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The Joe R. & Joella F. Utley Collection of Brass Instruments

Highlights of the Collection...

Joe and Joella Utley

The Joe R. & Joella F. Utley Collection of more than 600 brass instruments is a splendid assemblage of cornets, trumpets, and related instruments that Joe and Joella collected in a remarkably short period of time. Roaming the globe in a tireless effort to assemble an inclusive collection that would tell the story of high brass instrument-making during the past 400 years, they exceeded even their own dreams.

The Utley Collection is rich in European instruments from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. An ornately decorated cornetto from the Rothschild Collection in Vienna and a cornettino—both with fingerholes like a woodwind, but played with a cupped mouthpiece—are masterpieces in ivory. Both date from about 1600.

The great brass makers of the Imperial City of Nürnberg are represented by half a dozen instruments from the hands of Johann Wilhelm Haas (the earliest is dated 1681), Johann Leonhard Ehe, Wolf Magnus Ehe, and Cornelius Steinmetz. A pair of small, 17th-century timpani complement the natural trumpets.

There is an outstanding group of instruments by notable craftsmen working in England during the first half of the 19th century, among them Charles Pace, William Sandbach, Joseph Greenhill, and members of the Köhler family. Lavishly decorated presentation instruments include a hallmarked silver bugle by Rudall, Rose, Carte & Co., "Presented by the Countess Amherst to the 33rd Company of the Kent Rifle Volunteers, 1861." Complete with original tassles, it rests in its own special box.

Adolphe Sax, the leading maker in Paris at the time, is represented by a number of notable instruments, among which are an alto trompette de cavalerie made in 1862, a hunting horn made in 1866, and a trompette á l'angle made in 1854.

The great European instruments are complemented, as one would expect, by equally important 19th-century American brasses built by Isaac Fiske, John Stratton, and other leading figures of the day. A rare, over-the-shoulder cornet in E-flat by E. G. Wright combines three rotary valves with five clapper keys.

Filling what had been a major gap in the NMM's holdings, the Utleys have also documented the work of the great individual American trumpet makers who made many of the instruments played by professional musicians in the second half of the 20th century: men like Vincent Bach in New York, Elden and Donald Benge in Chicago, Dominick and Christopher Calicchio in Los Angeles/Hollywood, David Monette in Portland, and Renold Schilke in Chicago.

In addition to three Monette trumpets already in the collection, the Utleys commissioned Monette to build a highly decorated flumpet, a cross between a trumpet and a flugelhorn that Monette first created for the jazz legend, Art Farmer. Charles Schlueter, principal trumpet of the Boston Symphony, uses one to play the offstage post-horn solo, when the BSO performs Mahler's Third Symphony.

Finally, the collection also includes a wide variety of brass instruments brought back by the Utleys from their travels to India, the South Pacific, and elsewhere. There were lots of adventures, and they have marvellous stories to tell.

About the Collectors...

Connstellation trumpet

Joe R. Utley (1935-2001)

Joe R. Utley bought his first trumpet in the early 1950s from his employer, Dick McFarland, in Elk City, Oklahoma, for whom he repaired instruments. This Conn Connstellation 28B trumpet, with serial number 396,510, was built in 1951 and is still part of the collection (NMM 6789). Joe played this instrument throughout his high school and college years in student concerts featuring ambitious works such as Joseph Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major.

Joe Utley can be seen holding this trumpet in a photo taken in the early 1950s.

Joe Utley



Joe R. and Joella F. Utley

Joe R. Utley Joella F.
Utley

Born and raised in humble surroundings in western Oklahoma, the Utleys both received BA degrees from Oklahoma City University and MD degrees from Washington University in St. Louis. Joe also has an MBA from Duke University and Joella has a MM from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. They did their residencies in San Francisco, were on staff at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, 1972-1977, and the University of California, San Diego, 1977-1983, and then went into private practice in Spartanburg, with academic ties to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

Well-read, widely traveled, and forever curious, the Utleys are true "Renaissance" people with a multitude of interests that range from maintaining their roots with the land to their love of music. Joella plays the piano and Joe played the trumpet, while in school and again with the Spartanburg Symphony. Summer weekends often found them across the border in North Carolina, attending concerts at the Brevard Music Center.

