Well, that was exciting..
By sommerfeld on Dec 01, 2007
Pippin opened last night.
We were going along really well when, halfway through the first act, the casting holding the pivot & spring of my F-valve trigger popped off my bass trombone (a Conn 112H, which is an in-line double-valve instrument pitched in Bb/F/Gb/D); I'll note in passing for the benefit of non-trombonists that a Yamaha in-line double-valve bass trombone was the instrument mentioned in the well known but entirely apocryphal tall tale involving a Chilean bass trombonist, a firecracker, a mute, and the "1812" overture. (Now really -- what trombonist would ever use a mute in one of the few places in the symphonic literature where a quadruple forte (ffff) is written??!?!?!)
Anyhow, after it popped off, the linkage and trigger hung down from the valve, occasionally getting tangled in my shirt pocket but fortunately keeping the valve stably "off" the whole time. So I was left with a Bb/Gb instrument. But whoever designed the instrument put in an extra-long tuning slide on the Gb valve so I could actually retune it down to F.
Having learned the show using a bunch of alternate positions involving the use of the Gb valve, I played the rest of the show alternating the 2nd valve tuning. Definitely a higher-stress experience than I was hoping for, but it was an (unexpected) benefit of the in-line double-valve configuration that I hope I never need to rely on again...
Aside from that, opening night went really well.
And it's fixed already -- I'm extremely lucky that I live less than a mile from Osmun
Brass Music; they fixed it in about 15 minutes for a very reasonable charge. The tech pointed out several other problems with excessive play in the valve linkages and recommended a return trip to the shop when convenient.