Brass Turtle Music

Chuck Campbell

Route 66 Revelers

Sound Samples

Route 66 Revelers
Here's the current instrument roster:
Marzan Euphonium1971 (?) Marzan Compensating Euphonium King 2341 recording-bell tuba1960 King 2341 Recording-bell Tuba Reynolds Contempora Recording Bass1959 Reynolds Contempora Tuba Reynolds Contempora large-bore trombone1952 Reynolds Contempora Trombone

July 2011: Wow, is this page ever out of date. After the 2008 shrinkage, a 1903 Conn 4v tuba and an almost new Yamaha 621 BBb tuba joined the Reynolds and the King. So did a Yamaha sousa.The Marzan euph got replaced by a St Petersburg large-bore oval euph, which I use only in the German band. A few more trombones also joined the roster--both valve and slide. One of these days I'll put up some pics.

The instrument roster shrank some in June 2008. Shrinkage was dictated by that Marzan euphonium shown above. It is is a very rare instrument. Designed by Dr. Fred Marzan and built by Willson in Switzerland, it and its successor, the Willson 2975, may be the only large-bore, full-compensating euphoniums with front-action valves ever made. I think I'll be able to get by for many years with just the Marzan, the Reynolds trombone, and the two tubas. But I've said things like that before. Here's my history with low-brass instruments:


Clearly, I have a fascination with large brass instruments. I started playing trombone in 4th grade, but in seventh grade my band teacher in Los Alamos allowed me to run loose in the instrument locker, where I taught myself to play the valved instruments.

Late in my high school years, when I was studying privately with Hugh McMillen, then director of bands at the University of Colorado, I got my first professional-grade trombone, a 1954 large-bore Reynolds Contempora. It was too good to take outdoors, so in college I played sousaphone and tuba. In 1960, I traded the Reynolds trombone for a 1952 Contempora with an F trigger, which I still own. Then I didn't play anything regularly for about 20 years.  Reynolds Contempora large-bore trombone
   In 1979, when I moved back to Albuquerque, I started playing with Die Polka-schlingel and acquired a new Yamaha YBB-321.   That horn served me well until 2000, when I ordered, over the internet from Germany, a German-retooled St. Petersburg to play in the Concert Band. Sold the Yamaha.  St. Petersburg
 Conn double-bell euph  Also, around that time, I bought a Conn double-bell euphonium just because I'd always thought it would be just cool to have one. With the advent of the internet and particularly eBay, I began buying and selling horns fairly frequently. I'd started playing trombone and euphonium in the Polka-schlingel around 1989, so a couple of Conn trombones got traded for a Canadian Brass (Getzen)and I went through a couple of Yamaha euphs before getting a Mirafone 1258 compensating euph.  
 Mirafone EEb tuba  Around 1997 I'd begun playing in the High Desert Brass; in 2000 I decided it would be good to have one all-around tuba for quintet work as well as concert band. So, on a trip east, I stopped at the Brasswind and liked the Mirafone EEb. That stayed around until 2003.  Yamaha small F tuba  In 2002 I'd attended the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference and had a chance to try a Yamaha YFB621 F tuba. One became available in late 2003. So I sold the Mirafones. The euph because it was really more horn than I needed,
 and anyway a Lidl I found on eBay looks so much more authentic in a German band.    In 2004 I got a deal on a Bach 50B3 bass trombone that was too good to pass up,  
and later in the year a Reynolds Contempora tenor trombone like my high-school horn came along.
Early in 2005, I went to the San Diego Adult Trad Jazz camp and took both the St. Pete and the Yamaha F to see which might work better for dixieland work. I'd started playing Dixieland pretty regularly around 2002.
Reynolds Contempora tenor trombone The St. Pete came closest, but that year I decided to replace both tubas with a compact Cerveny 683 "piggy" that would work for all my groups. It did, but the sound isn't as dark as that of some of the recording-bell tubas I've seen in Dixie ensembles. Cerveny 683
In 2006 a 1960 King 2341 formerly owned by a Navy bandsman became available. It's great for Dixieland work. King 2341 Trouble is, last spring I found a Reynolds Contempora Recording Bass at an attractive price, and it also works really well for Dixieland and for playing string bass parts in a swing band. Then my dilemma was: which one gets the rebuild? I settled on the King. Dan Schultz, The Village Tinker of Newburgh, Indiana, reworked a couple of the valve slides and took out the dents. Reynolds Contempora Recording Bass
Other horns I haven't mentioned include a most interesting Reynolds EEb 4-valve Army sousaphone, since traded for a more useful BBb Conn sousa, and a Reynolds Emperor euph that was too cheap to pass up. Reynolds EEb sousaphone The horns sacrificed for the Marzan were the oval Lidl, the cheap Reynolds euph, the straight trombone, and the useful Conn sousaphone. And that's the end of the story--so far.
Josef Lidl euphonium (Czech) Reynolds Emperor euphonium Reynolds Contempora small-bore trombone Conn Sousaphone Last update: 20 November 2015, cpc