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Holton Professional Model TR150 Tenor Trombone

About the Model TR150

Founded in Chicago when Frank Holton opened a small instrument shop in 1898, The Frank Holton & Co. grew to one of the most influential instrument manufacturers in the first half of the twentieth century in the US. Today, the tradition continues with high quality trumpets, flugelhorns, and trombones being hand-crafted in Elkhart, Indiana, and in Eastlake, Ohio.

The Holton TR150 tenor trombone is an excellent selection for those who desire slightly more resistance. Although a .547" symphonic bore, its sound is a bit lighter in character than that of other large-bore models. The traditional wrap F section with a short-stroke string linkage makes for a quick and positive response. The combination of rose brass bell and lightweight nickel silver outer handslide tubes results in a quick, yet warm sound. The narrower handslide allows for superb maneuverability, especially for players with smaller hands, making the model a good choice for many advanced players. Available in silver-plate finish as model TR150S.

Holton - .547" bore, 9" rose brass bell, traditional wrap short-stroke F-mechanism, nickel silver outer slide, clear lacquer finish, Holton 6-1/2AL mouthpiece, CTR150 woodshell case.

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After performing professional engagements with Sousa’s great band, Frank Holton opened up a small shop in Chicago in 1896, selling second hand instruments and his secret recipe of Electric Oil trombone slide oil.  For the first two years, business was tight and Holton would spend evenings and weekends performing just to draw a salary to support his business.  By 1898, business had sustained itself to the point that Holton could hire an instrument maker to begin making what he introduced as the “Holton Special” trombone.  As business grew, his “Holton Harmony Hints” catalogue increased in size to include trombones, cornets, valve trombones, and mellophones by 1904.

Phil_Farkas.jpgBusiness continued to grow and Holton’s instruments became the choice of top professionals including Vincent Bach, first trumpet for the Boston Symphony in 1914 (before he began building his own instruments).  In 1917, Holton signed an agreement with the city of Elkhorn, Wisconsin to build a factory.  In the agreement, a provision was made that if Holton paid out $500,000 in wages over seven years to support the community workforce, he would be granted the title to the land and building.  In 1920, Holton met this obligation. 

In June 1919, to inspire a stronger workforce to move from Chicago to Elkhorn, Holton bought seventeen acres and contracted 27 houses built to offer to his employees.  Production of top line professional instruments continued to grow.  In 1929, Holton introduced a complete line of school grade instruments under the Holton Collegiate name. 

In 1939, Frank Holton sold his company to Fred Kull, a company employee.  In 1942, Frank Holton passed away.  Throughout the Second World War as most manufacturers did, the Holton Company turned to making components for the military.  As the war ended, the Holton Company saw steady growth.  In 1964, after pressures to offer a complete range of woodwind instruments, the Holton Company sold to G Leblanc Corporation. 

During Leblanc’s ownership, Holton would rise as a leader in low brass manufacturing.  The support of well known artists such as Philip Farkas and Ethel Merker, Holton’s French horns became increasingly popular.  Manufacturing of Holton instruments was retained in Elkhorn, Wisconsin until 2008 when it was relocated to Eastlake, Ohio. 

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