Sabine Klaus

The Utley Foundation and the NMM continue to pursue mutual plans and shared dreams for the future, collaborating to publish a definitive history of high brass instruments--based primarily on examples from the Utley Collection--and to establish the Utley Institute for Brass Studies, within the NMM, to serve as an international center for brass performance and scholarship.

Leadership is provided by Sabine Klaus, the first Joe and Joella Utley Curator of Brass Instruments and Professor of Music, who joined the NMM staff on November 1, 1999. A native of Reutlingen, Germany, Dr. Klaus received her Ph.D. from the University of Tübingen. She has had extensive experience at both the Stadtmuseum and the Deutsches Museum in Munich, the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nürnberg, and the Technisches Museum in Vienna; held an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; and worked at the Historisches Museum in Basel, Switzerland, where she was cataloging the Bernoulli Collection of Brass Instruments, December 1996-1999.

A selection of instruments from the Joe & Joella Utley Collection are on display on the first floor of the NMM.  Other instruments are available for examination by appointment (see access guidelines).


Link to Utley Virtual Gallery Tour

Online Checklists of the Utley Collection

•  Annotated Checklist of Bell-Front, Circular, and Upright, Top-Action, String-Operated Rotary Valve Instruments
•  Annotated Checklist of Keyed Bugles
•  Annotated Checklist of Keyed Trumpets
•  Annotated Checklist of Natural Trumpets Made in Nürnberg Before 1800
•  Annotated Checklist of Ophicleides
•  Annotated Checklist of Over-the-Shoulder Cornets
•  Annotated Checklist of Serpents
•  Annotated Checklist of Side-Action, String-Operated Rotary Valve Instruments
•  Annotated Checklist of Top-Action, String-Operated Rotary Valve Instruments
•  Annotated Checklist of Trumpet and Cornopeans with Disc Valves by John August Köhler
•  Annotated Checklist of Trumpets, Flugelhorn, and Cornopeans with Stölzel Valves
•  Annotated Checklist of Trumpets, Flugelhorns, and Saxhorns with Double-Piston Valves


Books About the Utley Collection

Trumpets and Other High Brass:  A History Inspired by the Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection by Sabine Katharina Klaus. Vermillion: National Music Museum, 2012-   . 


Articles About the Utley Collection

Margaret Downie Banks, "Brass Instruments from the Utley Collection Fill Museum's Horn of Plenty this Harvest Season:  Jeweled Cornet a Hallmark of the Utley Collection,  A Cornophone from the Utley Cornucopia,  'Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun' with a Double-bell Schediphon,  Tortoise-shell is Key Element in Rare Bugle,  More to the Trompe de Lorraine than Meets the Eye," America's Shrine to Music Museum Newsletter 26, No. 4 (November 1999), pp. 4-5 and 7-8.

Sabine K. Klaus, "Acquisition of a Superb Horn Built by Johann Karl Kodisch in 1684 Helps Preserve a House Built in Germany in 1510," America's Shrine to Music Museum Newsletter 28, No. 3 (August 2001), pp. 4-5.

-------, "Competing with Violins and Almost Like a Human Voice  . . .  Two More Cornetti Added to Museum Treasures," America's National Music Museum Newsletter 29, No. 4 (November 2002), pp. 3-4.

-------, "Educational Activities at the Museum's Satellite Facility in the Carolina Woods," National Music Museum Newsletter 30, No. 4 (November 2003), pp. 4-5.

-------, "Found in the Sunny South: A Trumpet by Johann Carl Kodisch, Imperial City of Nürnberg, After 1681," National Music Museum Newsletter 32, No. 1 (February 2005), pp. 4-5.

