Welcome

The Vincent and Ethel Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection

Welcome to the Vincent and Ethel Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection web site. The 300+ instruments in the Collection, currently housed in Durham, North Carolina, represent a cross section of the history and development of the various members of the tuba family, from its inception circa 1830 to the present.

The Collection began with a beautiful Cerveny helicon dating from circa 1910, which I found in Boston in 1965 while I was playing tuba in the orchestra for the North American tour of the Russian folk ballet troop, the Moyseev Ballet Company. The majority of the Collection was acquired during my twenty-seven year ownership of The Tuba Exchange, which I founded in 1984. Ethel and I sold The Tuba Exchange to its current owners in 2011, but we have retained ownership of the Collection with the idea of developing it further and to make it more accessible to the public.

We invite all of you to learn more about the various members of the tuba family, by visiting our unique Historic Tuba Collection in Durham, and by looking through this web site – both of which we hope will be helpful to you as you further expand your knowledge about the instruments that we love.

Vincent Simonetti

Browse the collection

24 thoughts on “Welcome”

  1. Barry Wolfe said:

    A voice from the past. Barry Wolfe. 21 Southard St. Paterson, NJ. We played in the North Jersey Brass Quintet and the Paterson Lyric Opera together when I was in H.S.
    Saw this listing on Facebook site of Vince Belford.

  2. cam jaques said:

    i have a Helicon Bass serial # 154543 made 1917 and 1918,it is in fairly good shape,the valves still work smooth,the intserment is playable,I am trying to figure out its value and mabey sell it to someone interested,thanks! my name is Cam # is 919 437 7764

  3. Karl Koga said:

    Hello Vincent,
    My name is Karl Koga, Kevin from The Tuba Exchange referred me to you.
    I’m in possession of a old York Artist Sousaphone, it actually belongs to my church. To clear space I was asked to try to sell it, (I was told they used to have a marching band years ago). The serial number is 582078 and don’t have any other information other than that it might have actually been bought used from The Tuba Exchange years ago.
    I have photos I took for Kevin, if you’re interested in looking at them, please let me know the email address I can send them to. I’m in Raleigh, and my phone # is 919-279-0580. Thank you, Karl

    • Hi Karl,

      Please send the pictures and any price(s) you have for the instrument to vsimonetti@nc.rr.com. Based on the serial number through Horn-u-Copia, the sousaphone appears to be newer than 1971, possibly from the 80s. (the newest date they have listed is 1971 for serial numbers). If this date doesn’t seem right, please check the serial number again or send a picture of the serial number on the instrument.

      Thank you,
      Aiyana (collection curator)

  4. I just edited Google Maps to add the Museum to the 1825 address. Hope it helps people find you.
    My favorite tuba pieces: Tuba Smarties and Dance of the Big Fairies both by Sky, a British group from the early 80s.
    Oystein’s humorous demo of what he can make his tuba utter is here… a great intro for beginners who might think a tuba is dull.

  5. John Breese said:

    This is great! All the best Vincent! I know where I’ll be stopping next time I’m in the area!

  6. Bill Krupp said:

    Dear Vincent:
    I’d love an invitation to visit your collection on March 5th. I played a King upright four piston finishing up 50 years of playing. (Ten years ago I lost my wind and contribute my horn to a college music program that specialized in lower brass players.) My father, Paul Krupp, played with the Richmond and Norfolk Symphonies and the Richmond Brass Quintet. He studied under John Glover with the Philadelphia Ballet and at the University of Cincinnati. The played first chair in the band at West Point USMC. You might know him since he repaired tubas and other musical instruments in Richmond and worked with Boykins Music store there.
    Please send the ticket so I can visit your collection and relive some of my youth and memory of my father. We always had several tubas around the house.
    With regards- Bill Krupp 919-562-2245

  7. Julian Hasse said:

    You should have your own video channel. A good name would be: YouTuba.

  8. Robin Robert said:

    Hi Vince…my name is Robin. I have acquired a… La Monte BBb tuba…serial number 2931. It looks pretty old. I got it from a local music teacher. It had cobwebs in the bell.. Lol. It sounds great for an old girl. Valves are still very responsive with a rich tone. Would you have any information that you could pass on. Thank you… Robin.

  9. Richard McCleery said:

    Where is it on the web site that we print out tickets for the grand opening tomorrow

  10. Daniel Adams said:

    Are you still adding to your collection? I am possession of a Colonial e flat tuba from the 1920’s.

    • Hi Daniel! We are always looking for more instruments to add to the collection! Please send pictures of the full front, full back, engraving, closeup of the valve section, and any damage/dents that may be on the instrument. Please also include measurements of the bell diameter and height. Send all this in an email to vsimonetti@nc.rr.com. Thank you and looking forward to seeing that tuba!

  11. Mexican banda music use tubas they are real popular.

  12. Stephen P Till said:

    I have a very early vintage french horn I am trying to obtain information on. Can you help? Thanks so much for your time. Because the horn is so early. I’m having difficulty finding history. Thanks Steve

    • Hi Stephen! We specialize in tubas, sousaphones, euphoniums, baritones, and helicons. We do not have any French horns in the collection but we do have French tubas. If you’d like, you can send the information you know about the instrument and pictures of the full front, full back, engraving, and valve section to vsimonetti@nc.rr.com. Thanks!

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