Vol. 5, No. 41

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Contrabass list Wed, 8 Apr 1998 Volume 1 : Number 41

In this issue:

Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 20:43:48 -0400
From: daryl.fletcher@juno.com (Daryl Fletcher)
Subject: Re: Bb Helicon FS??

On Tue, 7 Apr 1998 15:53:02 +0100 mdrubin@bga.com (M Rubin) writes:


>I'm new here.
>Anybody know where a fella can find a Bb Helicon?

The Woodwind and Brasswind is supposed to have some new ones made by Cerveny. It's not listed on their web site, but you can request a catalog at http://www.wwandbw.com


Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 23:48:43 EDT
From: DGross1226 <DGross1226@aol.com>
Subject: Re: Altissimo on the Contrabass/Steve Roberts

In a message dated 98-04-02 17:43:27 EST, you replied to my earlier post:

<< p.s. Steve Roberts in Los Angeles will drill a pinhole vent in your contra should you really want it. I watched him add a vent hole, plus solder a small "half hole" LH1 key pad extention to a vintage (1920s or so) bass clarinet to facilitate the altissimo. Now here's an interesting idea! Any idea what he might charge for modifying a contra? And how to get a hold of him? Does he do other contra repair work too? Thanks, Adam>>


Steve's telephone number in Van Nuys, California is (818) 989-1930. His shop is just off Victory Boulevard around the corner from his old location at Mark Chudnow Woodwinds. The shop is now just called "Woodwinds." Steve plays soprano clarinet with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, plus a LOT of studio work on both contrabass and contra alto. His Selmer rosewood contra alto is to kill for! He did some fine repair work on an earlier model LeBlanc hairpin contra (low D) for me. (The horn slipped off the peg and hit the corner of the case putting a 15 degree bend in the horn while knocking off two posts and bending several linkages!) Give him a call and check out his work.

Don Gross
La Canada, California

Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 03:17:00 -0500
From: bonedaddy@Connections.ultranet.com
Subject: list V1 #40

LI>From: mdrubin@bga.com (M Rubin)
LI>Subject: Bb Helicon FS??
LI>Anybody know where a fella can find a Bb Helicon?

I believe there is a German company that still builds them, if you can afford a new one. I think that info can be found through the tuba/euphonium mailing list archives.

About 2 weeks ago I saw one for sale at Rayburn's Music in Boston made by Conn for $2000. They say it's 50 years old, but I'd bet a small bill that it's older. Rayburn's is typically very high priced. I go in once in a while just to ask how much THAT one is, and I ALWAYS take a step back at the mention of the price tag, but if you REALLY want one, this silver one doesn't look too bad. It may be missing a neck, but it was sitting in the front window, so don't go by my speculation. If you try to buy this one, ask their price, then tell them they're NUTS, offer them 1/3 or 1/2 of what they tell you. If you DO pay both arms and legs, at least give yourself the moral satisfaction of verbally abusing them!

Can you tell I don't like this place? I have many friends who feel the same way. They exist to serve the rich and poor musicians generally get the upturned nose treatment, but they DO have a BIG selection of used instruments (that's what happens when your prices are too high!) and their repairs are adequate to good, depending on whether they shop the repairs out to independents. End of my Rayburn's Rant!

I have a band leader with an Eb and a Bb helicon. I think he was considering selling at least one of them. One was made by Grand Rapids Band Instruments and the other is a Keefer, both in great shape! His two helicons and my own Carl Fischer, New York Bb helicon built by Conn in 1890 made up the bass line of the Boston City band last year at the Allston/Brighton, Mass. parade. While we were getting organized, a helicon player from another band stopped with a big grin for a quick chat. It turned out my 1890 Conn was the youngest of the 4! I will check to see if the Bb helicon my band leader has is for sale. If so, I'll email you his phone number, etc.