-------, "A Fresh Look at 'Some Ingenious Mechanical Contrivance'—The Rodenbostel/Woodham Slide Trumpet," Historic Brass Society Journal 20 (2008): 37-67.

-------, "Haas & Haas: A Miniature Horn and a Natural Trumpet from the Most Famous Nürnberg Workshop," America's Shrine to Music Museum Newsletter 28, No. 2 (May 2001), pp. 4-5.

-------, "Henry Courtenay (1820-1881) of Alton: His Life, His Cornopean, and Further Thoughts on the 'Clapper Shake Key'," The Galpin Society Journal 59 (May 2006), pp. 101-115.

------, "Ivory Cornetto, Probably from South Germany, Late 16th or Early 17th Century," in "Historical Instrument Window," Sabine K. Klaus, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 32, No. 3 (March 2008), p. 34.

------, "The Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection of High Brass Instruments:  A Trumpeter's Dream Comes True," International Trumpet Guild Journal 34, No. 4 (June 2010), pp. 38-45.

-------, "Kaiser & Kohler—German-born Brass Musical Instrument Makers in Cincinnati, Ohio," Alta Musica, Vol. 26, ed. by Raoul F. Camus and Bernhard Habla (Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 2008), pp. 215-249.

-------, "Keyed Trumpet by Joseph Greenhill" in "Historical Instrument Window," Edward H. Tarr, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 27, No. 2 (January 2003), p. 55.

-------, "Military Parade Trumpet in E-flat by Adolphe Sax," in "Historical Instrument Window," Sabine K. Klaus, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 34, No. 4 (June 2010), p. 54.

-------, "Miniature King Liberty Trumpet by H. N. White," in "Historical Instrument Window," Sabine K. Klaus, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 31, No. 2 (January 2007), p. 54.

-------, "Natural Trumpet in D by Johann Leonhard Ehe II" in "Historical Instrument Window," Edward H. Tarr, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 27, No. 4 (June 2003), p. 68.

-------, "NMM's Utley Institute for Brass Studies Hosts 2007 Early Brass Festival and Recording Sessions," National Music Museum Newsletter 34, No. (November 2007), 4-5.

-------, "Over-the-Shoulder Cornet in E-flat by Elbridge G. Wright, Boston, ca. 1850," in "Historical Instrument Window," Sabine K. Klaus, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 30, No. 4 (June 2006), p. 41.

-------, "Pair of Inventions-Trompeten," in "Historical Instrument Window," Edward H. Tarr, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 28, No. 3 (March 2004), p. 56.

-------, "Persistent 'Detective Work' Sheds New Light on Two Precious Ivory Cornetti in the Utley Collection," America's Shrine to Music Museum Newsletter 28, No. 1 (February 2001), pp. 4-5.

-------, "Presentation Keyed Bugle in E-flat by E. G. Wright," International Trumpet Guild Journal 33, No. 4 (June 2009): 63.

-------, "Renowned English Trumpeter Crispian Steele-Perkins Helps Celebrate the Arrival of the Rodenbostel/Woodham Trumpet at the Utley Collection," National Music Museum Newsletter 36, No. 1/2 (February/May 2009): 14-15.

-------, "Slide Trumpet by Charles Pace" in "Historical Instrument Window," Edward H. Tarr, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 27, No. 1 (October 2002), p. 66.

-------, "Slide Trumpet by George Henry Rodenbostel and Richard Woodham," in "Historical Instrument Window," Sabine K. Klaus, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 34, No. 2 (January 2010), p. 48.

-------, "'Some Ingenious Mechanical Contrivance'--An Extraordinary Slide Trumpet from 18th-Century England," National Music Museum Newsletter 36, No. 1/2 (February/May 2009): 1, 5.

-------, "Splendid 18th-century Nürnberg Silver Horn from the Rothschild Collection finds a Home in the NMM," National Music Museum Newsletter 34, No. 2, (May 2007), pp. 4-5.

