Archive for March, 2013

Lightning Can Indeed Strike Twice

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

First came the Getzen Custom Series trombone line in 1992. Born of five years of success with the Edwards Instruments line of trombones, the new Custom Series trombones took the industry by storm. They quickly became some of the most sought after trombones in the world and fully cemented the Getzen Company’s place in the professional trombone market.

For nearly two decades, the full line of Custom Series trombones set the standard for what a professional grade trombone should be. Minor improvements over the years like all metal linkages, improved valve designs, and the addition of Griego mouthpieces kept the Custom Series fresh and at the top of the list, but it wasn’t until the introduction of the Custom Reserve line and the 4047DS in 2011 that a brand new model was added to the line.

The 4047DS Custom Reserve was unlike anything previously offered under the Custom Series banner. More than two years in the making, it featured an all new rotor design, wrap, bell, and handslide complimented with a Getzen exclusive fiberglass case. It quickly caught the attention of trombone players everywhere. Rave reviews showed that the Getzen Custom Series trombones were once more setting the standard of what a truly upper level trombone could be. We are extremely proud and excited to say we’ve done it again!

4147IB PowerBore Rotor and Harmonic Pillar

Introducing the all new, Getzen 4147IB “Ian Bousfield” Custom Reserve tenor trombone. Designed by Christan Griego in partnership with world renowned trombone artist Ian Bousfield, this new trombone marks another leap forward for the Getzen Company. While it may look similar to the 4047DS, the 4147IB is a completely different animal. The handslide, leadpipe, neckpipe, tuning slides, and bell are all exclusive to the 4147IB. It is Getzen’s first premium, professional trombone model built around a narrow handslide configuration. Other Getzen firsts include a single version of the Edwards trombone patented Harmonic Pillar system and a revolutionary handslide cross brace. This new cross brace is not only more comfortable in the player’s hand, but its design, material, and position dramatically improve the trombone’s resonance and response. The 4147IB is a truly premium, professional trombone worthy of the name “Ian Bousfield”.

The 4147IB Custom Reserve comes standard with the same Getzen fiberglass case as the 4047DS and a Getzen Custom Griego CS5 mouthpiece. Due to the nature of the 4147IB, initial supplies are expected to be extremely limited. Because of that, we are making the 4147IB available for pre-order now with anticipated delivery beginning in June of 2013 on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. For more model information, availability, or to pre-order visit your local Getzen dealer or www.getzen.com today.

A Peek Behind the Curtain

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

by Christan Griego

Last March I traveled to Frankfurt, Germany to visit with distributors and dealers at the annual Music Messe. While there I had my night of fun with an old friend, who happens to be a trombone player (yeah, we run in packs). At some point in the evening, he mentioned that he had a friend who was not happy on his current equipment. He knew if there was anyone that could make this player happy it was…. me. Flattery sank in and I was immediately intrigued. As we talked about how to solve all of life’s problems, the conversation continued circle back around to this friend and what he needed. During this conversation the performer’s name was never mentioned, it was like classified information that would be unlocked when the time was right.

Fast-forward a month when I received a call from one Mr. Ian Bousfield. The mystery man was finally revealed. I knew Ian professionally as one of the world’s top trombone players and personally from a trip to the UK 15 years ago when I had scheduled a lesson with him. I still remember his Eb arpeggio and him helping me through the issues I was struggling with at the time. After talking a bit about everything from brewing beer, cycling, and trombones, Ian mentioned that he was not only in the States, but that he was only three hours away from Elkhorn and that he wanted to work with me. Not some distant time in the future, but in a couple of days. It was off to the races for me to get something together that could satisfy one of the most incredibly gifted and equipment sensitive individuals I had ever met. It was a monumental challenge I just couldn’t say no to.

