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Band Gets New Instruments through Yamaha partnership

The update will enhance the band’s look and sound

The Sacred Heart University Band has upgraded its instruments through a partnership with Yamaha, the world’s largest manufacturer of a full line of musical instruments.

“The SHU Band is celebrating our 25th anniversary year, and while we look back on what we’ve achieved, we’re also looking forward to the future,” said Keith Johnston, band director. “Our new partnership with Yamaha means that we’re going to be able to provide high-quality instruments to the band to help ensure a consistent sound across the sections.”

Two decades have passed since the band made significant investments to its equipment. Now, with the new instruments, the group’s sound and visual impact will improve, Johnston said.

Rollout of the new instruments will start slowly; brass players will be outfitted first with matching silver-plated sousaphones, baritones, mellophones, trombones and trumpets. The second phase will take place in a few years, when the band will update its marching percussion and add matching sliver-plated saxophones.

“I’m very excited for these new horns,” said trumpet section leader Sam Johnson, a sophomore studying psychology. “I think they’ll greatly benefit the SHU band. Not only will they help with musicianship, but they will also help provide a better image for the band.”

Johnson, of Southington, has been playing the trumpet since he was in third grade. He currently plays a silver Yamaha 2235 model trumpet, which he said is not a “top quality horn.” He is looking forward to the new, professional-grade trumpets. Johnson said having a large brass section with new matching instruments should be “quite the sight.”

“I think it was a great decision by Keith and the University to invest in these new instruments, and I look forward to playing them,” Johnson said.

Johnston said Yamaha produces excellent instruments across all price points that will withstand rigorous performance and travel schedules. “Playing a quality instrument like this makes you want to be a better musician, and having this kind of instrument available for our students is another way to show how committed the University is to providing the finest educational experience possible,” he said.

“Yamaha is a brand name recognized around the world for making great instruments and is played by the finest college bands, drum corps and professional musicians. Yamaha shares our passion for music and education and performing. Their representatives’ active participation in helping us get what we need created a lot of enthusiasm among the staff.”

More than 200 marching bands in the country use Yamaha products, including Virginia Tech, Boston College, Michigan State University and Penn State.

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