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Announcing: The S.E. Shires Q Series!

Extra Extra, read all about it!  S.E. Shires is adding a new line of instruments to the family!  

“We understand not every musician may be ready for a Shires custom instrument or may find those costs prohibitive, so the development of the Q Series with Eastman allows the best aspects of our custom instruments to be at a very affordable price; certainly worthy of the Shires name.” – Steve Shires

When you purchase a Q Series instrument you join the S. E. Shires family, a family that includes some of the finest professional musicians in the world.  The Q Series line of instruments represent the philosophy of Eastman to produce the finest musical instruments at every price point and embody the reputation of Shires: to produce the highest quality hand crafted instruments for every player.

How do we do it?  It’s international commerce at its finest.  S.E. Shires fabricates the Q parts in Hopedale, Massachusetts, USA, then ships the parts to the Eastman factory in China where they are assembled, and then the instrument is sent back to Shires.  The final finishes, quality checks and play-tests are  then done in Hopedale before shipping to dealers.  And that’s how you get a custom quality trombone/trumpet at a moderate price!

And the best part?  Q Series Instruments are compatible with S.E. Shires Custom Instruments!  So that means that you can purchase a Q Series trombone and purchase additional Shires Custom components over time if you would like to upgrade or change your specifications!

The Q Series instruments are set for a Fall 2016 release and will be available at S.E. Shires Authorized Q Series Dealers.

Q Series Model Tenor and Bass Trombone

  • Large-Bore Tenor Trombones – TBQ30YR, TBQ30GR, TBQ30YA, TBQ30GA
  • F/Gb Rotary Valve Bass Trombone – TBQ36YR and TBQ36GR

The Q Series Model Tenor Trombone is available with the following options:

  • Choice of Valve
    • Rotary Valve – fast response, short lever throw, lighter weight
    • Axial Valve – free blowing with an even feel between Bb and F
  • Choice of Bell
    • The yellow brass bell offers the best projection and stability.  Its tone is similar at all dynamic levels.
    • The gold brass bell has a warmer, broader tone, with more malleability.

The Q Series Model Bass Trombone features your choice of yellow or gold brass bell with a rotary valve.

The Q Series Model Bb Trumpet

  • Bb Trumpet-TRQ10S

The Q Series Model Trumpet features the following:

  • Key: Bb
  • Bore: .459 inch
  • Q10 bell: 4 13/16″, one-piece, hand-hammered “Q” (centered) taper in yellow brass with round brass bead
  • Q05 leadpipe: .347″ venturi, heavyweight yellow brass; open and free blowing with well-defined slots and easy response
  • QW tuning slide
  • Piston material: hand-lapped Monel
  • Valve cluster: two-piece casings, standard weight, with nickel balusters
  • Top valve caps: Nickel Silver
  • Lower valve caps: Nickel Silver
  • Bell engraving: S.E. Shires makers mark and model designation
  • Finish: silver plate

All Q Series instruments come complete with a case, S.E. Shires mouthpiece, and care & cleaning kit.  It is our goal to provide musicians of all backgrounds with an instrument that fits their needs at a comfortable price point.

Visit our website or one of our many S.E. Shires dealers to find out more about the Q Series and where you can purchase one of these instruments!

 

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What does a tour at Shires look like?

 

 

It’s an exciting process… turning raw materials into a beautifully hand crafted instrument.  We’ve been perfecting our process for over twenty years and we’re proud of the work that we do, the skilled craftsmen and craftswomen that choose to be a part of our team, and our desire to continually strive to create an instrument that our customers will cherish.

Maybe you’ve had the chance to visit us in person: you made an appointment to come and have a custom trombone or trumpet fitting with one of our experts.  You’ve toured the shop, you’ve seen Steve Shires spin a bass trombone bell, you’ve seen our team building a trumpet right in front of your eyes.

Maybe you’ve watched one of the TV segments we’ve been featured on in the past few years.  Discovery Channel and Science Channel have both come to us directly to document the process…How Its Made-Trombones       How Does a Photo Copier Become a Trumpet?

But maybe you haven’t had the chance to really see the inside of a custom brass factory.  The whirring machines, the determined look on our craftsmen’s faces as they solder and assemble a delicate part of an instrument, the giant rolls of brass that will be sculpted into your future alto trombone bell.