4147IB Bracing

With an understanding of Ian’s playing preferences, I first started with the basic body of the 4047DS trombone and added a narrow slide to it. This setup played okay, but it had some issues. Taking a narrow slide and just throwing it on a wide slide bell section caused the intonation to go sky high. Once we identified this issue, I immediately knew we had to add length not only to the slide, but to the bell section as well. Messing with tapers scares me to no end because it’s the balance within the tapers that makes or breaks a concept. It can turn a wonderful trombone into an out of tune mess if you’re not careful. The slide became longer first and from there I focused not only on the tapers of the neckpipe and tuning slide, but also on the treatments and construction of the bell. Ian tried some higher copper content bells and decided that was the direction of “color” within the sound that was needed for his demanding work. Once the bell choice was made, we needed a bit more “width” in the sound. Through what seemed like divine intervention, I realized that the outer handslide cross brace was the place to go. By changing the material, location, and removing excess weight we had exactly what we needed to move forward.

After working with Ian and watching many of his performances on Youtube, I knew that this trombone needed to be as nimble as a ballet dancer, yet as powerful as a bulldozer, and all while remaining sensitive to the player. Giving him the feedback needed to know that what is going into the instrument while on stage, is what’s coming out equally in the hall. This is very hard to explain to listeners and the focus on near feel versus hall feedback is one area that I do concentrate on. When this subject is talked about it always ends up with people shaking their heads at me like I’m the crazy one, but to a player it is known immediately from the moment the instrument resonates against their lips, through their bodies, and out into the hall.

The comfort a trombonist feels by playing this style of instrument is also understood as “relaxed”, “more musical” with “less tension” in the sound compared to other styles of trombones made for the masses. Every day of my job I focus on the individual performer and this attention to personal details has helped me better understand what players want and need. This is what first lead me to develop the patented Edwards Harmonic Pillar system which allows a trombone to be acoustically tuned. I quickly realized that a singular version of that system was exactly what was needed to take this new trombone from great to a world class. It was the perfect design aspect to create a more intimate relationship between the instrument and the musician. Setting the trombone apart from any other on the market and at the same time broadening it’s appeal to all trombonists. It was the final piece of the puzzle.

When I designed the 4047DS trombone, time was not an issue. I had years to trial and error every design concept that came to mind. It became as much an education into what does not work in trombone design as what does. The process with this new trombone was the exact opposite. Instead, it was a relatively short time frame filled with very intense and focused work. Ian knew exactly what he wanted and, thanks to my experience with the 4047DS, I knew how to get there. Miraculously, there were very few bumps in the road and somehow everything seemed to fall into place.

It is my sincerest hope that this new trombone, the 4147IB Custom Reserve, will not only bring Ian Bousfield and his demanding playing schedule closer to his musical ideas, but that it will do the same for you and your career goals, performances, and beyond.

Introducing Ian Bousfield

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Ian Bousfield has been at the top of his profession for more than a quarter of a century, excelling in more facets of the music business than perhaps any other trombonist of his generation. His stellar career has included playing in two of the top-four orchestras in the world, one of which is recognized as perhaps the greatest opera orchestra anywhere. In addition, Ian has performed as a soloist with orchestras, brass bands, and on period instruments. His extensive resume also includes recording on top labels, playing the theme tracks for blockbuster Hollywood films, and teaching at the Royal Academy in London, England. It is easy to see why the name Ian Bousfield has become synonymous with the trombone.

Ian Bousfield and the 4147IB

Born in York, in 1964, Ian is a product of the famous brass band tradition in the north of England. His trombone career began at the ripe old age of seven with his earliest teaching coming from his father and later from Dudley Bright. In a strange twist, Mr. Bright would later replace Ian when he left the London Symphony Orchestra in 2000. The longest spell that Ian enjoyed in the brass band movement was with the Yorkshire Imperial Band between the ages of 14 and 18. During that short four year time with the band, he was fortunate to win the National Championships in 1978, the British Open in 1981, and the Yorkshire Championships on two separate occasions in 1980 and 1981.

