Paul Schmidt's Music Page:
Modern Instruments



Background I began playing piano under the tutelage of my mother, a professional piano teacher, organist and choir director. Upon entering junior high school (now called middle school in most places), I was lucky enough to be in the Mascoutah school system in southern Illinois. The band director there, Norbert A. Meier was a fine musician, excellent teacher and band director, had a strong band booster organization, and ran a disciplined group that played well above the standard for their age group. He instilled in me a love for playing the tuba as an instrument, not just as an easy horn to goof off on in the back row (unfortunately an all too common situation in many school bands).

Upon moving to Germany, my directors were Phil Faaborg, Peter Strom and Paul Hammer, and I got instruction through high school from these directors, plus German instructors and mentors, as well as tubists in the local branch of the US Army band. Since that time my tuba studies have been more casual, and the teachers have been many and varied. I value them all. 

Once the bulk of my college was behind me, I started a program of learning as many new instruments as I could; it was similar to what band directors might go through to become familiar with everything in the band and/or orchestra. I have since given up on most of these instruments, but the understanding of how they work and what their capabilities and problems are has helped me in my directing, arranging and performing duties.

I currently play free lance low brass, with the saxophone being a parallel interest. In addition, I lead, direct or manage several regular groups, and play with a couple of community organizations. This page is dedicated to those instruments I am most comfortable with.

My main instrument is, and always has been, the bass tuba (I got used to calling it that while in Germany). I have never played C or F tubas, preferring B flat and E flat models. I like the German rotary style best, and my main horns are made by Miraphone (also spelled Mirafone), a German maker.

At left I am in brass quintet mode, having just played a gig at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. I currently play in two quintets, and free lance with others.

At right I am playing my friend Peter Teufel's horn, while 'on tour' in the market square of Ludwigsburg, Germany. Peter is a free lance player in the Stuttgart area.

At left I am playing the euphonium as part of my tuba quartet, at an Oktuba-fest concert. Some tubists double on the trombone, but I have settled on the euphonium as my 'second instrument'.

At right I am rehearsing for a performance in Ossweil, Germany. The location is the attic of the castle in Ossweil, and the hosts are the Musikverein Ossweil, the official city band of Ludwigsburg.

Here I am with those instruments I play most often. I have other similar horns that I use from time to time, for performance characteristics, appearance or their unique 'character', but these are the main ones.

Back row, L-R:
Beuscher baritone saxophone in E flat (I restored it from being pretty much wrecked), Selmer valve trombone in B flat (3 valves), Miraphone bass trumpet in B flat (3 rotary valves), Miraphone E flat contrabass tuba (4 rotary valves), Miraphone B flat contrabass tuba (also called BB flat, 4 rotary valves).

Front row, L-R:
Besson tenor horn in B flat (3 valves), Yamaha euphonium in B flat (4 valves).

In Hand:
Selmer (Paris) soprano saxophone in B flat. I use this only for the playing of historic music of the sort that might have been played during the lifetime of Adolphe Sax. I never use it for jazz!

Links ITEA (International Tuba-Euphonium Association
(formerly TUBA : Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association)

Doug Yeo (Boston Symphony Bass Trombonist)

Contrabass Mania

Robert King Music

Woodwind and Brasswind

Windsong Press

Brass Band Portal

Heavy Metal Music

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Copyright Paul Schmidt 2002