We pride ourselves on designing and creating custom brass instruments that give musicians more than just a tool to use for music making.  Our handcrafted approach to instrument building combines the highest standards of modern manufacturing with the practices of old world craftsmanship to create a unique and handcrafted instrument that is  built just for you.

We fabricate, assemble, and finish every instrument onsite in our Massachusetts factory because we know that every stage of building affects the way that an instrument plays.  The taper and weight of the bell, the alloy of the metal, the shape of the valve ports and the size of the bead wire…and hundreds of other considerations. By controlling these processes in house, we gain an intimate knowledge and mastery over every facet of our instruments.

Tours are always available if you’re in Massachusetts and you’d like to see the factory for yourself.  We’re proud of what we do and we love to share that with our brass playing friends!

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Student Profile: Michael Morrissey

Hello to everyone in the blogosphere! My name is Michael Morrissey, and I am a freshman trumpet performance major at the University of North Dakota. I have been asked to write a blog on the recent activities in the University of North Dakota trumpet studio, and I am glad to do so. I have been performing on a Shires B-flat trumpet for several years now, and I am experiencing a newfound love for playing as my sound and flexibility has become significantly easier! Blending with the trumpet ensemble is much easier, and changing sounds with different styles is easier to execute.

Anyway, this year the UND Trumpet Ensemble was selected for the semifinal round of the National Trumpet Competition. This marks the third year in a row we have made the semifinals! Since this was my first year at UND, needless to say I was very excited. We performed a work that the trumpet studio commissioned specifically for the competition by Dr. Christopher Gable, professor of composition at UND. The countless hours we rehearsed really paid off.

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After the competition we received notice from the International Trumpet Guild Conference that we would be playing at this year’s conference in Anaheim, California. Performing a prelude concert for an international conference is nothing that I imagined even a year ago. We are all excited to perform at such a prestigious event, and to be heard by hundreds of people! It will indeed be an honor.

We have had several guest artist here at UND in my first year, including Dr. Dennis Edelbrock, founder of the National Trumpet Competition and Professor of Trumpet at George Mason University (who performed and conducted masterclasses and lessons at our annual “Trumpet Volunscary” in October), and Jeff Jarvis, Professor at California State University Long Beach, to name a few. In the meantime, my trumpet Professor Dr. Ronnie Ingle has been extremely active over the past year as a performer. He has performed several concerts in Shanghai and Beijing, China, performed at the North American Saxophone Alliance in Texas, conducted several guest artist residencies at universities throughout the United States, and performed recitals in the region. He works tirelessly for the studio, helping us all enter competitions (and win!), enter graduate school (over the past two years members of the studio have been accepted to New England Conservatory, CSULB, University of Arizona), and being recognized at UND with awards and leadership positions. I am so very proud to be a part of this extremely active trumpet studio!

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I cannot begin to explain how eager I am to see what transpires in the trumpet studio over the next three years. This summer I will be attending the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute in Denver and a trumpet seminar with Boston Brass in Wyoming. I am also on the wait list for Brevard Music Center, and am crossing my fingers for a call! Thanks so much to Samantha Glazier for asking me to write this post. Happy trumpeting to all!

Michael Morrissey

Freshmen Trumpet Performance Major, University of North Dakota

Future Shires Artist!

Dealer Spotlight: Jamey Van Zandt, Music and Arts

 

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Jamey Van Zandt

“S.E. Shires instruments are ideal for who? Everyone!”

I am currently working on my DMA in Trombone Performance at the University of Texas at Austin. While finishing my doctorate I have the privilege of working part-time at Music & Arts in Austin, Texas.

In the past year Music & Arts has been incredibly fortunate to begin stocking several models of S.E. Shires trumpets and trombones in our store in South Austin.. and wow the word is out! I frequently get inquiries from fellow musicians and colleagues from around the country and also from Europe!

Music & Arts serves the musical needs of all level of players; ranging from young musicians in school band programs all the way to career professionals seeking the finest of handmade instruments. But the majority of the store’s customer base is school age musicians and their families.

So do I only speak about S.E. Shires instruments to professionals? Heck no!

