Kate Williams plays as principal baritone in the prestigious Desford Colliery Band and also acts as the euphonium specialist at the SIPS Education Music & Arts Service. She recently reviewed the JP274, JP374 Sterling & JP374 Sterling Trigger models.
"As part of my job I recently had the pleasure of appraising 3 of the superior John Packer euphoniums on behalf of our students. All were striking examples of the modern style of instrument design as well as displaying a high quality of build. Added to this the fantastic prices being asked and they almost seem too good to be true. So to the testing…….
The first on trial was the JP274, presumably aimed at the progressing young player. It is a fully compensating 4 valve instrument, with a robust feel to not only the euphonium, but its case too which is of solid manufacture with handily placed wheels on the base for ease of transport. It has a very ‘centred’ feel when blowing across the full range and responds with ease in all registers. I have no hesitation in recommending this model to any of my students hoping to take their music making to a higher level.
The JP374 Sterling and the JP374 Sterling (Trigger) are both essentially the same fully compensating 4 valve euphonium. Each has the benefit of a larger 12” bell which seems to aid projection for the more advanced player. They feel exceptionally comfortable to hold and the playing position dictated by the design seems completely natural assuring the performer that they are playing an instrument of pure quality. Articulation, dynamic extremes, intonation and freedom of flexibility are outstanding. Tuning on the trigger model is of course perfect in the hands of a knowledgeable and proficient musician. The case is smaller than that of the JP274 and has a ‘gig bag’ feel to it—ideal for the busy professional. These really are instruments that demand a place high up in the brass retail market and I will be happy to recommend any of them to prospective purchasers of the appropriate standard."