Boy, we have been away, haven't we? Trust me when I say this was totally unplanned. Oh, what, I wasn't supposed to tell them that? Err... well, gentle reader, trust me, we had this planned all along.
So in honor of Summer Concert Season, and the inevitable boredom it brings with playing marches and cheesy Broadway medleys, Jon and I have broken out some... unusual horns. I'll leave him to discuss his, but for the moment, I'll discuss mine. You can almost see parts of it in the picture below!
This horn is colloquially referred to as the Dumpster Trombone, a name which fits since it describes how I acquired it. Its real name is Henry, named after Henry Fillmore, who wrote the first piece that I ever played on the horn. (This is, coincidentally, how my other trombone got the name Dmitri. Guess who!)
When I found Henry, he (it?! pronoun failure!) was tarnished all over. I didn't even know that was silver under there, since I thought it was all dirt. I polished it as best as I could, but the slide was in terrible condition. (It kind of reminded me of a horn I played at the RLMU, but that one stayed tarnished and didn't have a slide lock. Coincidentally, that horn went missing for a few years after I graduated... maybe someone threw it in a dumpster, too.)
Anyway, Henry sat in my closet for two years until Jon proposed that we try straight horns for this summer's concert season. I dragged Henry out and reminded myself of how terrible the slide was, and promptly took him to Volkwein's Music. The pros there fixed up my slide so that now it is infinitely more playable (even if it still has a slight hitch to it at times), and even buffed it up so it's nice and shiny.
This horn sounds incredible. It's a small bore, and so my volume has skyrocketed, but combine the volume with the silver and... mmm. The sound is so different from my Conn 88H-CL that I can't even compare them. I'm having trouble blending a little bit, and by far the biggest problem I have is with third and fourth position. The slide on this horn is long, and shaped differently from what I'm used to. The practical upshot of this is that I have no idea where third or fourth position really are at any given time. I have had to play around a lot with my intonation to figure out what was going on at all, and I just haven't had enough face time with the horn around other people without a tuner staring at me.
Then, today, I picked up my 88H-CL and played my warmup on it. Ahh... it felt like coming home. It's almost as if I relived the switch all over again.