While the sublime character of our Shires instruments may not yet be appropriate for most school-age musicians, these young players always have one placed carefully in their hands! What fun it is to see their expressions transform when the Shires’ trademark engraving catches their widening eyes!  I say, “Practice everyday, prove to yourself, and to mom and dad that you love music and love playing your instrument, then come see me when you’re ready!”

So yes! Everyone! Everyone is the ideal person for our S.E. Shires Instruments!

I am so grateful to be able to work closely with the Shires team in Boston and with my Eastman reps locally—always so amazing and helpful! The people at S.E. Shires are truly looking out for you! The company’s logo “quality without compromise” is more than a slogan; it is truth.

-Jamey Van Zandt

Music and Arts-Austin, TX

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Craftsmen’s Corner: Paul Chadbourne

Have you ever wondered how some of our amazing craftsmen get started with instrument building at Shires?  Paul Chadbourne works in the trombone valve finaling department, a job that requires precision, patience, and perfection. “I started in this field of making instruments by apprenticing doing brass instrument repair at Rick’s Musical Instruments in Cumberland, RI. When the apprenticeship was up I then began to do repair on the side for fellow classmates while I attended Rhode Island College to get my Music Performance degree on tuba. A year later I decided to reach out to S. E. Shires to see if they had any openings or if I could shadow anyone to learn more about repair. 

They got back reasonably quickly and offered me a part time job since I was still in school working in the buffing room. From there I then began to bounce around a lot from job to job doing everything to making trumpet pistons and  bells to building hand slides and trombone valve sections. Three years later I now am the main valve pre-fitter and also do valve section and handslide final assembly. 

Some cool projects I have been apart of building was 2 alto hand slides for Colin Williams of the New York Philharmonic and two single valve bass trombones for George Curran also of the New York Philharmonic.”   Keep up the great work Paul! Trombonists all over the world are depending on you! 

Planes, Trains, Automobiles

And we’re off! This week is one of the busiest of the year…with NTC (National Trumpet Competiton) and ATW (American Trombone Workshop) going on SIMULTANEOUSLY, we’ve got our work cut out for us! 

Two shows in one week means a lot of planning, a lot of organizing, and a LOT of instruments! The team at Shires has been prepping for the past twelve weeks for these shows…meticulously building instruments, arranging exhibit space, booking travel, coordinating with artists, play-testing instruments, boxing/wrapping/shipping, etc.  As you can imagine, our shipping room as been a zoo. 

This year’s NTC is the 25th Anniversary of the National Trumpet Competiton. Both myself and Steve Shires are making the annual pilgrimage, this time down to Columbus, GA, where we’ll join our friends, colleagues, and fellow trumpet-ers for the week! Our very own Vince DiMartino is headlining the week so we’re pretty proud of that🙂   

  
Steve and I are headed down a few days ahead of time to work with the students at Kennesaw State, Georgia State, and the brass section of the Atlanta Symphony.  We’re lucky to have friends and colleagues in every corner of the world…and the greater Atlanta area is no different. We’re looking forward to a great week! 

Ben Griffin and our colleague Jim Von Stetten will be representing Shires at ATW this week. They’ve got their work cut out for them at this show…check out this packed schedule!  ATW Schedule of Events

We’re also lucky to have some of our world renowned Artists headlining this event as well! Gabe Langfur, George Curran, Maureen Horgan, Tres Bone Trombone Trio, and many more! Personally, I’m jealous I’m not going to catch some of these performances…(that’s a bold statement coming from a trumpet player…).

One thing I’m not jealous of? Packing up the minivan with rows and rows of trombones. Have fun with that one Ben ;) 

If you’re lucky enough to be headed out to one of these shows this week, PLEASE do stop by and visit us at the S.E. Shires booth. We love to see our friends from past shows…and we love to meet new friends! Also, make sure you’re posting lots of photos and videos on our Instagram and Facebook pages! Some of our favorite hashtags are: #iplayshires #seshires #teamshires. Join the team online and let us all see what you and your Shires instrument are up to! 

-Sam 

P.S. Anyone else excited for this??? 

  

  The S.E. Shires Piccolo trumpet, coming to music stores near you this summer!  

A new year, a new blog!

Our S.E. Shires blog features articles and photos on the craft of making handmade trumpets and trombones.  If you are curious about the process, this is the place to go!  We will discuss methods, materials, options, design, and many more topics.  We’ll also answer your questions and encourage you to join in the discussion!
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