In 1979, at the age of fifteen, Ian won the Shell London Symphony Orchestra scholarship. At that point, his carrier began to move undeniably in the direction of orchestras. He joined the European Youth Orchestra at age sixteen under Claudio Abbado and made a brief stop at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London before becoming Principal Trombone of the Halle Orchestra in 1983. During his time in Manchester, Ian was lucky enough to perform the United Kingdom premiere of Eine Kleine Posaunenmusik by Gunter Schuller, under the conduction of the composer himself. In 1988, after five years with the Halle, Ian replaced one of his life-long mentors, Denis Wick, as the Principal Trombone of the London Symphony Orchestra at only 24 years of age. There he enjoyed a twelve year career. While with the LSO, Ian was featured as a soloist with the orchestra on several occasions, and recorded the soundtracks to many films, including Star Wars: Episode 1 and Braveheart. In 2000, following a successful audition in Vienna, Ian achieved the honor of becoming the Principal Trombone of the Vienna Philharmonic/Vienna State Opera. Ian was the first, and to date only, British member in the orchestra’s storied, 150 plus year history. This appointment was followed by his membership in the Vienna Hofkapelle Orchestra.

As a soloist, Ian has performed with the Vienna Philharmonic, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Halle Orchestra, Sapporo Symphony, and Austin Symphony to name a few. He has worked with countless conductors including Riccardo Muti, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Neville Marriner, Kent Nagano, Ion Marin, and Matthias Bamert. Over the years, Ian has also made several solo recordings for labels such as EMI, Camerata, Chandos, and Doyen. Perhaps the greatest highlights of Ian’s solo career to date have been performing the Nina Rota Concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic and Riccardo Muti three times in Vienna, as well as at The Lucerne Festival and in Tokyo, Japan. Another highlight for Ian was performing the world premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Stargazer, written for and dedicated to Ian, with the London Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas in 2007. He has performed with all of the world’s major brass bands, recording with many of them. Ian has appeared as a soloist and as a clinician pretty much everywhere in the world. In fact, it’s probably easier to mention the conservatories and festivals at which he has not appeared than to list all of those he has!Ian is currently Professor of Trombone at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern, Switzerland, a position he has held since September 2011. Having had a relationship with the Royal Academy of Music in London since 1992, where he has been awarded an Honorary Membership, he will be returning as a member of staff as of September 2012.

Ian is also currently an International Fellow of Brass at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. His list of former students includes some of the most successful players in orchestras around the world and that list continues to grow.

Getzen Remains a Family Business

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Dear Getzen Customer,

The musical instrument industry has changed a lot over the last few decades. Consolidation and economic hardship have changed the face of the industry. Historic companies are no longer with us and long standing traditions have faded away. Change is inevitable, but it is not always a negative.

My grandfather founded the Getzen Company in a converted barn behind the family home in 1939. He had no customers and a dream. His hard work paid off as the Getzen Company grew. Not only did he start a company that year, but he also started what would become a tradition of the Getzen family in the brass musical instrument industry.

I am very proud to announce that tradition is carrying on today and growing even stronger. A life long goal of my brother, Adam, and I was achieved on February 13 when we purchased the Getzen Company, Inc. from our father Tom Getzen. Adam and I are the fourth generation of Getzens in the industry and could not be more excited to carry on our family heritage at the helm of the Getzen Company. Following the purchase, I was named President and Adam Vice President. We have some very big shoes to fill, but we feel very confident that, with our experience and your support, the Getzen Company will continue to thrive and grow.


Adam, Tom, and Brett Getzen

The passing of the torch will forever mark 2013 as an important date in the 74 year history of the Getzen Company. We are excited for the challenges ahead.

On behalf of myself, Adam, and the entire Getzen family thank you for the continued support and patronage. We look forward to working with you in the future.

Sincerely,
Brett Getzen
President,
The Getzen Company, Inc.