76 Trombones play for maestro’s anniversary
CHOOSING the band for your birthday bash is a tough call when your customers are the world’s leading trombonists and their bands.
And it isn’t easy for whoever you ask because they will have the eyes and ears of the rest of the trombone glitterati on them – so no pressure.
In the end inviting Carol Jarvis and her Soul Tubes was an obvious choice because she was among the first Rath trombonists and her trombone is celebrating it’s 20th too! And we couldn’t have a party in Yorkshire without Doncaster born Dennis Rollins providing home grown talent.
It’s been an interesting 20 years since I started repairing trombones from a shed in Windsor determined to create a business manufacturing the best trombones in the world. Having worked for a leading French Horn manufacturer I knew I could do it.
Then it was Nicola and myself repairing trombones and dealing with customers. Today we have more staff making more trombones for more customers but I still pride myself on paying the same attention to detail and delivering the same high quality product and service as when we started.
Trombones aren’t exactly mass market and getting tooling wasn’t easy, but then I wasn’t going to be put off easily so I made it myself.
Today we still use that and train our own people so they achieve our high standards of product.
Since those early days we’ve relocated to a bigger factory in Honley, which many of you have visited, and I still get a thrill when someone rings the bell and says they want to buy a trombone.
Despite having created an international business with distributors around the globe it’s fantastic to welcome students and enthusiastic amateurs to the factory all keen to trial and then buy a Rath. A lot of our customers have been bought a Rath as leaving presents by grateful colleagues or family or cashed in a savings plan to treat themselves as they slow down their careers.
This year we’ve added more leading musicians to our family including David Whitehouse and Winston Rollins and welcomed Consolat Del Mar as our new Spanish distributor, ensuring Raths continue to be played in every musical genre around the world.
And making trombones puts you in a unique place to listen to some of the world’s greatest musicians. One of my proudest moments was and will remain watching the Count Basie Orchestra playing Rath Trombones in the Blue Note Club in Tokyo.
We couldn’t let a landmark celebration pass without a new trombone so I’m currently designing a Pro Range Anniversary Edition for release later this year.