I will also keep my eyes open for others available. I know of arestaurant that has one in great shape...CRUCIFIED to the wall with drywall screws. I've tried to rescue it but the corporate "Pilate" in charge of interior decorating can't be bothered with replacing the wall decoration. <grrrrr> I plan on wearing them down. I WANT it! Maybe I can talk them into redecorating!! Playable horns should be HEARD, not just seen! Museum curators can back off! Your responses will be ignored! Manufacturers will be encouraged!

You might check with Sandy Craig at Antique Trove in San Carlos, CA. She has a pretty good variety of stuff usually. She does her homework, so she gets a medium range price tag...not over the top, but no give-aways either. Very helpful and knowledgeable.

There ya go...a few leads. I'll check on a couple of them for you.



Date: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 11:25:17 -0700
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
Subject: Re: Bb Helicon FS??

At 08:43 PM 4/7/98 -0400, daryl wrote:


>>I'm new here.
>>Anybody know where a fella can find a Bb Helicon?
>The Woodwind and Brasswind is supposed to have some new ones made by
>Cerveny. It's not listed on their web site, but you can request a
>catalog at http://www.wwandbw.com

Actually, you can find all of their catalogs laid out in Adobe Acrobat format, identical to the print catalogs.

Last time I checked, Lyn Marcus still had a Keefer Eb helicon, for about $750. Let me know if you're interested, and I'll pass along the contact info.


Date: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 12:18:32 -0700
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
Subject: Concert notice


OK, this time I remembered to announce this a bit ahead of time :-)

On May 1, 1998, the San Jose Wind Symphony will perform at Los Gatos High School. Probably around 7:30 PM (I'll check...). The tentative program includes a few pieces with gifted LGHS trumpet players, amongst our usual slate.

On May 2, 1998, the SJWS will put on a joint concert with the Sony Concert Band, from Japan. Our half of the program will probably include "Fest Musik Der Stadt Wien" by Strauss, "Celebrations" by John Zdechlik, "Elegy of a Young American" by Lo Presti, "Yaga Bushi" by Iwai, the march from "Symphonic Metamorphosis" by Hindemith, "Hands Across the Sea" by JP Sousa, "Santa Fe Saga" by Morton Gould, and "Star Wars" by Williams, as arranged by de Meij.

My parts are divided about 50:50 between contrabass and bass clarinet parts this time. Hindemith has a contra part that is actually pretty independent of the bass clarinets. On Celebrations, I get to join the bass clarinets on the roller coaster with the rest of the clarinets (eighth note runs, in 2/2, taken presto... pant, pant...).

Come and enjoy!


Date: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 15:42:25 -0700
From: Grant Green <gdgreen@contrabass.com>
Subject: Forwarded Request

Here's another request for info. Anyone have any ideas?


>From: "Steve Lamond" <sllamond@att.net>
>Subject: Bass Clarinet
>Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 15:54:29 -0500

>We are looking for a neck piece for a Louis Barroult Paris bass clarinet.
Please let us know >if you have any knowledge of or can help us locate one.

Thanks for your assistance.


Dee Dee

Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 15:50:01 -0700
From: "S.K. Pasisozis" <pasisozi@swlink.net>
Subject: Re: Concert notice

Hmmmm....tell me more about the SJWS! Wish I could attend. What's the instrumentation?

I remember playing the beautiful tone poem "Mannin Veen" by Haydn Wood in HS. something about it that sticks in my mind is the divisi bass clarinet part...the primo did NOT double alto, if memory serves.

Also, we originally had an old Kohlert alto...it had a big bore grenadilla, requiring it be fully plateau, and a bell as big as a bass clarinet's. Later the band boosters bought (amongst other things) 2 Bundy altos... small bore, some open rings, small bell...it really sounded asthmatic compared to the rich round tone of the Kohlert. Such a surprise and disappointment.

At that same time we got 3 gold fiberglass Sousaphones (by Reynolds) and eventually 2 upright recording basses. Another school had purple sousas--YUKK!--these looked natural! Are fiberglass sousas still even being made? (Leblanc's colored Vitos are a bad idea and should be retired from production.)

End of list V1 #41

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