Queens Awards Magazine 2019

Page 117

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Company description in the ‘List of Winners’ preceding the section, for checking: Warwick Music Group has notched up sales of more than a quarter of a million pBones – making it the world’s best-selling trombone.

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INNOVATION

Warwick Music Group When musicians Hugh Rashleigh, Chris Fower and Steven Greenall got together in 2007 intent on developing a trombone in recyclable ABS plastic – a world first – they didn’t realise how their creation would radically change a sector of the music market that had experienced little innovation for two centuries. Their goal of making the joy of music accessible, fun and appealing to both children and adults has been at the heart of an innovation that music industry experts believe has resulted in a 15% increase in worldwide sales of trombones in the past three years. Since its launch in late 2010, Warwick Music Group has notched up sales of more than a quarter of a million pBones – making it the world’s best-selling trombone – and achieved plaudits in schools, classrooms, bands and orchestras. Says Steven Greenall, Chief Executive of Warwick Music Group: “Being awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation is the ultimate vindication that our efforts, setbacks and achievements have been worthwhile. As a small company this is a great accolade for us and all those committed to enabling more people to play and enjoy music.” In 2002, the National Foundation for Youth Music reported a “frightening” fall in the numbers of young people learning to play the trombone. Many were put off by the £250-£1,000 price tag. Schools were unable to afford to buy and maintain them. pBone has changed all that. UK retailers report that 80% of trombones sold today are manufactured in plastic – all from Warwick Music Group. The journey, however, was not easy. Successfully designing and consistently manufacturing a traditional brass instrument in plastic to tight tolerances posed significant challenges.

challenging. Those with experience in automotive manufacturing provided the closest match in terms of quality output and expertise. Neither has Warwick Music Group been immune from competition. Despite holding patents, it has faced a copycat manufacturer that used its designs, but the company successfully fought major patent infringements. Steven continues: “Our efforts have been really worthwhile. Children find traditional brass instruments to be heavy; they’re costly and easily damaged. “The innovation of pBone has introduced a new generation to the joy of music, as well as the educational and social benefits that music brings. “pBone has been just the start. Without it, we could not have developed other instruments such as pTrumpet, pCornet and pBuzz – a brand new instrument designed specifically for children as young as three to enable them to start their brass playing journey. pBone (centre and right) has heralded other brass instruments in plastic from Warwick Music Group

Externally, pBone retains the essential design attributes of a traditional instrument, but internally, it differs so as to reproduce the sound of a trombone – even though it is produced in a different material. None of the materials utilised in pBone had previously been used in a trombone. The carbon fibre slide was, for instance, inspired by a fishing rod. Great emphasis was placed on its ergonomics, so pBone is easy and comfortable to hold – especially important for children. Finding the right manufacturer was

Steven Greenall (left) and Chris

Created by a team of British musicians, pBone, the world’s first plastic trombone – which has become the world’s best-selling – has been awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its innovation.

Fower, whose creation of pBone, the world’s first plastic trombone, has

Pictured is the Warwick Music Group team based near their head office near Tamworth in the West Midlands.

been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for their innovation

“We believe in the transformational power of music and that everyone should have the opportunity to make music. By thinking differently, we have made a real difference in the world. “We are delighted that the passion, creativity and hard work of our small team has been recognised with The Queen’s Award for Enterprise.” Ten people are based at Warwick Music Group’s head office near Tamworth in the West Midlands, with additional team members in the USA and Asia. WARWICK MUSIC GROUP The Hayloft, Rock Farm Business Centre, Tamworth, B79 0LA • Tel: +44 (0)24 7671 2081 Email: steven@warwickmusic.com Web: www.warwickmusicgroup.com and www.pbone.co.uk n @pBoneOfficial Z @pBoneOfficial z pBoneOfficial " pBoneUK

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