Strucel Contrabass Trumpet in F

In 1967, Roger Bobo along with Tom Stevens, Mario Guarnieri, and Miles Anderson, young new members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, formed the Los Angeles Brass Quintet. Among the works in their repertoire were the four part Canzonas by Gabrieli and the five part dances of Pezel. As always, Roger Bobo was looking for the correct sounding instrument, particularly for music of this period. Starting with CC tuba he changed to F. Still unsatisfied he tried contrabass trombone but nothing seemed right. In the mean time Miles Anderson had dropped trombone for this music and exchanged if for the more fluent and "trumpet homogeneous" bass trumpet. Very quickly Roger saw what needed to be done; clearly the answer was a contrabass trumpet.

Bobo started consultations with George Strucel and within a few months the instrument was finished.

The bell was a bass trombone bell provided by Bach. The cylindrical tubing and the rotary valve operated by the left thumb was also provided by Bach, while the rest of the instrument was made from parts of discarded instruments found at the Lockie Music Exchange. The 3 valves, for example, were found on a very old Eb alto horn. The mouthpiece was made the next year by Reynold Schilke. This instrument was another of those gift instruments like the contrabass trombone. Above the cost of the parts, George Strucel only charged Roger $125 to design and build this contrabass trumpet.

This instrument can be heard in the Los Angeles Brass Quintet recordings made with Crystal Records.

The contrabass trumpet is now owned by Lausanne, Switzerland tubist, teacher and ex-Bobo student Serge Gros.

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