sections that play one brand

FOSSIL
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by FOSSIL » Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:08 am

I have never heard of a conductor requesting specific equipment in the UK. All they can ask for is 'small bores' which is a stupid catch all that means use something unlacquered and charge 10-25% extra.

Chris
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harrisonreed
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by harrisonreed » Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:44 am

FOSSIL wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:08 am
I have never heard of a conductor requesting specific equipment in the UK. All they can ask for is 'small bores' which is a stupid catch all that means use something unlacquered and charge 10-25% extra.

Chris
Unlacquered 42B and call it good lol! Maybe UK conductors can't recognize anything other than an 88H wrap? "That's different! Must be small bore!"

"But does it have hand-crafted bell?" (Nerd props to anyone who knows that reference!!)
FOSSIL
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by FOSSIL » Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:53 am

Nah Harrison....unlacquered 50B.... conductors don't have a clue.... but why should they ? They deal with music and ensemble...and get very well paid for it.
The old tyrants had fingers in every pie.... things have moved on...thankfully.

Chris
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JohnL
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by JohnL » Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:54 am

FOSSIL wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:08 am
I have never heard of a conductor requesting specific equipment in the UK. All they can ask for is 'small bores' which is a stupid catch all that means use something unlacquered and charge 10-25% extra.
I can imagine a conductor asking for smaller and everyone just losing a valve (1st and 2nd go to straight horns and bass goes to a single).

I always wondered if my one-off Olds Eb alto was the result of a reverse version of that; maybe the conductor didn't like the visual of the regular small alto bell next to the larger bells of the 2nd and bass trombones.
hornbuilder
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by hornbuilder » Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:11 pm

In the 16 years I played for the Australian Opera, never once did a conductor ask for specific instruments, or for us to use something other than what we used.
Matthew Walker
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by Posaunus » Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:23 pm

Sorry Ms violinist - you can't play that Stradivarius in our orchestra; the concertmaster is playing an Amati.
You'll never blend! :horror:
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paulyg
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by paulyg » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:30 pm

Every time I've switched equipment for a situation, it's been a personal decision (for better or worse).

I have a feeling that if a conductor asked me to switch to a smaller horn or something, my knee-jerk reaction would be to ask them to try a smaller ego or something.
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by Posaunus » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:53 pm

Of course a conductor is perfectly within his / her right to ask for any section to "blend" - in terms of volume, intonation, articulation, style, ... You don't want one section member to stick out and not play similarly to their colleagues. This is seldom an issue of the instrument "brand" - more a matter of playing style. Though it could be a matter of equipment type / size (e.g., the 2nd trombonist playing a large-bore in Mozart when the 1st trombonist is playing an alto and the 3rd a smaller instrument than the 2nd). In that case, I would think it's O.K. for the conductor to ask if that discrepancy could be rectified before the concert. :idk:
Bach5G
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by Bach5G » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:10 pm

Does anyone have the experience of being told to change horns?
FOSSIL
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by FOSSIL » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:53 am

paulyg wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:30 pm
Every time I've switched equipment for a situation, it's been a personal decision (for better or worse).

I have a feeling that if a conductor asked me to switch to a smaller horn or something, my knee-jerk reaction would be to ask them to try a smaller ego or something.
We have it in our contract that small bores can be asked for...nothing more specific. We get paid more if we do that. Because conductors know this, they often ask for small bores....because it costs more, management often refuse. 😁😁😁.

Chris
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by sf105 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:38 am

FOSSIL wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:53 am
paulyg wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:30 pm
Every time I've switched equipment for a situation, it's been a personal decision (for better or worse).

I have a feeling that if a conductor asked me to switch to a smaller horn or something, my knee-jerk reaction would be to ask them to try a smaller ego or something.
We have it in our contract that small bores can be asked for...nothing more specific. We get paid more if we do that. Because conductors know this, they often ask for small bores....because it costs more, management often refuse. 😁😁😁.
I can see that it often doesn't matter but there are some cases, like Berlioz pedals, where it completely changes the effect.
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by FOSSIL » Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:52 am

sf105 wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:38 am
FOSSIL wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:53 am

We have it in our contract that small bores can be asked for...nothing more specific. We get paid more if we do that. Because conductors know this, they often ask for small bores....because it costs more, management often refuse. 😁😁😁.
I can see that it often doesn't matter but there are some cases, like Berlioz pedals, where it completely changes the effect.
Well Steve, you know that and I know that, but the accounts department may be deaf to such subtlety. I'm not criticising my company in particular, just saying that professional music making always has an eye on the bottom line.

