Roger Smith started Raw Brass as a simple little website back in 1998. It was the internet's first comprehensively-categorized list of trumpet-related links. Eventually Raw Brass blazed new trails by offering online classifieds, a trumpet player forum, and the web's first trumpet photo archive. In 1999 Raw Brass produced its first prototype trumpet cases. Our second customer was the Canadian Brass, so we knew we were on to something.

Our most exciting venture involved the development of a world-class, custom, multi-trumpet case. With each new customer and configuration request, we continued to refine our designs. In 2002 the trumpet world was introduced to the flagship of trumpet cases…the all-new "Armor" case. The response was great…so great, in fact, that we were forced to either expand the business or sell.

Roger writes, "Several years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Don Shire. Don is a featured guest in concerts throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, Africa and Europe. His music is heard on Christian radio stations across the United States and he has made several television appearances. Don was a Christian Education/Music double major at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He studied trumpet with Tom Crown (Crown Mutes) at Columbia University in Chicago. Don's musical arrangements vary in style from classical to jazz and his music appeals to people of all ages.

"One day Don accidentally backed over his case with his vehicle and dragged it halfway down the street before discovering the scraping noise under the car. His horns were perfectly fine. The case needed a little attention! Needless to say, Don was an enthusiastic supporter of our cases.

In the Summer of 2005, Don purchased the company from Roger Smith. He writes: "For the past few years it has been my privilege to get to know Roger Smith. He is a talented man! One of the many things I appreciate about him is his commitment to excellence. I bought a custom trumpet case from him a few years ago. I have traveled with that case all over the world. This includes travel by dugout canoe down the Amazon! It is by far the best case I have ever owned.

"Recently I decided to order another one because I wanted a spare in the event he ever stopped making them. I WAS TOO LATE! He was happy with his full time employment as a minister of music. Since building cases had become more than a part time business, and he did not have the time or staff to keep up with the orders, he had closed down the shop.

"Something that good cannot be closed down! I really feel that the quality of this case will sell itself to anyone that cares about their horns. I play a Schilke 6bl that I purchased when I was 14 years old. It is my baby and I want it well protected. I fly a lot of smaller airlines that will not allow me to carry my case onto the plane; now I rest easy as I gate check the horn, knowing that it is protected from some of those airline luggage handlers that try to see how far they can throw a piece of luggage. Rolling the case into gigs or through airports is so much nicer than strapping it over my shoulder and carrying it.

"I hope that we will be able to service your case needs. I also hope that the Raw Brass web site will continue to be a resource to trumpeters worldwide. What a great opportunity to bring trumpeters together to offer help and advice."

If you have questions, suggestions, or just can't find what you're looking for, then drop us a line. If we can help, we'll do our best to help you as quickly as possible. Due to high site traffic and frequent visitor e-mails, your patience is appreciated as you wait for a response.

Our goal at Raw Brass is to provide the most professional, attractive, well-organized, and comprehensive trumpet-related resource worldwide. We're confident that you'll find us to be all of that and more! Thanks again for your interest in Raw Brass!

- Don Shire with Roger Smith