he would give music lessons in the empty storage shed behind the shop. This latest venture was both comforting as well as amusing. The discordant torturing of scales spurred many a prayer for the young teacher’s patience with his students. At the end of his day, when all was silent, the Builder would often wonder if any of these young “performers†would ever work hard enough on their craft to someday play one his “children†in the great concert halls of the world? The thought of this put a smile on his dreams as he slept.

    “Contentment is the root of all happiness.â€

    Chapter Three

    “Friendships formed in sorrow are not easily broken.â€

    The Builder would never awaken again. The entire town -- every man, woman and child-- braved the bitter winter cold to pay their respects at his humble grave. The orchestra hall canceled its weekend performances to allow their musicians to travel to bid forwell to a lifelong friend and musical father. The mourners grew beyond the capacity of the town’s one small inn. However, the Builders legacy of generosity had so influenced his community that the townspeople eagerly took these strangers into their own homes without charge.

    “To die with few regrets is to have truly lived.â€

    No one knows for sure how it happened but the funeral turned into a celebration of the Builders life rather than a mourning of his death. And what a celebration it was! The Builder’s little church had never heard such exquisite praise as his “family†of musicians played long into the night with notes now sweetened by their sorrow. The next day a communal feast was served before everyone departed. The hosting families provided more than enough food for themselves as well as their visitors. The young music teacher’s students entertained this final gathering. Although they lacked in musicianship, their sincerity brought many to tears.

    “Life’s greatest memories are often birthed from spontaneity.â€

    But the most glorious tribute to the Builder was a spontaneous occurrence when the tables were cleared after dinner. Someone inadvertently laid down their instrument on the table as they organized their belongings before leaving--then another instrument was laid down, and still another. In an instant the tables were overflowing with the Builders “children†side-by-side, row upon, magnificent row. The makeshift gallery of a lifetime of achievement spread out before them and as they circled, and pointed and drank in the beauty of so rare a sight, no one dared spoil the moment with conversation. And then a most curious thing happened, that surely must have warmed the Builders heart as he gazed down from the heavens. Without any confusion over ownership,each performer silently picked up their own, unmarked, unnumbered, unbranded instrument as they left.

    “ We have each been uniquely created with infinite worth.â€

    The profoundness of that moment was lost on everyone except a beautiful young woman who remained at the tables deep in thought. She remembered as a child the vivid memory of visiting the Builder’s shop with her father as he took delivery of his prized instrument many years earlier. His teasing and laughter, she reflected, had made her laugh, but the remembrance of his gentle embrace from hands so worn, and his words that had made her seem so special, had never been forgotten.


    “ The bleakest of winters bring the most colorful of springs.â€

    The young music teacher could hardly contain himself. Months earlier the Builder had presented him with a package and envelope to safeguard. He was instructed to wait until spring to open the letter and then follow its instructions concerning what to do with the package -- a package of profound worth, he had been told. With the trees now budding and the air warm and sweet with new life, the torn envelope lay open before him. In his trembling hand was the deed to the Builder’s former property as well as a bank draft to build a music school for children. It included enough money for a handsome salary to take him through retirement! The building materials as well as the craftsman needed for construction were to all come from the Builder’s village.

    “Develop your character as much as your craft.â€

    The note went on to say that the package was one day to be given to a worthy graduate of the school on his or her performance debut at the concert hall. This student, the instructions read, “was to possess the highest qualities of musicianship and virtuous character, for one without the other would only sour the song.†The package contained an expertly crafted case with gold leaf lettering; “Let thy hands alone, speak for thee.†Inside, pillowed in the finest silk, was the most exquisite trumpet the young music teacher had ever seen. As he marveled at its flawless perfection he saw something that brought tears to his eyes. He now knew why this instrument meant so much to the Builder months earlier.

    On the glistening gold bell, in the simplest of letters was inscribed: “The Last!â€

    The End

    Task 5 (Mandatory): "Why I feel I should win."

    It's hard to write why I "feel I should win" anything, but I wish to honor the rules of this contest so here goes: First, I am passionate about playing trumpet and it would be an honor to retire my "tired" Schilke for one of your amazing horns-I am on a quest for the perfect jazz horn! Second, I have been a full- time professional musician for over 20 years and would love to help you continue to spread the word about Eclipse with other musicians in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metro-Plex. Third, I already have a passport and I am "good to go" should I be selected ha.

    Fourth, The value of your prize and the excellence you place on your workmanship has really pushed me to take this contest seriously. Over the last 2 months I have worked and re-worked :-) my entry and have attempted to create something that has cost me time, energy and creative effort to make.This was so fun! While I would never claim to be a craftsmen, this contest has really given me a greater appreciation for what the artists at Eclipse go through to build world class instruments by hand. It would be the "thrill" of a life time to meet everyone and see the work being done in your shop.

    Thank you again for hosting this contest. Win or lose, it has been a wonderful experience and I wish you, and the ultimate winner, all the best!

    Finish Well,

    Dan Millheim
    [email protected]
  10. BflatAnklan

    BflatAnklan Pianissimo User

    Jan 28, 2005
    Midwest area USA
    My Entries

    The Story:

    maybe later.

    4. A Poem by Matthew Anklan

    When Autumn Leaves Have Flown

    Now gone are the autumn leaves,
    to cold earth they have fled,
    that once were yellow and red.
    And over us cold winds are blowing,
    mourning the passing of fall,
    reminding us of the truth immutable;
    death comes to us all.
    Such words we can not gain say;
    this truth to all is known,
    but we feel it most keenly this time of year,
    when autumn leaves have flown.
    Yet look again at field and forest,
    study the stubble and twig:
    a hint of color foretells a blossom
    will bloom forth from each spring.
    So friends, let us gather now-
    from a trumpeter Taps resounds,
    reminding ourselves to love that well
    which we must leave ere long.
    Consoling one another's sorrows,
    raising our voices high,
    and living life more fully knowing that
    like leaves, we must fly...

    5. Why should I win?

    Jazz music has a history of many great musical minds, and I am very proud to be involved in jazz music today. Playing trumpet brings me such joy, and I hope the music I play helps others to find joy within themselves. Owning a beautifully crafted horn will help me deliver my music in the most meaningful way. Someday I hope to be known as a great musician - me and my Eclipse!

    Thanks for reading, and God bless!
    Matthew Anklan
    (my other entry is still a work in progress!!!)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page