I’ve played in several bands, in fact I’m a member of one today, though I’m not very active.
When I started out in 6th grade I played trumpet. I had a choice of trumpet (Richard), flute (Emily), piano (Emily), or Guitar (Richard). Too many keys, too many keys, too many strings and what the hell is a chord anyway?
Trumpets have only three keys so you can guess what someone as shallow and one dimensional as I picked.
Frankly I wasn’t good enough to cut it. The other gal in class with me (just the 2 of us) went on to become a solo with The Connecticut Hurricanes which was at the time a very happening professional marching band. My current band is professional too but you take out your pay in beer at the end of the parade.
Anyway it was clear by the time I was 13 years old that I was hopeless as a trumpet player, third seat third as they put it in Junior Band not Concert and my Band Director (one of the greatest leaders it’s ever been my honor to work under and I’ve had a few) suggested I borrow a Baritone Horn from the school. AND because I am incapable of reading Bass Clef I could use the Tenor Sax music!
Since I was now instantly the second best player my attitude improved a lot. Also he was very tough. One period every day for group rehearsal, three nights a week after school, Three sectionals a week (so you could thoroughly embarrass yourself in front of the same guys you’d been playing with all week who already knew that this was the part where you kind of hummed along so you didn’t fuck it up).
He was tough, and we played tough music and dominated our crosstown rivals and mostly everyone in the State. Made us some trips too. When you graduated you went on to High School Marching Band and by comparison it was a cakewalk. Two short seasons, springtime all parades not drills, and we never had to play that good, just make our marks and play fast, loud, or both fast AND loud.
But that’s not what I’m here to share with you tonight. I’m here tonight to tell you the difference between a Baritone Horn and a Euphonium. Like a Trumpet a Baritone Horn has a tubular bore and a Euphonium has a conical one like a Cornet.