Morningstar Mutes

IIan Morgenstern - 

A native of Rehovot, Israel, Ilan Morgenstern is currently the Bass Trombonist of the Vancouver Symphony. A former member of the San Antonio Symphony, Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony and Kansas City Symphony, Morgenstern has also performed with the Detroit Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Utah Symphony, Houston Symphony, Virginia Symphony, New Israeli Opera, and the Israel Philharmonic. 

Morgenstern's concerto performances have included engagements with the with the San Antonio Symphony, United States “Pershing's Own” Army Orchestra, Millennium Orchestra (Seoul, Korea), Jeju Symphony Orchestra (Jeju, Korea), and the National Repertory Orchestra. 

About Morningstar Mutes

Last season my colleague Andrew Poirier shared with me that my choice of straight mute from a well-known brand wasn't to his liking because of how poorly it blended with the section. Now I DO like that mute, but if I'm honest with myself it does sound different.  I selfishly used it because it worked better than any other standard straight mute I tried, but I didn't take my section into account in that decision.

I decided to try and make something.  My criteria for success:

- Respond immediately in all registers

- Operate with one hand

- Predictable intonation

- Adjustable to fit my different horns

- and because of a little pride, I wanted to be able to do all this without venting the mute (although I'm glad to do that for you if you'd like: Just drop me a line!)

After A WHOLE LOT of trial and error (mostly error!), trying diferent materials, play testing by colleagues and on different instruments, I ended up with the design and materials listed below.  They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but for me they all work.  I hope they'll work for you too!

- Ilan

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