Chris
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by MikeS » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:15 am

Bach5G wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:10 pm
Does anyone have the experience of being told to change horns?
When I arrived at university I had a Holton 256 (the Jay Friedman screw bell model) that I dearly loved. I was told that I would either get a Bach 42 or I would not play in any ensemble at the school. This was not a professional situation and it was also several decades ago, but since you asked... :-)
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by GabrielRice » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:32 am

I've never had a conductor ask for different equipment, but I've certainly had a conductor ask for a different character of sound, and sometimes adjusting equipment was the best way to achieve that.

I have had more than one principal trombonist tell me they prefer it when I play one horn over another. I've had another principal ask for the section to play Bachs on a particular program, and I've had situations in which it happened by discussion and experiment that the section decided to play old Conns.

Not long ago I listened back to my old trombone quartet recordings from college. We all played Bachs at the time. Even to my professional ears now, the blend was outstanding, but that was at least as much because we worked like demons on intonation and balance as it was because we all played the same brand instrument.
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WGWTR180
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by WGWTR180 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:43 am

All of these comments above by GabrielRice, Fossil, Hornbuilder, sf105, and some others are what I thought were the typical professional protocols. I've definitely chosen certain instruments for certain situations-some of my instruments only work certain places. I still believe that most of the blending issues come down to the individual players.
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by sf105 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:29 pm

WGWTR180 wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:43 am
All of these comments above by GabrielRice, Fossil, Hornbuilder, sf105, and some others are what I thought were the typical professional protocols. I've definitely chosen certain instruments for certain situations-some of my instruments only work certain places. I still believe that most of the blending issues come down to the individual players.
I am definitely not a pro, which is why I can afford to mess around with different horns. Then there's our own Ed Solomon who likes to kit out his section with a matched set of appropriate horns (still looking forward to trying out my British F tuba with his Betty G Bass one day).
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by spencercarran » Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:45 pm

FOSSIL wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:53 am
We have it in our contract that small bores can be asked for...nothing more specific. We get paid more if we do that. Because conductors know this, they often ask for small bores....because it costs more, management often refuse. 😁😁😁.

Chris
Is there a reason the contract specifies a higher pay rate for playing small bore?
hornbuilder
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by hornbuilder » Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:22 pm

It is considered a "double".

The 2nd trombonist in my orchestra was paid doubling when he played bass trombone in my place. That was the only "double" in my section though. I didn't get it for playing contra, or tenor, and the 1st didn't get it for alto.
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by Posaunus » Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:33 pm

hornbuilder wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:22 pm
It is considered a "double".

The 2nd trombonist in my orchestra was paid doubling when he played bass trombone in my place. That was the only "double" in my section though. I didn't get it for playing contra, or tenor, and the 1st didn't get it for alto.
I presume these contracts were negotiated by representatives from both sides - each marginally informed about the nature and consequences of some of their (not always logical) decisions! :idk:
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by Kbiggs » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:02 pm

hornbuilder wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:22 pm
It is considered a "double".

The 2nd trombonist in my orchestra was paid doubling when he played bass trombone in my place. That was the only "double" in my section though. I didn't get it for playing contra, or tenor, and the 1st didn't get it for alto.
Musically, this is absurd. Contra and alto are certainly doubles, just as if a principal flautist were required to play piccolo on a piece, the principal oboe to play cor anglais, or the principal bassoon to play contra bassoon. However, needs must, and all too often, the bottom line wins.
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by BGuttman » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:24 pm

Wonder if the strings get doubling fees if they have to play gut strings. :idk:
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Re: sections that play one brand

Post by hornbuilder » Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:41 am

There were all sorts of details that changed during Enterprise Bargaining with my orchestra, just before I won the job. There were several chairs that were changed from Principal to "Section Soloist", which came with a pay rate reduction as well. That included bass trombone, piccolo, bass clarinet and contra bassoon. Doubling for the use of contra may well have been cut too. Will never know...
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Bass Trombonist, Opera Australia, 1991-2006
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