New Double Reed Instruments Provide Performance and Value for School Programs
When Dennis Bamber talks woodwinds, there’s decades of experience behind his words. The original creator of the famous Woodwind & Brasswind catalog and online store, Bamber continues to serve music educators by developing instruments where there is a real need. Finding a way to offer affordable oboes, basssons and even English horns would provide bands the opportunity to play literature as intended without special accommodations.
“I wanted to come up with a double reed line that schools could reasonably afford so that more bands could actually have a full instrumentation and sound color composers intended,” said Dennis. “Whether a band is being adjudicated at the state level or playing its Spring concert, the need is always the same, to demonstrate understanding of the composer’s intent. When a complete double reed section is not available, accommodations must be provided. While it’s a totally reasonable scenario, it should not be acceptable.
“Of course, one reason for a lack of double reeds is the lack of double reed players in the lower grades. Even if oboes and bassoons are available for rental to beginners, the cost is normally too high for most parents. If quality could be maintained while reducing costs, there’s more opportunity to start – and keep - double reed players. With a college scholarship virtually assured, more parents would encourage this as well!”
One way some have sought to bring down cost is by modifying systems, that is, eliminating keywork to make very “basic” models. “The problem with this approach is that a student will soon grow out of the instrument and force a parent to choose between a much higher priced advanced model or keeping the student “stuck” with a less useable instrument through his or her school career.
Bamber, using his expertise as an instrument expert along with his vast array of worldwide designers, has developed a line of Vento double reed models make true double reed performance for all students.
Vento Student Oboe Model 8906 – For less than $800, this instrument is ideal for the young oboist. This model has a modified conservatory system that will allow the player to handle difficult musical passages with ease. It’s a well-crafted oboe, made of durable composite which is crack resistant. Features include:
Vento Advanced Wood Oboe Model 8915 – The Vento wood oboe is a must have for an oboist looking to invest in a grenadilla instrument. This beautifully appointed oboe has all the features of much more expensive oboes.
Vento 800 Series Bassoon Model 8813 – This bassoon has sturdy nickel silver keys with nickel plating, a body lock for the wing and long joint, C# trill key, F# trill key, a high D key and two bocals. “It’s not very often you see these advanced trill and high note keys on such a reasonably priced bassoon” Dennis stated. “We include a sturdy wood shell case with protective nylon zipper bag, a seat strap, reed case and cleaning cloth, as well.”
Vento Composite Grenadilla English Horn –The Vento English horn is an affordable alternative to the major brand name instruments without sacrificing quality or features. This English horn has a beautiful, round tone quality that provides the unique tonal texture so necessary for exposed solos as well as for full ensemble scoring. Never again ask a saxophonist to play the English horn part!
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