<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> The Angela Project

The Angela Trumpet

The dream of a student with a love of music, and a teacher who wanted to keep that love alive.

"The Angela" is an electronic valve assisted trumpet and stand that was custom designed to meet the physical needs of a seventeen year old, Grade eleven student, suffering from juvenile arthritis. Angela is now in Grade 12 at Bedford Road Collegiate, and is still playing her beloved trumpet.

The project began when Russ Brown overheard an audition for the orchestra preparing for a Bedford Road Collegiate musical. As the band teacher, Russ did not recognize the style of the performer and so he joined the audition. What he saw would set in motion a project that would span two years. He beheld a young woman with incredible determination, who despite severly arthritic hands was struggling to hold and play her trumpet. Her determination caused Russ to seek a pre-made adaptation that would allow her to play without holding the trumpet. After extensive research it became clear that no such adaptation existed.

This caused him to begin work on an idea. Russel said in an interview, "Here was Angela still able to get this quite beautiful tone out of an instrument, even though it was very laboured for her. But just to see that, and the determination she had, there was no way as a teacher that I couldn't respond. To see this kind of tenacity, it changed me forever as well, and I just knew that I would do whatever it took."

As the finished project, the trumpet operates with touch sensitive buttons that activate the valves and it allows for quick and easy finger switching. There's also a hand mould as part of the apparatus, which was constructed by injecting silicone. As well, there are two small fans to cool the solenoids. However, like most projects in the band room at BRCI, it will be a work in progress with new ideas and materials for some time to come.

More information?

Saskatoon Teacher Builds Electric Trumpet - Saskatchewan Bulletin

Invention hits right note for teen trumpet player - Darren Bernhardt of The Star Phoenix