Initially the company set up as a repair facility for all brass instruments. The company quickly gained a very good reputation for high quality repair and lacquer work. Our reputation led to repair work being carried on behalf of many leading manufacturers and soon after finishing work on custom manufactured trumpets. In July 2001 I took a decision to develop a new design of Pro level trumpet. Prototype models were developed, assembled and put through their paces by pro players from a variety of backgrounds. Many years experience in manufacture meant the company already knew how to make trumpets - the challenge was now to design one that really kicked!!!
Many sleepless night later, the Eclipse was born, and my aim was achieved! The Eclipse line of trumpets was launched in March 2003 at the Frankfurt Music Messe.
Leigh started work in 1986 at the age of 15 as an apprentice Brass Instrument Maker with a company that was built up of the very best ex Boosey & Hawkes technicians in the industry. Over the next 8 years he learnt every aspect of manufacture from cornet right up to tuba. At the end of this term Leigh was the head maker of instrument manufacture there.
In 1994 he moved to Norway to become a teacher of brass instrument repair in a specialist music university.
3 years later he was asked to head up the brass manufacture at a German Instrument Company.
Returning 1 year later for another 2 year spell with his first employer as head maker again.
In 1999 Leigh decided that he wanted to make his own mark on the brass world and started First Class Brass Ltd (Eclipse Trumpets) in September of that year at a small workshop in Dunstable, England.
Carl has worked for Eclipse straight out of school at the age of 16. Having been with us for 16 years now he is truly one of the most talented repair and making techs in the UK. Leigh and Carl run the Eclipse workshop as a team. One's skills complimenting the other. Carl is Eclipse through and through, and has a real and true passion for the instruments, contributing to design and structure of new products.
Radka is not just Leigh's wife, but the "KINGPIN" of the company. Radka is the company book-keeper first and foremost, but also takes care of all the photography for the website and a hundred and one other things which leaves Leigh and Carl to simply get on with building instruments.