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