by Andrew Naumann
When Doc arrived at the Getzen Co. this past June it felt as if a long lost family member found their way home. Many workers for the company remember the days when Doc was a regular around the old factory. His sense of style and flash has not changed and his interest in trumpet playing and designing seems to be even stronger. As he toured the factory, he took extensive amounts of time to sit with the craftspeople and watch their expertise. Many times he would comment on the fine work he was witnessing, which would always draw a smile. In fact, at one point he said to one of the employees in the Valve Department, “Do you realize how important you are? This is where the heart of the trumpet begins. You are responsible for starting this instrument’s voice. What an important person you are for all Getzen trumpeters!” His humility was seen by many of the workers which brought and immediate respect for his love of the trumpet.
Doc Tours Getzen FactoryEight months earlier, I contacted Don in hopes that he might be interested in discussing his return to the Getzen Co. Twenty years has passed since Doc has endorsed Getzen instruments. When we met and discussed what he wanted in a trumpet, I knew we could offer him what he has been looking for. Mainly, he was interested in having trumpets made with quality in mind. He felt most firms have gone the route of trying to build trumpets as fast as possible with Wall Street driving the company. It was difficult for Doc to talk with this type of company because it would mean the company would need to slow down and research better designs. This approach is costly and time consuming – two things corporate America hates to hear. But at the Getzen Co., we still have a single owner and a small company atmosphere that thrives on new ideas and craftsmanship. This attitude has always been with the Getzen family.
The Getzen Co., owned and operated by Thomas Getzen, has strived to improve its product line for the past ten years. Achieving new developments such as the Thayer Valve (trombone axial flow valve) has been an integral part of improving Getzen instruments. This forward thinking has led to the development of improved valve sets and bell manufacturing for both the trumpet and trombone lines. Doc realized that the Getzen Co. was on the fast track for some of the best instruments offered by and brass manufacturer. In fact, he stated, “Getzen is not mass producing brass instruments, they are mass customizing top quality brass instruments.” The Getzen Co. also offers some of the best warranties in the business which includes a lifetime warranty on all trumpet valve sets.
Doc’s return is both an honor and a sign of the good things to come for the Getzen Co. Many plans are currently in design for even more developments and improvements in the product lines. Doc will be an important part of the Getzen design team by offering advice and testing new instruments. Commitment, courage, ability, and resources are all necessary elements in success. Getzen realizes these elements and uses them to drive forward to a bright future.