By Zack Green

HOLLISTON (CBS) – A small manufacturer of brass instruments that has global reach can be found in Holliston, Massachusetts. S.E. Shires Company has been the premier trombone manufacturer for decades and makes custom instruments for some of the world’s most recognized orchestras.

“To see the trombone section of the New York Philharmonic for example, performing on S.E. Shires instruments, that takes it to an entirely different level for us,” Sam Lane, the director of sales and marketing, told WBZ-TV.

The level of craftsmanship is why Shires horns are so sought after. Walking through the showroom, it was only a matter of time before a professional musician crossed our path.

We stopped to speak with Alexis Smith, the principle trombonist of the Southwest Florida Symphony.

She was first introduced to Shires trombones when she won the Southeast Trombone Symposium solo competition. Joining the company a few years later, she ran into a typical Shires moment.

“When I started working here the craftsman came up to me and said ‘I built your valves.’ So that was really cool,” she told WBZ.

That craftsman was no ordinary metal worker.

“The person who fits our trombone valve sections for example, his name is Taka, he is the tuba player for the Boston Pops,” Smith said. “So to be able to see him in the back fitting rotor valves and then later that night at the 4th of July special, it’s a pretty exciting thing for all of us here.”

Valves are a small component to these complex instruments. Shires goal is to take the complex and make things easier.

“The other thing that the valve does is it allows me to play alternate positions. So instead of having to reach all the way out here, I can just play it in first position. So really just allows me to also be lazy which I don’t always tell people,” she said.

“Something that makes your life easier as a musician, that’s a huge and critical thing for a professional musician or aspiring student,” Lane said.

For more information, visit their website.

Zack Green

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