Dissatisfaction with the musical instruments then available to him spurred Schilke Music Products Incorporated founder Renold Schilke to want to create his own, and he had skills and training that made him uniquely
able to follow up on this desire. During his
tenure at the helm of his band and orchestra instrument company, Schilke designed revolutionary instruments and
mouthpieces that are still the preferred choice of professional players
all over the world.
Born in 1910, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Renold Schilke was playing the cornet by age 8. One of his first jobs was to demonstrate instruments made by the Frank Holton Company as a young but professional musician. By his teens, Schilke had already learned the basics of musical instrument making.
In 1928, after spending a year at the Brussels Conservatory in Belgium, Schilke arrived in Chicago, where at age 18 he studied at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's (CSO) principle trumpet player, Edward Llewellyn—while also performing music professionally. By 1938, Schilke was himself the CSO's principle trumpet, a post he would fill until 1951.
Using a contact microphone and an oscilloscope Schilke was able to identify the key nodes for each pitch in his brass instruments. Schilke's knowledge of nodal points in a resonating tube and their effect on pitch—as well as his experiments with metal alloys—equipped him to improve wind instruments scientifically and precisely. By adjusting tubing diameter and properly configuring their geometric progression, Schilke improved the intonation of brass instruments.
In addition, Schilke's experiments with alloys gave him the improved ability to affect intonation and timbre by choosing the appropriate alloy for strategic parts. He also used science to answer the question of how plating versus lacquer or bare metal affects an instrument's resonance. His conclusion: plating is indistinguishable from bare brass due to the ability of the brass and the plating alloy to expand and contract at the same rate, whereas lacquer changes the resilience of most alloys, increasing the resonation of the metal relative to the resonating air column inside the instrument.
Today Schilke Music Products is owned by Andrew Naumann and housed in a 16,000 sq. ft. facility in Melrose Park, Illinois. Schilke craftsmen still build every instrument by hand, one at a time, using Renold Schilke's design specifications and procedures. Schilke craftsmen, many of whom are brass players themselves, understand a performer's needs and take great pride in producing the finest brass instruments and mouthpieces that they can.
Today's Schilke HD trumpets, flugelhorns, and trombones are crafted with the same famous attention to detail that results in the very high quality professional brass instruments for which the Schilke name is famous.
Woodwind & Brasswind is proud to offer high-quality Schilke trumpets and trombones. Schilke instruments and music accessories are backed by The Woodwind & Brasswind's 110% Price Guarantee, assuring that you won't find quality Schilke musical instruments at a lower price anywhere else.