-------, "'Tristan' Trumpet by Gebr. Alexander," in "Historical Instrument Window," Edward H. Tarr, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 26, No. 4 (June 2002), p. 64.

-------, "Trumpet in B-flat by Andreas Barth," in "Historical Instrument Window," Edward H. Tarr, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal, Vol. 29, No. 4 (June 2005), p. 63.

-------, "Trumpet in B-flat by Joseph Lathrop Allen," in "Historical Instrument Window," Sabine K. Klaus, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 35, No. 1 (October 2010), p. 56.

-------, "Trumpet in F and Cornopean in B-flat by John August Köhler," in "Historical Instrument Window," Sabine K. Klaus, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 31, No. 4 (June 2007), p. 60.

-------, "Trumpet in F by James Keat" in "Historical Instrument Window," Edward H. Tarr, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 28, No. 1 (October 2003), p. 76.

-------, "Trumpet with Six Independent Valves and Tubes in F by Adolphe Sax, Paris, 1868," in "Historical Instrument Window," Sabine K. Klaus, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 30, No. 2 (January 2006), p. 40.

-------, "The Utley Collection  .  .  . New Jewels Include a Rare Keyed Trumpet by E. J. Bauer, Prague," National Music Museum Newsletter 31, No. 1 (February 2004), pp. 1-2.

-------, "William Lander (1763-1843), Mere, Wiltshire. A Forgotten Music Instrument Maker Rediscovered," The Galpin Society Journal 57 (May 2004), pp. 3-18 and 195-203.

-------, "A Wooden Trumpet Built Exclusively for Wagner's 'Tristan und Isolde' is Added to the Utley Collection," America's National Music Museum Newsletter 29, No. 3 (August 2002), pp. 4-5.

-------, "Zwei Elfenbein-Zinken aus Süddeutschland?" in Zur Geschichte von Cornetto und Clarine. Symposium im Rahmen der 25. Tage Alter Musik in Herne 2000, Christian Ahrens and Gregor Klinke, eds., (Munich and Salzburg: Musikverlag Katzbichler, 2001), pp. 35-50.

Sabine K. Klaus, with contributions from Robert Pyle, "Measuring Sound:  BIAS Aids Understanding of Brass Instruments," NMM Newsletter 37, No. 3 (December 2010).

André P. Larson, "Cornet in B-flat by F. Besson, London, 1883," South Dakota Musician 34, No. 2 (Winter 2000), cover and p. 22.

-------, "In Memoriam [Joe R. Utley]," America's Shrine to Music Museum Newsletter 28, No. 2 (May 2001), p. 8.

-------, "Joe & Joella Utley Donate More than 500 Rare Brass Instruments," America's Shrine to Music Museum Newsletter 24, No. 4 (November 1999), pp. 1-3.

-------, "Rare Ivory Zink Bought at Rothschild Auction," America's Shrine to Music Museum Newsletter 26, No. 3 (August 1999), p. 7.

-------, "Schediphon by Josef Josefovich Schediwa, Odessa, The Ukraine, 1901," South Dakota Musician 34, No. 3 (Spring 2000), cover and p. 20.

Clint Spell, "Circular Cornet in B-flat by Ernst Ferdinand Glier (1827-1870), Cochecton, New York, ca. 1860" in "Historical Instrument Window," Sabine K. Klaus, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 32, No. 2 (January 2008), p. 47.

-------, "Three Straight Valve Trumpets, so-called 'Engelstrompeten'" in "Historical Instrument Window," Sabine K. Klaus, editor, International Trumpet Guild Journal 33, No. 3 (March 2009): 63.

Joe R. Utley† and Sabine K. Klaus, "The 'Catholic' Fingering--First Valve Semitone: Reversed Valve Order in Brass Instruments and Related Valve Constructions," Historic Brass Society Journal 15 (2003), pp. 73-161.

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Most recent update:   March 8, 2014

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