Steve Wright is Professor Emeritus at Gustavus Adolphus college, where he served for 24 years as professor of Jazz Ensembles, Trumpet, and Music Arranging. Read his full biography here.

I'd like to talk to you today about buying a new trumpet. This would particularly apply to middle school and high school students, and also perhaps the comeback player who needs a new horn and doesn't want to buy a student model. This article will address how to set up a testing appointment, how to try trumpets, and what techniques can be used.

...continue reading "Guide to Purchasing a Step-Up Trumpet"

"I performed a gig as Principal Bassoon using the Accent bassoon and received great comments from the other bassoonist, as well as professional colleagues. The sound projected great and the instrument was quite easy to play. I highly recommend it for schools looking for an instrument that will be durable enough to use in a school setting ... I also recommend it for the college market. In fact, I'd recommend it for any professional bassoonist for use as a back-up instrument!"
-Carl Rath Associate Professor of Bassoon, University of Oklahoma, Principal Bassoon, Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra
"The Accent bassoon played better than any other student instrument out there, especially in this price range. The keywork is durable and accessible for a young player; the tone is full and rich, and the intonation is excellent."
-Tracy Leenman Foothills Philharmonic Orchestra
"Beautiful dark sound, lots of power, great intonation and comfortable key-work ... these are the characteristics of the Accent bassoon. Just an amazing instrument at an amazing price!"
-Krassimir Ivanov Principal Bassoon, Catskill Symphony Orchestra
"They are the easiest I have found in marching brass to center the pitch. Each partial lies on a narrow range that helps with more consistent intonation. The weight of the instruments is balanced so they are easier to hold as well."
-Band Director and Professional Euphonium Player, Columbia, SC
"Thanks for sending me extensive information on Accent instruments. I had the opportunity to try an Accent trombone from a local store just this past week, since my 2 trombones were in their shop for repair. I found the horn to play quite well. I needed it for a professional gig, and felt it played very well. It had a very nice tone. I love the small design of the case too. I will recommend your instruments to my students in the future. Thanks for your time."
-Band Director, Cincinnati, Ohio
"I was hesitant when (the dealer) first suggested we start using Accent instruments, concerned about the quality and the durability. I had nothing to be concerned about. The Accent horns have stood the test of time. They have held up very well and play great. They are the best brand for our students that can't afford a higher priced beginner model horn. I would recommend Accent to anyone who wants a quality instrument at a more affordable price."
-Eric Thornbury Director of Bands, Kokomo Center School Corp
"I have seen the Accent line of instruments improve greatly over the last few years. I believe the instruments are a good, sound beginning instrument and will do well for the years moving into the intermediate instrument. Better manufacturing, step-up qualities, and a better look bring interest from students and directors to notice the better quality instruments. I do recommend the Accent line of instruments very highly."
-Chris Holt Band Director, Greene County Tech High School, Paragould, AR
"The Accent brand of instruments have sounded good, been affordable, and have been very durable for every one of my students, no matter what their playing ability."
-Jason J. Kahl Director of Bands, Morristown Junior/Senior High School, Morristown IN
"I spent a couple of hours with the Accent BS790R bassoon: pitch is good, a big sound, sturdy hard-rubber body and solid key work, professional key system including a high E key and whisper lock, excellent pads and pad seal, and the price is right. I liked it so well, I bought one and have been quite happy with it."
-Dr. Phillip Rehfeldt Adjunct Professor of Bassoon, California State University, San Bernardino; Emeritus Professor of Woodwinds (Clarinet) and Musicology, University of Redlands
"Thanks Accent for making quality horns available at prices my students and parents can afford."
-Danny Davis Band Director, Greene County Tech High School, Paragould, AR
"The Accent BS710L baritone saxophone is an excellent instrument for the beginner or intermediate to advanced saxophonist. The fingerboard action is smooth and light for even the smallest of hands. The palm keys are comfortable as is the spatula and low "A" key. It plays with even intonation and has a wide dynamic range. The case has wheels which makes transporting of a big instrument such as this much easier. I highly recommend the Accent baritone saxophone."
-Ted Hogarth Founder and leader of the Mulligan Mosaics Big Band - Chicago, Illinois. Dedicated to preserving and advancing the music of Gerry Mulligan.
"I have recently gone through the setup of six new Accent CL722 clarinets. They are FANTASTIC instruments. I like the ergonomic design of the register key and the thumb rest. I love the dark sound that the wooden body produces with the leather pads. The clarinets which I played all played consistently well in tune. The silver plated keys are also a nice touch. In my opinion, they are equal to or better than many higher priced instruments from other manufacturers."
-Jay Ramsey West Music Repair Technician

Steve Wright, Accent artistSteve Wright is a nationally recognized trumpet and flugelhorn soloist, as well as a composer/arranger of hundreds of works. A graduate of the University of Iowa, his professional career began in 1968 as a jazz lead trumpet player and arranger with the U.S. Air Force Jazz Ensemble, the Airmen of Note. After leaving Washington, D.C. in 1972, he moved to the Twin Cities and resides in Minnetonka. He holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Iowa, plus MM and DMA degrees from the University of Minnesota. Wright retired as Professor Emeritus from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2104 after 24 years as professor of Jazz Ensembles, Trumpet and Music Arranging. Read more...

Gabriel Medd, Accent artistGabriel Medd played his first gig at the age of ten, and has been performing on his trumpet ever since. The Iowa City native has occupied venues at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Iowa City Jazz Festival, Jazz Standard, Iridium, Chicago Jazz Showcase, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola and the Blue Note. He has embraced opportunities to blend his ideas and sounds with those of other incredible musicians in the Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Jazz Ensemble, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra and the Grammy Award-winning Mingus Big Band.

Read more...

Benjamin Coelho, bassoonist and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Iowa, provides an overview of the bassoon.

Benjamin Coelho, bassoonist and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Iowa, provides an overview of the bassoon.

Instrument Categories

Buying any musical instrument can be challenging. Perhaps buying a bassoon might be a bit more so due to the high cost and the many different options to consider. Read more...

It's important to have an instrument that will help your student musician develop good tone quality and play with accurate intonation, right from the start. It should play well enough to allow your student to grow as a musician for a number of years.

What are the most important features to look for in a student instrument?

Congratulations! It's time for your or a family member to begin your lifelong musical journey. Whether a beginning band student, or an adult picking up an instrument for the first time, we hope the following article will provide you with some resources to begin your journey.

...continue reading "Shopping for a Student Instrument"